The world of food is changing. Gone is our reliance on heavily processed or questionable conveniences. Now we can stock our favorite indulgences, like dairy-free creamer, without a drop of guilt. I didn’t used to stock creamer since I’m not a coffee drinker and Tony usually takes his black. But after discovering its many uses, I now keep a few packages on hand.
This post is sponsored by nutpods, but all of the opinions and ideas are my own.
Finding a Good Dairy-Free Creamer
- Unsweetened – Varieties without sugar are far more versatile and I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to what sweeteners I use and how much.
- Minimal Ingredients – Some of those creamers have scary ingredient lists! I expect a natural thickener or emulsifier, but I’m a happy camper if they don’t have hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan and titanium dioxide.
- Shelf-Stable – Of course you have to chill it once opened, but small packages that I can store until I need them are fantastic.
- Richness – some brands are a bit too watery. I like it to have a nice “half and half” consistency so that it can add body to various recipes.
Nutpods fits the bill for my entire “wish list”. It’s made from half coconut and half almonds, contains minimal ingredients and is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, gluten-free, kosher pareve, and Whole 30 approved! I also love the little aseptic packages. They’re shelf-stable, have a resealable spout, and I’m able to use them up without any waste!
How to Use Dairy-Free Creamer
Okay, now that we have a good dairy-free creamer in hand, lets use it!
Easiest Chocolate Mousse
Add a few cups of ice to a large bowl, and nestle a smaller mixing bowl in the ice. Gently melt 6 ounces of good dairy-free chocolate with about 2/3 to 3/4 cup dairy-free creamer (I love using Unsweetened Hazelnut here) together in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking periodically. Once the chocolate is fully melted, whisk in sweetener, to taste, if desired. Pour the chocolate mixture into the smaller mixing bowl in the ice. Whip, with a hand mixer, until beautifully thickened.
Lite Coconut Milk or Half & Half Substitute
You can actually swap plain unsweetened dairy-free creamer (like nutpods Original for lite coconut milk or dairy half & half in just about any recipe!
Dairy-free creamer is the perfect consistency for making flaky, tender, healthy biscuits. For about 6 biscuits, whisk 1 cup whole wheat flour (I use white-whole wheat, which is whole grain), 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3/8 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. If you desire sweeter biscuits, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite granulated sweetener. Whisk in 2 tablespoons coconut oil until a coarse meal forms. Add 1/2 cup dairy-free creamer (in the ones shown below, I used nutpods Original Unsweetened and skipped adding sweetener), and stir until the dough just comes together. Turn it out onto a floured mat, and fold it over itself a few times to create layers and bring the dough together. Gently press the dough down to about 3/4-inch thickness, cut into biscuits, and place on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Bake at 450ºF for 10 to 12 minutes.
Instant Vanilla Icing
Need a quick drizzle? Place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of dairy-free creamer (I recommend Vanilla Unsweetened) until smooth. If needed to get a thinner consistency, whisk in more creamer 1/2 teaspoon at a time. You want to add just a little at a time as the icing will thin rather quickly. Use it as a glaze for donuts, on bundt cakes, or with any other sweets that could use something extra.
Mock Italian Cream Sodas
Put some ice in a glass and add about 3/4 cup sparkling fruit juice. Top with 1 tablespoon (or more!) dairy-free creamer. Watch the creamy deliciousness drizzle into your beverage, then add a straw and sip.
Moist Muffins to Fluffy Pancakes
Make your favorite muffin, quick bread, pancakes or French toast recipe “latte style”. Use Vanilla Unsweetened dairy-free creamer in place of the liquid and vanilla extract in your recipe. It adds a tenderness to the crumb that plain milk beverage can’t touch. Not sure what recipe to start with? This Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is a great one.
Smoothies and Shakes
I make really thick smoothies, which means I don’t add a ton of liquid to them. For that reason, I’ve been having trouble using up a full carton of dairy-free milk beverage in time. I tried just adding water, but it tasted, well, watery. So in went some nutpods Vanilla Unsweetened, and viola, the perfect creamy smoothie! You can also use it for richness when making indulgent non-dairy shakes.
Use dairy-free creamer as a finish for soups! For an easy potato soup, peel and cube 2 large potatoes. Put them in a saucepan with ½ cup chopped celery and ½ cup chopped yellow onion. Add water or part water, part broth to just below the top of the vegetables. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are quite tender. Coarsely mash the potatoes in the soup. Stir in ½ cup Original Unsweetened dairy-free creamer and add salt and pepper to taste.
For 8 truffles or so, melt 2/3 cup finely chopped dairy-free chocolate (dark or semi-sweet) with scant 1/4 cup dairy-free creamer (your choice of flavor). Whisk until smooth. Chill for 2 hours, or until firm. Scoop the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls in your favorite coating, such as cocoa powder. I like a 50/50 mix of cocoa powder and powdered sugar or ground coconut sugar to cut the bitterness.
Basic White Sauce (2 options!)
To make a versatile dairy-free white sauce, melt 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread or olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons flour (gluten-free, if needed) and stir until well combined. Whisk in 1 cup Original Unsweetened dairy-free creamer, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add more creamer if needed to thin. Whisk in salt, pepper, spices, herbs, or other seasonings for your needs. For a grain-free option, grind 2 tablespoons cashews into a powder. Blend with 1 cup of the dairy-free creamer to combine. Heat over medium-low heat while whisking, until thickened to your desired consistency. Season with salt, to taste, and add desired flavors.
Now you can make your own “cream of …” oatmeal. Prepare your oatmeal with water so that it is quite thick. Pour it into your bowl and drizzle on a tablespoon, or two, or three, of dairy-free creamer. I usually go with the Vanilla. Top with your desired flavors, such as dried fruit or coconut sugar.
Homemade Dairy-Free Ice Cream or Pops
If you want to add some richness to lighter frozen desserts, use dairy-free creamer for all or part of the liquid! For frozen fruit pops, it can even be fun to swirl the creamer in for a pretty and delicious effect.
Are you having trouble getting your go-to pudding to thicken? This is a common problem with dairy-free milk beverages, but dairy-free creamer jumps in with the richness needed for smooth, perfectly thick vegan pudding.
Hot Cocoa and Golden Milk and Chai, Oh My!
It’s hot beverage season, and dairy-free creamer is your answer to enjoying a warm cup of creamy goodness anytime. For a simple hot cocoa, whisk together 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup dairy-free creamer (I typically use nutpods Vanilla Unsweetened in hot beverages), and sweetener to taste in a mug. Gently heat and enjoy the luxury. Nourishing golden or turmeric milk can be prepared with the same 1:1 ratio of dairy-free creamer and water. But my favorite right now is this delicious Spiced Chai Recipe.