Cream cheese is one of the best additions to crackers, fruits, toasts, muffins, bagels, and other baked products. It is made from cow’s milk and contains at least 33 percent milk fat. The key ingredient in cheese cake, cream cheese product is available in low-fat, light, or full fat. There is also a whipped cream cheese version, which allows you to spread it easily due to its light texture. Even so, people who are looking for natural ways to improve their cardiovascular health avoid this ingredient due to its high calories content.
Whether you run out of cream cheese or you want to achieve a slimmer waistline, you can always find cream cheese substitute.
11 Best and Healthy Cream Cheese Substitute
Here is a list of some of the delicious and healthy cream cheese substitute that you can add to bagels, toast, muffins, or recipes.
1. Cottage Cheese
If you are looking for cream cheese substitute to lose weight, cottage cheese is the right option for you. This ingredient is beneficial for weight loss, and it contains healthy fats and proteins. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium zinc, selenium, and phosphorous, which are all important for the body.
You can replace 8.82oz of cream cheese with the same amount of cottage cheese. Pour it in a mixer and then put in the freezer. This cheese will contain 180 calories, but there is almost zero saturated fat. You can use it in toast, bagels, cake, and other recipes where you use cream cheese. Since cottage cheese is blander and softer than cream cheese, it is best combined with other ingredients.
Hummus does not have the same flavor as cream cheese, but it is perfect for spreading on muffins or warm bagels. While cream cheese has lots of calories and fats that can increase your weight, hummus helps in lowering triglycerides and cholesterol levels. The basic hummus recipes contain olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, chickpeas, tahini, and garlic. It is typically made from pinto beans or garbanzos. You can also purchase flavored hummus like Kalamata olive and roasted red pepper hummus.
This cream cheese substitute is also a great source of protein. It is also helpful in preventing and treating stroke, heart diseases, and some cancers. It can boost your energy, promote healthy heart, improve bone health, and help digestion.
Of the best cream cheese substitute is Neufchatel. It is a soft cheese that is also made from cow’s milk. This unripened cheese has a delicate taste when still young. The more it ages, the sharper and more pungent the taste becomes. The texture and flavor of this cheese is similar to cream cheese and you can use it as substitute in many recipes. It is usually sold in heart shapes but also available in other forms.
Considered as one of the healthiest cheese in the world, Neufchatel only contains 70 calories per 10oz serving. You can replace one cup of cream cheese with the same amount of Neufchatel.
4. Kefir with Organic Chia Seeds
Another healthy and delicious cream cheese substitute is the combination of kefir and organic chia seeds. Kefir is one of the foods rich in probiotic and it is packed with medicinal properties. It contains high levels of calcium, vitamins B12 and K, magnesium, folate, biotin, and enzymes. Kefir is also used for treating candida, inflammatory bowel disease, and allergies. It can boost immunity, support detoxification, and improve lactose digestion.
Kefir mixed with organic chia seeds make it an excellent cream cheese substitute, especially if you want to cut your calorie consumption. It can also prevent gastrointestinal problems, candidiasis, allergies, and atherosclerosis. It also contains omega-3s that is essential for your health. Simply add one-fourth cup of chia seeds in a bowl of kefir and let it sit for thirty minutes.
5. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt can provide you a flavor and texture that is similar to cream cheese. During the production of this yogurt, excess water, minerals, and lactose, are drain out. This leaves you creamy and rich yogurt with less sugar and tart taste. Yogurt also contains higher amount of protein than milk. Protein can reduce your hunger, increase metabolism, and improve body composition.
Like regular yogurt, Greek yogurt also contains good bacteria that are beneficial to your digestive system. It is also a good source of vitamin B12 and it contains less lactose. If you want to use Greek yogurt as cream cheese substitute, you can drain it first by using a clean cheese cloth and place it in a large bowl. Let it sit overnight to get a thicker version the next day. You can also add chopped onions, shallots, or carrots for additional flavor.
6. Part-Skim Ricotta
Another cream cheese substitute that can provide you soft texture in many recipes is part-skim ricotta. This cheese is commonly used for pizza topping, stuffed shells, lasagna, and for different Italian desserts. This cheese is made from whey, which means that it is low in fat and calories per serving. It is also considered as one of the healthiest cheeses in the world.
Including ricotta cheese in your recipes can also increase your calcium consumption. One serving gives 51% of the recommended daily value. One serving of ricotta also provides 22% of vitamin A, 39% of phosphorus, 19% of zinc, 28% of riboflavin, and 14% of vitamin B-12. To make sure that ricotta will work like cream cheese, drain it first and put it in a blender to get a smooth texture.
7. Petit Suisse
Petit-suisse is a smooth, unsalted, unripened, and creamy cheese. Its texture is similar to thick yogurt. Made from cow’s milk, it contains 40% fat and is drained in a centrifuge. It is usually used for dessert, with honey or jam, or peppered with herbs. This cheese is also used as meat stuffing and prevents the meat from drying.
To replace cream cheese with Petit-suisse, simply use 1oz pack with honey. You can also use this cheese on crackers accompanied by coffee or tea. Just be careful of your consumption of this cheese as it can contain up to 50% fat.
Tofu has almost no taste and it can be used as an alternative for any ingredient of any dish that you want to make. It may also lower LDL cholesterol and can alleviate some symptoms of menopause. Before you use tofu as cream cheese substitute, it is important to know how it is sold as there are many textures available in the market.
Tofu is usually sold from soft texture to extra hard. For recipes that include cream cheese, you would want the texture of tofu to be soft. For a cup of cream cheese, you will only need 3/4 cup of tofu. You also need ¼ cup of margarine and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix all these ingredients until the texture is smooth. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to get optimal results. You can also add other spices, herbs, or other flavoring according to your preferences.
9. Low-Fat or Non-Fat Cream Cheese
The taste is not as rich as cream cheese, but you can try low-fat cream cheese as substitute. You can mix it with herbs and other ingredients and spread it over toast, bagels, smoked salmon, potatoes, and other foods. This cheese is also great for making desserts such as cupcakes, frosting, pie, and other recipes where you use cream cheese.
Low-fat cream cheese contains half-the fat of regular cream cheese. You can also opt for non-fat version, which also lets you enjoy cream cheese without consuming high percentages of calories and fat.
10. Gervais Cheese
Gervais cheese is also a great cream cheese substitute. It has a soft and richly cheese flavor. It also has the same texture of cream cheese and has a sweet and tangy flavor. This cheese is usually served with crackers as an appetizer or as a dessert with fruits. It contains up to 75 percent of milk fat, but it is a better choice compared to cream cheese.
You can replace one cup of cream cheese with also one cup of Gervais cheese.
Mascarpone is also a great alternative for cream cheese. It is coagulated by acidic substances, such as vinegar, lemon juice, acetic acid, or citric acid. This milky-white colored cheese is very easy to spread and can be used in many dishes. It is also one of the main ingredients of the popular Italian dessert tiramisu.
You can put Mascarpone in a food processor until you get a creamy texture. Drain it to make it thicker and place it in the refrigerator. You can use Mascarpone for making Chocolate Mascarpone Pie, Honey Spread, White Cholotate Truffles, Strawberry Tart, Lemon Layer Cake, and more!
Cream cheese is one of our favorite ingredients in making desserts. It is also the main ingredient in cheese cake. However, it is also loaded with calories and fats. Fortunately, there are many cream cheese substitutes that you can use as spread for bagels, toasts, appetizers, or desserts. Simply choose from the healthy choices above to enjoy the dishes you want to prepare without consuming high levels of calories.