A Substitute for Heavy Cream in Quiche

Quiche has the reputation for being pretentious, but nothing could be simpler. Most quiche fillings start with a base of heavy cream to which shredded cheese, bits of meat and a few vegetables are added. During baking, cream combines with the eggs to form a savory, tender custard. Although nothing will create quite the same taste as cream, other dairy products can stand in for a healthier dish that's lower in both calories and saturated fat.

Baked quiche. (Image: Masopasi/iStock/Getty Images)

Trim the Fat

If you'd like to replace heavy whipping cream from quiche to trim fat, you've got plenty of options. Heavy whipping cream contains 36 percent milk fat, making it a far cry from diet fare. Each cup contains 821 calories and 88 grams of fat. Swap out some or all of the whipping cream with half-and-half, table cream, evaporated milk or regular low-fat milk for a healthier dish. Of all these choices, evaporated milk probably offers the best compromise between flavor and health. It offers a creamier texture than low-fat milk but is lower in fat than table cream or half-and-half. One cup of half-and-half, for example, has 315 calories and 28 grams of fat. One cup of evaporated milk has 340 calories -- slightly more than the half-and-half -- but only 10 grams of fat. Low-fat Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese also help create a creamy texture with less fat.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

For a quiche that's low in fat and calories and lactose-free to boot, try substituting almond or soy milk for the cream. Use a plain variety, rather than vanilla, in this savory dish.

Healthy Strategies

Replacing some or all of the heavy cream in a quiche can cut calories and fat quickly, but don't stop there. Try using a hash brown crust, rather than a traditional shortening crust. Microwave a potato until tender and peel and grate it. Press the grated potato into a pie shell. The grated potatoes add a bit of heft to the quiche without the saturated fat found in pie crust. Cut back on the cheese, meat and sausage, and bump up the amount of veggies in the quiche. If you really love the taste of full-fat, full-flavor quiche, though, simply make it a once-in-a-while indulgence and eat small portions.

For Safety's Sake

Like all products made with eggs, quiche has the potential to cause foodborne illness. To keep your quiche safe, use only fresh, unbroken eggs that have been refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the quiche until the center is firm -- not wiggly -- and a thermometer inserted in the middle registers 160 F. Freeze or refrigerate any leftovers promptly and reheat them to 165 F, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Whole eggs contain saturated fat; you may want to make an egg white quiche instead.

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