What's in the vanilla coffee creamer you buy? Does it contain any real cream or vanilla?
Two FREE printable recipe cards below!
We have used vanilla creamer in our coffee for years now. In fact, we have became so used to using it that we got to the point that we would no longer drink coffee without it! One day I happened to just be sitting and drinking my coffee and I started reading the bottle of International Delight. What I read on that bottle led to a total change in the creamer I now use every day.
The front of the bottle stated "a rich creamy dream of sweet and mellow French Vanilla flavor." It also says "gourmet coffee creamer." I read the words "creamy" and "creamer" and I think of milk, or cows. So do you, right? That is where we get cream from after all, so one would also assume there's milk in there somewhere, but then you read the International Delight French Vanilla Ingredients and what a surprise!
I see a milk derivative, but I do not see any cream or milk in this so called "Gourmet Coffee Creamer!" The asterisk next to the milk derivative tells us it is NOT a source of lactose, so again, NO MILK. How can it be called a creamer if there is no milk or cream in it? Thats when I realized that they boast the fact that they are lactose free! Of course they can't have any milk in it if it is lactose free! How in the world are they even allowed to call it a creamer? Shouldn't it be called a Milk Free creamer, or a creamer substitute or something instead?
But wait, it actually gets better....do you see the word VANILLA anywhere in the ingredients? NO! I saw that the bottle says vanilla 'flavor' on the front and that's when reality hit me, there is no actual vanilla in the 'creamer' either! Then it really hit me...this was all my fault. I am so stupid! I had fallen lock,stock, and barrel for the oldest trick in the book: marketing ploys! We had not become 'addicted' to using vanilla coffee creamer at all. I'm not sure what we became 'addicted' to using in our coffee, but it certainly had nothing to do with actual cream or real vanilla! Sure it tasted good, but what the hell is it made of? So of course I did some research. and here is what I discovered.
Ingredients in International Delight Vanilla Creamer:
The first two ingredients (water and cane sugar) are pretty much self explanatory.
The third ingredient, which apparently makes up a large part of this 'creamer' is palm oil. There is a lot of controversy over palm oil which is apparently found in about 50% of all products produced today. I am not going to go into the controversies, but suffice it to say that it is imported and there's arguments about the way it is grown and harvested (usually not sustainably) and it's huge negative environmental impact. I included a few source links at the bottom of the page if you want to read more. Bottom line for me though: why the heck would I want to put oil instead of cream in my coffee??????
The other "less than 2%" ingredients:
Can you see why I now choose to make my own Homemade Vanilla Creamer? The ingredients are way too complicated and contain no actual cream or vanilla! If you're lactose intolerant I can sort of understand why you would still want to use the International Delight, but if you can drink milk, why not at least try to make your own creamer to see if you like it? It will actually have REAL MILk and REAL VANILLA in it! And of course, the ingredients are much simpler and much healthier, especially if you choose to use all organic ingredients!
Ingredients in Homemade (Organic) Vanilla Creamer:
Oh, and guess what? IT'S STILL GLUTEN FREE! That's right, it is still GLUTEN FREE even with real cream and vanilla!
Is it cost effective?
The organic version costs a about 5 cents more an ounce, but remember, it has REAL MILK AND VANILLA and NO PALM OIL!
The non-organic version costs about 3 cents less an ounce and still has REAL MILK AND VANILLA! So worth it in my book :-)
What about the calories?
The homemade creamer is actually a little LESS CALORIES!
Do yourself a favor and try making it at least once. It's so easy and even though it doesn't taste exactly the same, it is so close (and I believe it's actually better tasting) that I KNOW you will be pleasantly surprised....my husband was and he can be really picky!
NOTE: All comparisons were using REGULAR French Vanilla Creamer and WHOLE MILK. I did not look at nor did I do any comparisons with respect to International Delight Fat Free, Sugar Free, or Fat and Sugar Free but be aware that they all contain corn syrup!
FREE PRINTABLE RECIPE CARDS:
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Say No To Palm Oil - What's the Issue?
Palm Oil Sustainability - What is it?
What is Palm Oil?
Welcome! I'm Kathie, an educated, happily married mother and step-mother to four adult children. I wholeheartedly believe in creating and living a simpler, happier, and healthier life in this stressful and modern world! I work at creating a simpler life in ways that are as economically wise and environmentally conscious as possible. Please join me on my journey:-)