Unfortunately for dieters everywhere, heavy cream is one of the most common ingredients in recipes. Human beings naturally like the taste of fats and sugars, so it makes sense that the creamy deliciousness of heavy cream would make it way into a dish. The high fat content makes this food decidedly not diet friendly, so you may need to find a decent tasting, healthier alternative. Depending on the type of dish that you are making, you may want to choose one of the following different types of heavy cream substitutes.
The Best Topping Substitute for Heavy Cream
If you want to enjoy pumpkin pie with heavy cream or a steaming cup of hot chocolate, there are a few healthier ways to do so. For topping options, you need a heavy cream substitute that still has a bit of sweetness without all of the fat. Use 1% milk and some stevia to sweeten it without adding a bunch of calories. If you have a milk frother like the baristas use, you can use this to make the mixture whipped up. A blender or a hand-held beater can also be used to make the fake cream frothy and thicker. If this is not enough, try heating up the milk to almost boiling in the microwave before you try whipping it again.
1. Cooking Substitutes for Heavy Cream
There are several different ways that you can cook without using heavy cream. One of the most popular options is fat-free half-and-half. This option is much healthier than high-fat heavy cream and has fewer calories in each cup. It can easily be transformed into a whipped, fluffy topping just like 1% or heavy cream. Plus, you can easily use fat-free half-and-half in pastas, sauces and soups whenever you need a thicker, creamier flavor.
To make the taste more exact, you can switch one cup of heavy cream for 7/8 cup of half-and-half and 1/6 cup of butter. Let the butter cool completely and then blend it in with the fat-free half-and-half.
2. Try Using Low-Fat Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is a popular ingredient, so many people already have it in their kitchen cupboard. This delicious addition can be used in sauces and soups instead of heavy cream. Since cream cheese has a fairly thick texture, it is easy to substitute for heavy cream and provides a similar consistency. Since it is so much thicker, you should only use half of the amount of cream cheese that the recipe calls for. If your recipe wants two cups of heavy cream, you should only use one cup of cream cheese. Keep in mind that cream cheese has a slightly sour taste, so it may not blend well with recipes that have sweeter, lighter flavors—although it will taste amazing in savory dishes!
3. Out of Everything? You Can Use Skim Milk and Cornstarch
Sometimes, people need a heavy cream substitute because they are out of heavy cream and don’t really care about the health impact. If you are running low on cream cheese, heavy cream and other items in your home, relax! Some skim milk and cornstarch could be the perfect substitute. One cup of milk and two tablespoons of cornstarch should be blended together. A whisk should be used for about four minutes so that the mixture thickens up. Afterward, use exactly the same amount of the milk mixture as you would for heavy cream.
4. Milk and Butter
One of the easiest options is to use milk and butter to replace heavy cream. Unless your recipe demands whipped heavy cream, you can use this alternative. Use 1/3 cup unsalted butter and ¾ cup milk to replace your heavy cream requirement.
5. Savory Solutions With Milk Powder and Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has a thicker texture which makes it ideal for replacing heavy cream. Use non-fat milk powder and cottage cheese to make the perfect substitute. Simply blend the two ingredients together, and you are ready to go! If you do not have powdered milk at home, you can always try using skim milk. Just make sure to blend any lumps out of the mixture before you add it into the recipe.
6. Vanilla and Evaporated Milk for Sweeter Recipes
Chill your evaporated milk in a refrigerator overnight. Next, add some vanilla to the milk until it has a sweet taste. This can now be used in sweeter dishes or soups instead of heavy cream.
7. Probiotic Wonders With Greek Yogurt
If you want an extremely healthy boost for your digestive system, use Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. You can directly substitute it for heavy cream in most dishes. If you are making a cheesecake, use half Greek yogurt and half heavy cream. Make sure to cook on low heat so that the yogurt does not end up curdling.
8. For the Vegetarians: Tofu and Soy Milk
For a vegan-friendly alternative, mix tofu and unflavored soy milk until smooth. This can now be used as a high-protein and low-fat alternative to heavy cream.