Lots of us can’t go without our coffee or our preferred coffee creamer, but if you’re following a Mediterranean diet, you might be wondering if you still should.
This article will give some recommendations about how to think about coffee creamers on the diet and give some choices to follow.
Drinking Coffee on the Mediterranean Diet
Coffee is allowed on the Mediterranean diet. However, the diet does encourage people to lower their saturated fat and sugar intake.
This means in an ideal world you’d drink black coffee, as this removes the saturated fat from the dairy and sugar from the sweeteners.
However, we all have our preferences and it doesn’t need to be too difficult to make your coffee drinking fit into a Mediterranean diet.
You can check our full review of drinking coffee on a Mediterranean diet here.
Coffee Drinking in Different Mediterranean Cuisines
Coffee plays a significant role in the culinary and cultural landscapes of various Mediterranean countries, each with its own distinctive traditions and preferences.
- Italy is renowned for its coffee, particularly espresso. A quick, strong espresso at the bar is embedded in daily life. Cappuccino and latte are also popular, typically enjoyed in the morning.
- Turkey is unique in its cooking method, where finely ground coffee beans are boiled with water and sugar in a special pot called a ‘cezve’. This results in a strong, thick coffee with grounds settling at the bottom of the cup.
- Greek coffee is brewed in a briki and served in small cups. It’s strong, rich, and typically enjoyed slowly in social settings.
- Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, coffee is often infused with cardamom and sometimes other spices. It’s usually served in small cups and is an essential element of hospitality.
- North African countries like Morocco often includes a blend of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, similar to Middle Eastern styles.
Choices for Coffee Creamers on the Mediterranean Diet
If you can’t drink your coffee without cream or sugar, then no problem! These are some great options below.
- Almond Milk: Almonds are a staple in Mediterranean cuisines. Unsweetened almond milk is a great dairy-free, low-calorie option, adding a nutty flavor to your coffee.
- Coconut Milk: Another dairy-free choice, coconut milk is creamy and slightly sweet. Opt for the unsweetened version to stay in line with Mediterranean diet principles.
- Oat Milk: Oat milk is becoming increasingly popular for its creamy texture and slightly sweet taste.
- Soy Milk: Soy milk is a good source of protein and can add a creamy texture to your coffee.
- Skim or Low-Fat Dairy Milk: Skim or low-fat milk has less saturated fat than whole fat dairy. It won’t be as creamy as some of the other options, but still a great choice for a skinny latte.
- Half-and-Half: In moderation, half-and-half can be used, as the Mediterranean diet does not strictly forbid dairy products. Opt for organic or grass-fed if possible.
- Spices and Flavorings: To add flavor without extra calories or sugar, consider cinnamon, vanilla extract, or cocoa powder.
If you want to make your own, try this homemade coffee creamer.
Spice and Flavoring Coffee Creamer Choices
Adding spices and flavorings to coffee is a great way to enhance its taste without adding extra calories or sugar.
When using these spices and flavorings, it’s important to use a little and adjust to taste, as dried spices can become very intense with small changes.
Here are some popular options that can be used either alone or in combination:
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a warm, slightly sweet flavor, and also has some health benefits such as the regulation of blood sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: A few drops of pure vanilla extract can impart a rich, sweet flavor without the need for sugar. A little is all that’s needed, as too much can make it more bitter.
- Cocoa Powder: For a hint of chocolate flavor, unsweetened cocoa powder can be a great addition. It works well in both hot and iced coffee.
- Nutmeg: A sprinkle of nutmeg adds a warm, nutty flavor and pairs well with other spices like cinnamon.
- Cardamom: Common in Middle Eastern coffee, cardamom adds a unique, slightly sweet and spicy flavor.
- Ginger: Ground ginger can give your coffee a spicy kick, which is especially nice in the colder months.
- Turmeric: Known for its health benefits, turmeric can add an earthy flavor and is often paired with a bit of black pepper to enhance its benefits.
Considerations When Choosing a Coffee Creamer
- Be sure to choose unsweetened and plain, unflavored choices. Sweetened versions can quickly add a lot of sugar to your diet, whereas unflavored choices can add artificial colorings and increase the calorie count.
- Remember that although you generally want to reduce your saturated fat content on the Mediterranean diet, fat itself isn’t something you should avoid. Dairy in moderate amounts is fine.
- You want this way of eating to be sustainable! That means if you can make changes, then great, but you also need to pick something you like and can continue with long-term. There’s no point forcing yourself to follow something if you’ll only give up soon after. So if you only have one coffee a day for example, the coffee creamer can be more of a treat.
To Sum Up
The simplest way to drink your coffee is black, but of course, that isn’t an option for many!
There are plenty of different coffee creamers, including different kinds of milk or half-and-half. Different spices may even do it for you!
If you choose a slightly unhealthier or indulgent coffee creamer, you can simply try and drink less coffee overall if you don’t want to stop using it.
Whatever coffee creamer you decide to choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy and can stick to.