Coconut milk is an undervalued product in our latitudes. It is known mainly as an element of exotic Thai cuisine and several diets that involve the rejection of a particular food of animal origin. In this case, coconut milk is an alternative to the usual cow’s or goat’s milk, cream, or sour cream.
However, a delicate cream drink with a light sweet taste has much more useful properties than just the ability to replace fermented milk products.
Benefits of coconut milk
Its undeniable advantage is the absence of common allergens or substances that can cause intolerance-soy, nuts, and lactose. For this reason, the coconut diet is suitable for those who, for health reasons or personal beliefs, avoid dairy and nut products in their diet.
A high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, a variety of vitamins, and a large number of trace elements — a very rich set of nutrients for just one product.
- fat-soluble (K and E).
- water-soluble (B1, B4-B6, B9, PP).
Useful organic acids:
- Lauric acid which enhances brain function suppresses the appetite and reduces the feeling of hunger.
- Capric acid balances the microflora and strengthens the immune system.
- Folic acid is required to protect the immune system from the appearance of diseases and imbalances.
- Pantothenic acid promotes regeneration and recovery of the body.
The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids-omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 – is so high that their consumption can only be compared with seafood.
- Tocopherol slows down the aging process and stimulates the functioning of the reproductive system.
- Retinol helps to heal and visually improve the skin surface.
The number of minerals contained is also impressive: calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium. The daily requirement of an adult for 100 grams of the product is:
Manganese-40%, copper-29%, iron-16%, phosphorus-14%, selenium-11%, magnesium-9% and further decreasing.
The presence of these components is important for the body, as they are involved in its biochemical reactions:
- Manganese is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels.
- Copper increases iron absorption and improves cellular respiration.
- Iron saturates the organs with oxygen and helps to strengthen the cardiovascular system.
- Phosphorus is responsible for the development and strengthening of bone tissue.
- Selenium controls free radicals and reduces the risk of joint inflammation.
- Magnesium provides a healthy nervous system and regulates blood pressure.
Dietary fiber accelerates the digestive process, stabilizes the work of the intestine, significantly improving its microflora.
But in addition to the huge number of advantages to abuse, this product is still not worth it. The recommended norm is 1 Cup, which, depending on the percentage of fat content, contains about 200 kcal and about 20 g of fat. Thus, we can conclude that coconut milk is a fairly high-calorie and fatty product. However, it is recommended by nutritionists and nutrition consultants to add it to the diet to reduce and maintain optimal weight indicators. The main advantage of this food is that it is quickly digested and allows a person to avoid feeling hungry for a long time. It also helps to remove cholesterol from the body and normalizes the gastrointestinal tract.
Difference between coconut milk and coconut water
What does the coconut itself consist of:
- The shell is the outer brown layer that protects it from impacts.
- Copra is the inner white layer from which coconut milk is made later.
- Endosperm-intercellular clear-turbid liquid, which is coconut water.
The consistency of the liquid changes as the fruit Matures: a watery texture indicates immaturity, and a thick one indicates a fully matured product.
Some believe that the water inside is already milk. This opinion is erroneous since it is obtained by pressing from the hard pulp. It is worth noting that the milk itself is called so only conditionally, based on the white color and similar consistency to the product of animal origin.
How to open and “milk” a coconut
The word “cocos” means “face with a grin”. This unusual name it received because of the three eyes at the base, which are somewhat similar to the face of a monkey. One of these three eyes is always open, you just need to pierce it and a liquid called coconut water will pour out. Then the shell is split with a hammer and cleaned from the top layer. Copra is crushed through a grater or using a blender. And the resulting chips are added to hot water and allowed to settle for several hours. After a short period and complete cooling, the resulting mass is pressed and filtered. Depending on the amount of water, the fat content of milk is regulated. And the remaining cake after filtering and subsequent drying can be used as coconut flour.
