8 healthy substitutes of heavy cream

Heavy cream is high fat proportion of the milk derived from animals is known as heavy whipping cream. This might not be the healthiest option for your diet. Here’s what you can replace it with!
Substitutes for heavy cream
Heavy cream is calorie dense and is not easy to digest. Image courtesy: Pexels
Anjuri Nayar Singh Updated: 14 Nov 2023, 10:41 am IST
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While it’s dense and creamy, and probably has the ability to instantly enhance taste of almost everything, heavy cream might not be the best option for your recipes. Used in almost everything from soups to desserts to even main course items, heavy cream is not the healthiest. If you are looking for a yummy substitute of heavy cream, let us give you some healthy alternatives.

What is heavy cream and why is it unhealthy?

The high fat proportion of the milk derived from animals is known as heavy whipping cream. When we pasteurise and refrigerate the milk, its fat layer separates on the top which is then extracted, pasteurised and homogenised by applying high heat and high levels of pressure to get the final product as whipped cream.

Dietitian Garima Goyal explains that heavy cream is actually not that easy to digest and adding substitutes of heavy cream in your diet is the right way to go. She says, Since it is mostly fat, it is also calorie dense (36 percent milk fat). This can lead to weight gain if consumed in high amounts.”

For anyone with lactose intolerance, heavy cream can trigger an allergic reaction. She adds, “Consumption of high fat dairy products has been linked to various types of cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer etc. Richness of fat in heavy cream might disturb the gut of sensitive individuals leading to diarrhoea, gas etc.”

How much is too much when it comes to heavy cream?

Everything in moderation is fine, but don’t go overboard! Goyal says, “Having heavy cream when added to your cup of coffee or as a dessert topping is okay, as long as you watch the portion size. But routinely consumption and large amounts is definitely not recommended, owing to its high saturated fat content and calorie richness.”

cream for buttermilk
Coconut cream is a healthy and tasty substitute for heavy cream. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Healthy substitutes of heavy cream

There are many substitutes of heavy cream that can be whipped as fine as heavy cream and is as yummy as well!

1. Coconut cream

Being a non-dairy alternative, it is an excellent choice for those individuals who are lactose intolerant. The natural sweetness of coconut milk make the addition of coconut cream in any dessert taste better.

2. Cashew cream

Soak cashews in warm water for 1-2 hours to allow them to soften and then after discarding the water, blend the cashews to get a creamy texture final product. You can add milk to achieve the desired consistency, but if you want it to be non-dairy, opt for non-dairy alternatives such as oat milk or almond milk.

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A woman cooking with cream and milk
Using excessive cream while cooking can cause weight gain. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Onion cream

Start by adding the onions to a preheated oven to roast them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. Once the onions are soft to touch, take them out and blend them in a blender after adding lemon juice, salt, and oil to taste. Then, pour the onion cream into a bowl and use it in savory recipes to add healthy, vegan flavour to your dishes!

Also read: A 15-minute mushroom soup recipe without cream to warm up winter evenings

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Here are some alternatives that cannot be whipped!

4. Half-and-half and butter

Take 1/8th cup of melted butter and 7/8th cup of half-and-half. Half-and-half is basically a mixture of cream and milk containing one third amount of fat when compared to heavy cream. Hence, this substitute turns out to be comparatively low in calories and fat, but texture almost similar.

5. Milk and butter

If you aim for not much whipping of cream, but just want to use cream for cooking or baking purposes, you can definitely try having a mixture if milk and butter, having 3/4th cup milk and 1/4th cup melted butter.

6. Greek yoghurt and milk

Take equal parts of Greek yoghurt and milk, the cream you get though cannot get whipped but can be easily added to soups, sauces or in bakery products. Just a word of caution while using this substitute in soups is to avoid its curdling and do it by switching off the flame while adding it. The strawberry Greek yoghurt recipe is a must-try!

7. Soy milk and olive oil

To make this, take 2/3rd cup soy milk and in order to add fat to the soy milk for flavour, take 1/3rd cup of olive oil. You can use it for cooking or baking purposes but not for whipping.

8. Milk and cornstarch

Take one cup of milk and two tablespoons of corn starch and stir the mixture so that cornstarch thickens the milk.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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