How to turn your morning coffee into breakfast, save money, and possibly help stave off some chronic diseases

Or…Yummy (and filling) coffee creamer recipe



I’ve officially moved over to my new website called Come & join me there! 🙂



I have to admit that I’m a fan of Bulletproof coffee in the mornings. I’ve made it with unsalted organic butter or coconut oil, and really enjoy the frothy foaminess. (Here are a couple of similar recipes) And here too.

But, my little hand-held frother recently kicked the bucket. What to do? Well, I’m not giving up coffee anytime soon… Yes, it can disagree with some people, and make them jittery, anxious or make falling asleep more difficult. And you should probably avoid it if you’re pregnant. So if that is you, then you may not want to indulge very often. But for me, I personally like the fact that it has antioxidants, I generally limit myself to 2 – 3 cups per day, and I don’t drink any after 2:00 p.m.

As noted in the links above, the risks and benefits of coffee consumption include both good & bad effects; and everyone is different. So use it wisely.

As for my frother…yes, I could always pick up another one (of course!); but in the meantime I thought I’d try changing it up a bit, and use my prized super high-power blender to whip up something yummy and filling that I can use as a coffee creamer.

What about store-bought creamers or just plain cream?

Please, please, please do NOT use store-bought coffee creamers! The ones I’ve seen have sugar and “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” as the second and third ingredients (after water). Seriously, there is no need to read futher – DO NOT INGEST IT!

As for regular coffee cream, well, I do use it sometimes in my morning coffee (along with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and no sweetener). But, since I’ve yet to find a source of grass-fed milk, I’ve been tapering down on my consumption.

Why not just make a coffee smoothie?

I LOVE smoothies probably more than most people, and make them pretty much daily when the weather is warm. My personal fav smoothie recipe book is Todally Primal Smoothies. Another smoothie site I enjoy is Simple Green Smoothies. Of course, free Smoothie recipes abound on the internet, just go to google, yummly or Pinterest, etc.

But, right now, it’s March in Canada. If you need more details on what that exactly means:

  • we just got 15 cm of snow yesterday,
  • the wind chill is -20C today, and
  • the forecast for tomorrow is to get another 30 cm. 

Here’s a photo of my driveway this morning:

#Snow hill at the foot of our driveway left by #snowplow. Good day for a hot #coffee. #springincanada 25Mar2013

#Snow hill at the foot of our driveway left by #snowplow. Good day for a hot #coffee. #springincanada 25Mar2013

So, today, I want my morning coffee to be HOT!

Leesa’s Coffee Creamer Recipe (or, how I like to turn my morning coffee into breakfast)

What you need to make about 2 cups of creamer (organic ingredients are always my personal preference):

Coconut milk, cashews & white chia seeds

Coconut milk, cashews & white chia seeds


  • 1/2 cup cashews, preferably soaked (how to soak raw nuts)
  • 1 can coconut milk (canned is thicker than cartoned – try to find BPA-free cans)
  • Optional Secret Ingredient: 2 tbsp white chia seeds – you can use black ones, but the white ones keep the colour of the creamer nice and light. The chia is the “secret” ingredient to thickening up this creamer, since these seeds absorb liquid like crazy. If you don’t want it to be too thick, you can skip the seeds, but I love them for their protein, omega-3 fats and fibre.
  • Optional flavours: touch of real vanilla extract and/or cinnamon
  • As for sweetening, I personally don’t sweeten my coffee (I used to be a “double-double” kinda girl, but then I slowly reduced my sugar intake), but if you still want some sweetening (this recipe is not very sweet at all), feel free to add A BIT of a natural sweetener like raw, unbleached (organic, fair trade) sugar.  You can even try dates if you have a high-speed blender. Challenge yourself to use as little as possible.
Coconut Milk, Chia Seeds & Cashews into blender

Coconut Milk, Chia Seeds & Cashews into blender


How to make the creamer:

Put all ingredients into your blender (I’ve only tried this with my high-speed blender). If you’re using the chia seeds you will want to wait a few minutes until they absorb some of the liquid. If not, then go straight to whipping everything together until smooth.

Keep the creamer refrigerated, sealed tight. It can last several days in the fridge. Stir 2 tbsp into your cup of coffee (it might need a good stir because it’s thick).

Blended coffee creamer

Blended coffee creamer

Notes about the creamer recipe

  • It is thick!  This recipe has the consistency of a dense whipped cream (yum!).
  • There is high quality fat in the cashews, chia seeds and (arguably) the coconut milk too (the health effects of coconut fats is a hot topic now, with people on both sides of the fence).
  • Both the nuts and the seeds contain protein, fibre, and minerals.
  • I’m not sure how this would turn out with a regular blender. Perhaps try using pre-ground chia seeds to avoid grittiness? Let me know how it goes if you try it.
  • I experimented by adding in some hazelnuts and found it to be a bit gritty, even with the high-speed blender on high for 30s or more.
  • I imagine this can be frozen in ice cube trays for added convenience, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Coffee creamer

Coffee creamer

How this will save you money

This recipe costs me about 72c per cup.

That is $5.50 for about 15 servings of the creamer ingredients (about 37c per cup), and 35c for each cup of coffee I make myself. If you want to be really technical, I didn’t include the electricity cost for the blender and coffee maker, nor the hot water and eco-friendly dish soap to wash your re-useable mug. So feel free to round up. Maybe round up to a whopping 80c per cup!

