Looking for some tasty recipes using coconut milk? We have some great suggestions for you!
For many people with dairy allergies and intolerances, coconut milk is a great substitute. Coconut milk can also be considered paleo, although there is often some debate surrounding this.
Before we share some of our favorite recipes using coconut milk, let’s first take a better look at shopping for and cooking with coconut milk.
Types of Coconut Milk
Similar to cow's milk, there are quite a few options when it comes to coconut milk!
You will typically be able to find both sweetened and unsweetened coconut milk; so, depending on what you are cooking, each will be appropriate at different times. However, you should always opt for unsweetened for any savory recipe, even if the recipe has not specified whether it should be sweet or not.
You will normally be able to find lighter versions of full-fat coconut milk which is a suitable option for those who want to consume less fat and therefore less calories.
But it is important to remember that this can affect the results of a dish.
If you are using it to swirl a pattern in soup or to add a touch of creaminess, light versions won’t alter the result too much. But if you are using a large amount of coconut milk in a cake, for example, using a light version will make the texture less rich and it may even end up being grainy.
So, we would generally recommend using the full-fat version for the best results.
Canned and boxed coconut milk are other options, but there are more preservatives added to the boxed version to extend its shelf life.
You will also see coconut cream, which is not quite the same as coconut milk. Coconut cream is heavier and tends to be better used for desserts, or used in lesser amounts for savory dishes.
Cooking with coconut milk
Before cooking with coconut milk, always give your can a good shake or stir after opening as the cream may be separated.
One useful thing about coconut milk is that is freezes very well, so don’t toss away any unused coconut milk. Just freeze it instead. Before freezing, transfer the coconut milk into an airtight container. When thawing, you will need to use a blender or whisk to ensure it is not separated.
You can even make your own coconut milk by blending a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut with 3 cups of water, followed by straining it in a nut milk bag. You can then store it in your fridge for up to 5 days.
Coconut milk is great for making dishes creamier and richer so it is very versatile! Some of our favorite ways to use coconut milk include:
- Braising meats
- Sauces and dressings
If you are looking for some recipe inspiration using coconut milk, why not try out our favorites?