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5 Ways to use Coconut Milk in Food

From soups and curries to cocktails and desserts—coconut milk is a pantry staple that adds richness and depth to an endless array of dishes. Aside from its fantastic versatility and delicious flavour, coconut milk’s creamy quality makes it a great replacement for cow’s milk if you are lactose- or dairy-intolerant, or following a vegan diet.

 

Coconut milk has many spectacular dishes to its credit and provides a distinctive taste and smoothness. This simple ingredient can be used in a myriad of ways, including vegan recipes. You can use coconut milk in the same way as dairy cream while cooking. However, the thick coconut milk should not be boiled as it tends to curdle.

 

Here are five easy ways to use coconut milk in your kitchen.

 

Breakfasts with Coconut Milk

As most breakfast options tend to be on the sweet side, coconut milk is wonderful addition to add to your favourite breakfast cereal.  The extra fat also keeps your full for longer.

 

Chia pudding is delightfully creamy and indulgent when made with coconut milk.

 

Substitute the regular milk or water when cooking oatmeal and you’ll find it becomes rich and sweet. Or, cook your oats with water and add a splash of coconut milk at the end.

 

Silky Soups and Stews with Coconut Milk

Adding coconut milk to warming soups and stews adds an extra touch of rich, luxurious flavour. Incorporate the coconut milk as one of the liquid ingredients when making soups such as butternut squash, broccoli or carrot soups. Especially good when simmered with flavourful ingredients like lemongrass, cilantro and chilli peppers. Alternatively, you can add a dollop or splash of coconut milk at the very end, to finish it off and add more body.

 

Curries with Coconut Milk

Perhaps the most popular use of coconut milk in cooking is comforting and fragrant curries and Thai dishes. Delicious in all types of curries, including chicken, fish and vegetable.

 

Desserts with Coconut Milk

Bakes, puddings, custards, ice cream and cakes – coconut milk tastes great with pretty much any dessert and transforms it into lush, creamy delights infused with an exotic flavour.

 

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

For a delicious soft-serve coconut milk ice cream dessert, simply add into a food processor: two overripe, frozen bananas, a handful of frozen berries, and 120ml coconut milk. A healthy dessert the whole family will love! You can also follow any homemade ice cream recipe and substitute coconut milk for whole milk, one to one.

 

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

Luxurious coconut whipped cream is all the rage in vegan and paleo recipes. To make it, refrigerate coconut milk overnight, which causes the milk’s fat to separate and solidify. Turn it upside down before opening; this will ensure the liquid portion will be on top. Drain the liquid and keep aside for using in a smoothie or beverage (see below). Scoop the coconut solids into a bowl. Beat until the consistency of whipped cream. Add a splash of vanilla extract or sugar to taste. Decadently delicious on pie cake and sundaes, or stirred into a cup of coffee.

 

Coconut Milk Frosting

A silky smooth vegan frosting made from whipped coconut cream and powdered sugar.  Add ¼ cup powered sugar per one can or bottle of coconut milk.

 

Drinks with Coconut Milk

Wondering what to do with the leftover coconut milk from your dinner recipe? Simply add it to a drink!

 

Milkshakes and Smoothies

Replace the regular milk with coconut milk when making a milkshake, or add it to your fresh fruit breakfast smoothie (especially good with tropical fruit such as mangoes, pineapple, peaches or berries) for extra body and richness.

 

Cocktails

Adding coconut milk to a cocktail gives it an exotic and sweet note to its flavour. It works especially well in rum cocktails with a touch of lime or lemon juice to cut through the richness. Generally speaking for cocktail recipes, you should use the thinner coconut milk that’s left at the bottom of the can or bottle.

 

Coffee Creamer

The flavour of coffee and coconut go beautifully well together. For a quick, easy and delicious coffee creamer, simply mix 2 cups of coffee with 1/3 cup of coconut milk. You can also add a dash of vanilla extract and pure maple syrup to taste. It’s best to use a blender (be very careful of the hot coffee), which will result in a nice layer of foam on top.

 

How do you use coconut milk in your kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.