Somewhere along my journey to grown-up-ness, I began drinking coffee.
And it still sort of surprises me how ingrained into my routine it has become because I have not always been a coffee fan. In fact, I hated it until I was in my twenties. Wouldn't touch it if my life depended on it.
But, I'm a Cranky Bitch without it. And I don't like being a C.B. My family deserves better than that. So I drink coffee. Every morning. (And some afternoons.) With this delicious creamer in it.
This recipe was developed after about a year's worth of experimenting. I tried all the creamer recipes I could find (thanks, Pinterest) and disliked every one of them.
They all called for either honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup. I don’t like the way cooked honey tastes, agave nectar is actually no better for you than HFCS, and maple syrup is good, but it’s... maple-y. I want my coffee to taste like vanilla. Plus, maple syrup is expensive. For as often as I drink coffee, the add-ins need to be cheap.
I finally realized I had been going about this all wrong when I came across a recipe for flavored coffee syrups. I could just make my vanilla flavored sweetener and get the creamy texture with half and half or whole milk. It seems so obvious now.
So that’s what I did. And I haven’t looked back. Because it’s cheaper and healthier. Healthy-er. Not to be confused with healthy. The ultimate Healthy would be NO creamer and NO sweetener. Some would even argue healthy would be no coffee all together. But they can just go live their lives over there, by themselves…tired and cranky. I am a much happier person with a morning coffee. Still not a “morning person,” though. Coffee isn’t magic.
So here’s the recipe for the Vanilla Syrup. It’s your basic simple syrup recipe (equal parts sugar and water) with vanilla extract for flavor. Super easy. After that, you can scroll down to see the ratio of syrup to half and half I use to make the creamer.
2 cups water 2 c sugar (I use the Kirkland organic pure cane sugar) 3 Tbsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Stir with a wire whisk to keep the sugar from settling at the bottom and burning. You don’t have to keep whisking, just keep an eye on it. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 minutes. Let cool and transfer to a pourable container.
This makes about 32 oz (that’s two of standard size coffee creamers from the store).
Now, if I am being honest, I don’t normally combine my vanilla syrup and half and half at this point. I just measure out my syrup and half and half separately each time I have a cup of coffee. Mostly because this recipe makes enough to freeze half, but also because I don’t feel like storing a larger container in my fridge.
But because I like to have specific numbers and measurements, (and I am guessing you do, too) I’ll share with you the ratio I think tastes delicious and give you a place to start. First- the ratio by the cup. Then- the measurements for an entire batch. So you have options.
Awesome Organic Homemade Vanilla Creamer
Per cup: (and by cup I mean a big mug that holds my 10oz of brewed coffee) 2 tsp Vanilla Simple Syrup 3 Tbsp Half and Half
Per Batch: 16oz Vanilla Simple Syrup (that’s half of the syrup from the Vanilla Simple Syrup recipe above) 24oz Half and Half (I use the Horizon Organic Half and Half from Costco)
Mix together. Try not to add the whole batch to your next cup 'o joe. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
If you want to make enough creamer for say, a week or two, freeze half of the simple syrup (1- 16 oz container) and make creamer with the other. I say a week or so because it depends on how many people are drinking coffee, how many cups they are drinking, and how much creamer they use. If I just have one cup a day, one of the 16oz containers lasts me almost two weeks.
I have never tested half and half to see if it freezes and unfreezes well, but I’m gonna guess it doesn’t. Most milk products do not.
So what does it cost me to make my own mostly organic creamer, free of soy and HFCS?
- Vanilla: $9.99/ bottle at Costco, works out to be $2.42/batch.
- Organic Sugar: $10.99/bag at Costco, works out to be $0.59/batch
- Organic Half and Half: $5.99/carton at Costco, works out to be $2.40/batch
That's only $2.71 a bottle, about $0.71 more than the (not so natural) Natural Coffee Mate creamer bottles at Target!
And it’s so easy to make, I haven't bought creamer in years! I highly recommend giving it a go.
Happy energizing, friends! And whatever you make, make it yours!
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