Sour Cream

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 27. Oct. 2020

Sour cream might not be a health food, but it has tons of flavor and some reason nutritional benefits. Read up more on this classic condiment below.

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Sour cream...

  • ...promotes gut health.
    The lactic acid bacteria in sour cream protects the mucous membranes in the stomach and promotes a healthy intestinal flora.
  • ...keeps bones strong.
    With 110 milligrams of calcium and 88 milligrams of phosphorus per 100 grams, sour cream contains the perfect mix of minerals for strong bones and healthy teeth.
  • ...is easy on the stomach.
    Those who have a sensitive stomach and react to fat with problems often tolerate low-fat sour cream much better than crème fraîche or cream.
  • ...is a healthier alternative to other heavy creams.
    Sour cream makes an excellent substitute for crème fraîche. It’s similar to texture and flavor, but contains about 250 less calories per 100 gram serving.
  • ...is good for the eyes and skin.
    Sour cream is a good source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy vision and also plays a role in keeping skin healthy.
  • ...is a good source of protein.
    100 g of sour cream contains your fully daily requirement of protein.
  • ...contains hardly any lactose.
    Sour cream contains less lactose (milk sugar) than many other dairy products. Many people with lactose intolerances can consume some sour cream with no issues.

What You Should Know About Sour Cream

Sour cream is a refrigerator staple for many Americans-- but what exactly is it? Sour cream is made from the cream skimmed off during milk processing and then soured with lactic acid bacteria. The bacteria not only gives the cream its typical sour taste, but also make it thicker and creamier.

Origins

Like most other sour milk products, sour cream originally comes from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

Season

Sour cream is available year round.

Taste

Sour cream has a consistency and flavor a bit like yogurt, but with a richer taste and texture and more sour notes.

Find all our recipes with sour cream here.

How Healthy is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is no health food, containing about 18 g of fat and 187 calories per 100 g serving. However a little bit of sour cream goes a long way, making it a good ingredient to add tons of flavor and creaminess for a not-massive amount of calories and fat. And sour cream also has marked healthy attributes. It's packed with protein (100 g contains your full daily requirement of protein), as well as calcium and phosphorus for strong bones, and vitamin A for healthy vision and skin. It also contains lactic acid bacteria, which helps promote gut health.

Thanks to its lactic acid bacteria and low fat content, even people with a very sensitive stomach usually tolerate sour cream well. It's low levels of lactose mean that some people with lactose intolerances can even eat sour cream without an issue, though you should test this for yourself before eating a larger amount, as reactions vary per person.

SOUR CREAM Nutritional INFO (100 g)  
Calories 187
Protein 2.8 g
Fat 18 g
Carbohydrates 3.5 g
Fiber 0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

Sour cream is now available in a variety of different fat contents. Standard sour cream contains around 20% fat, which lower-fat varieties can drop as low as 10% fat. Remember that flavor and texture will become less vivid and creamy the lower the fat content. 

Storage

Sour cream belongs in the refrigerator, where it will keep for at least a week after opening.

Preparation

Sour cream is simply used directly from the cup.

What to Make With Sour Cream

Sour cream adds tons of creaminess and a beautiful, decadent sourness to an array of dishes. It goes beautifully in cheesy dishes; try adding a spoonful in your next alfredo sauce or grilled cheese for a delicious creamy tartness. Sour cream also goes great with heavy dishes, adding some brightness and creaminess to recipes like tacos and beef stroganoff.

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