This easy-to-make, instant, non-dairy sour cream is my smoothest and creamiest uncultured sour cream recipe to date. Please note that there is no alternative to using soymilk or lactic acid in this recipe. Thickening is dependent upon the curdling action of soymilk when lactic acid is introduced. Other plant milks will not react to the acid in the same manner and fruit acids (lemon juice; vinegar) will not yield the same flavor as lactic acid.
Vegan lactic acid powder can be purchased online from ModernistPantry.com. This recipe yields 2 cups sour cream.
• ¾ cup refined (purified) coconut oil, melted
• 1 and ¼ cup plain soymilk (sorry, no substitutes), room temperature
• ½ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
• ¼ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 tsp lactic acid powder (sorry, no substitutions)
Measure the melted coconut oil and set aside.
Measure the lactic acid and set aside in a small dish.
Add the soymilk, food gum and salt to a high-powered blender, cover and process on high speed. With the blender running, add the coconut oil through the hole in the lid in a slow but steady stream. Continue to process for 15 seconds. Add the lactic acid powder all at once and process no more than 5 seconds; turn the blender off.
Transfer the sour cream to an airtight container, seal and refrigerate until well-chilled and further thickened. Consume within 10 days of preparation.
Instant Velvety Non-Dairy Sour Cream
Rich, tangy and velvety smooth, this recipe yields about 2 cups of the finest cultured sour cream. Although extremely easy to prepare, a high-powered blender is recommended for producing the smoothest texture.
• 1 and ½ cup (7.5 oz by weight) whole raw cashews
• ¾ cup filtered or spring water
• ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 non-dairy probiotic capsules*
*If possible, choose non-dairy probiotic capsules that offer several strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, as well as beneficial Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium strains. This will create a more complex sour cream flavor than using Lactobacillus acidophilus alone.
Soak the cashews for a minimum of 8 hours with enough filtered or spring water to cover (refrigeration is not needed unless soaking time exceeds 8 hours). Drain the cashews, discarding the soaking water, and add them to the blender.
Add the ¾ cup fresh water and the salt.
Process the contents until completely smooth, stopping to stir or scrape down the sides of blender as necessary. Add the contents of the probiotic capsules and process briefly to blend.
Transfer the mixture to a roomy container with a lid and cover. The cream may develop an “airy” texture and expand during culturing. This is caused by the release of carbon dioxide gas during fermentation and is perfectly normal. Every 12 hours or so, burp the lid of the container to release carbon dioxide.
Let the cream culture at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours or until the desired level of tanginess is achieved. Do not heat the mixture in a yogurt maker or similar device in an attempt to accelerate the process. This will alter the starch in the cashews and adversely affect the texture. Warm room temperatures will accelerate the culturing process, and cooler room temperatures will slow the process, so taste test after 24 hours and then every 12 hours after that. Viability of the probiotic culture can also affect culturing time, so be sure to use a fresh product that has been stored in the refrigerator.
After culturing, stir the sour cream thoroughly. Seal the container and place in the refrigerator to chill for 8 hours to thicken properly before using.
Supreme Sour Cream (Cultured Non-Dairy)
This cheesy, creamy and mildly tangy seasoning powder was created specifically for dusting pre-salted potato chips and popcorn. For unsalted chips and popcorn, consider increasing and even doubling the amount of salt in the recipe. Freeze-dried minced chives can be added for a “loaded baked potato” flavor. This recipe yields about 1 cup of seasoning.
• ¾ cup nutritional yeast flakes
• ¼ cup organic soymilk powder (do not use soy protein powder or soy flour)
• 3 T tomato powder
• 2 T onion powder
• 4 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• 1 and ½ tsp lactic acid powder (available from ModernistPantry.com)
• ½ tsp dry ground mustard
• ⅛ tsp garlic powder
Process the ingredients in a DRY blender until finely powdered. Store the seasoning blend in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months (but you’ll never keep it around that long!)
To season a large bag of commercial potato chips, open the bag and add about 3 tablespoons of seasoning. Close the bag tightly and gently shake and turn to distribute the seasoning. Open the bag and enjoy.
Alternately, add the seasoning powder to a shaker dispenser and season your favorite foods and snacks according to taste.
Loaded Baked Potato Variation
Process the ingredients in a DRY blender until finely powdered. Add 1 tablespoon freeze-dried minced chives and process again until the chives are reduced to small particles but not completely powdered. Season the chips as directed above.
Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chip Seasoning
Dairy butter is an emulsion that consists of butterfat, milk protein and water. It is made by churning fresh or fermented cream. Lightly fermented cream, along with salt, adds flavor to the butter.
Non-dairy churned butter is an emulsion consisting of plant fat, pure soymilk protein and water. Lactic acid is added to produce the lightly fermented quality and add flavor, along with salt. No additional emulsifiers (such as lecithin) or stabilizers (such as guar gum) are required. It looks like dairy butter; it tastes like dairy butter; it behaves in cooking just like dairy butter; and it can be used in any recipe just as you would use dairy butter.
Churned butter is prepared with soy-based extra-heavy whipping cream. The composition of this cream is remarkably similar to dairy cream, which makes it ideal for home-churning butter. Do not use any other form of non-dairy cream; it will not produce the same results and most likely will not work at all.
You will also need a stand mixer with a balloon whip (wire whisk) attachment or an electric rotary mixer (the rotary mixer is not as efficient as a stand mixer and will take longer to produce butter). Do not attempt with a food processor or blender; they won’t work properly.
