What is Coconut Milk?

Our heads spin as we hear the laundry list of dairy alternatives. They are all considered healthy and taste good so how are we supposed to choose? The one that you should be on your radar is the famous coconut milk. 

Coconut milk is a dairy-free milk alternative that comes unsweetened, sweetened, and even combined with certain flavors. The taste is similar to that of 2% real dairy milk-think creamy and a touch of sweet. Coconut milk is actually the combination of two fluids: coconut cream and coconut water

Where does Coconut Milk Come From?

Long story short, coconut milk is made by shredding the meat of a fresh coconut, putting that meat to simmer in water, and then straining the pieces. The liquid that is strained is then separated into two layers: a fat, creamy layer and a thin "skim" layer. Sounds pretty simple. 

How Should You Be Using It?

Every morning, I become that basic young adult and order my cold brew with coconut milk from Starbucks. For when I'm not on the go (or just feeling lazy), I have a half a gallon of coconut milk in my fridge ready to be used in coffee at home to add some extra flavor. 

Not only is it a great substitute as a coffee creamer, but you can also use it in many foods as well. The most common use for coconut milk is in curry. If you haven't yet tried Thai Curry sauce with chicken or tofu, run to the nearest store and get cooking. If you're not into Thai food, that's fine, there are plenty of recipes for sauces for pasta, meat, and fish that include coconut milk as well. 

Now, as we browse our Instagram explore pages and read endless food blogger posts, we see that coconut milk is also used as an alternative in baked goods. I've used coconut milk in my cookie and brownie recipes and they've tasted just the same, if not, better. 

If you need your yogurt fix, they even have coconut milk yogurt. If you're whipping yourself up a smoothie, coconut milk is the perfect ingredient to add for some extra sweetness and flavor. It pairs very well with basically any type of fruit so it's hard to mess up. 

Why Coconut Milk Is The Best In The Game

I was not into the food scene until about age 18. I had never even dreamed of steering away from my 1% milk trend, my Yoplait yogurt, let alone any fish. 

Once I got into the coconut fad, I have not been the same. Every time I eat out at Thai restaurants, without a doubt I order the curry. If I'm in a coffee shop and they have a 7-layer bar, there's no stopping me. My coffee rarely misses a day without it's companion of coconut milk. I even have started to make energy bite recipes with coconut as the main ingredients. If I go out to ice cream, chances are I'll either try or order the flavor that even has the slightest hint of coconut flavor. 

Basically, you could say I'm a huge coconut girl. Huge. I'm not even dairy-free and I absolutely adore the flavor it adds to any of my meals. For those of you who are struggling to find a substitute that actually tastes good, coconut milk should be your next try. For those of you who don't need a substitute but want to change it up, coconut milk is calling you too.