Now I've become that lady who brings her own coffee creamer in a tiny mason jar to the coffee shop with her. Image: Our Stable Table.
I want my coffee creamer to be background noise, not the star of the show.
I used to hate coffee. To be fair, I hated a lot of things. Tomatoes, sprouts, bacon, yellow squash, and dark chocolate were all on the list.
As it turns out, quality and proper preparation of food is important, and I actually love ALL of these things. I just had to figure out how to choose these things well, and prepare them in a way that made my mouth happy.
Coffee is no exception to this rule. I love quality coffee and search for good deals on good coffee. My brother gifted me with an AeroPress, which makes even crappy coffee borderline delightful.
I've tried hard to enjoy my coffee black. And I do, I swear! For about three sips. Then, I long for the comfort of half-and-half. I put way too much in it and then... Poof! My black coffee is a beautiful shade of Behr Sandstone Beige and I'm the epitome of the coffee-with-cream kind of gal. I don't want to help that, even if I could.
I recently gave up my beloved half-and-half.
I have seasonal allergies that are so intense, I wake up several times a night, a blanket of drool covering my pillow, unable to breathe through my nose. It's awful.
Even though I love my Sandstone Beige coffee, I also love to breathe. And so my great non-dairy creamer experiment commenced.
I tried the store-bought stuff. It was loaded with sugar and cost a bunch of money. Those things are not for me.
I began experimenting with making my own coffee creamer. Besides having multiple nut milk fails, I just didn't love the texture. Meaning, I was adding watered-down nuts to my exquisite coffee — and who likes watered-down nuts? NOBODY, that's who.
Initially, I eschewed coconut milk entirely because of the strong flavor. I want my coffee creamer to be background noise, not the star of the show.
But I was feeling desperate one day. I added some to my coffee and... It was not amazing. It needed something. It needed to not be alone in the world. It needed a date. A real, live date. Like, the dried fruit, not a Tinder swipe.
I soaked a few dates in some hot water, whizzed them around in my Nutribullet, strained out the chunks, and put it back in the Nutribullet with my coconut milk, plus a teeny-tiny pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt.
The result? A genuinely delightful creamer that blew me away.
With definite notes of cool coconut tempered by the warm, earthy sweetness of dates, it ended up tasting more like a mellow caramel creamer that sent me to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee 10 minute later. Now I've become that lady who brings her own coffee creamer in a tiny mason jar to the coffee shop with her.
It's weird, I won't lie. But I don't care, because I can breathe all night and still thoroughly enjoy my coffee all day.
1 can full-fat coconut cream (For creamier creamer, refrigerate can for a couple of hours, open from bottom end, and drain off the coconut water.)
1/4 cup hot water
pinch of sea salt (pink Himalayan, if you have it)
Stevia or other sweetener to taste (optional)
Put the dates in a small dish. Pour enough water into the dish to just cover the dates. Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes. Take this opportunity to put on your nice stretchy pants.
Blend dates in a blender, food processor, or Nutribullet. You might need to add a bit more hot water, but don't add too much: You want this to be a very thick puree.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer. You can skip this part if you don't mind drinking date skin. (So, basically, don't skip this step.)
Put your coconut milk, date puree, and a tiny pinch of salt in the blender. Blend for 30 seconds until creamy and frothy.
Now TASTE IT. Because dates vary in sweetness, you might want to add another date or sweetener. I like just a few drops of stevia in mine, but you can add any sweetener of your choice.
Your result will be a gorgeous cup of coffee in a perfect shade of Sandstone Beige, as well as a flavor-texture combo that will make you wonder how you ever survived on the other stuff for all these years.