This Is The Best Vegan Substitute For Heavy Cream

True fact: a lot of the best things in life contain heavy cream. Ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce, coffee with cream, creamy never ends. There's just something so satisfying about a strawberry shortcake with cream, or a rich pasta sauce with a splash of cream. But if you're one who gets a stomachache every time you eat too much dairy, or you're abstaining from animal products — heck, you could just want to try out a new creamy flavoring — then you'll want a heavy cream substitute, and here's one that probably won't sit unused in your fridge for days until it goes bad.

You may have already stumbled upon non-dairy creamers in the milk aisle: there's everything from almond creamer to oat to soy, and every combination in between. But are you really going to make soup with that $4 almond coffee creamer? We think not. Alisa Fleming, author of "Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook," has an alternative (via Go Dairy Free).

Try coconut cream in ice cream, coffee, soups, and sauces

Fleming recommends coconut cream, which is the rich, fatty part of full fat coconut milk that can be separated out (via The Spruce Eats). You can go one of two ways with this: some stores, like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, sell coconut cream by itself, which means your work is done. You can also buy a can of full-fat coconut milk and stick it in the fridge for a time until it separates — Fleming says an hour will do it — but others say it needs to separate overnight (via Gimme Some Oven).

Once the can has sat in the fridge, you can use the solid part only to substitute for heavy cream in meaty dishes, or even to make vegan whipped cream or ice cream (via Go Dairy Free and the Spruce Eats). You can also make a lighter cream by blending one part coconut cream with one part silken tofu for a smooth addition to soups and sauces. For a delicious addition to coffee, try blending together a mixture of half coconut cream and half non-dairy milk for a vegan "half and half" (via Go Dairy Free). The sky is the limit for ideas — coconut cream vegan eggnog for the holidays? Yeah, that's on our list now, too.