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FRESH In: Coconut Cream in Your Coffee

I have tried to take my coffee black, I really have. Especially after I took a look at the nutrition information on some of my favorite flavored non-dairy creamers. Six grams of sugar. 45 calories, and two grams of fat in a single tablespoon! For someone like me who considers coffee a major food group, and might drink three doctored-up cups in a day, that’s a lot of bad stuff going down with that caffeine fix.

The So Delicious Coconut Milk creamers, then, have been a real find. Based on coconut milk, with no soy, gluten, dairy or high-fructose corn syrup, these creamers are fat-free and have less than half the calories of other nondairy creamers. (Just 10 calories per tablespoon serving for the regular flavor, and just 20 calories for the hazelnut and French vanilla. And no fat in any of them.)

Maybe because they’re made with coconut milk, they have a creamier taste than other low-fat or no-fat options I’ve tried. They don’t taste chalky or grassy, like some soy or hemp milk alternatives. Just mildly sweet, they don’t have the aftertaste you might get from sugar substitutes. (The flavored versions have four grams of sugar per serving, and the regular flavor just one.) Even if I wasn’t a coffee fan, I could see pouring some of this on a bowl of oatmeal or berries, or even to add texture and creaminess to a smoothie.

A great find for the lactose-intolerant, as well as those just trying to ingest less sugar or fat, these creamers come from Turtle Mountain, which has been making dairy-free ice creams and desserts for more than 20 years.

The company believes coconut offers a healthier version of fat than other forms found in the traditional Western diet, so they’ve been beefing up their coconut-based products in the last few years, adding the creamers in late 2009. FRESH also carries So Delicious coconut milk yogurt and coconut milk beverage, all in the dairy case.