There are a select few things in this world that I consider to be divine creations.
Chocolate, for one, is at the top of the list (for obvious reasons). Another self-explanatory candidate is pasta (grazie… China- yes, contrary to what many believe, the invention of this delightful dish is actually thanks to the Ancient Chinese and was only introduced to Italy when Marco Polo brought it back to the homeland following his travels to the East).
Now, as you know, all good things come in threes, so naturally, we had to come up with a third food wonder of the world- which couldn’t be anything other than the miracle that is whipped cream.
Ahhh, whipped cream. Unlike pasta, this decadent dessert can actually be accredited to the Italians, having first been introduced in the 16th century, where it was known as “milk snow” (get used to this word because we’re going to use it a lot).
Unlike when it was originally created, today, whipped cream comes in a variety of forms: in a can, flavored with chocolate, and dairy-free, to name a few.
Although, despite these adaptations, the most common way to make whipped cream continues to be with heavy cream.
For those of you who don’t know, heavy cream is the thickest part of the milk and contains one of the highest fat contents in comparison to other dairy products: approximately 36-40%. Yes, now we know why whipped cream is so delicious.
And while heavy cream will always be a foolproof way of achieving “milk snow,” sometimes, the circumstances call for something a little different.
Have you ever gone to the kitchen to prepare your whipped cream topping for your dessert and found yourself staring into a fridge that is completely absent of heavy cream?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
Or perhaps January 1st just rolled around and you are reinforcing your “new year, new me” mentality with brand new fitness goals that yes, unfortunately, do not include consuming high-fat milk snow (cue *sigh*).
Regardless of the reason, in a capitalist world where innovation is booming, there is no shortage of effective alternatives to the heavy cream OG.
Alternatives which are, luckily for us, also healthier.
One of the best substitutes for heavy cream, for example, is half and half.
What is half and half exactly, you may ask?
Half and half is a dairy product that is thick, creamy and often used in tea and coffee.
It contains only 10-18% fat content and is an evenly balanced blend between whole milk and light cream.
As you will see in the following sections of this article, half and half is the perfect alternative to heavy cream as it will still give you that smooth and decadent, sweet texture and flavor, with only a slightly thinner consistency.
Now, suppose you’re on a diet or suffer from dairy intolerances and the previously mentioned substitutes just are vibing with you.
No problem! Heavy cream can also be swapped out for numerous other ingredients, including soy milk and silken tofu, coconut cream and greek yogurt and milk.
Whipped cream is simply too good for it not to be enjoyed by the masses.
So whether you’re preparing it for a dinner party on top of your homemade angel food cake, or are simply craving a little strawberries and cream duo (perhaps with a partner, hehe), the following article will provide you with an endless list of possibilities that will satisfy every person’s needs.
Bring the winter wonderland to you and your loved ones this holiday season and enjoy some magical milk snow (sorry, December is quickly approaching and the gray, rainy skies that I’m currently observing out of my Madrid apartment window are having me daydreaming of more festive climates).
How To Make Whipped Cream With Half And Half
As you know, half and half makes for a great alternative to heavy cream when preparing milk snow.
Not only is it the perfect substitute in emergency situations, it is also a healthier alternative.
As mentioned previously, it’s important to keep in mind that half and half is not as thick as heavy cream and will produce a slightly runnier consistency (it also won’t create those peaks that are often associated with whipped cream).
If you’re okay with this, great!
Otherwise, we’ve got the perfect hack that will give your milk snow a texture more reminiscent of the original.
This method requires you to chill the half and half overnight, so make sure you plan ahead.
Here’s what you need to know:
- If you have your own recipe, you can simply substitute the heavy cream for half and half.
- However, you will be left with a thinner consistency. If you want it to be more thick, make sure to add the gelatin.
- Ensure your gelatin has been softened before combining it with the water.
- You may be wondering why gelatin is necessary at all. Regular whipped cream doubles in size when it is whipped and gelatin helps the half and half to increase in volume.
- Half and half retains its volume best when it is cold. Therefore, it is important that you mix it and serve it as quickly as possible after taking it out of the fridge (basically, the colder it is the better).
- It is also a good idea to store it in the coldest section of the fridge.
- To up the cold factor even more, you can even chill the utensils and mixing bowl by placing them in the fridge for several hours.
- The vanilla is totally optional, but will give your whipped cream a lovely boost of flavor.
How To Make Vegan Whipped Cream
Whether it’s thanks to Gen Z or the unsettling documentaries released on Netflix (if you know, you know), there’s no denying that veganism is on the rise.
Many cultures and religions have practiced this way of eating for thousands of years in the East, but in western culture, consuming solely animal-free products is a fairly new phenomenon (amongst the masses, that is).
Did you know you can even find vegan butcher shops now? How cool is that!?
Whether it’s a lifestyle choice or a dairy intolerance, providing you guys with a vegan alternative to whipped cream was a must and for that, there’s nothing better than soy milk and silken tofu.
