Coconut Milk

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 14. May. 2020

No wonder coconut milk has gained in popularity in recent years; this creamy milk not only tastes delicious, but has a slew of health benefits as well.

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What You Should Know About Coconut Milk

First and foremost: coconut milk is incredibely different than coconut water. The latter is the watery and almost tasteless liquid from the inside of the coconut, while coconut milk is made from the flesh of coconuts, and is much thicker and more flavorful. To produce it, grated coconut pulp is mixed with hot water and a milky liquid is mechanically pressed out of it.

The coconut milk is then filtered, heated to ultra-high temperatures and finally canned. This process has recently also been modified by adding more water in some cases, thereby reducing the fat content of the mixture to about 50 percent of the conventional amount.

Coconut milk also comes pre-sweetened, which is great for desserts.

Origins

Originally coconut milk comes from tropical areas, where it is often consumed with most meals. Since coconuts are native to these regions, the fruit or coconut milk does not have to be transported for long. 

Flavor

Coconut milk has the rich, slightly nutty and sweet taste we associated with coconuts. 

Our Favorite Coconut Milk recipes

Find all our coconut milk recipes here.

How Healthy Is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk is very high in fat, and unfortunately composed almost exclusively of the less favorable saturated fatty acids.

However the fat content of coconut milk is significantly lower than that of cream or crème fraiche, for example, and unlike these comparable dairy products, the creamy liquid contains no cholesterol.

Coconut milk is also available now in most stores in reduced fat varieties.

COCONUT MILK NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 ml) (normal | low-fat)  
Calories 227 | 116
Protein 2 g | 1 g
Fat 21 g | 10 g
Carbohydrates 6 g | 1 g
Fiber 3 g | 3 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

You can get coconut milk in every supermarket and discount store, but also in specialty Asian stores, where it often costs considerably less. Whether you use brand-name coconut milk or that of no-name manufacturers makes little difference in terms of quality. The low-fat version is not quite as easy to get and is usually a little more expensive than the conventional coconut milk.

Storage

If you often cook Asian foods awesome, a supply of coconut milk is quite practical, especially because canned coconut milk has a very long shelflife, and doesn't need to be refrigerated if its unopened. Once opened, however, you should store coconut milk in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for about two days. 

Excess coconut milk also freezes well for a few months.

What To Make With Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is traditional in dishes like curries and in many varieties of Thai food. Coconut milk's creamy consistency also makes it an ideal cream substitute, in ragouts or soups, for example. Coconut milk is also a great base for ice creams, smoothies or cocktails. 

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