A cream is a common ingredient in numerous dishes like soups, desserts, or salad dressings. Depending on the percentage of fat, there is light cream, half-and-half, and heavy cream. For most recipes, heavy cream is used, but due to its fat content, it can cause repercussions on one’s health. So, what is a healthy substitute for heavy cream?
Heavy Cream’s Nutritional Content
Despite the fat content of heavy cream, it contains small amounts of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. It also contains tiny amounts of vitamin A.
As mentioned, the consistency of cream depends on its fat content. The common variations are half-and-half, light cream, and heavy cream.
- Half-and-Half: This type of cream is a mix of whole milk and cream. A cup contains 17 grams of saturated fat and 315 calories. Moreover, it provides approximately 12 percent of milk fat.
- Light Cream: Also called coffee cream, light cream contains around 20 percent of milk fat. It is widely used for coffee but can also be added to soups. Per cup contains 23 grams of saturated fat and 350 calories.
- Heavy Cream: This is the heaviest of the three variations of cream. It contains around 36 to 40 percent of milk fat. A half-cup of heavy cream contains 28 grams of saturated fat and 414 calories.
Types of Cream
Depending on the use, there are numerous types of cream. Some of them include the following.
- Canned Cream: This type of cream is great for stews, sauces, or chocolate truffles. It is multipurpose and can be used for savory or sweet dishes. Unlike other types of cream, it does not curdle or break at a high temperature.
- All-Purpose Cream: Another versatile cream, all-purpose cream is used for desserts, salad dressings, soups, sauces, or stews.
- Culinary Cream: This kind of cream withstands high temperatures and does not break or curdle. Compared to heavy cream, it contains a smaller amount of butterfat. However, it is more liquid in consistency and lighter than heavy cream. It is excellent for use in braised dishes, stews, or soups.
- Whipping Cream: The star of desserts, whipping cream is high in fat. It whips easily into stiff or soft peaks which makes it perfect for cheesecakes, pastry creams, ice cream, or any type of dessert.
What Can You Substitute for Heavy Cream?
Due to the high-fat content of heavy cream, it can be unhealthy if used often for dishes or desserts. For individuals who want a healthy alternative, here are some substitutes for heavy cream.
1. Olive Oil and Soy Milk
For this dairy-free and vegan alternative, mix approximately 79 milliliters of olive oil with 159 milliliters of soy milk. The result is a thick and flavorful mixture much like that of heavy cream.
2. Butter and Milk
Another foolproof substitute for heavy cream is combining at least 57 grams of butter with 178 milliliters of milk. The butter should be melted and mixed thoroughly. Thicken the mixture by adding around one tablespoon of flour, especially for those using milk that is low-fat.
3. Butter and Half-and-Half Cream
For this alternative, combine 232 grams of half-and-half cream and 29 grams of melted butter. This mix equals 237 milliliters of heavy cream.
4. Milk and Greek Yogurt
Add a healthy twist to your recipe with Greek yogurt. Mix equal parts of whole milk and Greek yogurt.
5. Soy Milk and Silken Tofu
Blend silken tofu and combine it with an equal part of soy milk. For this heavy cream substitute, it is best to use a food processor or immersion blender. The end result is a thick and smooth mixture that can be used for sauces or soups.
6. Cornstarch and Milk
Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch and 237 milliliters of milk. Stir it thoroughly, and the end result is a thick mixture. The great part about this heavy cream alternative is that it is low in fat and calories.
7. Milk and Cottage Cheese
Before mixing cottage cheese with milk, blend it in a food processor to ensure that the lumps have liquefied. Combine equal parts of milk with the blended cottage cheese.
8. Cream Cheese
A combination of cream and milk, cream cheese is often an ingredient in desserts like cheesecakes. It is also used as a spread. However, this type of cheese works as an alternative for heavy cream as well.
9. Coconut Cream
Another vegan alternative to heavy cream is coconut cream. However, for it to be thick inconsistency, it should be refrigerated overnight.
10. Dairy-Free Milk and Oil
Mix two-thirds cups of soy milk with one-third cup of olive oil. This should make around one cup of heavy cream. As an alternative to olive oil, dairy-free margarine can also be used.
11. Cashew Cream
This substitute requires one cup of raw cashews that have been soaked for at least two hours. After draining the cashews, blend it with a pinch of salt and three-quarter cups of water. Store the mixture in a glass jar overnight in the refrigerator for the cream to thicken.
12. Low-Fat Milk and Brown Rice
For three cups of this mixture, combine a half-cup of uncooked brown rice and two cups of chicken stock (unsalted). Boil the mixture for 25 minutes over medium-high heat. Once it has boiled, let it stand for five minutes before adding a cup of low-fat milk.
13. White Beans
Blend white beans in a food processor, and the end result is a thick mixture. It can serve as a substitute for heavy cream in stews and soups. The best part of using pureed white beans is fiber, protein, and nutrient content.
14. Macadamia Nuts
Soak one cup of macadamia nuts in water for at least 20 minutes. After draining the nuts, blend it with 125 milliliters of water and one-half teaspoon of vanilla essence. Use a food processor or blender to guarantee that the mixture blends smoothly. Refrigerate it overnight, so it turns thick.
This is an acidic and cultured drink made from churned butter. While it is not as thick as heavy cream, it is thicker than milk. It works well for sauces and soups.