There are a lot of people these days that are either avoiding certain kinds of foods or completely allergic or intolerant of them. Things like meat, dairy, wheat, soy, and nuts seem to be at the top of the lists, some because of ethical reasons and others because they make people ill, or are even deadly.
One of the hardest things to do sometimes is to cook a particular recipe that calls for a common cooking ingredient. Some things are easy, but replacing dairy with the wrong ingredient can alter the flavor and ruin the dish entirely. Here are some of the best alternatives to heavy cream in recipes.
Lactose Intolerant Or Vegan Options
For those that are lactose intolerant they can drink milk products as long as the enzyme, they need to digest it is included with the milk or cream. When the enzyme isn’t included, they get bloated and have diarrhea.
However, vegans have no physical problems with digesting the milk products, instead, they don’t consume animal products for personal reasons. There are also those, such as Seventh Day Adventists, that won’t drink milk or eat animal products for a religious reason.
Some are very strict and refuse any and all products that even have been cooked on the same grill with anything animal related. Others aren’t so strict, however.
If you’re a Vegan, you can substitute coconut milk in place of heavy cream in a lot of recipes, and it will work and taste excellent. That also works for total vegetarians and people that are lactose intolerant as well.
Rice milk can be used in some recipes, however, it tends to be very thin so it won’t work well as a thickener, but will work in most bread and pastry recipes as a substitute for milk, and sometimes, heavy cream. In a cooking recipe, for instance, gravy or fettuccine Alfredo, the rice milk would most likely not work unless you also add flour or corn starch to help thicken the sauce.
Rice milk has the advantage of being a very non-allergic ingredient that almost anyone can tolerate. When in doubt, if your baby is getting sick from the food you’re cooking, switch to rice milk and see if the problems clear up quickly thereafter.
Almond Milk Has Some Advantages
Another good alternative to milk and cream in a recipe is almond milk. It is 100% vegetarian, so no worries with the Vegans or religious folks and it has no lactose either. If you’re using it in a recipe that needs the heavy cream for thickening, you’ll need to add some corn starch. On the other hand, in baking recipes, you’ll need to add more fat. About a 1/4 cup of olive oil or coconut oil per 3/4 cup of almond milk will do the trick.
Butter And Milk: If You Just Can’t Find Cream
There are also those times when you really don’t have a specific reason why you can’t use heavy cream, except that you don’t have any. It is hard to find if you don’t go to a larger grocery store.
In that case, if all you need to do is substitute in a recipe, you can use regular milk and butter instead. Basically, cream is the fatty part of the milk that floats to the top when left to sit for a while. Heavy cream is the even fattier part of the cream that floats to the top. If you want to imitate the amount of fat in the recipe, all you have to do is add 3/4 of a cup of regular milk to 1/4 cup of butter, and you’ll have the same basic mix of fat and milk solids that heavy cream has. This kind of substitution, of course, only works in cooking recipes, not something that you’d be able to drink.
Getting by with lactose intolerance or vegetarian limit on a recipe doesn’t have to limit what you eat. There are many ways around most ingredients; all you have to do is look online and try a few to get used to which one to use in which situation.