Between the two of us, Geordie and I drink a pot of coffee every day. To be honest, Geordie drinks most of it. Now that we’re TTC, I’ve limited myself to a cup a day, but even before that, two cups was the most I could ever drink. We’ve estimated that Geordie drinks at least twelve ounces from the coffee pot at home (and sometimes more), plus another thermos-full at work. In other words, he’s a coffee-drinking machine.

Because we both like our coffee sweet and creamy, we go through a lot of creamer. At least a quart a week. Since actively trying to eat healthier, the one thing I’ve really avoided eliminating is creamer. I like it too much. It’s almost like an addiction.

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the container of creamer I was using and saw the words “lactose-free.” That broke the spell. I didn’t even have to look at the ingredients. I knew it was time to look for an alternative. Not just plain old half-and-half. That’s not good enough. If I couldn’t have creamer, I wanted something as close to it as possible.

I found this recipe.

You take: a can of sweetened condensed milk and a couple of cups a milk. That’s it. Plus a little bit of xanthan gum as a thickener. She’s also got a great list of flavorings to try. And, for the truly ambitious, a recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk.

I went with plain vanilla for the first batch. Simple enough to make.


Very fast, very easy, very real milk.

But I’ll be honest: it’s not perfect. For one thing, I won’t be using the xanthan gum next time. All it did was form globs that floated on top. It didn’t mix in, and it didn’t thicken it up. I don’t think a thickener is necessary anyway. It’s just going into coffee. I’m more interested in taste.

God knows what goes into creamer to make it taste so good. Nothing natural, I’m sure. Impossible for me to replicate that. This isn’t the same. It’s okay, but it isn’t the same. If you’re expecting it to taste exactly like store bought creamer, that’s not going to happen. It might take some getting used to. It might take a little tweaking. That’s alright, I’m willing to give it some time. I haven’t made another batch, but I plan to. I don’t dislike the homemade creamer (although I do dislike the xanthan gum in it), I think I just need time to adjust from the artificial stuff. I also want to play more with flavors and find something that really works for me.

And if it turns out that it doesn’t work for me? Well, I’ll try something else. Because I’m pretty sure that, even if this doesn’t taste perfect, I prefer the idea of drinking it over the idea of drinking lactose-free creamer with a list of ingredients I can’t really decipher at all. Because: ew.