Non-dairy creamers

Taste testing went down over the summer (I know, I know, that was so long ago!) and I’m ready to offer you my thoughts on the variety of mainstream non-dairy creamers on the market.

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Ready for reviews?

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Wild Wood soymilk creamer

Pros:

  • plain flavor didn’t distract from coffee/tea
  • thick texture mixed well with beverages
  • organic (but not advertised as such – oddly enough?)
  • low sugar content (1 g per serving)
  • no sodium

Cons:

  • long ingredient list after soymilk (maltodextrin, tapioca starch, etc.)
  • lacking in flavor (it was more bland and less soy tasting than other soy creamers)

Would I buy again?  No.  I’d rather use plain almond milk.

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Silk Soymilk creamer

Pros:

  • thick and creamy consistency like real creamer
  • good flavor (when I tasted them on their own, they were really yummy)
  • available in most mainstream grocery stores

Cons:

  • non-organic
  • higher sugar content (3 g per serving)
  • flavored varieties (like French Vanilla and Hazelnut) tend to dominate whatever they are added to
  • didn’t mix well in coffee

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Flavors:

French Vanilla – pretty sweet (almost too sweet) but great for imparting rich vanilla flavor in baked goods

Hazelnut – so-so flavor, tasted artificial

Original – the best of the three in terms of neutral flavoring

Would I buy them again?  No, despite some of them being delicious on their own, they didn’t work in coffee (which is presumably their primary use).

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So Delicious Coconut Milk creamer

Pros:

  • non-soy and non-dairy (good for vegans with allergies to soy)

Cons:

  • doesn’t mix well in hot beverages (this is my main issue with the creamer since this is why I buy them); unlike a real creamer, the coconut creamers didn’t seem to impart their creaminess uniformly throughout liquids
  • slightly sour aftertaste (Kyle didn’t like them on their own, but I disagree)

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Used in baking, like this oat bake (above) or in drinks, like Peet’s English breakfast tea (below) they are good, but otherwise I wasn’t a fan. 

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Flavors:

French Vanilla – best flavor for baking (sweet, rich, vanilla-y)

Hazelnut – not a fan, it was pretty sour

Original – best for cooking

Would I buy them again?  No.  The point of creamers is to be used in hot beverages and these were great for cooking or baking, but not for coffee or tea.

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Organic Valley Soy creamer

Pros:

  • good flavor that’s slightly nutty with a hint of vanilla
  • thick texture that mimicked dairy cream decently
  • mixed well with hot beverages
  • organic
  • low sugar content (1 g per serving)
  • one of the most pure ingredients lists (including fair trade cane sugar)
  • doesn’t contain carrageenan, an ingredient in many other non-dairy creamers

Cons:

  • it’s soy based, which doesn’t help vegans with soy allergies/sensitivities

Would I buy it again?  Yes.  This was both Kyle and my favorite. 

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Reviews aside, almond milk is actually our preferred coffee “creamer.”  It mixes the best.  It has the best flavor.  It doesn’t cause any GI issues.  It’s low in sugar, calories, and still imparts a delicious creamy quality to hot beverages.

I’ve tried many brands and Almond Breeze’s unsweetened vanilla is the #1 beverage in the HHH household.

Runner ups: Almond Breeze’s sweetened plain and Silk’s pure almond

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Comments (31)

  1. Lou

    What’s the difference between a normal milk and a “creamer”? We don’t get creamers here so I am intrigued – are they just thicker or something?

  2. Red Deception

    I’m not a coffee drinker, but this will be interesting when my coffee-drinking beau comes to town. He gets some non-dairy creamer!

  3. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Thank you for this post!!!!!!!!!

    When I was strictly vegan and strictly dairy free, I spent 5 yrs trying to find a creamer that I liked. I never loved the So Delish or the Silk…and this what you say about So Delish was always what I thought
    “Would I buy them again? No. The point of creamers is to be used in hot beverages and these were great for cooking or baking, but not for coffee or tea.”

    And those little buggers are expensive and why buy something that costly if it’s just…meh…and plain ole almond milk pretty much is just as good. Which was always my theory.

  4. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla is a lifeline for me! I go through probably a gallon a week! excessive..? yes.

  5. Jes Suazo

    So sad! So Delicious creamers are my favorite! I did quit using them because of the sugar content though. I’ve been drinking my coffee black & adding more yerba mate to my mornings.

    Glad you found one you love!

  6. Cecilia

    I prefer Trader Joe’s soymilk creamer. But I’ve never read through the ingredient list to check it out properly.

  7. Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend)

    This post was SOOOO helpful! Thank you so much you rock! Gonna by the soy creamer tmr!

  8. Lee

    My favorite by far is the Silk French Vanilla, but I also like my coffee super sweet.

  9. Shana

    I have a question that I hope you can offer some insight on. I’ve been following your FODMAPS journey because I seem to have similar GI issues. I can’t be sure, but I think sometimes calcium carbonate (the stuff they put in milk alternatives to up the calcium content) makes me bloated and causes GI distress. Do you have any information about this? Thanks! Love reading the blog!

  10. sheila

    so helpful! i also find that the soy milk at starbucks mixes pretty well with hot coffee but i think it has a lot of added sugar…

  11. Bethany

    This is such a helpful post! I realize I’m late in the game on commenting, but my mom has been trying to adjust my dad’s choice in creamer. He’s a tough sell. We have tons of almond milk like you prefer though, so I’m totally suggesting it. Thank you for this!

  12. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    I rarely ever use coffee creamers…I’ve become more of a purist over the last year or so when it comes to coffee, but I did have a coupon once and used it to get some of the French Vanilla So Delicious creamer…I was NOT a fan!

