I love whipped cream! I really do. There’s nothing like a big spoonful of rich, sweet whipped cream to make your favorite dessert even better. Sometimes, however, I’d like to have the thick, delicious whipped cream without having the dairy. There are a variety of whipped cream substitutes on the market, but reading the label on most of them is a little frightening: Hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, and chemicals like polysorbate 60 (if it comes with a number after it and it’s not a vitamin, it probably ought to be avoided). The most popular “whipped topping” on the market used to be (mostly) dairy free, but now contains several milk derivatives….which makes it not good for those who are vegan or lactose sensitive.
But don’t worry! There’s a great option for dairy-free whipped cream, and it can be made in your own kitchen (no scary numbered chemicals needed). In fact, it’s made of just healthy, organic coconut milk and organic cane sugar, maple syrup or honey!
To start, you’ll need to chill a can of organic coconut milk.
Just pop it in the fridge and let it chill for a few hours, don’t skip this step or it won’t work. If it’s hot outside, you might want to chill the bowl you’ll be whipping the cream in as well. Once your coconut milk is cold, open the can and scoop off the hardened coconut “cream” with a spoon. Or, better yet, you can flip the can over and open it upside-down, then pour off the liquid coconut milk first (I thought of this after I opened my can, but you can learn from my mistake…opening it upside down would be much easier).
The white cream completely separates from the milk and you’ll have about a cup of clear, watery liquid left over. This is great to use in smoothies, or over cereal, or in a recipe instead of milk so you can keep it for later (or just drink it…mmmmm, coconut!).
Once you’ve got the cream in a bowl, whip it on high with your mixer. It whips up quickly, and you don’t want to over-whip it because if it gets too warm it will start to melt. Add a little sweetener…you can use organic evaporated cane sugar, or a little maple syrup. It really doesn’t take much in the way of sweeteners, just a touch goes a long way! You can also add some organic vanilla if you’d like. So easy! You’re ready to top your favorite dessert…or to eat it straight out of the bowl, whatever seems best to you at the time. We won’t judge!
- 1 can organic coconut milk
- 1-3 tablespoons organic evaporated cane sugar, sucanat, raw honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon organic vanilla (optional)
- Chill the can of coconut milk for at least an hour. If it's hot out, also chill the bowl you'll be using to whip the cream.
- Separate the hardened coconut cream from the liquid in the can. The easiest way to do this is to flip the can upside down and open it that way, then pour off the liquid before scooping out the "cream".
- Whip the coconut cream on high speed with your mixer. Slowly add the sweetener of your choice...if you're using honey or maple syrup, you'll want to drizzle it in a very small amount at a time. The coconut cream is naturally a little sweet, so start with a little sweetener and taste it to see when you're happy with the flavor. If you're adding the vanilla, add it now as well.
- Continue to whip the coconut mixture until it's thick. Don't over mix, as it will melt if it gets too warm!
- Serve right away, and keep any unused portion in the fridge. If it's been refrigerated for a while and is very cold, it will harden. Just whip it again for a second before you serve it!
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What’s your favorite way to eat whipped cream?
Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson
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