When I told you I quit drinking alcohol I also mentioned giving up wheat, corn, and dairy again. And truly, the only hard one in that bunch seems to be dairy. More specifically half-and-half.
Because despite the churning belly after every sip of cow dairy, despite the eczema, the thing that holds me back from quitting dairy every time is my morning cup of coffee with copious amount of organic half-and-half or skimmed raw cream.
Try as I have to become a purist and drink my coffee properly like any other good coffee snob (black), I just can't make the leap. So usually when I'm off dairy I give up my morning cup as well and switch to black tea or nettle chai with homemade coconut-almond milk instead.
But this time around I was convinced to find another way.
So I set to work modifying my coconut-almond milk recipe (creamy in its own right) to be more like half-and-half. No, it won't fool your grandma, but good gracious! If you're off dairy and grieving over your lame mug of watery almond milk-diluted coffee each morning while jealously eyeing your partner's cup, here you go. You're welcome.
Honestly, it's been a game changer for my morning happiness quotient. I can truly say I no longer miss my half-and-half. (And that's saying something.)
Homemade Dairy-free half-and-half
- 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
- 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch hulled cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
- 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 5 cups hot water
If you are struggling with digestive troubles or issues with bone and tooth health, pre-soaking your almonds is advisable. If you can't integrate another layer to your morning cup of coffee, skip this step. Seriously.
- Place almonds in a mason jar with 1 tsp of sea salt. Cover with water and soak overnight (or up to 24 hours) at room temperature.
- The next day, drain and rinse your almonds. The soaking water will be murky and gross. That's normal.
- Combine all ingredients in the jar of your blender and add 5 cups of not yet boiling but piping hot hot water. (The hot water helps bring the fats into solution and makes the cream, well, creamy.)
- Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes if you have not pre-soaked your almonds, or dive right in with the next step if you're short on time or pre-soaked the night before.
- Puree your mixture on high power for 3 to 4 minutes until it become a uniform frothy mix, free of the slightest chunks or lumps. Puree for another minute or two if you have it in you or if your blender is wimpy.
- Pour through a mesh strainer lined with a thin cotton towel or cotton bandana, then bring the corners together and squeeze and twist to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Twist more. And more.
- After extracting as much liquid as possible, return your wrung-out pulp to the blender with 1 to 2 additional cups of hot water and puree again with an additional teaspoon of honey or maple to make a smaller amount of almond-coconut milk to keep your kids from drinking your creamer. (To make this "skim" milk more tasty, you can be generous and add a glug of your first pressing to the jar. Or… not. It's up to you.)
- Compost solids or freeze or dehydrate for other uses (ideas here).
Add a splash to your coffee and delight in the pleasures of a creamy cup of goodness. Mmmmm…… That's more like it!
Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to four days or until it becomes sour.
Psst… I even saved the recipe for you as a PDF!