I recently bought an item online that I never would’ve considered purchasing before… powdered heavy cream. I was looking for shelf-stable milk, because I like having extra milk on hand for cooking. We don’t consume much fresh dairy in our house, and the grocery stores aren’t always open when I need dairy in a hurry, so I figured having a pound of powdered heavy cream wouldn’t be a bad thing.
We’ve been using powdered buttermilk in some of our baking for years (even though with milk and white vinegar, you can easily make your own buttermilk at home). And now, powdered heavy cream is an option, when regular ol’ fresh dairy isn’t.
Before we moved to the Davis Mountains, we lived no more than five minutes from two large grocery stores that were open until 11 p.m. and even all night if we wanted to brave it… out here, you’d better have everything you need for all your cooking and baking, essentially before the sun goes down.
I’ve learned it’s best to always be prepared for any culinary whim that might strike. And while it sounds kinda gross, having in your pantry powdered eggs, powdered milk and even powdered heavy cream isn’t a bad idea. Fresh is always best, but dehydrated will certainly work as well.
Dehydrating food has been popular since 12,000 B.C.E., when evidence suggests that Egyptians were using the desert heat to dry fish and poultry. I know we’ve personally used the high desert heat to dry fruit.
But drying fruit and meats is much different than drying liquids like milk and cream. Spray drying is the technique used to create powders of milk, egg, ice cream, cheese and fruit juice. Fluid foods are forced through a nozzle, transformed into airborne droplets and then introduced to hot, dry air.
What is powdered cream? Powdered cream, or dried cream powder, is the result of removing water from fresh cream. Powdered heavy cream, like the one I’m using, has a butterfat content of 72%, and the label states that it contains only “Sweet Cream Solids” that are “Naturally Gluten Free. Hormone rBGH and rBST free.” I prefer using the highest fat content available because if you use anything touting “low fat”, you can rest assured that it’s going to be higher in sugar, which is never a healthy thing.
To change the powder to a recognizable state again, all you have to do is add water. Unlike other fresh milk or dairy products, it has an incredibly long shelf life and can be kept in storage for over 12 months, which is exactly what I was looking for in my powdered dairy.
It can be added directly to baked goods, soups, sauces, and smoothies. In these items, you don’t even need to add any moisture or water to the mix since there is already moisture in the other ingredients of the recipe. Just add one serving of powdered cream, and your soups, sauces, or smoothies will thicken and become richer than before.
With only 45 calories per serving (1 tablespoon, 6 grams) and Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium, this low-carb cream option is terrific for anyone following a ketogenic diet plan.
This powdered heavy cream has many uses, and I’m excited to put them into play. You can use it in sweet baked items instead of milk. Whisking the powder with cold water, you can add it to coffee or tea as a creamer. Or, you can use it straight without any added liquid to give your food and beverages a rich, creamy taste and texture.
I’ve actually already mixed it with chicken broth to make a cream of chicken base for a soup, and it was so much better than canned cream of chicken, with no added MSG or other unhealthy ingredients.
Shelf-Stable Creamy Chicken Soup Mix Recipe
2 cups dry cream powder (or milk powder if you prefer)
2-1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
1/4 cup chicken broth powder
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
Mix all the ingredients together well in a large bowl, and equally distribute among 3 pint-size jars or halve the recipe for one 1-quart jar.
To serve, mix 1/2 cup of the soup mix with 1-1/4 cup water (or milk). You should be able to substitute it in any recipe needing cream of chicken soup mix.
To use this in place of cream of mushroom soup, add a few washed and sliced mushrooms to whatever dish you are making, along with the liquid mix.