Target. Not the kind of place you’d expect to see healthy alternatives to standard American fare, but I was pleasantly surprised – nay, totally thrilled – when I walked through their market section and saw something I hadn’t even seen in my grocery store. In the refrigerator section stacked together with the milk I found Unsweetened Almond Milk and Ready-For-My-Coffee Coconut Milk.
What’s the big deal you ask? Well, let’s just say this story starts with how many of you start your morning…with a cup of coffee.
When I think back on it now, my morning cup-o-joe was a lot more like a milk shake than a cup of coffee. I was absolutely IN LOVE with those flavored coffee creamers you can find in 800 different varieties in the grocery store. I would pour way more than the recommended serving size into each cup I would drink more coffee than I should just because I loved the creamer so much. But when I started changing my eating habits it quickly became clear the flavored coffee creamers had to go. Nothing with that number of unpronouncable word on the label shouldn’t be considered a “food” anyway! It was also during this time I discovered dairy products were not a good option for me to keep in my diet. Neither was soy. So here I was, coffee in hand and nothing to put in it. What was a girl to do?
At first I tried almond milk into my coffee – the kind you’d find on the shelves in the “healthy” section of the grocery store. But that didn’t last long. The almond milk was too thin and too delicately flavored. Even with a 50/50 mix it was little better than drinking my coffee black.
Next I tried coconut milk – straight out of the can. I’d use the richest, creamiest part of the coconut milk at the top of the can because, at first, it looked and tasted just like cream. Until the coconut oil began to separate from the milk solids and form little oil blobs along the surface. My coffee went from good to gross. So, I tried blending my coconut milk in a Magic Bullet and storing it in in the refrigerator in an attempt to keep my oils and milk solids mixed. Blending the coconut milk improved its mix ability in my hot coffee, but was a complete disaster in iced coffee. So, there I was with summer coming and no iced coffee solution.
It was around this time I stumbled upon a refrigerated version of almond milk from Silk at the grocery store. I gave both the Vanilla and Original flavors a whirl and discovered a much thicker, creamier version of the almond milk I had tried before. It was excellent in both hot and iced coffee. Except for one big thing. SUGAR. Bummer…and back to square one.
That is, until my most recent trip to Target. Finally, there is a version of almond milk that is thick, creamy, and free of added sugar or fake sweeteners. And for the first time, coconut milk that can be used in iced coffee!
So, for those of you who have given up the flavored creamers and are lamenting the lack of cream in your coffee, fear not. A healthy (and inexpensive) alternative is out there…
Oh, and while you are at Target, pick up a package or two of the Archer Farms sausages and try them with one of these breakfast recipes from Paleo Plan: