Appropriate Substitutes for Crème Fraiche
Being on a Slimming World programme shouldn’t mean having to totally give up your favourite dishes in place of bland and boring food instead. It is possible (easy, even!) to have the best of both worlds and still be able to eat delicious food that’s a bit healthier.
When it comes to creamy sauces, soups, desserts, and dips it can be tricky to think of recipes that don’t include a lot of cream and other high-fat ingredients.
Crème fraiche goes brilliantly in all of the above because of its silky, creamy texture and high fat content that stops it from curdling at higher temperatures. It also has a wonderful tangy flavour that compliments fruits, herbs, spices, veggies, and meats so well!
If you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds though, crème fraiche might not be the best ally in the kitchen. Tasty and versatile as it is, there are definitely more Slimming World-friendly options out there!
Some Top Choices for Crème Fraiche Substitutes
When it comes to swapping out crème fraiche for a healthier, lower-fat option, there are many alternatives you can turn to. The key thing is to look for ingredients that are still creamy but can provide a hint of decadence without packing on the pounds.
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients that will give you the closest experience to crème fraiche possible:
- Sour cream is nearly the same thing as crème fraiche, except it has a lower fat content and fewer calories.
- It is not as thick and creamy as crème fraiche but will still give a creamy finish to pasta sauces and puddings, and can also be dolloped into soups and dishes like tacos.
- Sour cream tends to separate quite easily if cooked at high temperatures so it’s best to add it at the end of the cooking process or to simmer it on a lower heat for a smoother texture.
- It is easy to find low-fat sour cream which will have a lower fat content still.
- Although much tangier in flavour than crème fraiche, Greek yoghurt is a great alternative as it often comes in low fat versions, perfect for a Slimming World diet.
- Natural Greek yoghurt is generally very thick which is ideal for adding texture and body to sauces, desserts, and dressings.
- You can buy bio-yoghurt which is cultured with live bacteria which can aid in supporting general digestive health which is a great added benefit.
- Quark is a soft, scoopable cheese product which is both creamy and tangy but lower in fat, making it an excellent substitute for crème fraiche.
- It is ideal for adding to all kinds of dishes as its mild flavour blends well with both sweet and savoury ingredients.
- Quark is made by warming soured milk until the desired creamy texture is achieved which means you can easily make it yourself by adding lemon juice to milk.
- Along similar lines to quark, fromage frais is another cheese product which is both light and creamy and tangy enough to make a great crème fraiche substitute.
- Quark can be difficult to find sometimes and fromage frais might therefore be a good quark substitute in a pinch.
- Fromage frais also comes in easily accessible low fat and fat-free options, perfect for people doing Slimming World.
- Much lighter than cream cheese but still creamy enough to thicken up sauces and other dishes.
Vegan Options for Even Healthier Substitutes
Whether you observe a vegan diet anyway or are simply looking to make your diet a bit healthier, there are a number of vegan choices that make healthy substitutes for crème fraiche.
- Thicker than coconut milk, coconut cream is great for adding a silky and creamy texture to food, and it works well with lots of different kinds of flavours.
- It can be used in a variety of recipes as a crème fraiche substitute, including curries, pasta sauces, and baking recipes.
- Full-fat coconut cream is still healthier than full-fat dairy products and should give a closer experience to crème fraiche than low-fat versions.
Soy-Based Sour Creams
- Whereas coconut cream will give you texture but lacks in tangy flavour, soy-based sour creams will give both texture and that signature tangier flavour.
- Soy-based milk and cream products can give you very similar results when used as a cream for cooking to what you’d get with double cream and other dairy options.
- Soybeans have a high protein content and relatively low-fat content, so soy sour cream is ideal for swapping out crème fraiche.
There are also plenty of dairy free yoghurts and dairy free cream ingredients that will give you a very similar experience to crème fraiche when combined with tangy flavours like citrus or sumac.
At a Glance…
Cutting out or cutting back on crème fraiche in your cooking doesn’t mean you can’t still have your favourite meals. With a little bit of flexibility and a few small recipe changes, you can still enjoy amazing flavours with lower fat content and other health benefits.