We’ve all aimed a canister of Reddi Whip directly into our mouths just for fun. Sometimes I use an entire canister up just by feeding it all to myself in this way. Well, maybe skip the Cool Whip next time you’re looking to accessorize a slice of pie or scoop of ice cream.
Why pack on the high-fructose corn syrup and trans fat when you can flex your culinary muscles and make your own dollop of sweet cream? While the ready-made stuff is convenient and lasts a while (although, who are we kidding, whipped cream doesn’t last very long in my house), it’s -- surprise -- not exactly great for you.
I mean, I’m not going to preach and say that any whipped topping is inherently healthy, but if there’s a way to cut out the chemicals that go into preserved Cool Whip and the like, shouldn’t you take that road instead?
The answer is yes. And it’s easy enough!
Finding a homemade whipped cream recipe is as easy as hopping on Pinterest or doing a quick Google search, but once you find one that works for you, you’ll never go back to the Reddi Whip section of the grocery store again. Some methods require only two ingredients -- sugar and heavy whipping cream -- and you can make it just by whisking or mixing until you get some stiff peaks. If you want to get fancy, some recipes call for the use of coconut cream and a hand mixer for a dairy-free alternative, and others understand the need to satisfy your sweet tooth and involve as much sugar as is appropriate.
You’ll also see vanilla extract in a lot of ingredient lists. Natural sweetener FTW.
So, the ingredients are simple enough -- as long as you stick to the basics and remove the need for preservation chemicals and added corn syrup, like the whipped cream brands you know and love, you’re in the clear. But knowing some tips and tricks doesn’t hurt.
- Get everything chilled first. Even if you’re using an electric mixer, get your tools and ingredients nice and cold before you start whisking away -- throw them in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Quicker is better. The faster you whisk, whether by hand or not, the better the peaks and the fluffier your cream will come out.
- Be mindful of your measurements. Heavy cream tends to double in volume once it’s whipped. Not that too much whipped cream has ever been a problem for anyone.
- Adding a “stabilizer” can be helpful. To essentially thicken up your whipped cream, most store-bought brands use gelatin, which may not be your first choice when looking to keep it as natural as possible. Powdered sugar works as an alternative.
- Heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are not the same! Although you can use either one, whipping cream has a higher fat content that produces a better shape and thicker whipped cream.