Sour Cream and Creme Fraiche

One of the things that has surprised me since being on this real food journey is just how good for you some foods are that I had totally discounted as anything but a way to add taste and calories.

I knew that yogurt was beneficial and I’ve since learned all about kefir, but I hadn’t considered sour cream and I barely knew about creme fraiche.  Both are lacto-fermented foods just like yogurt and kefir are, and both are packed full of immune boosting probiotics and digestive aiding enzymes.

Creme Fraiche on Berries
Photo Credit: Mmm... creme fraiche by Jeffreyw
Licensed under CC BY 2.0/Added text and filter
I get so happy when I realize that something I love and tastes so good is also so good for me!

Another thing that both surprises me and makes me happy is just how easy some of these foods are to make.

All it takes is a little advance planning and some patience.

Sour cream and creme fraiche are very similar, the only difference is their consistency.

Creme Fraiche 

Creme fraiche is not as thick.  As you can probably tell from its name, it’s an ingredient used in French cooking.  Even though I am not well versed in French cuisine, I have come to love having creme fraiche available in my kitchen as...

  • A cream sauce for the south of the border dishes I like to make.
  • A delicious topping for fresh fruit.
  • A great base for creamy dips and salad dressings.
  • A topping for potato pancakes.

Sour Cream on Burritos
Photo Credit: Mmm... burritos with corn salad by jeffreyw
Licensed under CC BY 2.0/Cropped and enhanced

Sour Cream

Of course sour cream is wonderful on a baked potato or can also be used in many of the same ways as the creme fraiche.  And for that matter, the creme fraiche can be used on a baked potato.  It really all depends on if you prefer a thicker or a thinner topping.

How To Make Your Own

I learned how to make my own sour cream and creme fraiche from Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist.  You will need cream and kefir.

Ideally one would use raw cream, but if that is not an option for you, feel free to use pasteurized cream. Just make sure that it is not ultra-pasteurized.  And cream from grass-fed cows would be wonderful.

Of course you can use your own kefir.  But if you do not make your own kefir you can buy some at the store.  Just make sure that it is full-fat milk kefir.  That is sometimes hard to find.  Many store-bought yogurts and kefirs are low-fat.  I guess they haven’t gotten the memo yet on the benefits of saturated fats.

I use Lifeway Organic Kefir, which works very well.

Lifeway Organic Kefir Bottle

Now that you have the right ingredients you’re ready to make your own sour cream and/or creme fraiche.  You can find the recipes here.  You'll see for yourself just how easy it is.

Oh, and don't be alarmed if the mixture separates and looks watery on the bottom.  Just stir and refrierate after it has sat on the counter for 24 hours.  And don't be afraid to leave it out.  It really is okay and it really does work! 

Your sour cream or creme fraiche will stay fresh for quite awhile.  But it is so delicious it probably won't be too long before you will want to make another batch.


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