If you’ve been dairy free for any length of time you’ve probably tried and failed to find a decent substitution for sour cream, yogurt, and cream cheese. There’s some okay ones you can get at the supermarket but usually they’re full of tapioca starch and a bunch of things that should never be in food like titanium dioxide or rancid vegetable oils (canola, soybean,etc.).
As a recent dairy free convert I had to find something to replace my beloved sour cream. Something I could actually EAT and enjoy. It had to be tart but not too tart. Thick, rich, blah blah. I didn’t even like low fat sour cream and that has actual dairy in it.
Then I started reading the recipes online and almost all of them had cashews or something in them. I’m trying to keep my nut intake at a normal level so that was out for us. I already put a little almond flour in my cakes and muffins so I didn’t want to add anymore.
The following recipe is incredibly easy and fairly inexpensive compared to most. I pulled out my old Excalibur dehydrator and used the yogurt setting but you could use any other yogurt method like an actual yogurt maker or others you might find online. (I recently caved and bought this one for $20… love it!)
As for your culturing agent, it varies. Many people already use a favorite. I use Klaire Thera-Biotic Labs Factor 4 because it has some great bacteria that many people already use for culturing yogurt. I try to get bifidobacterium lactis and bifidobacterium breve in there. Lactis not only tastes great but is also helpful for people with autoimmune disorders. Breve suppresses fungal growth. Both bacterium help to regulate digestion and prevent both diarrhea and constipation among other neat tricks.
Good luck to you in your culturing adventures. For those who have never cultured anything before this recipe is very easy and safe to start with. The only problem I ever had was when I didn’t put it in a sealed container right away but instead left it partially covered in the fridge thinking I’d put it into jars … eventually. It started growing a pink bacteria on it after a couple of days so I threw it out. As long as you cap these bad boys they last for ages. You could easily make a month’s worth of sour cream in advance.
What’s your favorite cultured food? If you have a recipe share it!
* Notes: for the coconut cream it should be the thick, dense part of the coconut milk. I either purchase Trader Joe’s brand coconut cream concentrate which is JUST the thick cream or I cool the cans of other full-fat brands and skim just the cream from the top. The amount listed is only an approximation of the amount you’ll get from two cans of full-fat cream. You can play with it a bit, it’s pretty forgiving. I just add about 1TB of collagen per cup and 1 capsule of probiotic culture for every 2 cups. If you want yogurt to be a bit thinner or less rich then use the whole can with water and all. I recommend keeping the collagen in there to help the yogurt build structure and stay thick.