Making nutmilk coffee creamers
February 19, 2017 6:25 PM   Subscribe

How can I make my homemade soy and almond milk taste like the big brand stuff?

I don't do dairy, so I drink a fair amount of soy and almond milk. A few months back, I picked up a great soymilk maker. Now I always have fresh soy, almond, cashew, and whatever other (often strangely combined) milks on hand. I cook with it, I drink it, but it generally fails when it comes to coffee.

The problem: I actually like the taste of the store bought stuff (Silk, Califia,etc). Especially when it comes to cream for my coffee. How can I make something similar at home?

The Califia brand coffee creamer was my #1 favorite until they removed carageenan and algal flour. The texture and creaminess was perfect. So I switched back to soy creamer. I use Trader Joe's brand soy creamer, but am also happy with Wildwood and Silk brands.

What's the secret to making creamy, rich creamers at home using the nutmilks I can make from scratch?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
All the recipes for vegan creamer I've seen involve using less water to make the nut milk and dates or maple syrup. Like this recipe. YMMV, I've never had a vegan creamer that didn't taste like crap to me, so I just switched to black coffee.
posted by xyzzy at 7:25 PM on February 19, 2017

I just bought this book and he uses refined coconut oil to get that creaminess. Basically, you run melted coconut oil and the milk together in a blender for a while until the oil is emulsified and stick it in the fridge. It's not bad- especially with a little vanilla (but I'm not the vegan in my house, so it's hard for me to be objective when I'm still drinking dairy).
posted by dogmom at 7:47 PM on February 19, 2017

If it's within your dietary guidelines you may want to try adding some xanthan gum! I put it in my homemade frappuccinos to make them thicker and it works super well!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 9:04 PM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't know if you want to have specifically nut milk for this purpose, but I recently switched to coconut milk for my coffee and it is GOOD! Creamy, no weird taste, maybe slightly tropical. A can lasts a long time.
posted by andreapandrea at 1:23 PM on February 20, 2017

Consider trying Brazil nut milk. I find it to be almost velvety. Coconut oil will give you a creamier mouth feel but you just need a super teeny bit. It can get too oily fast. I find it works best like dogmom says to emulsify the oil in the blender.

Also I don't know for sure but maybe experiment with different temperatures?
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee at 8:17 PM on February 20, 2017

Like xyzzy said, dates or maple syrup combined with using less water. Brown rice syrup would work too. Xanthan gum is useful for thickening vegan ice cream bases (though I usually leave it out), and should work well in coffee (it's in So Delicious Holiday Nog, which is thicker than the average drinking milk made from coconut). You need very little xanthan gum to thicken.

Rice starch was used in the MimiCreme line of coffee creamers rather than xanthan gum. Sadly the brand was discontinued a few years ago, but the ingredients lists are still available. Anyway, both rice starch and xanthan gum are highly soluble starches.

If you don't need to have much creamer on hand, then while making almond milk, remove a cup (or however much you like) of the concentrated thick liquid and set it aside for creamer. Then add more water to dilute the remaining almond slurry into milk.

To flavour, you can add various extracts (if you might serve this creamer to vegans, watch out for animal derived food colouring in some extracts) like hazelnut, vanilla, etc.

Miyoko Schinner has an excellent book, The Homemade Vegan Pantry, on making dairy-free basics from scratch. She has a recipe for coffee creamer (which unfortunately isn't available publicly online), various nut milks, and non-dairy yogurt, too.
posted by mayurasana at 8:09 PM on February 24, 2017

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