Almost any grocery store that you walk into this time of year is sure to have a display full of strawberries, shortcakes, and canned whipped cream. Although essential to the iconic trio, I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought the canned stuff. I always wondered if the contents, which always seemed questionable, could somehow rival the health risks of the spray paint cans they resemble. Fresh, homemade whipped cream, on the other hand, was a whole different story. It didn’t matter if it was 11 o’clock at night, if a spoonful of sweet billowy cream was all it took to make my dessert all the better, you could bet I’d be in the kitchen whipping some up.
As raw and nut-based desserts started frequenting my weekly rotation, I found myself buying fewer cartons of regular dairy cream. The taste of dairy, especially the rich, grass-fed kind that I had grown to love, seemed especially pungent when paired with plant based foods. Maybe it’s just my taste buds, but I began to notice what I can only describe as a “barn yard” taste. Because I didn’t think I was ready to give up dairy completely, I tried to marry the two, and it just didn’t seem to work. The cleaner, crisper flavor of plant based desserts eventually won me over.
In hopes of finding an equally rich and creamy alternative to dairy cream, I tried cashew, macadamia, and finally coconut. The first few times I experimented with coconut cream, I didn’t understand what all of the hype was about. I would chill my can of coconut milk, remove the top layer, and whip it…and whip it. I thought it worked like dairy cream and would become firmer the longer I whipped it. Instead it consistently turned into a big puddle. Once I figured it out, to say that I was ecstatic with the results would be an understatement. A simple can of coconut milk can be transformed into a wonderfully rich, fluffy cream. That’s not all. Instead of getting liquid-y like whipped cream sometimes can, it actually stays firm for up to a week. If it lasts that long.
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, powdered
- pinch salt
- seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
- Chill can of coconut milk in the refrigerator at least overnight, but ideally for a full 24 hours.
- Remove hardened layer of coconut cream from top of can, making sure not to mix with the liquid underneath. If desired, reserve liquid for other uses.
- Place the cream only into a small, chilled mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 30 seconds.
- Add coconut sugar, salt, and vanilla and blend just until combined.
- Use immediately or refrigerate.
Will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Equal amount of liquid sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup, may be used, but please note that it will have a looser texture.