April 9th, 2009

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk, like all things Coconut, is not only packed with health benefits, but is also a delicious and versatile ingredient in countless recipes.

Dr. Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician, as well as director of the Coconut Research Center and editor of the Healthy Ways newsletter, says in his book, Coconut Cures: “Coconut milk is not the watery liquid you find sloshing around inside a fresh coconut. It is a product obtained by extracting the juice out of coconut meat. Its taste, appearance and nutrient content are very different from coconut water.
Coconut water has almost no fat or protein. Coconut milk is rich in fat and protein. It has a thick, creamy texture and is solid white in color, giving it an appearance similar to cow’s milk. Coconut milk contains about 17 to 24 percent fat, depending on how much water is used in processing. The higher fat milk is often called coconut cream and is very thick and rich, just like dairy cream.
Another difference between coconut water and milk is the sugar content. Coconut water is sweet. Coconut milk is not. although coconut milk has a pleasant taste, it contains little sugar. It even has less sugar than dairy milk. Because of its low carbohydrate content, coconut milk is ideal for low-carb diets. . . .
A variety of coconut milk products are available commercially. . . . Coconut milk usually contains about 17% fat. Coconut cream contails about 21 to 24% fat. Some coconut milk is watered down to reduce the fat content. This is called low-fat or light coconut milk.. . . Another product you may come across is cream of coconut. This is not the same as coconut cream. Cream of coconut is coconut cream with added sugar, and is very sweet. . . .”

Coconut milk is readily available in most supermarkets and health food stores. Thai Kitchen brand, which comes in 14 ounce cans, is my favorite. If you plan on cooking a lot of dishes with the milk, you can purchase a twelve-pack of Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk by clicking here for an excellent price.

You will find many wonderful recipes that call for coconut milk and its variations on these pages.

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