While trying to figure out how to resolve the issue, I remembered seeing a post on the lowcarber.org site in the Paleolithic & Neanderthin forum where someone was using a blend of coconut and egg to replace heavy whipping cream. Margot wrote:
“…I tried coconut milk and it is not the same either, but a trick I have used before is to put an egg in a blender and then while blending to slooooooooooowly add melted coconut oil. Then stir in some coconut milk. The egg makes it thicker and almost frothy and the lecithin in the egg keeps the oil from separating and floating on top. it was not the perfect thing, but it was as close as I could get with the fat and the thickness.”
I have tried plain coconut milk as well, and agree with Margot, it just didn’t get the job done. But with an egg and coconut oil? I started envisioning something more like eggnog, and that sounded promising!
I remembered Margot’s post and the ingredients, but I didn’t go back and check the details until after I whipped up my first batch. I just dumped a can of coconut milk into the food processor, added one egg and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. And since I was thinking “eggnog”, I added a teaspoon of vanilla.
After blending all of the above in the food processor, I ended up with this:
Actually, this is after a few hours in the fridge. The mixture is more like frothy milk immediately after making, but thickens up like cream after it is chilled.
I am thrilled with how this “seat of the pants” version turned out! I think I probably used more milk and less oil than Margot did but she didn’t specify quantities. And I am sure that I will tinker with the recipe a few dozen times before I am satisfied that I have found the right ratio. This is more “coffee creamer art” than “coffee creamer science”.
The calorie count is virtually the same as heavy cream – 106 verses 103 for 2 tablespoons. And a quick nutritional comparison shows that heavy cream comes out on top in the vitamin category solely on the large content of Vitamin A. But the Coconut Creamer is a clear winner in the mineral content (click to enlarge) :
Here’s the mineral content for the heavy cream:
I am happy to report that with the help of this coconut creamer I have had 4 painless dairy-free days that included a delicious cup of creamy coffee!
The only issue is if you leave your cup of coffee sitting too long, the coconut oil will form a film on top as it cools, but other than that, I enjoy this every bit as much, and possible even more, than the heavy cream.
Thanks for the inspiration Margot!!
October 13th, 2010 Update
After posting this, I received some great feedback and questions which I am responding to below:
- Do you store it in the fridge and how long does it keep? Yes, I do store it in the fridge and we use it up before it has a chance to go bad. But it will definitely keep for a week.
- Does it harden? Nope, it gets thick…too thick to pour, so it has to be spooned into the cup.
- Does the oil separate? Not at all!
- Will I have scrambled egg in the bottom of my cup? Only if you scramble some eggs in a skillet and put them in your cup.
- Would this be good with berries for a dessert? Going to find out this weekend but I am 99.9% sure the answer is yes.