Vegan cream substitute

I made a small batch of this for use in my vegan 'cream' of broccoli soup and it's quite good. Not that you could make whipped topping or put it in your coffee, but in an otherwise flavorful vegetable soup it does thicken it up and make a creamy sort of soup with significantly less fat and calories than actual cream.

A cup of cream substitute is 247 calories. A cup of actual heavy whipping cream is 820 calories and also very high in saturated fat. Even if you're not a vegan, you may want to try this cream substitute as a way to cut calories and saturated fats from recipes that use cream.

It's a pain to make a small amount of roux so now I make an entire container of milk-replacement, 32 oz., at a time. I'm going to try freezing it; I don't see an obvious reason why it won't work, but we'll see.

1.0 oz. olive oil (4 tbsp.)
1.7 oz. flour (6 tbsp. or 3/8 cup)
32 oz. unsweetened, unflavored almond milk (or other milk substitute)

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Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil then the flour and mix so all of the oil is absorbed into the flour.

Cook for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. You will probably need to lower the heat as the cooking progresses to prevent it from burning, but you want to make sure the floury taste gets cooked out.

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Add the milk substitute a little at a time, whisking constantly to get the flour to incorporate. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.

Once partially combined you can speed up the process by using a stick blender.

Once boiling, reduce the heat and continue to cook until it becomes thick and smooth.

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Remove from the heat and let cool a little. Strain into a suitable container; I like to use a large Pyrex measuring cup since it makes pouring it out and measuring it much easier. You should have about 20 oz. to 24 oz. of cream substitute.

I vacuum sealed it, but that's not really necessary.

vegancream4.jpgEstimated nutrition information for 8 oz. of cream substitute from caloriecount.about.com:

vegancream7.jpgThe fat, however, is from olive oil, so it's healthy, mono-unsaturated fat. And it's surprisingly high in protein!

8 fluid oz. of cream substitute weighs 8.5 oz.

This recipe is vegan, and therefore also vegetarian and dairy-free.

It probably would work using rice flour and would then be gluten-free.

It does contain tree nuts (almonds in the almond milk), but you could easily substitute hemp, soy, or rice milk that's unflavored and unsweetened.