5 Best Sour Cream Substitutes You Can Add To Your Pantry
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Sour cream has many applications and finding the best sour cream substitute relies on what you intend to use it for. This rich and tangy ingredient can be used to flavour, moisten, and tenderise baked foods. Soups, stews, and salad dressings can benefit from its body and acidity. You may use it as a standalone condiment or combine it with other tasty ingredients to make a variety of dips and sauces.

Keeping a container in the fridge puts a plethora of delectable dishes at your fingertips—a great truth until you realise it's outdated, empty, or never made it home from the grocery in the first place. It's also difficult to realise that a particularly enticing recipe calls for sour cream when you're vegan, lactose-intolerant, or otherwise opposed to sour cream. In any event, you're in luck: substituting sour cream is really simple, and there are many variations available throughout the dairy and nondairy spectrums. Which one to use is determined by your aims and personal preferences. Continue reading to learn more about how sour cream and its substitutes function, or scroll down to the list below to find the best alternative ingredient that meets your needs.

1. Greek Yoghurt 

Sour cream can be easily replaced with Greek yoghurt. While conventional yoghurt contains a higher amount of liquid, or whey, Greek yoghurt has had a considerable portion of its whey removed. As a result, the yoghurt becomes thicker and tangier, akin to sour cream. Furthermore, Greek yoghurt is lower in calories, fat, and protein than full-fat sour cream. In dips, sauces, and toppings, Greek yoghurt can be used in place of sour cream. In addition, full-fat Greek yoghurt can be substituted for conventional sour cream in any recipe, even baked products.

2. Buttermilk

Traditionally, buttermilk refers to the liquid left over after creating butter from cultured cream. This procedure entailed letting milk out for a period of time to rest. It allowed the cream and milk to separate, resulting in the thick cream top utilised in the production of butter.

During the resting phase, naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria fermented the milk sugars, producing buttermilk, a sour liquid. Although it continues to be commonly used in Pakistan and India, it is losing prominence in the West. Commercial buttermilk, like sour cream, is pasteurised, with the bacteria introduced after the heating process. Though it has a tangy flavour similar to sour cream, it is a liquid and can only be used as a substitute for sour cream in baked goods or sauces.

3. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is an excellent dairy-free alternative to sour cream. Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is made from freshly grated coconut meat. It is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian, South American, and Caribbean cuisines, and it is growing in popularity in North America. Coconut milk is lactose-free and vegan, making it an excellent choice for those who are allergic to milk or have dietary limitations. Amazingly, it works brilliantly as a substitute for sour cream. The cream on top of full-fat coconut milk can be skimmed and combined with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt to make a plant-based sour cream to top your favourite recipes.

4. Cottage Cheese

This cheese has a long and illustrious history. In truth, the term "cottage cheese" is claimed to have originated in the 18th century, when American immigrants used leftover milk from butter production to make soft cheese in their little houses known as cottages. Cottage cheese is a type of cheese curd. Curds are the solid milk components left over from the cheesemaking process, whereas whey is the liquid component. It has a moderate flavour and a delicate, creamy texture. It is also available in a variety of fat percentages and curd sizes ranging from little to giant. Furthermore, cottage cheese has fewer calories and fat and more protein than sour cream.

5. Soy-Based Substitutes

There are various commercial soy-based sour cream alternatives on the market that are suitable for vegans and individuals who are allergic to milk products. Most soy-based sour cream substitutes have the same number of calories and fat as the real thing. Furthermore, these products can be used in recipes and baking as a one-to-one replacement for sour cream, making them a practical option for those who do not consume dairy. They do, however, usually contain a variety of additives, such as added sugars and preservatives, which some individuals may want to limit or avoid for health reasons. Fortunately, you can simply create your own soy-based sour cream at home.