I have written many posts about coconut oil and how it’s used and the health benefits it provides but coconut milk has just as many benefits and for some people may be easier or more suitable to incorporate into there diets and lifestyles.
What is Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is not the watery liquid that comes from the young green coconut – that is coconut water. Coconut milk is produced by extracting the juice out of the coconut meat.
Coconut milk is rich in fat and protein. It has a thick, creamy texture and is solid white in colour. It contains about 17 to 24% fat, depending on how much water is used in processing. The higher fat milk is often called coconut cream is even thicker and creamier then coconut milk.
Coconut milk is not sweet. It contains very little sugar, however still has a pleasant taste. It has less sugar than dairy milk. It has a low carbohydrate content making it ideal for low carb diets.
Coconut Milk Benefits
Because coconut milk contains a high percentage of fat, the health benefits are the same as those of coconut oil. 1 cup of coconut milk = 2 tablespoons of oil.
Compared to coconut oil, coconut milk has the advantage of being easier to extract from the meat and is more versatile. It can be used in far more ways in food preparation which means an easy way of getting coconut oil into your diet.
Coconut milk can be used in many different ways:
- Topically – apply to skin to treat cuts, burns, and sunburn. Apply to scalp and hair to control dandruff. It will give your hair a shiny and healthy look. Fermented coconut milk is used to get rid of head lice.
- It can help keep the skin soft and silky smooth ans is reported to be a good wrinkle remover.
- Internally – It can be good for sore throats as well as relieving stomach ulcers.
- Coconut milk is a healthy alternative to dairy milk.
- Allergy Free – coconut milk is not a nut and therefore makes a good alternative for those who are allergic to nuts. According to medical research and clinical observation, coconut milk is considered as hypoallergenic and is recommended as a nutritious substitute in the diet for those who are troubled by allergies.
- Gluten Free – coconut milk contains no gluten, so is a great alternative for people sensitive to gluten.
Coconut milk can be used in just about any way you would use dairy milk and cream. It is not sweet so can be used in a variety of savoury dishes as well as sweets.
Try coconut milk in the following ways:
- Soups, chowders
- Stews and curries
- Sauces and dressings
- Desserts, cakes and puddings
- Smoothies and hot beverages
See here for some coconut milk recipes.