Butter and cream are always in my quarterly shopping list however, I use them sparingly in my meals to add some soft dairy flavor when the meals are ready. Are there other alternatives to these two out there?
Isn't butter and cream contain much fat? I don't add any butter or cream in my cooking most of the time. I use butter and cream if it is badly needed for the food that I cook. If I am frying, I use virgin coconut oil or olive oil so that the fat will be lessened.
I used to enjoy creamy pastas but these days if I'm making any sort of sauce I like puréed pumpkin or cauliflower - sounds a little weird but I think it adds that creaminess in a natural veggie based way.
There are plenty of alternatives to cream, from fresh soya cream, to oat cream (really nice) to using cashew nuts and whizzing them up as a creamy alternative in foods such as soups and casseroles.
Soak the cashew nuts either in boiling water for 2 hours previously or cold water overnight and then use a blender to cream them up with some water. The less water the better unless it is for a soup - then I just use some of the soup stock. If you want a sour cream or crème fraiche alternative add some lemon juice to taste.
Butter is more of an issue with alternatives and depends largely on what country you are in, but if you are in the USA I understand Earth Balance do a good alternative. If you are elsewhere, let me know what you find! I haven't really found anything in the UK yet except for one I made which was OK, but expensive.