Vegan sour cream is a plant-based alternative to sour cream or crème fraîche, which are semifirm, fermented milk products made from cream with varying fat contents.
Culinary uses — vegan sour cream:
How do you use vegan sour cream, and can you heat vegan sour cream? Vegan sour cream is a versatile ingredient that can be heated. This vegan alternative to sour cream is suitable both as a sauce on its own and as a thickening agent for creating rich soups and sauces. Vegan sour cream provides a good basis for dips, salad dressings, and pasta sauces and can be used as the sauce base for flatbreads, lasagna, and pizza bianca (pizza without tomato sauce). Other possible uses of vegan sour cream: Vegan sour cream is also a popular ingredient for baked goods and desserts, such as in quiches, pastries, cheesecakes, muffins, cakes, or tiramisu.
What is similar to vegan sour cream? A quick alternative to vegan sour cream is drained vegan yogurt (such as soy yogurt or coconut yogurt).
Vegan recipe for Fall Onion Tart with Vegan Sour Cream:
Ingredients: Dough: 300 g whole wheat flour, 20 g yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon brown sugar, 125–150 mL lukewarm water, 2 tablespoons canola oil; Topping: 300 g (approx. 1½ cups) vegan sour cream, 200 g smoked tofu, 1 medium red onion.
Preparation: Mix together all the dough ingredients to form a dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, and then roll it out to fit a rectangular baking sheet. Form a raised edge around the dough’s circumference and let it rise for another 15 minutes. While the dough is rising, mix the vegan sour cream with 200 g finely chopped smoked tofu and a thinly sliced medium-size (red) onion. Season the mixture with herbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and caraway seeds. Cover the dough evenly with the sour cream, tofu, and onion mixture, and let it rest for another 15 minutes. Bake the onion tart at 225 ° C for 30–40 minutes, sprinkle it with chives, and enjoy hot.
Vegan recipe for a Raw Vegetable Snack with Vegan Sour Cream and Herb Dip:
Cut any vegetables you like, such as cucumber, kohlrabi, carrots, or a colorful medley of bell peppers, into snack-size sticks and serve in a muffin pan. Mix ½–1 teaspoon finely ground psyllium husks in 1–2 cups (approx. 200–400 g) vegan sour cream to thicken it. Season the sour cream with dried herbs (perhaps fenugreek, dill, chives, chervil, garlic, lovage, and basil), chopped fresh chives, and finely chopped parsley. Add a little salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour the finished dip into three small glasses and place them on the muffin pan between the vegetables.
You can find vegan recipes with vegan sour cream at the bottom of the text or in the sidebar: “Recipes that have the most of this ingredient.”
Purchasing — where to buy vegan sour cream?
In Europe, several companies offer organic fermented vegan sour cream, mostly soy-based. Vegan sour cream is available at organic supermarkets such as Whole Foods, vegan supermarkets, vegan shops, well-stocked health food stores, and organic shops as well as online.
Vegan sour cream is not generally available from supermarket chains such as Walmart, Whole Foods Markets, Kroger, and Safeway (United States); Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, and Holland & Barret (Great Britain); Metro, Extra Foods, and Goodness Me (Canada); Coles, Woolworths, and Harris Farm (Australia).
Preparing your own vegan sour cream:
You can make vegan sour cream yourself as a substitute for traditional dairy sour cream with the same methods you use to make vegan yogurt. But instead of using “plant milk,” to make vegan sour cream use a plant-based cream with a fat content of at least 10 %.
The base for your vegan sour cream can be any thick, high-fat plant-based “cream” made from nuts, coconut, soy, or oats. You can also use nuts that have been soaked overnight, nut butter, drained silken tofu, or plain tofu, and you can add herbs and spices such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, and mustard to your sour cream if you wish. Adding extra vegetable oil to bases that are naturally lower in fat (such as nut milks or tofu) will ensure a creamier result. The fermentation process begins when you add probiotic capsules or powdered probiotics.
Use a high-speed blender to process your choice of ingredients into a creamy, homogeneous mixture, and then pour this mixture into jars. Let the filled jars rest, lightly covered, at around 40 °C for 12–24 hours. During this phase of preparation, the vegan sour cream will expand a bit and take on a creamy consistency and a slightly sour, fermented flavor. Place your vegan sour cream in the refrigerator after it has matured to stop the fermentation process. After a few hours it should be semisolid.