• 1 cup pure soymilk (no additives), room temperature (sorry, no substitutions)
• 1 tsp fine salt or kosher salt (reduce or omit as desired)
• 1 cup organic refined coconut oil*
• ½ tsp lactic acid powder (available from ModernistPantry.com)
The soymilk must be at room temperature to emulsify properly with the coconut oil. If necessary, gently warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat or briefly in the microwave. If cold soymilk is used, the coconut oil will congeal when it comes into contact with the cold liquid.
Remove the metal lid from the jar of coconut oil and place the jar in a microwave. Heat just until the solid oil liquefies, about 30 seconds to 1 minute (this will depend upon the solidity of the coconut oil). Alternately, place the jar in about an inch of simmering water and melt the oil in the same manner. Measure the coconut oil and set aside.
Pour the milk into a blender and add the salt. Put the cover in place but remove the center insert. Begin blending on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed (if the milk is splashing too much in the blender jar, reduce the speed slightly). Pour the coconut oil slowly into the milk through the opening in the blender jar’s lid. After the oil has been incorporated, add the lactic acid.
Continue to process for a few seconds until the mixture thickens (this should occur instantaneously). The mixture will resemble crème fraîche. Transfer the thickened cream to a sealable container and refrigerate until very cold (a minimum of 6 hours). Cold cream is essential to the success of churning butter. Also place the metal bowl and balloon whip attachment from a stand mixer or a metal or ceramic mixing bowl and 2 beaters from an electric rotary mixer into the refrigerator. Chill until very cold.
Please note that the thickened cream may taste somewhat salty; don’t worry, as a substantial portion of the salt is carried away with the buttermilk when the liquid separates from the butter. The finished butter should have a well-balanced flavor; however, the salt can always be adjusted to taste. For baking purposes, reducing or omitting the salt is recommended.
Scoop the cold thickened cream into the chilled bowl and begin whipping with the electric mixer or stand mixer on high speed. Using a stand mixer, it will take about 7 minutes for a stiff, grainy-appearing texture to form. From there it will begin to clump as the buttermilk separates from the butter. Total churning time is about 9 to 10 minutes. Using an electric rotary mixer, it will take about 12 to 14 minutes for a stiff, grainy-appearing texture to form. From there it will begin to clump as the buttermilk separates from the butter. Total churning time is about 15 to 17 minutes. This requires patience – but it will turn into butter.
Tip: When using the rotary mixer, occasionally scrape the sides towards the bottom of the bowl with a flexible spatula as the mixture is whipped.
The butter separated to the left side, the buttermilk on the right
Press the butter to one side of the bowl with a spatula or the back of a spoon and then pour off the buttermilk (about ½ cup). The buttermilk can be discarded if you wish, but I enjoy drinking it – it’s rich, tangy, salty and delicious. Transfer and pack the solid butter into a container. As the butter is packed down, a small amount of residual buttermilk will rise to the top of the container; simply pour this off. Store the butter in the refrigerator until ready to use. The butter will stay fresh for several weeks. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tip: The butter will be quite solid and hard after refrigeration; simply let it sit out at room temperature to soften before using.
Non-Dairy Churned Butter
Vodka blush sauce is a creamy tomato-based pasta sauce flavored with vodka. This is my own variation which can be prepared with either cashew cream or soy cream. Sweet red pepper was included for flavor. For the photo, I used torchiette pasta rather than the traditional penne pasta.
• ¼ cup whole raw cashews*
• ½ cup water*
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with liquid
• ¼ cup premium vodka
• 2 T tomato paste
• 1 tsp dried basil leaves
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• ½ tsp dried oregano leaves
• ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• grated non-dairy parmesan
• julienned fresh sweet basil for garnish (optional)
• fresh ground black pepper, to taste
• cooked pasta of your choice (penne is commonly used)
*or ½ cup basic Soy Cream (from the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook or Seitan and Beyond Cookbook)
In a blender, process the cashews and water on high speed for 2 full minutes. Transfer to a cup and chill until ready to use. Alternately, the cashew cream mixture can be replaced with ½ cup soy cream.
Add the olive oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Add the onions and sweet red pepper and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute or two.
Stir in the diced tomatoes with liquid, vodka, tomato paste, dried basil, salt, dried oregano and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the skillet mixture to the blender. Begin processing on low speed, gradually increasing to high. Process the contents until smooth and then transfer back to the skillet, placing over medium heat.
Stir in the cashew or soy cream and cook until heated through. Season the sauce with additional salt as needed to taste. Ladle the sauce over cooked pasta, sprinkle with parmesan and fresh ground black pepper and garnish with the optional fresh basil.
Vodka Blush Sauce
Bacun grease is essentially a flavored vegetable shortening. Use for any cooking purpose just as you would real bacon grease; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 1 year. This recipe yields 1 cup.
• ⅔ cup organic refined coconut oil
• ⅓ cup vegetable oil
• 1 and ½ tsp tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 tsp dark brown sugar or real maple syrup
• ½ tsp liquid smoke
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• ¼ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum (acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer; do not omit!)
Melt and measure the coconut oil.
Process all ingredients in a mini-blender or in a heavy measuring cup using an immersion blender until emulsified.
Transfer to a sealable container and freeze until hardened and then transfer to the refrigerator for storage until ready to use.