Lighten Up

Ever since brewing up my very first cup of mud so many years ago as a wee preteen, using my little pink Hello Kitty coffee maker and all, I’ve been a strictly black coffee kind of gal. No sugar, no cream, thank you very much. Simply a means of getting a quick caffeine pick me up, it’s always been a no-frills affair. However, you’ll rarely be able to poke around in my fridge without finding at least one pint of creamer chilling out. An incredibly useful ingredient, it often finds its way into baked goods and desserts of all varieties, adding richness and sweetness like no other vegan alternative. Up until recently though, that creamer was always soy-based, as there were simply no other options out there.

You’ve probably already guessed it, but this looks like another job for coconut! Matching the standard trio of flavored soy creamers, Turtle Mountain has now leveled the field with another reason for soy-avoiding vegans to be delighted.

Trying for get a basic understanding of the product to begin with, I naturally chose the Original (plain) variety to sample first. Surprisingly less sweet than expected, and very neutral in flavor, it would make for a completely inoffensive addition to coffee indeed. Agreeable enough to pair well with any flavored coffee, it would also happily blend into the background of any baked good, just as you might hope for from standard dairy cream. In fact, I’m willing to bet that dairy-drinkers would welcome this creamer in their cup of joe, too. Despite its subtlety, there’s not a hint of coconut flavor- A truly impressive feat in my book.

Stepping it up a notch with the French Vanilla, it’s immediately apparent that this one is sweeter. In fact, it was sweet enough that when sampled with coffee, it would be overkill to add in any sugar along with it. Perfectly suited for making fancy lattes if one so desired, its light, floral vanilla essence adds volumes of flavor. Easily my top pick of the group, this one convinced me that there may be merit in coffees lightened with creamer yet.

Now fighting a mean coffee buzz, it seemed time to put away the brew and pull out the ice cream machine instead. By far my favorite use for creamer, it was only a matter of minutes before the Hazelnut coconut creamer was whipped into an ice cream base with a touch of vanilla bean paste, and then was churning away. Anxious to have a taste right away, I served it straight out of the machine like soft serve, and oh, what a treat it was. Ultra smooth and creamy, it was unbelievable that such a simple concoction could be so good. Though it has the vague aroma of almond extract, it is easily distinguishable on the tongue, with more complex nuances than almond. Happily, it’s not the least bit bitter, as some hazelnut-infused foods can be.

Score yet another one for the mighty coconut! I for one can’t even imagine what it may turn up in next.

[Written for Go Dairy Free]

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40 thoughts on “Lighten Up

  1. GORGEOUS! Simply stunning, the pic of the creamer being poured over the raspberries needs to be framed and hung up in my kitchen. You are one brilliant vegan diva! This post was awesome, I always love your product reviews. Thank you!

  2. I’m so glad coconut is everywhere! Love their chocolate coconut ice cream, didn’t like the coconut milk (had a faint bleach taste, same with their vanilla ice cream-??), but I’m open to trying the coconut cream. The food photos are fab (as usual).
    xo
    Eco Mama

  3. Oooh, hazelnut ice cream! I should try this. I made ice cream with the plain & I have some in the fridge for making caramel sauce, if I ever get around to it!

  4. Amazing! The ice cream sounds so incredible. I love hazelnut flavored anything. In fact, I am drinking hazelnut coffee as I type this. I like it black, too, but I think my mom would love these!

  5. Coconut milk is a miracle food. Sometimes I worry I eat too much of it–saturated fat, and all–but it does make a perfect sub for half and half or whipping cream. I also drink my coffee black, but I’ll look for these next time I’m making caramel, etc. So Delicious is on a roll!

  6. I tried the original in my coffee and really enjoyed it (I don’t like any sweetener in mine and it suited me perfectly!) I would love to try the vanilla and/or hazelnut for ice cream – yum!!

  7. I love these coconut milk creamers! They are such a godsend for dairy and soy intolerant people like me. Your hazelnut ice cream looks amazing! Recipe please!?!?!

  8. I wish we could get coconut creamer here in the UK. I went to China a couple of years ago and loved the milky coconut drinks you could get there. Imagine my disappointment when I bought a coconut drink here only to find it was coconut water with some suspicious looking floaty bits in it. Oh well, at least we have a yummy version of rice milk and when I need my coconut fix I just go and break out a frozen coconut milk heart to suck on
    http://nipitinthebud.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/souping-green-tomatoes/

  9. Those creamers sound great! I will admit, my mouth started watering a tad when I saw that soft serve…oh it’s been so long for this lactose-intolerant girl haha.

  10. I saw Coconut Milk in the store a couple months ago and of course I had to try it. Since I’m usually a fan of the vanilla versions of things, I went with the Vanilla Coconut Milk.

    This time I wasn’t a fan. To me, it had an after taste that just didn’t sit well with me and didn’t make my coffee taste that good. I was disappointed, because I usually love all things So Delicious.

    A friend of mine had tried the original and said it was really tasty and had no after taste, so I bought a carton of original, but it’s still sits, un-opened, in my fridge.

    Now, from your description of it, I have hope that I will enjoy it much better than the vanilla version.

  11. Oh! I’m a BIG fan of coconut milk. I’ve never thought of putting coconut cream in my coffee but it sounds amazingly delicious. I really love this product review, you did such a fantastic job. I’m so happy to find out that so many of my local grocery stores carry this product, can’t wait to go get them, mmmmm!!!

  12. I’ve never heard of this brand before. Definitely have to try it out. Also, that French Vanilla drink looks delicious. Will try it. Thanks for sharing… everything is beautiful!

  13. I’ve never tried non dairy creamers (well I don’t use dairy creamers either). I love that this one uses coconut milk! I’ll have to keep an eye out.

  14. I’m so happy to have found this post! After spending 19 years as a lacto-ovo vegetarian, now due to gastro issues I have to give up milk. It’s been a hard transition for me b/c I’m a real dairy lover… but tired of all the stomach aches, so it has to go.

    I’ve found satisfactory replacements for everything, I like soy, rice, almond milk all equally EXCEPT in my coffee. And even though I’m giving up milk, I’m definitely not giving up coffee :)

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