Growing up as a child , I remember eating curries make with coconut milk and drinking coconut water. The old school of thought was that coconut was loaded with fat and hence coconut milk should be used sparingly. Fast forward….now coconut milk is quickly becoming the new ‘Health Craze’ and the same fat is considered ” Healthy Fat” which delivers a multitude of benefits. My first experience with drinking coconut milk was in a smoothie. I went to a cafe in DC and had this exotic tasting berry smoothie which was unlike anything I had tasted before. On enquiry I found it had been blended with coconut milk. I read a little about it and jumped on the ‘ Coconut Milk Bandwagon’. Previously available only in special stores, you can now get it anywhere. Smoothie it, cook with it, turn it into ice cream or just drink it cool with ice cubes, it ‘s a treat. I do not recommend canned milk which is a more concentrated form for drinking. You can however cook with it if you wish. The packaged version in a carton is more drink friendly. It tastes absolutely delish in smoothies. I have recipes for making your own coconut milk. A quick and easy method and a more laborious method if you want to make your own milk.
Benefits of coconut milk
Higher in calcium than regular milk and almond milk.
Nutrient Rich : Coconut milk is rich in a wide range of minerals and vitamins. It contains iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and also the following important vitamins: C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6. Coconut milk is also a good source of protein.
Boost immune system : Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal thus strengthening the immune system.
Weight Loss : The saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids which the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it’s high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss. No wonder it’s the number one recommended milk for protein shakes. It is also said to boost metabolism.Coconut milk makes you feel full very quickly because of high concentrations of dietary fiber.
Relaxes muscles and nerves: Rich in magnesium which can help relive and ease cramps, muscle pulls and muscle soreness.
Aids in Digestion : Coconut milk contains beneficial substances that allow the stomach to digest food properly. Due to the high content of lauric acid, coconut milk is anti-bacterial and it kills off bad bacteria in the stomach that can cause you to not digest food properly. So adding coconut milk to your diet will help with digestion.
Dairy Free, Nut Free and Vegan : Coconut milk is a dairy-free alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts. This vegan drink is also soy-free and gluten-free.
Recipes for home-made coconut milkHome -made coconut milk ( easy method)
This quick and easy method will give you a glass of fresh coconut milk in minutes.
- 2 tbsp dried coconut flakes or fresh/ frozen grated coconut meat
- 1 glass warm water
- 1 date ( optional)
- Blend together the dry coconut flakes or the fresh/frozen flakes with water till smooth.
- Add date and blend with the above mixture for a natural sweet taste.
- Enjoy your glass of fresh coconut milk2.0Home-made coconut milk with fresh coconut
This method of making coconut milk takes some work, but will yield you a creamy rich milk which can be used for cooking. Also makes a delish drink !
- 1 coconut
- 2 glasses hot water
- Sharp Knife
- fine muslin or cheese cloth to strain
- Break coconut by piercing eyes with a sharp knife.
- Drain coconut water into a bowl. Split the coconut by covering in a kitchen towel and smashing with a rolling pin or hammer.
- With a sharp knife, pry the coconut meat from its husk.
- Put the coconut flesh and coconut water in a blender, adding 2 cups hot water and blend until the coconut and water forms a smooth slurry.
- Pour coconut mixture through a muslin or nut milk bag or fine cheesecloth into a bowl or pitcher. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Refrigerate your fresh coconut milk.2.0
To make this delish mango coconut milk smoothie, just click on this link. It’s one of my favorite recipes