As a child I remember Cool Whip® non-dairy whipped topping. My mother spooned it over Jell-O, added it to Jell-O parfaits and pumpkin pie and who knows what else. I only remember that it was a staple food when I was growing up. In my early teens, I folded Cool Whip® into no-bake fruit yogurt pies that my aunt taught me how to make.
We didn’t know any better. I’d probably never had real whipped cream when I was introduced to the artificial stuff. If I had and if someone had showed me how easy it was to whip cream the old fashioned way, I believe I would have enjoyed helping my mother make it and I would have made it that way by the time I was in sixth grade, when my mother allowed me to play in the kitchen ( baking) anytime I wanted—without having to ask permission or have supervision.
After all, I was making cream puffs, beignets, crepes, apple crumble, and a wide assortment of cookies and cakes from scratch on my own in seventh grade. Surely I could have poured heavy cream into a bowl, turned on my trusty hand mixer, and added a little sugar (or honey if someone had suggested that) and served that over berries for dessert if someone had shown me how. Thank heavens I know how now!
Ever wondered what’s in Cool Whip or taken the time to read the label? If so, I hope you decided never to eat the synthetic stuff again.
According to Wikipedia, Cool Whip is synthesized from water, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oil (CPKO), sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), vanilla extract, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60 (glycosperse), and beta carotene. In some markets, such as Canada and the United States, Cool Whip is available in an aerosol can using nitrous oxide as a propellant.
Amazing that it ever got passed off as non-dairy because it contains a milk derivitive, sodium caseinate. Jewish people who keep kosher consider Cool Whip® dairy and not parve. This means they won’t eat it at the same meal as meat. Personally, I don’t think anyone should eat Cool Whip–––at any meal, ever! It’s not real food.
Although I prefer to follow a mostly dairy-free diet, I do eat milk products on occasion. Turning heavy cream into whipped cream takes less time than driving to the store. Once you try it, and I hope you will, if you tolerate trace amounts of milk protein, you won’t want to eat store bought imitations.
Freshly whipped cream keeps its shape for several days in the fridge. To stabilize the texture for even better results, you can stabilize it with unflavored gelatin (see tips below) or agar agar powder (not the flakes). You’ll find so many delicious ways to serve it.
Whipped Cream with Stevia
Hands-on: 5 minutes/ Cooking: 0 / Yield: 4 cups; 8 or more servings
By using a tiny amount of stevia I can reduce or eliminate the need for caloric sweeteners. If I do add sweetener, I prefer raw, locally produced honey. I enjoy spooning the whipped cream over fresh berries or folding it into my favorite Chestnut Chocolate Mousse. For an even lower carb dessert, serve whipped cream on it’s own in parfait dishes or custard cups garnished with cocoa nibs. See tips below for Stabilizing Whipped Cream.
Shopping tips: If possible buy cream from a local, raw dairy. Barring that, look for cream labeled Rbgh-free or Rbst-free, which means the cows weren’t on drugs. Avoid ultra-pasteurized cream; it's harder to whip (but not impossible), and the texture isn’t the same. It helps to use a metal bowl and to put the beaters and bowl in the freezer for 15 or more minutes before using if you do use ultra-pasteurized cream.
16 ounces (2 cups) hormone-free heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder (a brand with nothing added to it)
1 to 3 tablespoons light colored honey, optional
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or alcohol-free vanilla flavoring (double if desired)
1/4 cup cocoa nibs for garnish, optional
1. In an impeccably clean glass or metal bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer on low speed, then slowly increase the speed. Set the mixer so it goes as fast as possible without splashing. Don’t start on high or the cream will go all over the place.
2. As the cream thickens, turn up the speed up. As it gets foamier, start checking for a soft peak, which is what you want. The peak should bend over at the top when you remove the whisk. As it gets thick, slow down, because if it goes too far, it will clump and separate and turn into butter.
3. Add the stevia and vanilla and beat briefly to distribute. Taste, then add 1 tablespoons honey, and repeat. Taste and add additional honey 1 tablespoons at a time as needed for your tastes. Note: Beat only enough to combine, or until stiff peaks form, as you prefer.
4. Divide the mixture between 8 wine glasses, custard cups, or parfait glasses or spoon into a wide mouth jar or a bowl with a lid. Cover and refrigerate unused portions and use within 5 days.
* Stabilized Whipped Cream: If you want whipped cream to keep the best texture and you plan to store it for more than a few days, try this. In a small saucepan, sprinkle 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin over 1 tablespoon cold water and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Heat until the gelatin melts. Add to 1 cup (unwhipped) whipping cream, whisking until gelatin and cream are well blended. Chill for 1 hour. Beat with electric mixer (as described above) until cream is thick and holds its shape. It will thicken even more as it sets in refrigerator.
* Stabilized Whipped Cream with Agar Agar Powder: In the variation above, replace unflavored gelatin with 1/3 teaspoon agar agar powder (not the flakes). Proceed as directed above.