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Attention coffee drinkers, you’ll thank me later

Do you use coffee creamer every day to flavor your coffee? Right now, I want you to go look at the ingredient list. I’ll wait… See? I know, right? Partially hydrogenated this and syrup solids that. Our bodies have no idea what to do with that stuff because it isn’t food.

Now, I’m going to offer a delicious alternative here. Is it totally healthy? No, it has plenty of sugar. Is it healthier than the stuff we buy in the dairy aisle? Yes. The ingredient list will read: milk, sugar and whatever flavors you add to it. And, it’s less expensive. Frugal and fabulous!

DIY Coffee Creamer

Here is the base recipe for Coffee Creamer – You get to add the flavorings of your choice.

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

2 cups milk (half &half, whole, low fat, heavy cream, your choice)

The higher the fat content the creamier the result. Place the ingredients in a blender or a shaker, add your chosen flavorings and blend. Store any unused creamer in the refrigerator. The expiration date from the milk will determine how long the creamer will last.

The recipes below are a starting point. Use your imagination and raid your pantry. You can also flavor this mix with flavored syrups used to make Italian ices. I’ve got to tell you, I actually got my teenage son to happily spend an hour in the kitchen with me experimenting with different flavor combinations. That’s quality kids in the kitchen time.

Vanilla – add 1 – 2 tsp. vanilla extract.

Cinnamon Vanilla – 2 tbsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. vanilla extract. Add the cinnamon to ½ cup base creamer and stir together. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir again. You want to infuse the liquid with cinnamon. Add the mixture back to the base and blend. The cinnamon will float to the top so be sure to shake each time before use.

Almond Cookie – 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. almond extract. Make as above adding almond.

Chocolate – 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add cocoa powder to ½ cup base and stir. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir until cocoa is dissolved. Add the mixture back to the base along with the vanilla and blend.

Chocolate Almond – 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. almond extract. Make as above adding almond.

Irish Cream – 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup, 1 tsp. instant coffee, 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. almond extract.

Eggnog – 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 tsp. rum extract, 1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Peppermint Patty – 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup, 1 tsp. peppermint extract

Pumpkin Spice – 3 tbsp. pureed pumpkin, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp. maple extract, 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Honey Cinnamon Vanilla – 1/4 cup (local, if possible) honey, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Warm the honey and cinnamon with ½ cup base in microwave for 20 seconds. Add the mixture back to the base and blend.

It’s not just for coffee! You can use creamer in hot chocolate or milk and it’s divine poured over hot oatmeal for breakfast. Oh, and by the way, you can add vodka to any of these recipes and it becomes crème liquor. You’re welcome!

Frugal Food Finds contributed by Patti Diamond author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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