You don’t have to miss out on delicious creamy recipes when you go dairy-free! From freshly whipped cream to rich Fettuccine Alfredo, you can recreate all of your favorite heavy cream-based recipes with numerous vegan alternatives. Read on to find out our 6 favorite substitutes for heavy cream!
To create a beautifully creamy texture and add a protein punch, try using white beans. Their mild flavor makes them an ideal addition to countless savory recipes. When blended, they have an incredibly smooth consistency. One of my favorite ways to use white beans as a creamer is in this luscious cheesy sauce.
I was skeptical of this idea at first, but as soon as I tried it I was sold! Blending steamed cauliflower with nondairy milk is an easy way to create a silky smooth texture while boosting the nutrition of a recipe and keeping the fat content very low. You might be familiar with cauliflower Alfredo (this is my favorite version), but blended cauliflower is versatile enough to be used in a wide variety of recipes from soups to pudding!
Blended cashews are pure magic! They are one of the most adaptable alternatives to heavy cream and can be easily incorporated into a huge variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. From decadent cheesecake to my all time favorite creamy tomato sauce, you really can’t go wrong with cashew cream. The fact that they are rich in copper, magnesium and manganese (to name a few!) is a huge plus as well!
Full fat coconut milk has a very similar consistency to heavy cream and adds rich flavor and a creamy texture. It’s also exceptionally convenient since it requires little to no prep time. Surprisingly, in most of the recipes I use it in I do not find there is a noticeable coconut flavor. Learning how to make freshly whipped cream out of coconut milk was an absolute game changer for me and remains my favorite use of this versatile cream substitute. This crème brûlée is a close second!
Silken tofu is an incredible substitute for heavy cream and it does not get the attention it deserves! When used with dominant flavors like chocolate or pumpkin, there is absolutely no discernable soy flavor. It has a perfect, creamy texture and is high in protein and low in fat. I love using it in this low fat vegan pesto, but my absolute favorite use for silken tofu is this irresistible chocolate fudge pie!
While this little known trick is not quite as versatile as the others, when used in the right context sweet potatoes are an impressive substitute for heavy cream. I love using them to make custard pie because it creates the perfect texture and completely eliminates the need for thickeners like cornstarch or flour. Additionally, it adds a large dose of vitamin A and a significant amount of fiber. If you are interested in learning more ways to incorporate sweet potato into dessert, make sure to check out our favorite recipes here.