Heavy cream: Why it is not healthy and healthy substitutes

Although it’s dense and creamy and can likely improve the flavor of almost anything immediately, heavy cream may not be the best option for your recipes. Used in almost everything from soups to desserts and even main dishes, whipped cream is not the healthiest. If you are looking for a tasty substitute for whipped cream, let us offer you some healthy alternatives.

What is whipped cream and why is it unhealthy?

The high fat content of the milk derived from animals is known as heavy cream. When we pasteurize the milk and store it in the refrigerator, the fat layer separates at the top, which is then extracted, pasteurized and homogenized by applying high heat and high pressure levels to get the final product as whipped cream.

Dietitian Garima Goyal explains that whipped cream is actually not that easy to digest and that adding whipped cream substitutes to your diet is the right choice. She says: Because it’s mostly fat, it’s also high in calories (36 percent milk fat). This can lead to weight gain if consumed in large quantities.”

For anyone with lactose intolerance, heavy cream can cause an allergic reaction. She adds: “Consumption of high-fat dairy products has been linked to several types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc. The richness of fat in heavy cream can disrupt the intestines of susceptible individuals, leading to diarrhea, gas formation, etc.”

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

Everything in moderation is fine, but don’t overdo it! Goyal says, “It’s fine to add heavy cream to your cup of coffee or as a dessert topping, as long as you pay attention to portion size. But routine consumption and large quantities are absolutely not recommended, due to its high saturated fat content and calorie content.”

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

Healthy substitutes for whipped cream

There are many whipped cream substitutes that can be whipped just as finely as whipped cream and are just as tasty!

1. Coconut cream

Because it is a non-dairy alternative, it is an excellent choice for people who are lactose intolerant. The natural sweetness of coconut milk makes the addition of coconut cream to any dessert taste better.

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2. Cashew cream

Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for 1-2 hours to soften them. After discarding the water, blend the cashews until a creamy final product is formed. You can add milk to achieve your desired consistency, but if you want it to be dairy-free, opt for non-dairy alternatives such as oat milk or almond milk.

A woman who cooks 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 and roasting them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. Once the onions feel soft, 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 flavor to your dishes!

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

Here are some alternatives that can’t be beat!

4. Half and half and butter

Take 1/8 cup melted butter and 7/8 cup half and half. Half-and-half is basically a mixture of cream and milk that contains one-third the amount of fat compared to heavy cream. Therefore, this substitute appears to be relatively low in calories and fat, but the texture is virtually the same.

5. Milk and butter

If you don’t want to whip up a lot of cream, but just want to use cream for cooking or baking purposes, you can definitely try using a mixture of milk and butter, with 3/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of melted butter.

6. Greek yogurt and milk

Take equal parts Greek yogurt and milk, but the cream you get cannot be whipped but can easily be added to soups, sauces or baked goods. A caution when using this substitute in soups is to avoid curdling it and do this by turning off the flame while you add it. The recipe for Greek yogurt with strawberries is a must-try!

7. Soy milk and olive oil

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

8. Milk and cornstarch

Take a cup of milk and two tablespoons of cornstarch and stir the mixture so that the cornstarch thickens the milk.

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