Coconut is a multi-use ingredient. It is a popular food item in many countries. Numerous benefits of coconut have served mankind for years now.
In this coconut cream vs coconut milk Guide, let us discover more about these two. You can include coconut cream and coconut milk in your diet. If you are not sure exactly what these two are, let us inform you.
About Coconut milk
Coconut milk does not come naturally, like coconut water. It is extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts. Here’s how they make coconut milk. They soak the grated coconut flesh in hot water. The next step is to stain this mixture. What is obtained is nothing but coconut milk.
You will come across two types of coconut milk.
Thin coconut milk- coconut milk obtained through the above process is thinner in the first extraction. It is more liquid. It is low in fat and has a mild coconut taste or flavor. You can use it while preparing curries and soups. The best way to include it is to use it as a base.
Thick coconut milk- this is part of the second extraction. Once soaked, coconut flesh goes through the same technique again. This one is creamy and has more fat in it. If you want a good amount of coconut flavor, try this one.
About Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is also extracted by soaking coconut flesh in hot water. The only difference is that coconut cream is soaked in less water. This is why it is thicker than coconut milk and has a creamy texture.
It gives you a deep coconut flavor and has more fat content. If you ever wander in Asian countries, you will come across coconut cream more often. These are part of coconut ice-creams, beverages, and even waffles.
While baking cake or cookies, you can add a layer of coconut cream. It will have a thick texture and add a fresh coconut flavor.
Coconut Milk vs.Coconut Cream: What Is the Difference?
A common factor in coconut milk and coconut cream is the process of extraction. Another common point is that they both originate from coconut. But we will now learn about the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream.
As discussed above, coconut milk and coconut cream differ in their consistency. Coconut milk has more of a liquid consistency. Thin coconut milk is very liquid in nature in comparison to thick coconut milk. On the other hand, coconut cream is thick and has a semi-solid texture.
Depending on the consistency, fat content also varies. Thin coconut milk has less than 15% fat content. Thick coconut milk has up to 20% fat. The highest amount of fat is in coconut cream. It goes up to 50% in fat content.
Thicker the consistency, more is the flavor. Coconut cream will give you a lot of coconut flavor. Coconut milk also has a coconut flavor, but it is milder. If you wish to add a lot of coconut flavor to your dish, use coconut cream.
If you are on a low-fat diet, coconut milk is the best for you. It will provide nutrients for your body and maintain your fat-intake.
Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk Substitute
Coconut cream or coconut milk may not be readily available in your area. In such a case, you can always try out an alternative.
Dairy products- if you are on a vegan diet, this may not be a suitable option for you. But for others, this can be a better option. Almond milk is nutritious and is a good replacement for coconut milk. Not many people like the overpowering taste of almonds. Try out soy milk, then.
Fresh dairy cream from certain brands can be a substitute for coconut milk. Please note that this won’t be a healthier option, though.
Grated coconut– You can make coconut cream or coconut milk at home using grated coconut. Simply soak the grated coconut in hot water. Now stain the mixture, depending on what you want. If you want coconut cream, keep doing the process three times.
If you want to extract coconut milk, stain it once or twice. Staining will depend on whether you want thin or thick coconut milk.
Coconut milk powder- you can buy coconut milk powder to attain the consistency of coconut milk. You just need to mix the water and powder together. Add water as per your texture requirements.
Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts
The nutrients in both of these come from coconut itself. Due to the extraction process, there are slight differences in their nutritional values.
In a cup of coconut milk-
- Fiber= 5-6 grams
- Fat content= 55 grams
- Proteins= 5-7 grams
- Carbohydrates- 15 grams
- Calories- 550-552
In 1 cup coconut cream-
- Fiber- to 2 grams
- Fats- 80-85 grams
- Protein content- 7-8 grams
- Carbohydrates- 10 grams
- Calories count up to 790
(Please note that these are approximate values.)
Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk For Cooking
Let us see how to use coconut cream and coconut milk in cooking. The usage mainly depends on what cuisine you are about to cook.
To make beverages, you can use coconut cream. If you are making cold coffee and want to add texture, add coconut cream. To make smoothies, use thin/thick coconut milk.
Desserts– as these are often solids, coconut creams work the best. You can make ice-cream using coconut cream. If you are about to make custard, use coconut milk as a base.
To make soup, curry, or sauce– base of coconut milk will taste the best. It will enhance the overall flavor and aroma of your recipe.
Coconut cream and coconut milk taste delicious. Coming from a common place, they both have common properties. Yet they differ in nutritional content. The only thing to note is that these must come from a good brand.
Some brands add concentrated amounts that cause health issues. They also do not taste authentic. Make sure you buy coconut milk and coconut cream from a trusted company.
Experts on Sri Lankan Coconut Products.