Heavy Cream—friend to my tastebuds; foe to my waistline. It’s a good thing we can find friendlier substitutes made with smarter ingredients, because great flavor should never be sacrificed even through healthful living. Almonds, instantly— came to my mind as a versatile nut with a milder taste compared to others of its genre. This almond cream is a perfect substitute for most recipes requiring dairy cream. Although, there is some planning involved for this recipe because you will need to soak the almonds for two days. Besides the wait time, the ingredient list is short & the task is quite simple. Dare to make this once every week if you’re an avid coffee drinker but can’t take it black.
What you'll need: 2 cups raw almonds 2 cups distilled water (more for soaking) 1 nut bag/cheesecloth/flour sack towel glass jar, blender, & bowl yields ~2 cups almond cream
Part I: Soak Almonds
Unlike almond milk, we’re aiming for a creamier/thicker consistency that is closer in comparison to heavy cream. To achieve this, we will allow the almonds to soak for a full 48 hours.
- Day 1: In an airtight glass jar, soak the raw almonds in water with a 1:2 almond to water ratio. (Ex. 2 cups almonds = 4 cups water) Allow almonds to soak for approximately 48 hours, while changing with clean water every 12 hours to keep contents fresh.
- Day 3: On the third day, you will notice the total volume of almonds have increased and the nut itself, expanded. Strain almonds and give them a thorough rinse.
Part II: Blend Almonds
Another change we’ll be doing to ensure a thick, creamy consistency is reducing the amount of water when blending. This will give us a higher fat concentration in our mix—giving the flavor compound we’re searching for.
- In a blender, add your soaked almonds and measured distilled water. Cover and pulse until almond pulp is evenly blended.
- After blending, your mixture should look similar to the photo above. If so, prepare to squeeze and strain with whichever tool you have on hand—nut bag/cheesecloth/flour sack towel.
Part III: Squeeze Pulp
In this next step, I used a cheesecloth that was found at Whole Foods—it worked terribly. Every time I squeezed, bits of pulp found its escape making the process more difficult than necessary. Use a flour sack towel: they’re inexpensive, easy to come by (found at Target or Walmart), sold in bundles, & completes the job. If you want a fancier alternative, get the nut bag.
- My contraption included (bottom to top): bowl, strainer, cheesecloth, almond pulp. This was best for me because the strainer worked as a safeguard to prevent escaping bits of pulp falling into my cream. Use what works best for you.
- After squeezing the pulp of all of its water content, save the remaining almond meal (almond flour) in an airtight container in your refrigerator up to one week. Almond meal is a great substitute for gluten flour in many recipes including pancakes—making it a lower carb alternative.
Part IV: Enjoy
Refrigerate your almond cream in an airtight container up to one week. Spice or sweeten cream to your liking or incorporate into other recipes such as baked goods, sauces, or enjoy with just tea/coffee.