If you’re one of the millions of people around the world who can’t drink dairy or whole milk, you know how hard it is to find substitutes for half and half.
I know the struggle all too well. Cutting dairy from my diet has been a major hurdle in my weight-loss journey. Sometimes, you’re doing great. But sometimes, you get a craving for something that involves dairy, and sadly a lot of recipes require half and half.
It’s used in everything from coffee to soups, and without it, some recipes are just not the same.
Lucky for you, I’ve done the research and found some great substitutes that will make your recipes taste delicious again.
Let me show you!
Substitutes for Half and Half:
- Vegan half and half
- Low-fat milk and heavy cream
- Evaporated milk
- Whole milk and light cream
- Whole milk and heavy cream
- Sour Cream or Yogurt
- Whole Milk and melted butter
Vegan half and half
So, what if I told you there was a vegan alternative to half and half that tastes just as creamy and delicious?
Vegan half and half are made from plant ingredients like coconut milk, cashew milk, soy milk, or almonds, and it provides all the same benefits as dairy-free alternatives without harming the environment.
Therefore, if you’re one of those who care about animal rights, using vegan half and half is a way to enjoy your coffee without contributing to the exploitation of cows.
On my part, I would never have dreamed that I would be an advocate for vegan half and half. It happened somewhere in my weight-loss journey and it’s been helping me keep to a healthy diet.
For those who are looking to lose weight or reduce their cholesterol intake, vegan half and half is a great substitute because it contains no saturated fat.
Additionally, its thick, creamy consistency most closely resembles that of whole milk, so you’ll love it.
Low-fat milk and heavy cream
This combination is a bit of a no-brainer, so it’s one of the most common substitutes for half and half. It works particularly well in baking, as the lower fat content of the milk will not alter the taste or texture of the finished dish.
Low-fat milk and heavy cream can also be used to make homemade ice cream, custards, and puddings. The higher fat content of the cream will give these desserts a richer flavor and smoother texture.
To make low-fat milk and heavy cream substitute for half and half, simply combine equal parts of milk and cream. For a lighter version, use more milk than cream. For a heavier version, use more cream than milk. Then, whisk the two ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined.
You can use this mixture in anything that calls for half and half, and it will provide the same level of creaminess and richness. It is also a good option for those who are looking to reduce their calorie intake, as low-fat milk contains fewer calories than whole milk.
What’s the best part? It still has a pleasant taste. Surprisingly, it is one of the few alternatives that taste quite similar to conventional half-and-half.
Evaporated milk is made by slowly heating milk until about 60% of the water content has evaporated. This process creates a concentrated form of milk that is shelf-stable and does not need to be refrigerated.
It can be found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle, and it reconstitutes easily with water. When used as a half and half substitute, evaporated milk provides a similar level of creaminess and richness.
Evaporated milk will impart a different taste to your dish. However, many people find that the slightly caramelized flavor is worth the benefit of using a less fatty option.
This can be helpful if you are trying to reduce the amount of fat in your diet, as evaporated milk has 10% fat content, while half and half have 12%. They both have less fat than whole milk, though.
You’ll reap the dividends of this substitution when you use it in baking and cooking, as it will not alter the texture of the finished dish.
Whole milk and light cream
I know that this sounds counter-intuitive when you’re trying to lose weight or respect animal rights, but please hear me out. If you’ve struggled to let go of whole milk all your life and have failed. It’s most likely because subconsciously, you still don’t want to give it up.
It pays to be honest with yourself. So, if you’re in this category, I’d advise that you start small. What is half and half anyway? Isn’t it just milk with cream in it?
So, by switching from half and half to a mixture of whole milk and light cream, you’re not really doing anything differently. It is still a step ahead of using whole milk on its own.
At least this way, you get to keep the creaminess and body of half and half without all the guilt. In fact, you might find that this combination tastes even better than the store-bought version.
When you use this substitute, be sure to get the measurement right. Each of them on its own is recognized for adding a luxurious, creamy taste to a variety of dishes. So picture the collaboration between both in terms of tastes as well as nutritiously toward a shared objective — fireworks!
The substitute is ideal for coffee, baking, and desserts. Finding light cream, on the other hand, might be difficult. It appears that it has almost vanished from the dairy section.
Whole milk and heavy cream
This combination is going to provide the richest and creamiest taste. So, if you’re looking for an alternative that tastes exactly like half and half, this is the one you want.
Standard half-and-half is made using light cream, which has about 2/3 of the fat of heavy cream. So, whenever you use heavy cream in your recipe, substitute 1 cup of half-and-half with 1 cup of milk plus 1/4 cup of heavy cream.
The only downside to this option is that it is high in fat. So, if you are watching your calorie intake, make sure the ratio is more proportionate to compensate for that.
If you’re in the market for a delicious and satisfying dessert, this one won’t let you down. Feel free to use it in your coffee, baking, or cooking; and relish its wonderful taste and flavor.
Sour Cream and Greek Yogurt
Whether you’re lactose-intolerant, vegan, or just watching your weight, you can use sour cream and greek yogurt as a substitute for half and half.
This substitute will give your food the same level of richness and creaminess. And they both have a tangy flavor that can enhance the taste of your dish.
However, yogurt and sour cream do not mix well when cooking, and they may separate over direct heat, producing a chalky texture. They aren’t suitable for soups or sauces because of this.
One way to remedy this is to substitute milk or cream for any portion of the combination. If you can’t, then surely, you can thin out the substitute with a little bit of water to make it easier to work with.
Whole milk and melted butter
Contrary to public opinion, you can achieve success with this substitute. The milk will add creaminess, while the butter will add richness.
My guess is that you wouldn’t enjoy it in ice cream or a cup of coffee. So, the best way to use it is in baking. It can be used in other dishes as well, but it might change the flavor a bit.
To make a half and half substitute using whole milk and melted butter, simply put a few tablespoons of unsalted butter in a liquid measuring cup and melt it in the microwave. Just enough whole milk should be added to bring the total amount to one cup.
Pro tip: make sure the milk is at room temperature when combining it with melted butter.
Can I substitute half-and-half in soup?
Yes, you can substitute half-and-half in soup. However, it is important to note that yogurt and sour cream do not mix well when cooking, and they may separate over direct heat, producing a chalky texture. Therefore, they aren’t suitable for soups or sauces.
Can I use half-and-half as a coffee creamer?
Yes, you can use half-and-half as a coffee creamer. Standard half-and-half is made using light cream, which has about two-thirds of the fat of heavy cream.
What is a healthy substitute for half and half?
If you’re looking for a healthy substitute for half and half, you can use vegan half and half, which is made from a combination of plant ingredients like soy milk and coconut milk. This substitute has many health benefits and it is also lactose-free.
Another option is to use skim milk or nonfat milk. These substitutes are lower in fat and calories than half and half, but they will not provide the same level of creaminess.
On a Final Note
Whenever you’re out of half and half, don’t go back to using whole milk only. Also, don’t waltz to the store just yet.
Substitutes like milk and cream, sour cream and greek yogurt, or whole milk and melted butter can do the trick. And in a pinch, you can even use water.
With these substitutes, you’ll never have to worry about being out of half and half again.