What are the uses of half and half?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Half and half uses” and will discuss calories and nutritional values of half and half.

What are the uses of half and half?

There are various uses of half and half other than being used in coffee, like: making of panna cotta, chocolate ice cream, pasta sauce, cocktail, and scrambled eggs.

What is half and a half?

To put it simply, half-and-half is a concoction made from whole milk and half-and-half cream. When you want something richer than milk but don’t need it to be as thick as cream, this is what you want to use. Soups, sweets, and creamy sauces all include it. People like putting half-and-half in their coffee because it’s just the right amount of creamy and thin. It has been emulsified so that it won’t separate when mixed with other ingredients when purchased at the store.

Fluid cream is a term used in the dairy-industry that refers to those products in which fat globules are added to whole milk. Half and half is a blend of equal amounts of milk and fat, giving a total fat content of ~10% milk fat. Half and half contains 3.3% protein, 10% fat and ~85% water (1). The different creams may contain stabilizing salts, which can be added as an aqueous solution after standardization and preheating (high temperature pasteurization at 90–95°C). They raise the pH and/or complex Ca2+, resulting in reduced aggregation of casein micelles during sterilization and in hot coVee beverages. With an increasing degree of condensation (chain length), phosphates have a reduced buffering capacity, and increased ion exchange ability. Trisodium citrate has both buffering and sequestering properties and is used also. Whereas phosphates and citrates are essential additives in traditionally-sterilized cream, high-quality flow-sterilized creams, including half and half, may be produced without additives (2).

Half and half to make panna cotta

The only thing you’ll need for this is a half-used pint of beer that’s been sitting in your fridge for a while. Panna cotta, one of the world’s most popular frozen sweets, is made with only a little sugar and unflavored gelatin.

Make the most delicious chocolate ice cream with half and half

Why not take things a step further and use that extra half-and-half to create your chocolate-flavored ice cream, rather than simply making a basic chocolate sauce? This ice cream is made without the use of an ice cream machine and does not call for the use of eggs or heavy cream.

Make egg scrambles that are creamier with half and half

The recipe that follows is for microwave scrambled eggs, but we also like to cook our eggs with a little half-and-half. Cook the eggs gently over low heat with a few tablespoons of the half-and-half (or none, depending on your preference) to get a creamy texture.

 Add half and half pasta sauce to your spaghetti dinner

When making a traditional tomato-based pasta sauce, a little amount of half-and-half enhances the flavor while also helping the sauce to cover the noodles. Adding a few tablespoons of milk will do the trick without making a cream sauce in the traditional sense.

Half and half cocktail

Like White Russians, but don’t like the image of slurping down a whole pint of thick, creamy, fatty milk? Instead, use half and half. Over ice, add a dash of Bailey’s and enjoy. This 3-ingredient creamer recipe is superior to Starbucks’ Sweet Cream for those who drink coffee every day.

Half-and-Half can last for how many hours?

The problem with half-and-half is its shelf life: As a result, you typically have a half-full carton sitting in your fridge since most recipes don’t call for a complete container of anything. In some cases, a use-by label is included; in others, just a sell-by date is provided. Why not just throw it away? For the most part, half-and-half may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week after you open it. The best-by date on an unopened container, on the other hand, should last for three to five days. The USDA recommendations are to consume the half-and-half cream within 4 days when kept in the refrigerator and for 4 months when it is freezed. The storage in room temperature is not advisable.

The best thing to do if it smells rotten or “odd” is to toss it away – if you’re unsure, just throw it away.

Can you freeze Half-and-Half?

Yes, you can freeze half and half. That doesn’t always imply you should freeze half-and-half. Even after they’ve been thawed, the texture and flavor of frozen foods will be different. You may use frozen and thawed half-and-half in your coffee, but we don’t advocate using it in creamy desserts like panna cotta.

The changes in the texture happens because, when cream is frozen there is a tendency to disrupt the fat emulsion and to destabilize the milk protein. The physical equilibria of both components is changed, depending upon the severity of freezing conditions. Rapid freezing tends to lessen the amount of fat de-emulsified as the water in the cream freezes. Added sugar lowers the freezing point of cream and this protects the fat emulsion to the extent that ice formation in the cream is lessened. The fat of frozen cream can be completely re-emulsified by homogenization either as cream or as the complete food product in which the cream is used. If the protein in frozen cream becomes difficult to disperse on thawing because of prolonged storage or fluctuating storage temperatures, mild heat and stirring will usually disperse it (3).

To preserve the remaining half-and-half, you may put it in the freezer.

·         In an ice cube tray, pour the mixture. Cover. Overnight, put in the freezer.

·         In a freezer-safe bag, indicate the date the cubes were frozen by placing them in the bag.

·         Three months in the freezer.

Half-and-Half Calories and Nutrition

Each tablespoon of half-and-half has roughly 20 calories, according to the USDA. A tablespoon of whole milk contains 9 calories, but a tablespoon of heavy cream has roughly 51 calories per tablespoon.

While fat-free half-and-half is available, you should be aware that it is not always a better choice than regular, full-fat half-and-half. Is it fat-free because of the use of skim milk blended with corn syrup instead of cream? This results in a reduced-fat, but greater sugar product, so it’s probably not true.

Can Half-and-Half Be Used to Whip Cream?

No. A dairy product with more than 30% fat is needed to make whipped cream. Traditional whipping cream has 30 to 40% fat, whereas double cream contains about 50% fat (2). Having a larger fat level means that the cream will whip up much more quickly. While it is technically possible to whip half and half by adding a little amount of butter, you’d be better served by using heavy cream or heavy whipping milk instead.

The whipping of pasteurized cream containing 30% fat is possible only after adequate cooling since the transformation of the original oil/ water emulsion into a stable foam requires that part of the fat is solid. The initial stage of whipping involves stabilization of the trapped air bubbles by a temporary interfacial film of soluble whey proteins and B-casein. On mechanical treatment, fat globules increasingly lose at least segments of their natural membrane, thereby exposing strongly hydrophobic surface areas of pure fat. Subsequently, these partly destabilized fat globules adsorb at the air/serum interface of the air bubbles. The leakage of liquid fat from mechanically stressed and deformed fat globules supports globule agglomeration and partial coalescence. These agglomerates also interact with the air bubbles and may form bridges between them. Therefore, highly dynamic and concurrent processes also apply on the whole to whipping cream containing about 30% fat, which are not possible to the half-and-half cream (2).


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Half and half uses” and discussed calories and nutritional values of half and half.


  1. Peyronel, Fernanda, Alejandro G. Marangoni, and David A. Pink. Using the USAXS technique to reveal the fat globule and casein micelle structures of bovine dairy products. Food Res Int, 2020, 129, 108846. 
  2. Hoffmann, W., and W. Buchheim. Significance of milk fat in cream products. Advanced Dairy Chemistry Volume 2 Lipids. Springer, Boston, MA, 2006. 365-375.  
  3. Webb, B.H., Arbuckle, W.S. (1977). Freezing of Dairy Products. In: Fundamentals of Food Freezing. Springer, Dordrecht. 

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