Coconut milk has just surpassed cow's milk as a beverage of choice in the U.S., and this trend is only increasing! It's becoming more widely available, but also more expensive.Check out this post to read more about the advantages and disadvantages of coconut milk and how it's impacting the world. You'll learn more about what's in it, too!
But what is it? What does it taste like? How easy is it to make? And more!
Coconut milk, also known as coconut cream, is a wonderful form of dairy (i.e., milk). It's been around for centuries, but its popularity has grown in recent years. It was the result of Native Hawaiians accidentally planting coconut trees that would eventually create coconuts. The trees grew too high and created this "milky" substance that they used to make the world's first canned food - coconut milk. The food was a great success - bringing wealth from an otherwise land-bound culture into the sea.
So.....what exactly is coconut milk?
Coconut milk is the liquid derived from pressing coconut meat. The meat itself, when pressed, yields coconut oil. Coconut milk is used for cooking and as an ingredient in foods such as cookies, dressings, sauces, and many other dairy products. This beverage-type food is rich in saturated fats and medium chain triglycerides (MCT), but has low cholesterol and about half the calories of whole cow's milk.
But what about coconut water? Is it the same thing?
No! The two are different because one comes from the meat of a mature coconut while the other is derived from young coconut meat that still contains its shell.
You're probably familiar with the many health benefits of fat-free dairy milk, but have you considered where it comes from? The dairy industry is cruel to not only cows, but also to those who drink and eat milk. In addition, some studies have found that dairy may actually be harmful for human health. If you take all this into account (and the fact that coconut milk doesn't contain animal products) then it's not hard to see why coconut milk is steadily becoming a much more popular option for non-dairy drinkers.
A single serving of coconut milk contains between two to three grams of fiber, which is a sizable amount of fiber. It also provides more potassium than any other dairy alternative, making it an especially good option for those who are looking for ways to promote cardiac health. If this isn't enough reason to make the switch, many people report that they feel less bloated after drinking coconut milk the next day than they do after consuming dairy or soy-based drinks.
There are several different types of coconut milk products currently on the market including sweetened condensed coconut milk, plain unsweetened coconut milk and even boxed nondairy creamer made from coconut milk powder.
However, it's important to note that not every type of coconut milk is created equally. For example, some companies use additives like potassium chloride or sodium citrate in their products as a means of providing additional nutrients to the product. Further, it's important to note that heirloom-coconut varieties are not always considered "coconut milk" by the government. Those varieties that are grown organically are labeled as "coconut cream."
Coconut beverage is another option those who want a non-dairy milk alternative can choose from and many companies have begun selling coconut-based drinks in recent years.