Organic Valley Creamers Add Joy to My Morning Coffee

If we've eaten together in the past few years, I might have told you that eating more local, organic, and sustainable food has considerably enhanced my experience and relationship with food. This is absolutely true.

I might also have told you that eating local, organic, and sustainable food doesn't mean depriving myself of anything, that I never feel like I was missing out. This is mostly true. I used to love sushi, for example, but nowadays I tend to avoid it. But of all the foods I've given up in my quest to eat better, the loss of flavored non-dairy creamer has hit me the hardest.

I used to be a non-dairy creamer fiend -- the sweeter the better. Tiramisu, Cinnabon, sweet cream, chocolate cream pie, raspberry white chocolate -- I wanted these articial flavors in my coffee every day for more years than I can recall. I'm only slightly ashamed to say that I come from a long line of non-dairy creamer lovers. It's kind of my birthright.

When I gave up artificially flavored non-dairy creamers for good a couple of years ago, I switched to Organic Valley half-and-half, which I love. I started buying better coffee (Peace Coffee, Equal Exchange, and Dogwood, for example), and I could actually taste the difference between the beans and the roasts. And with just a little bit of Organic Valley half-and-half, the whole thing was creamy enough to taste like a real treat, no sugar or flavorings required. 

And yet, truth be told, I never stopped missing the old chemical-laden stuff -- especially when my lactose intolerant brother would visit, never again saying yes to a cup of decaf after dinner.

Which is why, when a box of Organic Valley's new flavored creamers showed up on my doorstep, I was delighted. Here they were -- flavors I'd been dreaming about, in cartons I could feel good about, from a brand I love. It was like Tom Waits showed up on my doorstep singing a bunch of Lou Reed songs. Such a perfect day.

Here's what the Organic Valley press release says about the ingredients in the creamers:

The flavored creamers are made with organic hazelnut and organic, fair trade vanilla, and sweetened with only fair trade unrefined sugar. The organic soy used to blend the new non-dairy creamers is produced from soybeans grown in the Midwest by organic soy farmer- owners of Organic Valley. Coffee lovers can sip confidently knowing that all Organic Valley creamers–dairy and non-dairy–are completely free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.

In classic Organic Valley fashion, the half-and-half flavors themselves are, um, classic -- the kinds that companies like International Delight produced decades ago: French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and "Original." Also in classic Organic Valley fashion, the creamers are rich, and the flavors are excellent. I was so surprised and pleased by the smell and taste of the Hazelnut creamer, for example, that I insisted my wife try it -- because she normally hates this kind of thing. Normally this flavor tastes artificial to both of us, like a mouthful of chemicals, but not in this case. "It tastes like the toasty top of angel food cake," my wife said. Delicious. (As I write this article, I'm eating a bowl of homemade granola with milk and a bit of French Vanilla creamer on top. Bliss.) 

The Soy Creamers, available in French Vanilla and Orginal flavor, are good too, and as the only certified organic soy creamer on the market, they are most definitely the best. Plus, my brother's coming over for dinner soon, and I know he'll be grateful for the option. 

Now, if I could only find some sustainable sushi...


Lee Zukor is the founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty. Email him at