How to Make Your Own Low-Carb Whipped Cream

Skip the stuff in a can—it contains added sugars and hydrogenated oils

Whipped cream
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At first blush, desserts can seem hard to come by on a low-carb diet. If you're avoiding flour and sugar, doesn't that take most of the sweet stuff off the table? Well, yes and no. It takes most conventional sweets out of the mix, but there are many alternative ingredients that fit the low-carb bill, which you can use as replacements.

For example, in baked goods, coconut and almond flours, or almond or flax seed meal, can be used in place of traditional all-purpose flour, and sugar-free or dark chocolate chips in place of milk chocolate (which contains more sugar).

You might try low-carb lemon mousse, chia seed pudding, a fruit parfait, or any of these other low-carb dessert ideas

And for a fluffy whipped cream topping on your low-carb chocolate cake, you can make your own. 

Why Make Your Own Whipped Cream? 

Unfortunately, store-bought whipped toppings, even "real whipped cream in a can," usually has sugar added—which doesn't jive with your low-carb lifestyle—as well as lots of other suspicious ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, which contain harmful trans fats. Even sugar-free Cool Whip, which technically fits low-carb diet requirements, contains hydrogenated vegetable oils that are not health-promoting. Even if you're on this diet for weight loss reasons, none of us can afford to be eating foods that negatively impact cholesterol.  

Luckily, making your own junk-free, low-carb whipped cream is easy, and the flavor and texture leave store-bought in the dust (which, by the way, is usually neither truly whipped nor truly cream).

 

Here's how to whip cream for a delicious homemade whipped topping in 5 minutes.

Level: Easy

Total Time: 5 minutes

Instructions:

  • A mixing bowl and beaters or whisk  (for fastest results, use a standing mixer)
  • Heavy cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized, which is harder to whip, but if you have to use it, use a metal bowl and make sure the equipment is very cold by putting the beaters and bowl in the freezer for a few minutes beforehand)
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla bean
  • Sugar-free sweetener (I prefer Stevia, which has zero carbs, you can also use powdered sweeteners such as Equal or Spenda)
  • Other flavorings, such as mint or chocolate

Here's How:

  1. Put cold heavy cream and flavorings in the mixing bowl.  Avoid ultra-pasteurized cream if possible (see tip below). Try 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract per cup of cream, and no-carb sweetener equal to 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar. At this point, taste the mixture and adjust the flavorings. 
  2. With an electric hand mixer or a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream. You can use a hand whisk; it just will take longer. Start slowly -- if you set it on high at first, you'll have cream all over the place. Set the mixer so it goes as fast as possible without splashing.
  3. As the cream thickens, turn the speed up. As it gets foamier, start checking for a soft peak, which is what you want. Stop the mixer and lift the beater(s) from the cream. The peak should bend over at the top when you remove the whisk. As it gets close, slow down, because if it goes too far, it will lose volume, then clump and separate (essentially become butter). This can happen quite quickly if you're not paying close attention at that point.
  1. If you forget to adjust the flavorings, you can still do it at this point. Ta-da! Whipped cream!

One cup of heavy cream will yield about 2 cups of whipped cream. After a few hours, it will start to lose volume, but you can mix it again and it's still good to eat, even after a day or two. Refrigerate the whipped cream and anything you make with it (such as a frosted cake).

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