The coconut itself, contrary to popular misconception, does not belong to nuts, its biological variety is called boneset, that is, stone fruit (it also includes cherries, plums, and peaches). Therefore, in contrast to nuts for the preparation of coconut milk, pre-soaking of the pulp is not required at all.
Coconut milk powder
Coconut pulp powder is also useful for the body, as is the liquid formula. Unlike the standard version, milk powder contains less fat and more dietary fiber. Due to its compact shape, this version of the coconut derivative is most convenient for storage and transportation.
Coconut milk powder is more concentrated than coconut milk in a jar.
In the liquid, a significant share of the volume of the finished product is occupied by coconut pulp, while the dry one is devoid of it.
Although powdered milk and you need to add quite a bit to get almost the same taste or fat content, you will not be able to get a thick consistency. But it is convenient to store, it does not spoil longer, you can add it directly in dry form in baking when frying pancakes, cheesecakes and when preparing other desserts. Perfect for adding to porridge.
If you do not use sugar or limit its consumption in your children, then coconut milk powder is a great alternative.
Most often, the composition of milk powder contains maltodextrin, which is extracted from tapioca. In a dry product, it is necessary to eliminate caking. Otherwise, it would be difficult to use, since it would not be so crumbly.
How to breed coconut milk from powder
The main thing: do not rush — slowly add water and constantly stir. First, add 50 ml of water to 2-3 tablespoons of powder, then another 50 ml, and then bring the volume to the desired value.
To get coconut cream, you need to use less water.
For tea or coffee, 1-2 teaspoons of milk powder per Cup will do.
How many ml of milk can you get from 100 g of dry powder?
The approximate norm is 1 tablespoon per 100 ml of water. In a tablespoon, on average, there will be about 8-10 g of the product. So, 100 g of powder is approximately enough to get 1 liter of ready-made milk.
There are several rules to follow when choosing coconut milk:
- Date of manufacture and expiration date. Closed unused milk is unpretentious in storage, for this purpose, any dry dark place is suitable. But after opening the package, it can only be stored in the refrigerator and no more than three days.
- Safe composition without the presence of harmful preservatives and critical additives. The presence of an eco-certificate in this matter makes it much easier.
- Fatness. The richness and creaminess of the taste depends on it. When choosing it, you should understand what purposes you plan to use it for: fat options are more suitable for preparing soups, second courses, desserts, and creams. And less fat samples are for drinks.
- The container used. In the assortment of stores in the USA, you can find mainly two used containers: a tin can or a Tetra-pack. Both of them are safe, but still have differences between them. In very rare cases, you can also see glass packaging.
What to make from coconut milk
The easiest and most delicious way is to eat it in its purest form. The creamy nutty taste will be a great addition to fruit salads. But if you like more satisfying dishes — you can prepare any cream soup based on it. Unlike the traditional version of cooking using cow’s milk and butter, coconut soup will be less fat, but more savory in taste. This type of milk is indispensable in Thai cuisine, it is added to Tom-Yam, sauces, and various desserts.
Coconut milk pancakes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil
- 1 egg
Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then mix in the coconut milk, oil and egg until completely blended. And pour them out on a hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray. and voila!!–pancakes!
Coconut ice cream
- coconut milk 500 ml
- banana 2 PCs.
Pour the coconut milk into the blender bowl and put the banana slices. If desired, you can add berries and other fruits, and for sweetness — vanilla (1 tsp). carefully whisk until smooth and creamy consistency. Pour into a mold and send it to the freezer until completely solidified. As the coconut ice cream freezes, you can stir it to avoid forming chunks of ice. Store it in the freezer for up to one week.
- coconut milk 100 ml
- 1 banana
- cocoa powder 1 tbsp.
- coconut milk 100 ml
- strawberry 200 g
- honey 1-2 tbsp.
- mint 2-3 leaves
Everything is pre-washed and cleaned, loaded into a blender and whipped. Pour into glasses and enjoy the wonderful taste. For a more liquid and less greasy consistency, you can add water.