Maybe you're going paleo, or maybe you've discovered you are lactose intolerant – whatever the reason, when you're looking to cut dairy (or for the purpose of this article, cream) out of your daily diet you might find yourself in search of suitable replacements. Can a cream soup can still be creamy without the cream? (Have we said cream too often? Sorry, but you get the point.) The answer is YES! You won't be sacrificing most if not all of your favourite recipes just because you are nixing the rich stuff. Try one of these instead:
First on list only because they look so similar right out of the can. Baking, cooking, smoothing making, coconut will yield the closest consistency and texture to cream, with the added bonus of coconut being one of those super foods you really need in your life right now! Did we forget to mention it also tastes amazing? Use a little more, use a little less, coconut milk lends a sweetly subtle note to any flavour profile.
→ Check out our article on Why Coconut Oil Should Be at the Top of Your Grocery List here!
By now everyone knows tofu as the talk of vegetarians – packed with protein and other nutrients, tofu lends itself to tons of dishes because of its ability to take on any flavour. But we bet you never thought you could bake a cake with it! Pureed tofu is a perfect match for cream in consistency and texture. In sauces, soups and baking, sub in 8 oz (or 1 cup) of silken tofu for every cup of milk or cream your recipe calls for. In place of heavy cream (a common problem in Canada, where heavy cream is hard to come by), blend tofu with unflavoured soy milk until the mixture is smooth. A couple of tips: always puree your tofu with liquid for the best consistency, and measure out after you've pureed.
If you haven't heard of Irish (or sea) moss, we forgive you. This veggie, which grows on rocks near the shore in the Atlantic ocean and Caribbean sea, is rich in iodine and other trace minerals. Even if you aren't cutting dairy, you should consider incorporating Irish moss into your diet simply for its healing benefits – it's known to provide support for your thyroid, sooth and heal the digestive tract, and detoxify the body by drawing out heavy minerals. Prep is easy: soak the moss in water for a few hours then rinse clean. Place it in a pot with enough water to cover it, and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, with about 1/4 of the liquid from the pot. Blend until smooth. This will store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Fit girls everywhere have known for awhile how awesome avocado is for your diet, but it's marvelous in more than just salads and smoothies. The high fat content makes these green gems perfect subsitutes for milk, cream, and even cheese when cooking.
→ Looking for recipes with avocado? Check out our Ultimate Guacamole recipe here!
This one is pretty specific – when you're making a “creamy” soup but don't want to use flour or starchy potatos, try cauliflower instead. Chop it up, boil it with your broth and then puree. A simple, tasty way to sneak even more veggies into that veggie soup!