Coconut milk should be on the top of your list of useful pantry staples. Canned coconut milk is simply white coconut meat that has been soaked in water and blended until smooth. When you open up a can (that has not been shaken), you will notice a thicker creamy part on the top. This is the richest part of the coconut milk (higher in fat and protein), and can often be used in the same way you would use cream. If you want to use the whole can (without skimming off the creamy bit), then make sure to shake the can before opening it. Read on to see how you can use it!
When you buy canned coconut milk, be sure to look on the label to see whether it’s unsweetened. Some varieties (often labelled as cream of coconut) have lots of added sugars which could mess up your recipe.
Read on to see how you can use it!
Add it to a curry. If you’re making a Thai curry, and you want it to taste like the real thing, then the addition of coconut milk is essential. It gives just the right amount of sweetness that brings out the rich curry flavor.
Make a creamier soup. In the same way you would finish off a soup with a dash of cream, you can add coconut milk for a dairy-free option.
Not only does it make the soup rich and creamy, but it will also give a slight coconut taste (but not so much that it will ruin the flavor of your soup!).
Give your rice a boost! If you enjoy Thai and Indian cuisine, but serve it with plain rice, then it’s time to shake it up by making coconut rice. Basmati or jasmine rice infused with coconut milk has just the right amount of delicate coconut flavor to accompany a strong curry.
Make dairy-free desserts. When making desserts, coconut milk is an ideal dairy-free substitute (that is, if you don’t mind a mild coconut flavor). Use it in cakes as a substitute for milk, make vegan panna cotta, dairy-free ice cream, or make your own coconut dulce de leche!
Roast and braise meat using coconut milk. You’ve probably heard about Jamie Oliver’s chicken in milk recipe, right? Well, you can use coconut milk in the same way. The result will be tender chicken and a rich, flavorsome sauce!
Don’t let the meaty bits stuck to the bottom of the pan go to waste. Use coconut milk to deglaze a pan and make a lovely sauce.
Use it instead of milk to make creamed spinach (or even mashed potatoes!).
Add it to your morning smoothie together with mango and pineapple. Or even better, use it to make milkshakes…Pina Colada milkshake, anyone?