For a less elaborate alternative, make nonfermented vegan sour cream as a substitute for dairy sour cream. In this variation, you just add a little lemon juice and apple cider vinegar instead of acid-producing bacteria to the plant-based cream. Acetic acid and citric acid create a flavor that is similar to what you find in fermented dairy.
You can store vegan sour cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freezing vegan sour cream will preserve it for a longer period of time. It is a good idea to freeze small portions in an ice cube tray or other small container for your convenience.
Nutrients — nutritional information — calories in vegan sour cream:
Since vegan sour cream can be made from a variety of ingredients, the nutritional information will vary. The nutritional values for commercially available vegan sour cream shown here can also vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and are only intended as a guide. The most important nutrients and calorie counts are printed on the packaging of products you purchase at the store. The healthiest options would be those you can make yourself from natural ingredients.
Is sour cream sour? Vegan sour cream fermented with probiotic bacteria contains lactic acid, which is responsible for its characteristic sour flavor. That’s why you usually add lemon juice or vinegar to nonfermented vegan sour cream.
Select CLICK FOR under the photo of vegan sour cream to see the nutrient tables. These tables provide complete nutritional information, the percentage of the recommended allowance, and comparison values with other ingredients.
Health aspects — benefits of vegan sour cream:
How healthy is vegan sour cream? It is generally recommended that people consume fermented milk substitutes that have not been heated. Adding probiotic lactic acid bacteria to vegan bases creates fermented vegan foods. Studies suggest that probiotics can reduce the duration of diarrhea, decrease cancer-promoting enzymes, and have beneficial effects on eczema. Using probiotics is one way to try to improve the balance of your intestinal flora by supplying it with living organisms.1,4
Yogurt has been used to treat and prevent infectious gastrointestinal diseases since the turn of the century.1
Scientists have known about the harmful effects of milk and milk products on the human body for a long time. For more information, you can read our review of Maria Rollinger’s book Milk, besser nicht (Milk, better not!) or watch the German video Milch gesund oder night? Eine Ärztin packt aus (Milk healthy or not? A doctor walks us through the problem).
Dangers — intolerances — side effects:
Commercially produced vegan sour cream is usually made from soybeans or tofu. If you have an intolerance to soy, which is one of the 14 primary food allergens, you should avoid it. People who suffer from pollen allergies can develop a cross-reaction to soy.3
General information about vegan sour cream:
Classic sour cream is cream made with lactic acid bacteria. It has a mild sour flavor, and its consistency can range from creamy to firm.
Are sour cream and crème fraîche the same thing? They are actually different products that differ mainly in their fat content and are made from (plant-based) cream that has been soured by adding either lactic acid or another acid. The following variants are available in stores:
- Light sour cream with approx. 10 % fat.
- Regular sour cream with approx. 18–20 % fat.
- Crème légère is a lower-fat variant of crème fraîche with a fat content of approx. 20 %.
- Schmand is a type of German sour cream that contains about 20–29 % fat and can contain added thickening agents.
- Crème fraîche contains at least 30 % fat and up to 15 % additional sucrose. Crème fraîche is not heated after fermentation.2
Vegan sour cream products are still only available to a limited extent on the market. If this changes, the overview above from German Wikipedia might help you figure out the various names and fat content of different products.
In some countries, especially European countries, names for milk and milk products are often protected, while the names for vegan substitutes are not legally defined terms in most countries.
Alternative names for vegan sour cream
Vegan sour cream is also called cream substitute, sour cream substitute (vegan), vegan soured cream, plant-based sour cream, vegan crème fraîche, and plant-based crème fraîche.
Literature — sources:
Many researchers do not believe that Wikipedia is an authoritative source. One reason for this is that the information about literature cited and authors is often missing or unreliable. Our pictograms for nutritional values provide also information on calories (kcal).
- Biesalski HK, Grimm P, Nowitzki-Grimm S. Taschenatlas Ernährung. 6. Auflage. Georg Thieme Verlag: Stuttgart. 2015.
- Wikipedia Rahm.
- Ugb.de (Unabhängige Gesundheitsberatung) Wie ist der zunehmende Verzehr von Sojalebensmitteln gesundheitlich zu bewerten?
- Biesalski HK, Bischoff SC et al. Ernährungsmedizin. Nach dem Curriculum Ernährungsmedizin der Bundesärztekammer. 5. Vollständig überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Georg Thieme Verlag: Stuttgart. 2018.