Thursday, January 9, 2014

Homemade Dairy-Free Sour Cream (nut-free, soy-free, vegan)

Do you ever crave that rich, creamy taste of sour cream but are sensitive to dairy products? I created a very simple replacement for sour cream that can be dolloped over baked potatoes or yams, spooned over beans and rice, added to tacos, used to make a layered taco salad, or used to make no-bake "cheesecakes"!! Seriously, where can't you add a spoonful of this rich dairy-free sour cream?

This recipe can actually be found in our brand new, completely revised Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I created a whole new chapter entitled "Get Cultured!" full of healthy cultured foods like this one. Think Live Hot Pepper Relish, Pickled Basil Beets, Kombucha (with flavor variations), Coconut Milk Yogurt, and so much more! I just couldn't wait to share this recipe with you so I decided to post it today. If you are interested, our new book releases on April 29th, 2014, and is available for preorder now!

Soured Coconut Cream

This is a great replacement for dairy sour cream—it’s so simple to make! Use it to top bean soups, enchiladas, or tacos—basically anywhere sour cream is called for. Be sure to use the full fat coconut milk, not the light variety. For the probiotic powder, we use Klaire Labs Therbiotic Complete powder.

2 cans coconut milk, chilled
1 teaspoon probiotic powder
pinch sea salt

Place the two cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. Then open the cans and scoop off the thick white cream at the top. Pour off the water into a jar (use it to make smoothies).

Heat the coconut cream in a small saucepan over the lowest heat to about 97-98 degrees F. Then remove pan from stove and whisk in probiotic powder. Pour into a clean quart jar, cover with a clean dishtowel secured with a rubber band.

Let the jar sit out for about 24 to 48 hours on your kitchen counter to culture. Then stir in a pinch or two of sea salt, cover jar with a lid, and place into the refrigerator to solidify. Use as desired. Source:

Yield: 1 to 3 cups (varies depending on how much cream is in each can)

Note: Depending on the temperature where your coconut milk is stored, you may not need to refrigerate the cans to get the cream and water to separate. In the wintertime my pantry is cool enough to keep the fat and water separated so I just open the cans and get started right away on this recipe.

More Dairy-Free Recipes:


  1. Ali,
    We have been making your cashew sour cream for a long time now. This looks like a great change - I like that it does not have nuts! Can't wait to see your new book!

  2. What kind of probiotic powder do you use?

  3. Is the probiotic powder dairy-free? If not, is there one that you recommend? Thanks!

  4. Hi, thanks for this! How long does it stay good in the fridge once you make it? And can you make a smaller amount, say, one can? Then would you use half the probiotic?

  5. After the cream is cultured and back in the fridge, how long will it last?

  6. I was excited when this recipe came through my feed as a 'nut-free' homemade sour cream, but unfortunately coconuts are nuts. With my allergy to tree-nuts I could not eat this sour cream.

  7. This looks great and I can't wait to try it! Also highly looking forward to the new book.

    Cv, yes Klaire Labs probiotics are completely allergen free as we used to use this probiotic for our dairy, soy, egg, and tree nut allergic daughter. Its a trust worthy brand for sure but do make sure to look at the label for safety measures.

    Anon regarding coconuts, while it has been declared by some that coconuts are in the nut family, this is not actually true. It's from a seed family and not related. My daughter is allergic to all tree nuts but can eat coconuts with no problems. My son is allergic to coconuts but can eat tree nuts. If your allergy tests show you can not eat coconuts that is one thing but please do know they are not related.

  8. LOVE this, Ali! Hope to be in touch more this year. I am pinning and will try to share in other ways too!

  9. Thanks for your continued dedication to healthy foods. I'm curious if you think hazelnuts would be a good substitute for the sour cream because they are less acidic and cashews are very acidic. thanks again. I preordered your new book ... April seems like eons away. :-)
    Avocado Chick

  10. thanks for all you do to invest time, effort and your experience in creating healthy recipes. I'm curious if hazelnuts would be a substitute for the cashews. I follow an alkaline lifestyle and cashews are more acidic. Thanks again. I pre ordered your cookbook - April seems like eons away. Thanks again, Avocado Chick

  11. HI, thanks for this recipe. Is there anything else I can use as a probiotic? Klaire won't allow me to buy their product because I am not a doctor or patient.

