avoiding dairy... milk substitute in coffee??

Sueb20February 9, 2011

On my ongoing quest to eat more healthily (healthfully?), I am trying to avoid dairy for a while. One thing I can't give up is my daily container of Chobani yogurt! The other thing I'm having difficulty with is milk in my coffee. I have tried soy milk in the past and didn't like it. I tried Almond Breeze last week... blecch! I tried the original. Maybe the vanilla flavor is better? If you avoid dairy but need something to lighten your coffee, what do you use?

This week I'm also Going Vegetarian (just for a week). So far, that part has not been painful! My kids groaned when I said we'd be having vegetarian meals (dinners) for a week but they have been fine. Not sure if we could all do it full-time, but I am definitely going to have at least a couple dinners a week meat-free from now on. We probably do that many weeks anyway, really, so it should be easy.

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I know everyone has their own ideas about what constitutes healthy eating but IMO healthy eating and non dairy creamer do not belong in the same sentence! Look at the ingredients - they are loaded with corn syrup and vegetable oils that are at least partially hydrogenated. The Vanilla flavored 'milks' (almond, soy, etc) that I've seen are always sweetened so you may want to rethink that also.

Unless your coffee habit is to mix it 50/50 with milk or cream and you consume a gallon a day, I sure wouldn't worry about the small amount in your morning cup-o-joe.

Give me the natural form of ANY food everyday and twice on Sundays before giving me the processed cr@p that is *supposedly* healthier.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 6:55PM
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When did milk become unhealthy?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 7:07PM
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I totally agree with DLM.

Also, children need a certain amount of Calcium and Vit. D in their diet. They can get most of it from milk. Ricketts is on the rise again because they are lacking calcium and vitamin D. Be careful with omitting entire food groups (ie. meat) from children's diets. It can be detrimental for their growth if not substituted with the proper nutrients.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Okay, I think maybe I caused a little confusion here. I am not asking about "nondairy creamers." I'm asking about something along the same lines as soy milk, almond milk, etc. Just wondering if there are other options out there that people have tried and liked.

Natal, I don't want to start any sort of debate or controversy... it's just a decision I'm working on for myself, not saying anyone else has to do it. I have heard a few health professionals lately say that the only milk we need is mothers' milk when we're newborns. Again -- really not interested in starting a debate. I really just asked the question out of curiosity.

Polly, I'm not withholding milk from my kids at all, and I'm not omitting all meat from their diets. As I said, this week (one week) we are having meatless dinners. One meal out of one day, for one week. I think they'll be fine.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 7:46PM
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If you add more sugar to black coffee, it doesn't taste bad. I would switch to tea if I were looking to give up milk; I prefer tea without milk.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 8:00PM
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You didn't mention lactose-intolerance and now you say according to some health "professionals" we only require mother's milk. I think questions are only natural. Where are you getting your daily calcium requirements of 1000mg -1500mg?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:21PM
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I'm sure there are many families who have adopted the vegearian lifestyle with no health problems. Meat is not the only source of protein. I probably wouldn't do it for very young children.

So am I understanding that you are just eliminating milk Sue, not all dairy - well you said you are still eating your yogurt. What about cheese? I'm not much of a milk drinker myself, but I eat alot of other calcium type foods.

Sorry, but I don't have any suggestions for a creamer. I rarely drink coffee, but if I do, I must have LOTS of cream and a little sweetner/suger. LOL


    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:29PM
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I'm sorry I misunderstood.

Dr. Oz has a pretty good recommendation, and that is to eat meat that walks on 4 legs no more than 2 times per week. I've been following that myself and for my family for almost 2 years now.

As a lactose intolerant person, I have never found a substitute I liked. I strongly dislike soy milk, and hate rice milk. I've always used lowfat lactaid milk without a problem in my coffee.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:54PM
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Have you noiced coconut milk in the dairy case lately? I tried it, and I don't think it would taste good in coffee. It's probably worse than the almond milk.

If you give up and switch to tea, try unsweetened hemp milk and stevia in spicy chai teabag tea - really, really good!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Because of my allergies I switched to goat's milk a couple years ago and I love it. I don't drink coffee but DH does and he tells me goat's milk tastes just fine in coffee. Goat's milk is better for you than cow's milk according to the allergist.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 12:01AM
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Not all soymilks are created equal. I switched from dairy to soy in my coffee and now can barely go back!

My favorite is Organic Valley Unsweetened soymilk. It is sold in the refrigerated dairy case with milk. I don't know if it is sold all around the country, but if so, you might want to try it. It doesn't have any "off" taste like boxed soy, at least to my palate. I think you can get it at whole foods. Trader Joes has their own brand, which is okay, but I prefer Organic Valley because I know it is made with soy grown in the US. Many, many soy products are grown with soy from China which may be labeled "organic" but I sure don't trust their system to ensure organic standards.Nor do I want to buy food that is shipped halfway across the world when I can get the same thing grown in the US.

One thing I like about soymilk is it has a mouth feel like a whole milk product, which I prefer over a low fat product in my coffee. I have to make it whiter than with dairy to get the same results, but I love it now. No cholesterol, high in calcium, etc.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 12:03AM
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It really is a preference. I would try each one. Hemp milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk. Just try the unsweetened versions of each. If you like vanilla, maybe try the vanilla version. I dont' drink coffee so I can't really give my opinion for coffee use.

