A Healthy Substitute for Heavy Cream


Few things cut through the chill of winter like a warm, cozy bowl of soup—most notably the spoon-clinging, belly-warming cream-based varieties. Heavy cream can be used as the base stock of the recipe or to finish, with a thickening power that adds not just silky-smooth richness and texture, but a good bit of saturated fat as well. Just a 2-tablespoon splash adds 7 grams to one bowl—a third of your daily allotment.

Sub lower-fat milk or yogurt to lighten, and you’ll have a curdled mess once that soup comes to a simmer. But what about a whole grain? When overcooked in broth and pureed with low-fat milk, brown rice becomes a rich, nutty cream that not only thickens but also adds a velvety-smooth mouthfeel with only 7 calories and no sat fat per tablespoon. Test it for yourself in our broccoli cheese soup makeover or use instead of heavy cream in tomato-basil soup or clam chowder.

The Formula

Bring 2 cups unsalted chicken stock and ½ cup uncooked instant brown rice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Blend mixture and 1 cup 1% low-fat milk in a blender until smooth.

Makes 3 cups.


Homemade Cheez Whiz

  • 1 pound processed cheese, cut in small pieces
  • 1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  1. Melt all ingredients in sauce pan or double boiler over medium heat stirring often till well blended and smooth.
  2. Use in recipes that call for Cheez Whiz or serve on crackers enjoy.

How to Make Cake Flour Substitute

Don’t pass up a great recipe just because it calls for an ingredient you don’t have on hand! If you need cake flour, use this handy substitute.

  • 1¾ all-purpose flour
  • ¼ corn starch
  1. Mix all-purpose flour with cornstarch.
  2. An easy way to do this is to put 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch into the bottom of a 1 cup measure, then fill to the top with flour.
  3. Sift the flour with your dry ingredients as usual.

This yields 2 cups of cake flour.