Sometimes things are right in front of you. I bought some heavy whipping cream a couple of weeks ago to make a sauce. I bought the little pint job and used most of it. There was a little left over and it soon became relegated to the space behind the milk. Out of sight, out of mind. I happened on it and it was still a few days before it's expiration. Not wanting to waste it I began using it in my coffee. Delightful.
I picked up a quart this time because by volume it is cheaper. This morning as I added it to my coffee I was hearing Mel in my ear telling me how bad that heavy cream is for me. If there was only some way to cut the amount of fat in half...I am blonde remember this.
Half & Half is exactly that. Half milk and half cream or heavy whipping cream. Here's the beauty of buying the heavy whipping cream by the quart (2 pints). Use 1/4 of it (1/2 pint) and use the same amount of milk and you now have great tasting coffee creamer. Get creative and add vanilla extract, almond flavoring, hazelnut flavoring, pumpkin pie spice, etc and you have your own coffee flavoring for a fraction of the cost.
You also have 3/4 of quart of heavy whipping cream left which is equivalent to 1 1/2 pints or 3 cups. Now here comes the fun part. You need to make sure that you use organic everything because you need the natural cultures that are present.
From 2 cups of heavy whipping cream (1 pint) placed into a jar with a lid and shaken like crazy you will get butter and buttermilk. Push the butter through a strainer or cheese cloth to get the excess butter milk and curds out, then salt to taste - or add honey or garlic or rosemary or thyme, or !!! - and you have the best tasting butter you will ever have. It will stay good for about a week but it all depends on if you get all the curds out of it. It is the curds that will make it spoil. The amount you make from 2 cups is very manageable that I doubt it would last a week. There are ways to store the butter for longer. Look up a French butter bell crock. I plan to try that and use making butter as my default when my heavy whipping cream is about to spoil and I don't need any of the other products.
I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the whisk attachment. Since I use my mixer there is a point where the cream becomes whipped and starts to "stand up." At this point if you add sugar and vanilla extract and just mix till blended you have really creamy whipped cream that goes great on hot chocolate. If you push beyond this point the cream gets a fluffy spread like texture that tastes like butter. Keep going and the butter separates out into solid chunks and there is a pool of buttermilk in the mixer. Pretty neat.
From 2 cups of heavy whipping cream (1 pint) placed into a jar with a lid, if you add 1 tbsp of cultured buttermilk or 1/4 cup of sour cream, shake the heck out of it, let it stand at room temperature for 24-48 hours (or until it thickens) and you will have the best tasting sour cream you have ever had. This will also last a week in the fridge. One little note though, the last time I made sour cream I had organic cultured buttermilk so I added a tbsp from that. This time when I make it I will take a 1/4 cup from some organic sour cream I bought. I have not used the buttermilk made from heavy whipping cream so I don't know if it has the cultures needed. But I will try it and let you know.
You will still have some heavy cream left over. Use it for more coffee creamer or to make a sauce. Plus the amounts I gave can always be scaled up.
So buying all that extra stuff at the store is unnecessary. Besides that stuff isn't cheap. Another added benefit is that you aren't wasting stuff. I don't know about you but I always come across a can of whipped cream out of gas or half a tub of sour cream growing mold. Now you can make all your stuff to order with just minutes of prep and a little planning ahead. Lastly, anything that you make from scratch tends to taste better than store bought.
Keep track of how much that saves you and put it towards a debt you may have. That way you are two steps closer to financial freedom and self-sufficiency!