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How to Substitute Cream

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Dairy Substitutes with 3 Comments
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Click on the subtitles below for instant information on how to substitute cream with dairy-free options …

Half & Half

Coconut Creamer

Allow a can of full fat coconut milk to settle for about 1/2 hour. If your room temperature is warm, place it in the refrigerator. The coconut cream will rise to the top and can easily be skimmed off. Blend one part coconut cream with one part unsweetened or plain soy, rice, or oat milk to create the desired amount of half and half.

Instant Soy Creamer

Blend one part silken tofu with one part unsweetened or plain soy, rice, or oat milk to create desired amount of half and half.

Light Dairy Cream

Low Fat Soy Cream Alternative

Blend Silken Tofu until smooth. This works as an excellent substitute for milk and cream when a thickener is needed in sauces and soups. Choose soft varieties for a lighter “cream”. Pureed tofu can be substituted for light cream using a 1:1 ratio and is a much healthier, lower fat option.

Milk + Oil Light Cream Equivalent

Blend 3/4 cup of soy or rice milk with 1/4 cup of melted dairy-free margarine or oil (we like extra light olive oil for cooking). This will equal 1 cup of light cream for your recipes.

Heavy Dairy Cream

Coconut Cream

Such a versatile food! Allow a can of full fat coconut milk to settle (about 1/2 hour). The coconut cream will rise to the top and can easily be skimmed off. To substitute cream in recipes, use equal parts coconut cream for the dairy cream. This work particularly well in sauces for seafood and poultry.  Of course, already prepared Coconut Cream can be purchased in stores or online.

Low Fat Soy Cream Alternative

Blend Silken Tofu until smooth. This works as an excellent cream substitute when a thickener is needed in sauces and soups. Choose medium firm or firm varieties for a thicker “cream”. Pureed tofu can be substituted for heavy cream using a 1:1 ratio and is a much healthier, lower fat option.

Milk + Oil Heavy Cream Equivalent

Blend 2/3 cup of soy or rice milk with 1/3 cup melted dairy free margarine or oil (we like extra light olive oil for cooking). This will equal 1 cup of heavy cream for your recipes, but it will not whip.

Sour Cream

Soy Sour Cream

Firm Silken Tofu has a wonderful sour cream consistency when blended, and can be used plain or jazzed up for a sour cream-like flavor. See the recipes below for several variations of tofu sour cream.

Nutty Sour Cream

For a delicious soy-free sour cream alternative, I like to make sour cream using cashews or sunflower seeds as the creamy base. See Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for my staple recipe.

Vegan Yogurt

Use a plain unflavored variety of dairy-free yogurt as a 1:1 sour cream substitute. Works best in dips and salad dressings.

Recipes: Homemade Cream Alternatives

Products: Cream Alternatives at the Store

Below are the products we’ve had a chance to taste-test and review here on Go Dairy Free. For a more extensive list of dairy-free products to substitute cream, get one of our No Dairy Product Lists; they include thousands of dairy-free foods.

For more creamy recipes and dairy alternative tips from my kitchen, see Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.

Substitute Cream - So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer

So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer – Photo by Hannah Kaminsky 

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About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry. Follow me on Google+.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

14 Comments

  1. Rosemary McGregorJanuary 24, 2013 at 3:22 pmReply

    I want to try a recipe for PECAN PIE. I can substitute the butter with coconut oil but what do I substitute 1 tablespoon of cream with which is included in the baking of the filling?

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 24, 2013 at 3:46 pmReplyAuthor

      If it’s only 1 tablespoon of cream, then I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You could use coconut cream, a little thinned nut butter, milk alternative with a touch of extra oil, etc. That quantity of cream won’t have a major effect on an entire pie.

  2. LaurisaFebruary 13, 2013 at 2:13 pmReply

    What about cookies and breads with a full cup of sour cream?

  3. Kyle JMarch 10, 2013 at 4:02 pmReply

    What is the best substitute for oil and dairy. I live both without them. What are some of your suggestions?

  4. LaurenApril 8, 2013 at 9:44 pmReply

    I was wondering if I can use silken tofu in pumpkin pie as a substitute for cream, or can u suggest something better?

  5. leviMay 5, 2013 at 10:58 amReply

    I’m making ice cream. What is a lactose substitute for heavy cream?

  6. TashaNovember 22, 2013 at 4:17 pmReply

    I’m looking for a dairy free substitute for cream of chicken, mushroom, broccoli, etc. as well as an Alfredo sauce.

  7. DijanaDecember 6, 2013 at 9:35 pmReply

    H

    what is a substitute for thickened or whipping cream

    thank
    dijana

  8. Jessica NIelsenFebruary 4, 2014 at 8:17 amReply

    Love the idea of using coconut cream! But does it have the coconut flavor? Or are there different kinds that do and don’t?

    • Alisa FlemingFebruary 10, 2014 at 8:47 amReplyAuthor

      I’m not quite sure what you mean – this product is an oat-based one. I don’t believe they use coconut cream in their formula.

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