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Nov 15, 2007 07:14 AM

Alternative to 1/2 & 1/2

Is there a healthier alternative to half and half that’s just as tasty? I want to make oyster stew without all the fat. (A little is fine)

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  1. I'm wary of this stuff -- but back in the dieting days, I was known to use fat-free half-and-half in soups and bisques. It works just fine. What about whole milk?

    1. Many people swear by evaporated milk as a sub for cream. No, it's not the same, but if it's fat you're looking to reduce it's a good pick.

      1. I often substitute with evaporated milk (NOT CONDENSED!) Evap is milk with the water removed, so it tastes richer in the same way a reduced stock is richer. I think it tastes and offers a consistency close to that of half-and-half in soups and stews.

        1. RVAwino, what did you end up doing to lighten up your oyster stew recipe and how did it turn out? We have a must-be-served-at-holidays family recipe that calls for 1/2 and 1/2 and lots of butter. Did you try either the fat free half and half or the evap milk?

          Is there anything you can do to substitute for the butter?

          I'm hoping to lighten this soup up--a lot.


          2 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I used a combination of evaporated milk and whole milk. It was quite tasty I thought. I think the oyster liquor will add all the flavor needed to whatever you use. Oh, and I sautéed some shallots in olive oil, no butter. I'm not sure what your making, but it worked for this dish.
            If I don't want to use butter in a dish, I'll use Earth Balance Vegan Butter. A little less fat with great butter taste.

            1. re: RVAwino

              Sorry, I should have said we had a must-be-served-at-the-holidays family recipe for OYSTER STEW... I, too, am making oyster stew.

              I'm glad to hear yours turned out well. I'm going to be doing some experimenting...


          2. Creme fraiche (sp?) has been used by Cuisine Minceur Michel Gerard to make a sauce creamy without tons of calories. He uses a tablespoon or two, at most, for a whole batch of sauce and swirls it in to thicken it and to make its mouthfeel like very highly caloric cream and half and half. You might try it. Here's a quote about making it: "1 cup heavy cream into a clean jar, add 1 tablespoon buttermilk or yogurt, cover the jar tightly, and shake it for about a minute. Then just
            leave the jar on the counter for 12 to 24 hours, or until the crème fraîche thickens slightly. How quickly it thickens will depend on the temperature
            of the room – the warmer the room, the quicker the thickening action.
            When it has thickened, chill the crème fraîche in the refrigerator for a day before you use it. Crème fraîche can be kept covered in the refrigerator
            for about 2 weeks and (or but, depending on your taste) will get tangier
            and tangier day after day," from la belle cusine."