Saturday, March 12, 2011

Clean Eating Coffee Creamer - La Creme Real Dairy Creamer

Since beginning my CE journey, I've made significant changes to my dietary intake. Now, most of the food I consume is clean, having not been processed at all - or minimally processed. One thing I do miss, however - is French Vanilla flavored creamer in my coffee. I miss it. A lot. I've made do with organic milk, cheerfully...but something has been not quite right. I enjoy several cups of coffee in the morning, and it just isn't the same. Non-dairy creamer is a dietary nightmare, and I'm glad to be rid of it. It's essentially sweetened trans fat - gross. However, there's a new product on the market that I would consider a Border / Eh not too bad food.

La Creme real dairy creamer is new on grocery store shelves. Ingredients in the French Vanilla flavor? Milk, cream, sucrose ( sugar ) and less than 1% of the following - water, natural french vanilla flavor, disodium phosphate ( keep the product from separating ) , sodium citrate ( a "sour" agent; must be used to tone down the sweetness of the product, I guess... ), carageenan ( a seaweed extract ) , lactase ( breaks down the lactose inherent in milk ).
( Note: I wonder what "natural french vanilla flavor" could be - I mean, why don't just list vanilla beans as an ingredient? )

From LALA Foods' website:

First Nationally Available All-Dairy, Naturally Flavored

Lactose Free La Crème® from LALA Foods

03.04.2011– DALLAS, Texas (Feb. 16, 2011) –La Crème, the first, 100 percent real dairy, naturally flavored creamer was introduced nationally today by LALA--USA, a leading dairy products manufacturer and distributor, giving non-dairy creamer users a natural way to flavor their coffee.
“We found out that a lot of consumers are ‘blissfully unaware’ that their artificial ‘creamer’ is actually not a dairy product,” explained LALA--USA Chief Marketing Officer, Randy Gier. “Our research shows that 69 percent of the people who use Coffee-mate® think they are using a dairy creamer, when in fact they are using a laboratory creation made mostly from water, sugar and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. There’s nothing dairy about it.”
Flavored non-dairy creamers are one of the few options consumers have when they are trying to duplicate coffee-house flavor at home. “There is no other naturally flavored 100 percent real dairy coffee creamer distributed nationally,” Gier said, “so most coffee lovers are forced to choose between artificial whiteners or expensive coffeehouse brews. La Crème gives them the option of having a rich, naturally flavored, real dairy coffee experience at home or in the office.”
Unlike non-dairy creamers, La Crème is made from real milk and contains no trans fats. “Most artificial liquid non-dairy creamers made with partially hydrogenated soybean or cottonseed oils contain trans fat, even the ones labeled “zero trans-fat,” said dietician Martha McHenry RD, LD, CDE, noting that if a food has less than a half gram of trans fat per serving, the Food and Drug Administration allows food companies to round that number down to zero.
“But if the serving size is small and you use a lot of servings, those less-than- half-grams can add up to the point where a coffee lover can exceed the American Heart Association’s two-gram limit before lunch,” she explained.
“Being lactose and hormone-free is also a big plus,” McHenry said. “For lactose intolerant people, non-dairy has been one of the few options until now.”
La Crème, which comes in four all-natural flavors—Original, French Vanilla, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Vanilla—is available nationally.

Overall? Borderline - but a heck of a lot better than non-dairy creamer! I was pleased to read it is hormone free - that is definitely a plus. I'll have it tomorrow morning in my coffee, and will amend this post to discuss the flavor.

Edited to add: It is good. The cream note of this product is definitely strong. It definitely does a good job straddling the line between the taste of unhealthy non-dairy creamer ( and its silky mouth-feel and French Vanilla flavor ) and  more conventional, straight up milk. I will buy this to keep at my office, and will have a cup of coffee with regular milk at home, and then my "office coffee" will be with La Creme to keep my consumption on the low end simply for Clean purposes.