There are many reasons why you would want to try a substitute for regular milk. It could be food allergies, lactose sensitivity or intolerance, a desire to consume less animal products (without compromising your protein intake), or perhaps a strategy to gain or lose weight and lastly, for the taste. Whether you plan to drink it, enjoy it with your breakfast cereal, or cook and bake with it, we give you a rundown of the most common alternatives to regular milk.

Read on, for information on the taste, the nutritional value, and the calorie content of the most popular non-dairy milks, along with tips on preparing it from scratch. In this post, we discuss coconut milk.

  • Taste: Never make the mistake of using canned coconut milk, normally used in rich sauces, Thai curry-like dishes, and creamy desserts. Instead, look for the smoother and slightly sweeter drinkable variety. It has a distinct, coconut-like flavor.
  • Nutrition: If you pick a low-calorie option, you will have better chances of finding unsweetened versions. Even so, it is equally low in protein and calcium, which means you shouldn’t expect it to be nutritious enough to meet your dietary needs.
  • Additives: Avoid commercial brands that have additives, artificial flavors or starch in large amounts to simulate the mouth-feel and flavor of milk.

DIY Coconut Milk

  1. Boil 2 cups water.
  2. Add 1 cup unsweetened and dried coconut flakes.
  3. Let it simmer for a short while. Let this cool and blend until creamy.
  4. Strain through a finely meshed cheesecloth.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate, so it lasts for up to a week.

Here’s a video explaining the steps in detail:

What To Do With Leftover Coconut Meal
After squeezing out the milk, you should never throw away the leftover coconut meal as it is still nutritious and perfect for gluten sensitive folks, as it is gluten free. It is also low in carbs and very high in fiber. Cool it, and after it dries, store it in an airtight container or sealed bag in the refrigerator. You can add this to baked goods like muffins, cakes and cookies for a nutty flavor.

Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
Here are some more recipes and tips for a Vegan Diet.

Read More:
Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl
This Could Be The Best Dairy-Free Option For Cooking & Baking

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.