Coconut Milk – A Healthy Milk Alternative

The lactose-free coconut milk is the perfect alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Just like soya, rice and oat milk, coconut milk is also quite popular amongst vegans. Dietary restrictions aside, the tasty milk is a healthy option for all to enjoy. It contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron, and trace elements such as zinc and manganese, as well as B and E vitamins. It is also known for its high content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which stimulate metabolism and the thyroid gland, and are quickly converted to energy, rather than being stored in the body as fat.  

Food Facts Food Facts

Coconut Milk

Calories

210 kcal per 100ml

Nutrients

1.5g carbohydrate, 0g fibre 22g fat, 1.5g protein per 100g

Season

no exact harvest season, available all year round

Storage

once opened, keep refrigerated

Shelf life

approx. 3 days

Coconut Milk – Make Your Own

The coconut fruit has a leathery external layer, then a fibrous layer that surrounds the core – the core is that which can be found in the supermarket. The outer layer is removed directly after harvest to reduce the weight and volume before transporting the fruit. The hard brown shell contains the white flesh of the coconut, which in turn contains coconut water.

Coconut milk is made out of the grated white flesh of the coconut. Contrary to popular belief, it does not usually include the coconut water. Canned or packaged, coconut milk can last for years but once it is opened, it should be refrigerated and used within three days. Another option is to freeze coconut milk as ice cubes.

Making coconut milk at home does not always require the tedious work of grating the fruit flesh. Simply soak 200 grams of dried coconut flakes in one litre of water, puree them and then strain the mixture well through a cheese cloth or a normal tea towel. As with canned coconut milk, it is natural for the fat to separate from the liquid – just quickly shake the can to mix it once again. 

Coconut Milk – A Drift Fruit

The coconut palm has been cultivated for approximately 3,000 years. Its exact origin is not known, but it is presumed to be somewhere in tropical Asia where it is a staple food. Although the palm is now widespread throughout the world, this is not necessarily thanks to humans. Coconuts float on water and are protected from the salt water by their thick shell. They can therefore travel long distances in the world’s oceans, and remain germinable for a long time. When they finally reach land again, it is easy for them to germinate on new shores. 

Coconut Milk – A Touch of the Exotic

The flavoursome milk is especially popular in Asian cuisine. It can lend an exotic note to curries and soups, or a sweet and nutty taste and a creamy texture to smoothies, muesli or desserts.

Compared with cow’s milk, coconut milk contains more calories. Its fat content is 22 grams per 100 grams. Even if the fat consists largely of triglycerides, coconut milk is not ideal for those who are watching their calorie intake. However, the plant-based milk is available with various fat content percentages in most supermarkets, or it can simply be diluted with water or another milk variety at home. 

Coconut Milk – Good to Know

It is natural for the contents of a can of coconut milk to separate into fat and liquid, but this is not a sign of poor quality. Simply shake the can before opening to recombine the two. If not, the milk will liquefy once again upon cooking. 

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