Like soy milk, soy cream is made from fermented soy beans and water. However, it is more concentrated. Soy cream sold in supermarkets contains soy milk, vegetable oil, natural emulsifiers, and stabilizers. The combination of these ingredients ensures that the final product is a creamy liquid that has a consistency quite similar to that of cream made from dairy milk, and it can therefore be used in a very similar way.
Soy milk and soy cream are generally opaque, white, or cream-colored and have the consistency of dairy milk and dairy cream respectively. The taste is also similar although some brands have a flavor reminiscent of grain.
Soy cream has very similar properties to dairy cream. It is therefore a perfect substitute for those who have to or want to do without animal products. Soy cream can be used just like normal cream.
However, this cream is a cooking cream that works best in sauces and soups. For a whipping cream like you would use to top a cake or use in a cake filling, you can mix 2 g agar agar with 500 mL of the cream, boil for 2 minutes, and then let cool. However, it is not quite as whippable as conventional cream. You can also buy plant-based whipping cream in cartons or ready-whipped cream in aerosol cans.
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Making your own soy cream:
Soy cream is made by mixing soy milk and oil (e.g., canola oil) in a ratio of 2:1, whereby less oil can be added depending on the desired fat content. Stabilizers and natural emulsifiers are frequently added. Soy cream can be found in ordinary supermarkets in Europe (not in the US), or you can simply make it yourself using soy milk and oil.
Soy milk/cream differs from that of dairy milk/cream in a number of important respects. The soy products have a higher amount of available protein and more iron, and they contain low amounts of saturated fatty acids and are cholesterol free and low in sodium and fat. However, they do contain less absorbable calcium.
Allergies / Intolerances:
Since soy cream is lactose-free, it is mainly used by people who are allergic to dairy milk (about 2–3 % of the world’s population) or are lactose intolerant. Soy cream is also a good substitute for people who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), one of the most common congenital metabolic disorders in which the digestion of animal proteins is difficult or impossible.
Soy cream is also an ideal substitute for anyone who does not want to eat animal products, such as vegans.
However, it should be noted that even soy cream is not suitable for everyone and cannot per se be considered a better alternative to cream containing dairy milk. For example, people who are allergic to birch pollen have a high risk of a cross-sensitivity because soy has similar protein structures.
General information about plant-based cream:
From Wikipedia: Plant cream is cream derived from a plant source. Common varieties are soy cream and coconut cream. There are a variety of reasons for consuming plant cream, including conditions such as PKU, making digestion of animal protein (especially casein found in dairy) difficult or even impossible, lactose allergy and milk intolerance (approximately 3% of people are allergic), Jewish Kashrut (plant cream is Pareve), veganism or ovo-vegetarianism, and the avoidance of dairy products, considered unappealing by some people. Soy-free and gluten-free plant creams are marketed towards people with multiple food allergies and coeliac disease. Plant milk may be considered by many Westerners as a substitute for dairy milk, but plant milks are commonly manufactured and used in places where cow's milk is unknown or unavailable in large quantities, or is unpopular because of cost.1
Literature / Sources:
- Wikipedia. Plant cream [Internet]. Version dated August 23, 2018