Half and half is one of those items that has been around forever, so no one questions its use. However, there are many people out there who dislike the taste, want to cut calories or have lactose intolerance.
If that is the case, then using this ingredient is out of the options, but there are other items that can simulate the taste and look of half and half.
Some people use it every day in their coffee, others put it in desserts and sauce, and others like to make ice cream with it.
Whatever the reason, half and half is a staple for many, but if you need to know how to use a substitute, we have all the secret ingredients you can use here for you.
What Is Half and Half?
As the name suggests, half and half is made up of half whole milk and half cream. It is traditionally used to lighten coffee drinks and add flavor, without making the drink too heavy.
Some other uses include making sauces without the added fat of just cream, in desserts, and even in cooking eggs and egg dishes.
Why Replace Half and Half, Anyway?
Replacing half and half may be a matter of health or allergy, but some of the common reasons include:
- Casein allergy: Some people have a severe allergy to the casein protein found in milk and milk products, which is why they can’t use cream or milk.
- Lactose intolerance: While this isn’t an allergy, intolerance to lactose causes discomfort and GI issues.
- Veganism: Those that follow a strictly plant-based diet don’t consume any products that contain milk.
What Can I Replace Half and Half With?
Whether you are allergic, intolerant, or simply don’t want to use it, these are the best half and half substitutes for all of your needs:
Best For Baking, Ice Cream, Scones, and Ganache
#1. Whole Milk and Heavy Cream
This one is the obvious choice, particularly if you want to make the recipe as is and you don’t have any half and half.
Many of us already have whole milk and cream at home, so all you need to do is use half a cup of whole cream and half a cup of whole milk for every one cup of half and half.
Use this mix for any of your needs, especially for baking scones, cakes, or making ganache and ice cream. Keep in mind that this is a full-fat option, but it will be the same as using regular half and half.
See More: Best Substitutes for Whole Milk
#2. Milk and Butter
Now, this mix may sound weird, but it works wonders in baking. You can use whole milk if you have it, otherwise, any type works. Use about one cup of milk with one tablespoon of butter for every cup of half and half.
You should melt the butter before you mix it with the milk. Use this choice when baking scones, cookies, bread, and making ganache.
See More: Butter Alternatives
#3. Low-Fat Milk and Heavy Cream
Some people don’t have whole milk at home, so you can use any low-fat milk and just add extra fat by using heavy cream.
Use about ⅔ cup of low-fat milk and ⅓ cup of heavy cream, but if you want to save calories, use less cream. Finding cream and milk shouldn’t be a problem, as you may already have some.
This is a great option for making cakes, biscuits, scones, and ice cream. You can also use it in making sauces, like chocolate sauce or caramel.
See More: Heavy Cream Substitutes
Best For Cooking, Soup, Sauce, and Coffee
#4. Coconut Milk
This is a great choice for those who don’t consume dairy or have lactose intolerance. Coconut milk is a great replacement for half and half in cooking soup, sauces, and even in coffee.
Make sure you use the same amount, but we recommend that you stick to the unsweetened kind, so you don’t overpower the rest of the ingredients.
You can find coconut milk in any grocery store, usually by the Asian or international aisle in your grocery store. If you want more flavor, add a bit of butter too, but keep in mind that this makes the recipe non-vegan.
See More: Coconut Milk Replacements
#5. Non-Dairy Cream
This is another vegan and dairy-free option, and it can be anything ranging from soy, almond, cashew, or coconut cream.
You can probably find it at your local grocery store, but you can also try your organic supermarket or health store. This is a bit sweeter than regular cream, but also lower in fat, so it can save you some calories.
Use this choice in making soups, sauces, and in coffee, but consider adding more salt and maybe reducing the amount by half.
#6. Soy Milk
Another vegan and dairy-free choice, which has been a popular choice for those who want to stay away from lactose.
You can use this choice easily in cooking sauces, soups, dishes with cream, and coffee. This is also a low calorie and low-fat option, but you may find it to have a particular flavor that may not go well with your other ingredients.
Finding soy milk shouldn’t be a problem at all, but try your local grocery or organic supermarket. Use about ⅔ cup of soy milk for every cup of half and half, but feel free to add more as you go.
Keep in mind that some people also have an allergy to soybeans, so it’s better to check before you use soy milk.
See More: Soy Milk Shelf Life
Yes, you can use sour cream instead of half and half in certain recipes. You can use it in making pasta sauces, soups, and certain baked goods, like scones and bread.
Yes, heavy cream works well in replacing half and half, but it will add fat and calories to your dish. Use it for baking anything, making ice cream, ganache, or soups, and sauces.
This is a good choice for certain recipes, including baking, ice cream, ganache, and in your coffee. However, almond milk is a bit too sweet and lacks fat, so if you want a more similar choice that is dairy-free, use coconut milk instead.
Using half and half is a common thing for most people, but you can replace it without a problem in most cases. Use one of these 6 choices in any of your recipes, but make sure you read specifically what dishes they work in. You can also mix and match any of these substitutes for more flavor.
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*Photo by slowmotiongli/depositphotos