I have been making my own coffee creamer for about a year now and love playing around with different flavor combinations. I start with my original Chocolate Almond Creamer recipe and swap in different extracts and sweeteners to change things up. While I love the chocolate-based creamer, I have been on the hunt for something with a sweeter profile without a huge amount of sugar or other sweeteners.
My husband and I started a Clean Eating Challenge with our gym at the beginning of the year and have migrated to a semi-Paleo lifestyle, omitting all grains and most sugars and dairy. Since I am addicted to food blogs and Pinterest, I have spent some time finding lots of different recipes that fit this lifestyle. After making my 3rd or 4th batch of Homemade Larabars, I came up with the idea of making a homemade date caramel to add to my creamer. While the caramel is pretty mind-blowing by itself, adding it to coffee every morning is pure heaven.
First step is to make up a batch of super easy date caramel.
Homemade Date Caramel
6-8 ounces whole pitted dates
3 T. unsweetened almond milk
1 T. coconut oil
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
Sea salt to taste
Soak dates for approximately one hour. This will make them more pliable and easier to process. Strain and add to food processor. Add almond milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract and blend until fairly smooth. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as you will end up straining any larger particles at the end of the creamer process.
Add a pinch or two of sea salt and blend. This will help with the sweet/salty flavor and gives the caramel the perfect kick. Add more if desired.
Homemade Date Caramel and Vanilla Coffee Creamer
6 cups half and half
1 batch Homemade Date Caramel
2 T. honey (I use organic raw honey from Tropical Traditions)
2 T. vanilla extract
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium sauce pan, whisking well to fully combine the caramel. Bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat (usually takes 5-7 minutes). As soon as it starts to simmer, remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Pour through a fine mesh sieve into container of your choice and immediately refrigerate.
You can definitely adjust the recipe to make more or less, but this amount will last me about a week and a half in the fridge. You could make the date caramel ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to make your creamer. You could also use vanilla beans for a stronger vanilla flavor. Amazon generally has them for less than $1 each, Winco also has them in the bulk section but they are crazy expensive.
Please note: This is nowhere near as sweet as the store bought stuff. It took my taste buds a week or two to adjust to the different flavor profile, but now I prefer the homemade version. The flavors are true and are a great complement to my morning coffee.
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