Whipped cream, the name itself evokes many images: strawberries with cream, the white silky icing on a cake, a topping for all kinds of pies and pancakes, and much more. But if you are vegan and or don’t/can’t eat dairy like me, all the aforementioned images start to wane and blur. The good news is that as a vegan you don’t have to miss out on the experience of relishing whipped cream with your favorite desserts. The best feature of this cream is its ability to multitask.This multipurpose almond whipped cream not only works great as a topping on cakes, pies, or a stack of pancakes; it can transform a seemingly banal tea sandwich to the status of heavenly. And, YES, you can definitely enjoy this cream with sweet, luscious strawberries. For those who love and enjoy dairy whipped cream, give this vegan, gluten-free almond whipped cream a try to add the nutrition of almonds to your food as well as bring variety to your desserts.
A note of caution! While this cream offers a somewhat comparable experience, it does not compare in its creaminess, taste, and texture to the dairy whipped cream. And it does not intend to. This multipurpose almond whipped cream has a slightly nutty taste and grainy texture. When whipped, it does not form perfectly stiff peaks as its dairy counterpart. However, this almond whipped cream holds well to forms round- or oval-shaped dollops on your pancake or pie. You can surely scoop it with a strawberry or any other fruit or veggies you want to scoop it with.
Please note that this cream is made with almonds, which are high in fat. Even though almonds contain healthy kind of fat, it is best to keep the overall fat intake contained within certain limits specially if you are avoiding fat for health reasons (more on this later). Therefore, like other desserts, enjoy this cream in moderation (please see the suggested serving size in the nutrition panel).
Here is how to make it:
The star ingredient of this recipe is almonds. The first step in making this cream is to make sure that almonds are not stale. The rancid taste and smell of stale almonds not only results in foul-tasting cream, it can potentially also harm your health (stay tuned for more information).
To sweeten the almond whipped cream, you can either use only dates or a combination of dates and maple syrup (can sub with honey). If you decide the use the date and maple syrup combination, be aware that maple syrup adds a very faint maple-ish taste to the cream. If you plan on using the cream where you don’t want the maple taste to show up, use only dates to sweeten the cream. I find dates to be the best choice of sweetener in this almond whipped cream, as it adds body to the cream and does not interfere with the taste.
Choice of flavoring agents such as vanilla or ground cinnamon is totally optional. If you know in advance how you are going to use the cream, it is best to add it before the blending process ; you can also add flavors during the whipping process depending upon the end use of the cream. With my chocolate cake (see the pic below), I added 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla to the cream. In making tea sandwiches, I added 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
The most important step in making this multipurpose almond whipped cream is to blanch the almonds. Normally, you would not soak almonds to blanch them. But in making this cream it is best to soak almonds overnight. If you are short on time, you can soak the almonds in hot (not boiling) water for at least four hours. Greater almond soak time results in creamier almond whipped cream.
Once the soaking process if over, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Drain and rinse almonds and boil for 60-75 seconds. If you have not soaked almonds overnight, you can boil up to 120 seconds (2 minutes). Immediately drain almonds in a colander and rinse with room temperature water. Draining and rinsing almonds at both stages helps to get rid of anti-nutritents such as phytates in almonds (more on this later). Peel the almonds by squeezing between thumb and fingers.
Add the blanched and peeled almonds to a blender with water, dates, and maple syrup (if using). If you know the choice of flavor– such as vanilla, ground cinnamon, etc.–you want to use, you can add that as well. Blend on high speed till well-mixed and creamy in texture.
Transfer the creamy almond mixture to a big bowl and use either a whisk or a hand mixer to whip the cream. Whip on medium speed till you see some soft peaks forming on the surface. The whipping process aerates the cream and makes it a little lighter as ell. You can use the cream immediately, but it tastes betters once refrigerated for at least 20-30 minutes. Enjoy this cream with strawberries, on a stack of pancakes, cakes, pies, and in tea sandwiches, and more.
NOTE: If you use metric system for measuring ingredients, please click on “Metric” in the recipe box.
Multipurpose Almond Whipped Cream
- 1 cup almonds (whole, raw)
- 1 cup water filtered
- 2 dates (preferably Medjool variety)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (can sub with honey)*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- Soak the almonds overnight in cold water. If short on time, soak in hot (not boiling) water for at least four hours.
- Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add raw, soaked almonds to the boiling water and boil for 60-75 seconds. Drain the almonds in a colander and rinse with (room temperature) water.
- Peel the almonds by gently squeezing between thumb, index, and middle fingers.
- Add the blanched and peeled almonds to a blender with filtered water, dates, and maple syrup. If using flavors such as vanilla or ground cinnamon, add that as well. Whip the cream either with a whisk or a hand mixer on medium speed till the cream is throughly aerated and forms soft peaks (about 1 minute).
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Enjoy.
- please note that honey is not a vegan ingredient. If you are a pure vegan, add 2 more dates to replace maple syrup.
- For cakes, pie and pancake topping add 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract with all the ingredients before blending.
- To use the cream in tea sandwiches, sweeten the cream with just 1 date and can add 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.
- Add only 1 date+ 1tsp maple syrup to the recipe instead of 2 dates+2tbsp maple syrup
- To make it even lower sugar, add 1 date to the entire recipe