Coconut. The holy grail of vegandom. We’d heard of coconut oil. Sprinkled desiccated coconut over our favorite baked goods. Enjoyed coconut in our pina colada for decades. It was about time to give coconut the limelight it deserved - as our go-to vegan milk substitute.
Tropical, nutty, and full of flavor, a ‘go-to’ is exactly what Coconut milk has become. Rich in manganese, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium, and harming zero animals in the process - Coconut Milk has taken a well-deserved spot as a leading competitor to milk made from cow dairy.
At PlantX we have Coconut Milk tried and tested. Good for you, the planet, and downright delicious - It's the perfect companion for your coffee, cereal, cooking, or baking. Don't believe us yet? Stick around and have a scroll. With an exceptional selection of brands to choose from, there’s bound to be something to bring your coconut dreams to life …
How is Coconut Milk made?
Coconut Milk is made straight from the coconut tree. The white flesh found inside mature brown coconuts is lovingly mixed with water. The result? The lavish coconut milk we all know and love.
Coconut milk can be made with a thick or thin consistency depending on how much it is processed.
Thick coconut milk is made from coconut flesh that has been finely grated and boiled or simmered in water. The milk is then strained through a cheesecloth, leaving behind a thick and rich consistency.
Thin coconut milk starts with the same process as thick, but a few more steps are added! The grated coconut milk left behind from the first round is simmered in the water again. The milk is then strained through a cheesecloth a second time. This careful repetition leaves behind an equally delicious, but beautifully thin coconut milk.
What are the health benefits of Coconut Milk?
Lucky for us Coconut milk isn't just tasty, it's also brimming with health benefits. Coconut flesh is rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, and minerals (including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous).
While the research is varied, there are also studies to suggest Coconut Milk can reduce inflammation, decrease the size of stomach ulcers, and even fight viruses and bacteria ... not bad, hey?
Does Coconut Milk contain fat?
Yes! Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, so Coconut Milk does too.
However, fat does not mean bad. Coconuts mainly contain a medium-chain saturated fatty acid (MCFA) called lauric acid. When in the body, lauric acid is converted into monolaurin. Monolaurin is an antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial that has been linked to protecting the body from infections and viruses. Moreover, MCFA's, like lauric acid, are metabolized quickly in the liver. So, unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat.
All this aside, at PlantX we live by a tale as old as time ‘everything in moderation.' So, as long as you enjoy your Coconut Milk as part of a balanced diet there is nothing to worry about our friends!
Does Coconut Milk harm the planet?
Coconut Milk is 100% vegan, but as we all know, this does not mean 100% good. We need to account for the environmental impact the manufacturing methods of vegan alternatives can have too.
Lucky for any coconut fanatics, the manufacturing methods of Coconut Milk have a relatively small environmental impact. This is because it only takes a small amount of water to grow coconut. According to estimates, 0.5l of water is needed to make a 200 ml glass of coconut milk - this ranks Coconut Milk pretty high compared to other vegan milk alternatives.
What’s more? Coconut trees, like all trees, filter out carbon dioxide and release oxygen, helping to keep us all breathing. More coconut farms means more coconut trees, something our planet desperately needs!
However, coconuts are typically grown in tropical areas so there tends to be a lot of energy used in transportation. If you want to keep your eco-footprint as small as possible be sure to take this into account. Look at where the ingredients in your coconut milk were sourced and how much energy was used in the journey to get the carton to the shelves. It may take a little more effort, but worth it for mother earth.
Coconut - a nut or a fruit!?
Coconuts are part of the palm family and are often confused for a nut. We can’t blame anyone, the name is rather misleading... However, coconut is a type of fruit!
Coconuts can be classified as a one-seeded ‘drupe'. A drupe is any fruit consisting of an outer skin, a pulpy or succulent middle layer, and a hard inner shell protecting a single seed - sound familiar? Enter our friend the trusty coconut!
A fun fact to pull out at your next dinner party ...
Recipe ideas for Coconut Milk:
So, we’ve convinced you - you’ve got Coconut Milk locked into your basket. But, what tasty creations can you do with your coconut milk? Look no further, we have some ideas to get those creative juices flowing …
Aside from coffee, cereal, and making delicious baked goods, Coconut is often used in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisines. It is also a popular ingredient in Hawaii, India, and some South American and Caribbean countries - so there is a lot to choose from. Here are our top 2 suggestions:
Sticky Rice and Mango - a heavenly Thai classic!
Simply make your best sticky rice, combine coconut milk and sugar in a pan, then lovingly pour over the rice. Serve with chopped mango, coconut cream, and sesame seed - simply divine.
Spiced carrot soup - simple but scrumptious.
Simply heat oil in a pan with onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. Then add curry powder, carrots, lemongrass, and zest. In another pan, mix some deliciously creamy coconut milk with vegetable stock. Once everything is ready, whack it all in a blender and buzz until smooth. Serve with crusty brown bread. Simple but delicious, we promise!