To answer the question above, there are many many studies out there on milk and animal products, and many other ways to get calcium.

We don't buy cow's milk.

One good book is "the China Study"

Here is a link that might be useful: The China Study

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 1:29AM
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Here's what we use in our coffee:

Skim Plus Fat Free Half & Half by Farmland Dairies

Ingredients: Milk, Fat Free milk, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3

calories: 15 for 2 tablespoons
0 fat (saturated or Trans)
0 cholesterol
20 mg Sodium 2 g total carbs
0 fiber
2g sugars
1 g protein

It's great -no corn syrup, doesn't have that weird Coffee Mate taste I buy it at our local Shop Rite, it's in the dairy case next to the other non-fat creamers that are loaded with corn syrup.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:56AM
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I don't think anything else works in coffee but cream or maybe half/half. The amount of lactose in a tablespoon of cream is tiny.

I'd just start liking black coffee, personally. Almond and the other nut milks don't really emulsify in the hot liquid, and the fat just sort of floats on top.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:54PM
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I have diabetics in our family that must restrict their carb intake. However, they do like and enjoy drinking milk. I've found that Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla flavored "milk" (40 calories per serving/2 carbs per serving) is quite tasty if I add 3 packets of an articial sweetener to the large container. It's thick and not watery like skim milk.
I can make a mean cup of hot chocolate using this milk with unsweetened cocoa plus some sweetener added.

I'm cutting out fats so I've been using Land o Lakes fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee and I'm very pleased with the taste.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 8:25PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

We have cut way, way, back on dairy in our family too. DH drinks his coffee black so he was set. I greatly dislike soy milk, I can drink almond breeze but not in my coffee. The only non-dairy creamer I would be willing to spend money on is by So-Delicious and it is coconut based. It does not have quite the mouth feel of half-half but it is pretty tasty. No HFCS, ingredients are pretty recognizeable. They have a fantastic yogurt as well. Hemp milk could be worth a try, it makes a great ice cream but I am not fond of it in coffee.

Good luck with your lifestyle changes. We followed a nutrient dense vegan diet for some time but stopped when my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes (soy milk has a lot more sugar, at least the ones a 9-year-old would drink. When I am stricter about my dairy intake I notice that time of month is much less intense.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:07PM
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When I was off dairy hardcore because of my son's intolerance while breastfeeding, I discovered silk's soymilk "creamer" was a really good sub for half and half... it is every so slightly sweet but not the syrupy sweet of nondairy creamers (many of which do have dairy proteins in them anyway). The mouthfeel on it was nice too. I do not like soy milk, I used rice milk in my cereal.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:57AM
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I found refrigerated substitute milks (almond and rice) to be MUCH MUCH MUCH more palatable (if more expensive) than the shelf stable versions.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 12:00PM
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...it's just a decision I'm working on for myself, not saying anyone else has to do it. I have heard a few health professionals lately say that the only milk we need is mothers' milk when we're newborns.

Not wanting to argue with anyone who disagrees, but I do want to tell you that I completely agree with you. I have read considerably on the subject of dairy and personally believe it has no place in the human diet. That said, I'm not vegan ... I developed a love for the taste of cheese early on and find it a very tough "habit" to kick.

I too have tried Silk's soy "creamer" and don't find it objectionable. I have more or less learned not to use creamer of any sort in my coffee over the past few years, and really don't miss it. I understand wanting to find something that you enjoy though; my only suggestion is to keep taste-testing until you find something you can tolerate. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 1:20PM
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No cheese? No ice cream? This human wants those to have a prominent place in her diet. Can't live without cheese.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 2:01PM
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To each her own. Many have health and philosophical reasons for not consuming animal products.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 2:54PM
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Just to report in... tish, I bought the So-Delicious in vanilla flavor and thought it was OK. Then based on another recommendation, tried the chocolate Almond Breeze in my coffee and that was yummy!

I really don't care about cheese. DH couldn't live without it, but I've never been a huge fan -- although I do like pizza, so that's a tough one. And I don't care about ice cream in the winter months... but talk to me again in June.

I probably will never completely eliminate all dairy, but I can definitely cut back significantly. In the end, I may just go back to regular old milk in my coffee, and I may have the occasional cheese pizza, etc.

I was somewhere today where there were limited options for lunch, so I "had" to have a ham sandwich. I don't know what I would have done if I was really a vegetarian (instead of someone trying to impersonate a vegetarian for a week). Take the ham out of the sandwich, I guess, or go hungry!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:39PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

If you don't drink the creamer, it is good for making pancakes as well. If you become a fan of almond milk, the dark chocolate almond milk by Silk in the refrigerated section is definitely a keeper.

We have cut back on dairy but I am also interested in weight loss and when I discovered that all of the creamers, whether soy, coconut milk, almond or whatever had the same number of calories as regular half and half, I decided to just stick with half n half. For my 2 cups of coffee in the morning, that amount of half and half is not all that much. With time you will figure out what works for your family and that is the most important thing.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 8:09PM
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