    I tried Silk’s Soy Nog in my coffee this morning though and it was faaaaaaabulous! :)

  13. Laura

    Hi Shana, calcium (carbonate) is well known to cause reduced intestinal motility (constipation), but it shouldn’t do so at the concentrations found in non-dairy milks (about 150mg/100ml yes?)… any more than the same conc of Ca found in cow’s milk would… I don’t know if that helps you at all?! But in any case it bloating wouldn’t be via the same mechanism as a FODMAP foodstuff would- ie intenstinal bacterial flora fermenting fructans/polyols, as calcium is elemental. Mind you, our GI systems seem to have minds of their own

  14. Brigid

    I actually love the coconut milk ones, especially the French vanilla. Of course, I don’t use creamer in my coffee (give it to me hot and black, holla), but I love it in oatmeal. I sometimes buy the plain kind to add to smoothies, too.

  15. Elise (Post author)

    hi shana! im glad laura was able to get us some info because id never really considered that additive to be the source of GI stress, but it does make sense for slowing motility. i remember being told by my GI MD way back when i was first diagnosed w IBS to take ca citrate supplements instead of ca carbonate, bc of the constipating effect it can have. that said, i think lauras right in that all our GI tracts are individually wacky. i think its probably a separate issue from the fodmaps stuff, but you never know…maybe the delayed transit time could induce further time for fermentation in the gut thus increasing bloating. i will for sure be paying more attention to ca carbonate things now, thats for sure. thanks for commenting!

  16. Elise (Post author)

    yup. but lets be real, i dont order starbucks drinks for the health benefits ;) they are treats and thats that.

  17. Elise (Post author)

    i dont think i tried that kind. lemme know what the ingreds look like next time you check them out.

  18. Elise (Post author)

    ah yerba mate…i feel like im back in buenos aires just at its mention :)

  19. Elise (Post author)

    a creamer is basically a product that was created for those who want cream in their coffee but dont want or cant tolerate the unhealthy ingredients (fats) of actual cream. honestly, the processed faux products with the weird ingreds are probably worse for you than actual cream. so yeah, they are thicker than normal milk.

  20. Susan Bechhoefer

    Thanks for the tip on the Org. Valley creamer; I think it’s even made in my state (VT). I had been avoiding soy because I have historically disliked the taste in my coffee. Now that I’ve become seriously intolerant of milk, I’m having to find a compromise that I can live with..being a coffee fiend. I’m going to look for it today at the market and let you know how it goes. I’m with you on all your other reviews, particularly the coconut creamer in coffee-yuck.

  21. Elise (Post author)

    i also tried hemp recently and it totally separated in the hot beverage. blech.

  22. Heidi Bianca

    Thanks for your post. I’ve been disappointed about finding a high quality (healthy) non dairy creamer. I don’t like soy because of the high probability of it being a GMO in the US, plus the estrogen mimicking affects on the body. I thought that the So Delicious Coconut creamer was the closest to half and half but was horribly disappointed to learn that they use Titanium Dioxide in it. Yes, titanium, the metal! I went on to learn that this is commonly used in American foods to create that bright white color, yet, we obviously can’t digest titanium. Just wanted you all to know about that when your considering your options.

  23. Leah

    Hey there! I love your site. I will be checking back as often as I can. Be blessed!

  24. Ben

    I now use Silk almond milk. Was enjoying So Delicious plain coconut creamer in my coffee, but got concerned about the carrageenan, which also happens to be in the blue diamond almond, but not in the silk almond. I find that the longer the list of ingredients on the label, the more likely I will be sensitive to it.

  25. Elise (Post author)

    very true ben. silk products do have gums though so just proceed w caution on all fronts.

  26. Jodi

    I don’t like flavored coffees so I was wondering if the plain almond milk has any kind of ‘nutty’ taste to it? I’ve been using So coconut creamer & it seems to mix fine in my coffee but I feel like I use more of it to get the desired creaminess.

  27. David D

    Thank you for your site and your reviews. I’m happy to find it and be a part of this happy and healthy group. I’ve been searching for a good non dairy creamer and healthy sweetener. I like Silk, but it’s not great for men because of the estrogen. However, I use it from time to time. I did start using the Almond Breeze with a Stevia sweetener and so far so good. Happy day everyone!

  28. Robin Alln

    Yes I agree with the TITANIUM DIOXIDE in the coconut creamer I was so disappointed. I wrote to So Delicious and they explained that the percentage in it is not harmful. I did not buy into that. They also use it in paint to create the white color. Not what I want to ingest. I would like to switch to Soy but there is so much conterversy about soy even though its GMO and organic still feeling unsure.

  29. T. A. Ellis

    Hello. I just figured out that soy milk no longer works for me and have tried lots of non-dairy non-soy products to add to my home-brewed espresso (3 doubles a day). Two comments:
    1) If you mentioned the very high salt content of Almond Milk I missed that part of the commentary. Anyway, the So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer is the ONLY product I found that has no added salt.
    2) The nutritional info for Creamers is for one tablespoon, which is an itty-bitty quantity by my standards. The So Delicious Coconut Creamer has one gram of sugar per tablespoon. For a fourth of a cup of creamer to add to a big cup of Espresso Americano, that would be 4 g of sugar–way too much for me. So I’ll try mixing 2 T. of the creamer with 1/2 c. of Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk, for a combined total of 2 g sugar and 80 mg of sodium.

  30. walterbyrd

    I live in Denver, CO (a fairly big city) ; and I cannot find Organic Valley Soy creamer anywhere.

  31. bryan

    I used to be able to drink regular half and half until 8 months ago. Now I can’t handle lactose at all and it seems like we are being punished for being this way. When you could drink milk they have tons of different flavors and for soy and coconut it’s french vanilla and hazelnut. Why can’t we have all the flavors like before?

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