  12. how long can the coconut sour cream stay in the fridge? any other ideas about storing?

  13. How can you get the probiotic without being a dealer? Can you give us the code?

  14. I tried this with a different probiotic, and it worked GREAT!!! The taste and texture are so lovely - thank you for sharing this!!!
    Since it's fermented, will it last a long long time in the fridge? I'd love feedback about that b/c we don't use sour cream that much. I think it would work with any probiotic. Awesome DF sour cream!!!

  15. I am confused. Doesn't it depend on what kind of cultures are in the probiotic we're using for what temperature it is fermented at (mesophilic 70-80 degrees or thermophlic 105-112 degrees)? And if we are to ferment at room temperature as the recipe calls for, we must therefor be trying to encourage growth of the mesophilic microbes in the probiotic. Why, then, are we heating it to 98 degrees if mesophilic microbes die above 85 degrees? Any clarification is appreciated. Thank you!

  16. Hi everyone!

    This coconut sour cream should last a week or two in the fridge. It usually disappears before that in our house. :)

  17. Anon- Coconuts are not tree nuts. People with tree nut allergies can safely eat coconuts/coconut milk/flour etc., unless they are allergic to coconut that is.

  18. G - I believe that most of the bacteria in good probiotic powders are predominately thermophiles. Mesophilic bacteria don't die at 85 degrees…they can survive in temps of up to around 110 degrees F. You could certainly culture this coconut cream like you do yogurt, with a heating pad around it or in a yogurt maker. I imagine if you did it this way it might only take 4 to 8 hours! I heat up the cream to help wake up the bacteria. There are so many ways to ferment and culture foods. Bacteria always have a range in which they thrive and then a range in which they can survive. My method for this cultured coconut cream is just one way, a very easy way that many people can jump right into without needing any fancy equipment. It works, I've made it so many times in different seasons, and even with different brands of probiotics. I get the same results every time. Try it and let me know what you think. :)

  19. Thanks, Ali. I had read that mesophilic microbes die above 85*F in the Cultures for Health Yogurt Guide, so it sounds like perhaps that was inaccurate information. I made this recipe using BioKult probiotic and fermented it in a Boss Pickler jar at 60-70*F (house cools off at night) for about 48 hours and it smells like sour cream. Used it to make a dill dip and the family was very pleased, said it tasted like a sour cream dip. Thanks for the great recipe!

    On another note, does the new cookbook coming out have more photos? It is so helpful to have a photo of a new recipe to know what it is supposed to look like. I always enjoy your recipes, and I have the first edition of the cookbook, but find myself only making the recipes that have pictures on the blog. :(

  20. G- Cultures For Health is an amazing site and resource so I don't think they are so much inaccurate. It's just that the top range in mesophiles thrive is around that temp. Their growth starts to become inhibited at temps above 100 and then by 110 they usually far as all of the research I have done.

    So glad you are enjoying the soured coconut cream! does make a great dip for veggies! :)

  21. Hi everyone! You can purchase Klaire Labs Therbiotic Complete Powder on Just do a search for it and it will come up. :)

    You might be able to find it for sale on other websites as well.

  22. I was wondering if anyone has gotten a slightly rotten egg smell from the sour cream after it has been placed in the fridge. I have been using a different kind of probiotic and it tastes fine, but the smell still makes me question whether it okay to consume. Thanks!

    1. Mine also smells that way. Haven't eaten it yet because i am a little concerned but it seems to have firmed up on the counter and it doesn't look odd. Just a slightly rotten egg smell plus also a little sour.


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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom