Last updated on September 10th, 2022 at 12:40 pm
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We all know the story. We roll out of bed and walk groggy eyed over to the coffee maker, pour ourselves a steaming hot cup of Joe to pry our blurry eyes open in the morning. In the sleepiness of the morning dredge, we sometimes forget to put the creamer back in the fridge until we walk back into the kitchen to prepare our lunch.
Sometimes that’s hours later and we find ourselves debating whether the creamer is still safe to consume or if it’s been spoiled. So, can creamers truly be left out?
Some creamers can be left out but it depends on the type of creamer. Most liquid creamers cannot be left out for more than 2 hours before going bad. Powdered creamers can be left out for months.
Some liquid creamers are designed with preservatives and don’t have to be refrigerated like the individual creamers at many restaurants. A good rule of thumb is to check the label and see if it recommends refrigeration.
If it does then it shouldn’t be left out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.
Creamers come in a wide variety of types depending on preferred shelf life, room temperature stability, flavors, textures, personal food aversion or food intolerance.
The most common creamers that are used have dairy in them making them spoil if left out for too long. Creamers that contain dairy have been shown to generally be safe to consume up to being left out at room temperature for two hours.
Powdered creamers are meant to be shelf stable and can last two to three months after being opened in room temp if sealed properly and no moisture can enter the container.
Other creamers that are non dairy such as soy, coconut, almond, cashew, and oat creamers are made with fats to create that creamy taste we love so much in our coffee. These creamers may not have dairy in them to go bad, but have been shown to generally be safe if left out at room temp for 2 hours as well before they start growing harmful bacteria.
In summation, liquid creamers tend to be safe if left out for less than two hours but not repeatedly. The more often you leave creamer out every day, the more harmful bacteria can grow. If you tend to forget your creamer out on the counter most days it may be smart to either toss it or opt for a shelf stable powdered creamer instead.
What Types Of Creamer Are The Most Creamy?
Some people like their coffee sharp, bitter, black as their soul. Some people like a cup of smooth thick creamer with a small splash of coffee. Depending on your preference of creamer to coffee ratio you might prefer something extra creamy to cut the bitter edge taste of coffee.
So what creamers tend to be most creamy?
Creamers are made with different ingredients that give different textures, such as dairy or fat. Creamers that are non dairy tend to be thicker or more creamy tasting due to the higher fat content.
Almond and coconut milk creamers tend to be the best in this area due to the more fatty nature of almonds and coconuts.
If opting for a dairy creamer, half and half tends to be the most creamy due to the higher dairy fat content.
What Are Some Healthy Creamer Alternatives?
People are always on the hunt to eat healthy without compromising taste. So what are some good alternatives to creamer without the health risks?
Fat free or low fat creamers, dairy free creamers, and sugar free creamers are popular because they boast a healthy alternative to your morning coffee.
Many people are lactose intolerant meaning that dairy products either cause an allergic reaction, or give them bloating or digestive discomfort. Dairy free creamers are a great alternative.
Good non dairy alternatives include almond creamer, coconut creamer, cashew creamer, or oat creamer.
Low Fat creamers are a good alternative if you are watching your weight. They include a smaller amount of fat in them, sometimes this can make the creamer consistency a little thinner since there is not as much fat to thicken it up.
Sugar free creamers are another healthy alternative for those with dietary restrictions such as diabetes. They use a smaller amount of alternative sweeteners that don’t alter blood sugar levels.
The sugar alternatives in these creamers also have less calories. Win win!
What Recipes Can Creamer Be Used In?
Sometimes we have a lot more creamer in our fridge than we know what to do with. So what are some recipes we can use our leftover coffee creamer in before it spoils?
Creamer can be added to many dishes to sweeten them up or to add creaminess or thickness to them. Creamer can also be used as an alternative in a recipe if you’re missing an ingredient.
Use it in drinks! Many people around the world use creamer in their tea to cut the bitter taste just like they do with coffee. You can also use it in hot chocolate to make it more creamy or to add a flavor like vanilla or Hazelnut.
Use it to thicken up recipes. Generally, a plain creamer is used to thicken recipes so it doesn’t taste like vanilla or caramel flavoring. My grandma used to use a dash of creamer to thicken her tomato soup and make it more creamy. You can also use it in place of milk for pancake batter to make a more rich tasting flapjack or to thicken puddings or mashed potatoes.
Some people use it more generously, as a sweetener or icing. It’s commonly poured over fruit as a “fruit and cream” snack or mixed with icing or cake mix to provide a sweet cream taste.
Can Creamer Be Frozen?
There are times when we have extra creamer that’s going to go bad and we don’t want to waste it. Or we want to freeze it to make creamer cubes for our coffee. That begs the question, can creamer be frozen and thaw out properly?
Liquid creamer freezes and thaws wonderfully and still tastes great. Liquid creamer can be stored in its original container when frozen as well.
Some suggest pouring a small amount out of a full container before freezing to avoid the container expanding and bursting. Putting the bottle of creamer in a freezer safe ziploc bag can also keep it more fresh and avoid freezer burn.
Liquid creamer freezes well for up to 6 months as does powdered creamer.
To defrost frozen liquid creamer, simply place it in the fridge for a few days to thaw. Once thawed, shake the container to mix the creamer up because freezing it separates the fats.
Another freezer tip for creamer is making creamer “ice cubes”. Pouring your hot coffee over ice cubes tends to just water down the taste. Using creamer ice cubes chills your coffee and also adds your cream at the same time.
Simply freeze cubes in an ice tray and store cubes in a freezer safe ziploc bag for up to 6 months.