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For as long as I can remember, dairy products have bothered my stomach. For most of my life I ignored the uncomfortable digestive issues and just ate dairy anyway. Occasionally I’d take the lactose intolerance pills whenever I was eating diary, but they came with a whole host of other frustrating stomach problems. I wasn’t willing to completely give up cheese and ice cream, so I started paying closer attention to what dairy products I could eat in small amounts and still feel ok.
When I was pregnant with each of my kids, the intolerance went away and I was in ice cream heaven for 9 months.
Unfortunately, as soon I gave birth, my intolerance was back with a vengeance–and it was worse than before.
So, I went back to my old ways of eating dairy in moderation. But a few months ago I decided to see if I could truly go dairy free and if it would make a difference in how I felt. I was going to try it for a few days–just to see what would happen.
The results were astounding.
Within 24 hours of completely cutting out dairy I felt like a new woman. Gone were the stomach cramps and constant bloated feeling I was so used to living with. A few days went by and every day I was feeling better and better.
I felt so good that I didn’t even miss cheese and ice cream (no, I’m not kidding. That’s how uncomfortable I was!). But, there was one thing I missed. My delicious, creamy morning coffee!
My morning coffee was just not the same without cream or whole milk — or the flavored creamers I occasionally used. I tried nearly every non-dairy coffee creamer I could find and nothing was cutting it. They made my coffee watery and they weren’t sweet. But there was absolutely no way I was going to give up my favorite morning ritual.
So, I did what I always do when I can’t buy exactly what I want to eat. I scrounged around my kitchen cabinets, consulted Google for some inspiration and I set out to make my own dairy free coffee creamer from scratch.
I experimented a bit and quickly realized I didn’t want to use any milk alternatives because they tended to water down my coffee. I wanted something thicker and with a delicious taste. Back to the cabinets I went.
And that’s when I found my stash of coconut cream concentrate.
Coconut cream concentrate — sometimes called coconut butter — is not the same as coconut oil. It’s made from dried coconut meat that’s very finely ground which gives it a creamy texture. I knew I had found the perfect base for my dairy-free coconut coffee creamer.
But, like coconut oil, coconut cream concentrate is firm and I had to figure out a way to make my mixture ready for my coffee quickly and easily in the morning. Enter the mini muffin tins! They make the perfect serving size for one individual serving of my new creamer–perfect for one cup of coffee and easy to store so they’re ready just when you want them. And, because they’re kept in the fridge, they cool your morning cup of coffee to the perfect temperature!
- Heat your jar of coconut cream concentrate in a pot of water. You want it to be soft and very easy to stir, but not completely liquid. Once you've achieved this consistency, give it a good stir so that it's smooth and creamy. Then measure your ½ cup.
- Add in the maple syrup and stir until completely blended. The mixture will turn slightly amber colored depending on how much maple syrup you add.
- Sprinkle in the cinnamon and give one last stir to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into mini muffin tins. Fill each one almost to the top. (Each one is just about 2 tablespoons of coffee creamer.)
- Chill in the fridge until the mixture has hardened. Then, using a spoon, loosen each individual serving and pop them out of the muffin tin. (Hint: you need to do this while the creamer is still cold and hard. If it heats up, they will break when you try to pop them out.
- Store the individual creamers in an airtight container in the fridge.
- When you're ready to use, pop one in your coffee and stir vigorously or use a hand or immersion blender or a regular blender if you want an extra creamy, foamy cup of coffee.
In case you’ve never used Coconut Cream Concentrate, check out the videos at Tropical Traditions!
You’ll want to make sure to get the contents of the jar softened a bit so you can stir the oil and meat back together to be sure you are getting the right texture!
Check out the dairy-free recipe collection here at Scratch Mommy for more delicious treats.