In a bid to discovering delicious dairy substitutes, we bring to you coconut milk. As the name suggests, this milk is extracted from grated coconut. However, it’s not the same as coconut water, or coconut cream.
Coconut milk has a rich and creamy texture which makes it a great ingredient in cooking and baking. It’s used by vegans around the world, and specifically used in many South-East Asian cuisines. Other than its culinary uses, it possesses many beauty benefits, too. That’s because it is rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6, calcium, iron, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium.
While buying coconut milk, you may come across two varieties: thick and thin. The thick variant is more suited to rich sauces and dairy-free desserts (like cakes and pies, owing to its creamy consistency), and the thin kind is ideal for soups and regular cooking. Either way, this makes for a great dairy substitute if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan.
Benefits Of Coconut Milk
- Supports Bone Health: Coconut milk may not contain as much calcium as dairy, but it is a rich source of phosphorus, which is equally important for bone growth and development.
- Aids Weight Loss: Although it contains fat, it’s the good kind of fat which is essential to the normal development of the body. It helps keep you full and satiated for long, thus controlling your appetite. Additionally, the fat in coconut milk helps boost your metabolism, which may further induce weight loss.
- Strengthens The Immune System: Coconut milk contains lauric acids, capric acid and antimicrobial lipids which possess antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. These strengthen your immune system and help fight bacteria and viruses that threaten your health.
- Keeps Skin & Hair Healthy: Consuming coconut milk naturally boosts your health due to its ample nutrient content, but applying it externally also has numerous benefits. Dab some on your skin to help soothe infections, wounds, and itchy skin. You can also use it to condition your hair. Apply it to the scalp, leave it on for 15 minutes, and rinse away with a mild shampoo.
DIY Coconut Milk Recipe
Making coconut milk at home is fairly simple; follow the procedure below.
- 2.5oz grated coconut
- 1 1/2 cups hot simmered water
- Take a heat-proof bowl and add the hot water and grated coconut to it.
- Stir this mixture well and allow it to cool till it reaches room temperature.
- Take a large bowl lined with a double layer of cheesecloth, place a sieve or strainer over it and pour the liquid from the soaked coconut into it.
- Squeeze the cheesecloth further to strain all the liquid.
- Store the collected milk in the refrigerator.
- Use this milk for cooking, or as required.