Most of us are familiar with soy milk, but silken tofu is a term even we had to research.
Essentially, silken tofu is similar to regular tofu but with a smoother and softer consistency (hence the “silk” in “silken).
It pairs wonderfully with the soy milk and is the perfect base for a deliciously creamy whipped topping.
Here’s how to make it:
- Depending on how much whipped cream you want to have, you can adjust the amounts of soy milk and silken tofu you use.
- Just make sure you are always using equal parts.
- Blend the ingredients until there are no longer any chunks.
- Check if your soy milk is sugar-free or not.
- If it is, you may want to add in a little less sugar.
- If it’s sugar-free, you may want to add in a little more.
- Your best bet is to taste-test it and adjust it accordingly!
- Make sure to check out the following section for a vegan-friendly and health-conscious alternative!
How To Make Healthy Whipped Cream
Sometimes, we just gotta cut back on the calories, and there’s no shame in that!
For days when you need to reduce your sugar intake but don’t want to skip dessert, swapping out regular whipped cream for a healthier alternative is a great option.
And when it comes to health-conscious- whipped cream, there are 2 substitutes that work wonders.
The first is coconut cream. Coconut cream is light, fluffy and high in healthy saturated fats. What does that mean exactly? Well, basically, healthy fats are fats that will be used as energy as opposed to being stored as fat!
In addition, coconut cream is a powerful immune booster and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including potassium as well as vitamins C, B and E.
If that wasn’t good enough, coconut cream is also vegan-friendly and dairy-free!
The second whipped cream alternative is greek yogurt and milk.
Greek yogurt is not only high in protein and vitamins such as B12, calcium and selenium but it is also known to support muscle, bone and gut health.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to try one of these whipped toppings, we don’t know what will.
Here’s how to make them:
- When you place the cream in the fridge, make sure you shake the can to separate the liquid from the cream.
- Use stevia instead of powdered sugar for a healthier alternative (or honey!).
- After mixing all of the ingredients together, do a taste test and add more sugar as necessary.
- Make sure to serve this immediately so that the mixture retains its thickness.
- If you are not serving it immediately, place it in the fridge.
- It will become more thick, the more time it chills.
- You can store this whipped topping in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks.
- You can also turn coconut milk into coconut cream by chilling it in the fridge overnight and separating the liquid from it.
- Remember that coconut cream isn’t sweet, so omitting the sugar altogether isn’t recommended!
- Greek yogurt is even thicker than heavy cream and therefore whips well. To thin it out, add small amounts of milk at a time.
- The more milk you add, the less whippable it will be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Milk For Whipping Cream?
Using whole milk or skim milk will help to reduce calories, but it is only really effective in cooking as it doesn’t act as a good thickening agent (which is essential for making whipped cream)
How Long Does It Take To Whip Cream?
Whipping cream should take between 4-8 minutes, depending on the type of cream or substitute you are using.
Why Use Half And Half Instead Of Heavy Cream?
Most households have half and half on hand as many people use it in their tea or coffee. Therefore, in emergencies, it’s a great alternative.
In addition, half and half has a significantly lower fat content than heavy cream and is a healthier option.
- Half and hal fPowdered sugar Vanilla Gelatin (optional)
- Hand mixer
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Mixing bowl
- If you already have a whipped cream recipe ready, simply substitute the same amount of half and half for the heavy cream.
- You will have a runnier whipped cream, but the result will still be super tasty.
- If you do not have a recipe follow these instructions: Scald ½ cup of half and half and allow it to cool Add a teaspoon of gelatin to 2 tablespoons of cold water and combine
- Add this mixture to the ½ cup of half and half Add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and stir
- Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge overnight Remove the mixture from the fridge and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla Using a hand mixer,
- mix for 7-8 minutes
- Serve immediately
- Coconut cream Powdered sugar or stevia Vanilla (optional)
- Hand mixer
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Mixing bowl
- If you already have a whipped cream recipe ready, simply substitute the same amount of coconut cream for the heavy cream
- If you do not have a recipe follow these instructions: Place 1 can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight along with your mixing bowl
- The next day, remove the cream and bowl from the fridge and open the coconut cream
- Separate the cream from the liquid (the cream should be hardened at this point) by scraping off the cream from the top and leaving the liquid behind
- Add the cream to the chilled mixing bowl Mix for 30 seconds
- Add 1 teaspoon vanilla if desiredAdd ¼ powdered sugar or stevia
- Mix everything together until smooth
- Greek yogurt Milk Powdered sugar or stevia Vanilla (optional)
- Hand mixer
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Mixing bowl
- If you already have a whipped cream recipe ready, simply substitute the same amount of Greek yogurt for the heavy cream Otherwise, follow these instructions:
- Mix together ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla if desired
- ¼ powdered sugar or steviaIf the mixture is too thick
- add in a teaspoon of milk at a time until you have reached the desired consistency
- Serve and enjoy!
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