As I have admitted before on this blog, one of the hardest things about fasting for me is giving up milk in my coffee. The truth is, I just don’t like soy milk
or almond milk or any of the other “milks” I have tried in coffee, so I find myself adding too much sugar to cover up the taste. The ones that taste the best are Silk Very Vanilla or Dark Chocolate Almond Milk, but (gasp, shock, horror), they are also the ones that contain the most sugar. Non-dairy coffee creamers are out on two counts, since they are generally full of chemicals and usually contain casein, which is derived from milk and therefore off limits to anyone who interprets the rules with maximum strictness, is a committed vegan, or is actually allergic to milk. I realize that trying to find a better substitute for milk is not entirely in keeping with the spirit of simplicity and self-sacrifice, but I feel that this recipe is worth sharing in case there are others like myself who want to keep the Orthodox fasts (or are allergic to dairy or want to commit to a vegan lifestyle for any reason or length of time), but find the thought of a waking up to milk-less coffee to be a stumbling block in their way.
Truthfully, the ultimate vegan coffee creamer would probably be homemade nut milk, made stronger than usual with a bit of coconut milk added for creaminess. Soaking raw nuts, grinding, and straining them yourself does give you a “milk” that is cleaner and more pleasant tasting than any commercially prepared version I have tried. However, it is not a quick process, and it goes best if you have a large, powerful blender and a special bag for straining. Hence the need for a “quick and clean” version. Feel free to experiment with this recipe. You can try any nut or seed butter you like in place of the cashew butter. Raw butters with minimal “extra” ingredients will probably taste best, but the only cashew butter I could find was made from roasted cashews with some added palm oil, and it works just fine. You can add more water to make it more like milk, or less to make it more like half and half.
- 1/2 cup regular (not lite) coconut milk (the kind from a can)
- 2 TBSP cashew butter
- 1 tsp sugar (optional – leave it out for a savory recipe, add more if you want to cream and sweeten your coffee at the same time, substitute other sweeteners as desired)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla (also optional)
- 1 1/2 cups water
1. Put all ingredients in a blender (a small, bullet-style one is perfect for this). Blend until thoroughly combined.
2. Enjoy! It should keep in the fridge for several days. If it separates just shake it up again before using.
It may not make your coffee bulletproof, but this creamer does have some healthy fats and trace minerals to combat the after-coffee crash and keep your morning good.