How much money do you spend on your morning coffee?

If you buy it from a café or even a regular coffee shop, you’re saving money by making this. Even if you buy the highest quality organic BPA-free can of coconut milk, you’ll still save money!

How this can help to stave off some chronic diseases

Please note that I am not saying that this recipe can possibly prevent or cure anything (obviously!).

Having said that, what I am saying is that this is an opportunity to take your nutritional status and health a step further if you already:

  • use a store-bought hydrogenated oil artificial flavoured creamer (ditch those), and/or
  • regularly have sugar in your morning coffee (reduce that).

I’m hoping this can inspire you to make your coffee a bit better for you, and it can be a stepping stone to reducing your consumption of hydrogenated oils and sugars in general.

Some recent news about sugar

You may have heard a lot of media coverage earlier this month about the WHO’s new draft sugar guideline. It recommends reducing sugar intake to less than 10% of calories (with less than 5% being even more highly recommended). That comes to a grand total of 6 – 12 teaspoons per day from all sources – most of which is hidden in processed foods (READ YOUR LABELS and REDUCE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE)!

Basically: less sugar = fewer cavities + less weight gain = fewer “non communicable diseases”.

Plus, in addition to no sugar (or the teeny amount you may add), this recipe has protein & fiber which results in more satiety = longer time until eating again. This can help to reduce your snacking which is often on high-sugar, high-calorie convenience foods.

A note about coffee bean quality

Bulletproof exec recommends high quality coffee beans. I personally haven’t tried his beans, but I only purchase coffee beans that are organic, Fair Trade, and (sort of) locally roasted. And I use my new Dry Grains container to freshly grind my beans.


Dry container for coffee bean grinding.

Dry container for coffee bean grinding.


Friendly reminder about heating plastics

A quick note about brewing, storing & transporting hot coffee. As you’re probably aware, plastics can leach chemicals, and this can be accelerated with higher temperatures. BPA has been infamous since 2010 when Canada became the first country to limit its exposure to newborns and infants. While BPA is associated specifically with polycarbonate (PC or plastic #7), I try to avoid heating all plastic because even though the health risks may be small (or even ifinitesimal), why bother? It’s not like there are no affordable ceramic, stainless steel or glass coffee mugs around!

By the way, I do have a personal pet peeve with stainless steel travel mugs that are lined with plastic (Seriously, who does that?). I personally ALWAYS use mugs made from ceramic, glass, or stainless steel for my hot coffee.

And here’s a picture of what I use my (free – ’cause I wouldn’t buy one) plastic-lined stainless steel travel mug for (hint – nothing hot):

Plastic-lined travel mug for cold liquids only.

Plastic-lined travel mug for cold liquids only.


I’ve officially moved over to my new website called Come & join me there! 🙂


If you want some more ideas for a way to add some nutrition into your coffee, check out a few other REAL FOOD coffee recipes to try.

My criteria for this list:

  • No nasty store-bought creamer ingredients like hydrogenated oils, thickeners or artificial flavours or colours;
  • No sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk;
  • No artificial sweeteners;
  • No excessive amounts of added sugars. BUT I still challenge you to use as little sugar as possible!!!


Recipes With Dairy

She {hearts} Homemade Coffee Creamer (She {hearts} it)

Vanilla Maple Cinnamon Homemade Coffee Creamer (Clean Lean Mommy Machine)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Mama Natural)

DIY Pumpkin Pie Creamer (The Moderately Crunchy Mommy)

Real Food Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer (Girl Meets Nourishment)

Crockpot Pumpkin Spiced Latte (Thriving Home)



Recipes without Dairy

Cashew Cream (Eat Whole Be Vital)

Raw Almond Creamer (Whole Health Girl)

Coconut Milk Latte (Stupid Easy Paleo)

Coconut Coffee Creamer (The Clean Plate Chef)

Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer (Just Jessie B)

The Raddest Coconut Creamer Ever (Jen Neitzel)

Homemade Dairy Free Coffee Creamer (Purposefully Simple)

Non Dairy Pumpkin Pie Spiced Creamer (Whole New Mom)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (The Real Food Guide)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Civilized Caveman Cooking)

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Latte (Cook Eat Paleo)

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte (Healy Real Food Vegetarian)

Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte (Daily Burn)

Pumpkin Spice Creamer (Colourful Eats)

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte (The Nourishing Gourmet)

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Creamer (The Coconut Mama)

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (Allergy Free Alaska)

I’d love to hear how you like to take your morning coffee, and whether you tried one of these recipes! Do you know of other coffee or creamer recipes made with real food and minimal sweetening that I missed?  Let me know in the comments below!



Leesa Klich, is a health writer and content strategist for busy wellness professionals. She translates the science of health and wellness into understandable and fun articles. You can download a free copy of her ebook “The Real Deal About Calcium and Your Bones” on her website at


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5 responses to “How to turn your morning coffee into breakfast, save money, and possibly help stave off some chronic diseases

  1. Pingback: A Pumpkin Drink | lovelyseasonscomeandgo·

    • Why, thanks Kerrie! Of course you’d never start drinking coffee on account of this; you already eat/drink so clean!

  2. Just made it with coconut milk, ground white chia, and soaked almonds instead of cashews – great amaretto flavour!

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