6 Comments

Whip It Good: Whipping Cream Less Plastic

Blackberries and Cream, Whipped

Do you want whipped cream on your dessert? In your coffee? Whisk up your own fluffy white cloud of cream and skip the sort that comes in the metal and plastic canister.  Standard paper cartons of whipping cream from your local grocery store do have a plastic liner, so when you’re done with the carton, send it to your local recycling facility if possible (ours started accepting these recently). I reuse the cartons to freeze soup and we’ve built little houses for my daughters’ tiny toy animals from them, too. If you’re lucky enough to have access to whipping cream in a glass jar, or better yet, straight from the cow, by all means go that route.

Fresh Berries Smashed into Whipped Cream

I know this one is easy if you already know how, but I’ve run into a few friends who always buy the canisters because they think it’s hard to make their own. Here are simple directions for Whipped Cream Less Plastic:

  • Pour your whipped cream into a bowl. You want a bowl that’s large enough that your cream fills it about 1/3 of the way. There’s no need to measure unless you’re following a recipe. If you need a lot of whipped cream, use a lot of liquid cream in a large bowl; for less, use less in a smaller bowl. Do this once and you’ll be able to eyeball if forever after.

Whisk, Whisk, Whisk!

  • Whisk away! Use your whisk to trap air in the cream – Moving your whisk in circles down one side of the bowl, across the bottom, back up the other side and around again (and again) does the trick.

DIY Whipped Cream

  • Stop when soft peaks have formed and hold their shape. Don’t whisk too long, or you’ll end up with lumpy almost-butter. You can use an electric mixer for this, but you’ll want to go slowly to avoid crossing from cream to butter. Why not whisk it by hand and build a bit of muscle?
  • Add sweetener or flavorings as desired – A dash of maple syrup lends a lovely flavor for fall pies, or a bit of powdered sugar will dissolve quickly. We like ours without any sugar, with just a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Use as desired. Enjoy.

If I haven’t convinced you to whip up your own cream, and you’re still going to use the sort in the metal canisters, here’s a video that shows you how to prepare your empty canisters for safe recycling of the metal.

Whipped Cream Clouds in My Coffee

I’m going to pick more blackberries for a pie less plastic to go with this bowl I just whisked up. What’s your favorite use for whipping cream?

6 comments on “Whip It Good: Whipping Cream Less Plastic

  1. I always make my own whipped cream — it is ever so easy and so very, very worth it! I do use cream that comes in those paper/plastic cartons. You say “send it to your local recycling facility” — but I’m not so sure about that. In my area we drop off our various items for recycling — paper, cardboard, plastics, and metal cans — but I don’t believe there is anywhere that those types of cartons fit in. Do you (or anyone) know if there are really recycling facilities around that take such cartons and that they are really and truly recycled?

    • Hi Amy – My own municipal recycling facility just started accepting all paper-over-plastic dairy cartons, and I’m hoping other facilities will be following suit. The cartons are hydropulped so that the paper is freed from the polyethylene. According to Waste Management, the pulp is reclaimed for paper products such as tissue and paper towels while the polyethylene is reclaimed for use in furniture, as an energy source (scary, but true for many plastics we send out via recycling bins), or further refining into paraffin. Also, sometimes the cartons are treated as “mixed paper”, which doesn’t require the separation of paper & plastic (just like all those pieces of plastic-windowed junk mail). http://thinkgreen.com/recycle-what-detail?sec=paper-and-cardboard&prod=paper-cardboard-dairy-juice

      There’s no such thing as closed loop plastic, so I’d prefer my dairy to be packaged plastic-free. Sadly, I can’t find a local source that’s entirely plastic-free, so I’m stuck picking between the lesser of the evils, a choice that changes all the time, it seems. When we were dairy-free for 3+ years, many of our alternative products came in even worse packaging. Thanks to my work over the past few years, I’ve come to think of recycling as mostly a sham, but I do buy paper/plastic gable-top cartons of whipping cream and milk from a local dairy now that I can put the cartons into my recycling bin.

      • Thanks so much for all your great information. I think my area is probably far from being able to accept such items — ahh, well. Yes, I understand about the general recycling “sham,” and continue to try and reduce as much as I can (or able and willing). I wish I had the option of milk/cream in glass, but it just doesn’t exist around these parts. . . . yet! I have high hopes. Thanks again.

  2. SOoo much better fresh, and in coffee? Absolutely delicious. Great photos!

  3. […] Oh, and you might try to look into alternatives to aerosols and those plastic-and-metal canisters in the first place, like this super delicious post about whipped cream less plastic. […]

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