If you’re on a gluten free diet, you might be wondering – is sour cream gluten free?
Keep reading to learn more about sour cream, if it’s safe for you (or your loved ones) and how to avoid cross contamination at home.
What is sour cream
Sour cream is a dairy product that is produced by adding bacteria to cream. Lactic acid bacteria ferments the cream, producing a thick, tangy substance.
It’s called sour cream because the bacteria literally sours the cream. Fantastic, eh?
You can purchase it at the grocery store as regular, light, fat-free or dairy-free versions. Sour cream is great for making dips, adding on top of chilis or baked potatoes, and thickening sauces.
Is sour cream gluten free?
Sour cream contains cream, bacterial culture and thickening agents like rennin or gelatin, so it’s naturally gluten free! Sour cream is safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet.
As always, be sure to check product packaging. Some manufacturers may include additives or ingredients that may contain gluten or warnings of cross contamination. (Although I have yet to come across a container of sour cream that isn’t celiac safe!)
It’s a good general rule to always check ingredients and product packaging on everything before purchasing.
If you want to learn how to make your own sour cream, you only need 2 ingredients: heavy cream and vinegar! Be sure to check out the last section in this post to learn more.
Is sour cream dairy free?
Unfortunately, sour cream isn’t safe for anyone on a dairy free diet. Heavy cream is used, which comes from cow’s milk.
Sad that you can’t sour cream? Don’t be! Check the dairy free brands section below for a list of products that are safe for you. (There are so many!)
Types of sour cream
Not all sour cream products are equal! There’s a variety on the market, so here’s a breakdown of each:
- Regular/natural sour cream is made using heavy cream and is a full-fat sour cream. It’s thick & tangy!
- Light sour cream is made with cream and skim milk to give it a lighter texture with less calories per serving.
- Fat-free sour cream is made with skim or nonfat milk and modified milk ingredients.
- Organic sour cream uses organic milk products free from pesticides or chemical additives.
- Mexican sour cream, or Mexican crema, is a less tangy version that tends to be a bit thinner & runnier.
Is Daisy sour cream gluten free? Yes! Daisy brand sour cream products are safe for anyone on a gluten free diet. Their regular sour cream contains only cultured milk and the light version contains cultured milk and skim milk.
Is Breakstone sour cream gluten free? Yes! Both of Breakstone’s sour cream products – All Natural & Reduced Fat – are gluten free.
Is Kroeger sour cream gluten free? Yes, Kroeger’s sour cream is gluten free! It uses cornstarch as a thickener, so it’s perfectly safe for anyone with celiac disease.
Other brands of sour cream that are safe options:
- Gay Lea
- Great Value
Looking for a dairy free sour cream? Here are a few options for you!
- Forager Project Organic Dairy Free Sour Cream: this dairy free alternative uses both cashew and coconut milks and has a taste similar to Greek-style yogurt.
- Kite Hill Dairy Free Sour Cream: made with almond milk and coconut oil, this brand is similar to a low-fat sour cream.
- Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream: made with palm oil & non-GMO tofu, this brand also uses non-dairy lactic acid to make it safe for anyone on a dairy free or vegan diet.
- Wayfare Organic Dairy Free Sour Cream: also known as Earth’s Own or Simple Truth, this version is made from beans and gluten free oats.
How to use sour cream
Now that you know sour cream is safe, what should you do with it?!
- Dip it: use it as a great base for dips! It’s tangy flavor is perfect for onion, chive or spinach dips!
- Make a creamy dressing: add sour cream (plus a few spices and a bit of oil) to your favourite leafy green salad or potato salad. Homemade ranch dressing using sour cream? Sign me up!
- Use it as a topping: for chili, baked potatoes, nachos or tacos! Make this gluten free broccoli cheddar soup extra creamy by adding a dollop of sour cream on top. Yum!
- Bake it: add it to cakes, muffins, cheesecakes, even banana breads for rich tasting, moist baked goods. You won’t regret it.
Sour cream and cross contamination
Hold the phone. Didn’t I say that sour cream is gluten free? Why am I talking about sour cream and cross contact?! Sure, the jar you bought at the store is safe, but as soon as that lid is opened – anything can happen!
If you DON’T share your kitchen space with gluten-loving people, feel free to disregard this section.
If you DO share your kitchen, protect your tangy & delicious sour cream from any stray gluten crumbs by following either of these rules:
- Keep 2 sour cream containers and label one gluten free. Don’t let any gluten-loving folk use your jar of sour cream. Ever!
- Keep 1 jar of sour cream, but only use clean utensils in the container. Scoop out whatever sour cream you need and don’t let any contaminated spoons, knives, forks, swords, or whatever utensils you use, back into the container.
Make your own sour cream
Did you know you can easily make your own sour cream at home? Yes, it’s true!
To make it, all you’ll need is heavy cream and vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of heavy cream in a mason jar. Close the lid & shake it up for a few minutes until the cream starts to thicken. You can use it right away, or store it in the fridge to allow it to thicken even further.