Tuesday, April 24, 2012

6 Uses of Coconut Milk

If you are anything like me, you have never given much thought to coconut milk.  Milk is milk, right?  And it comes from a cow.  But a few months ago, I discovered a wonderful addition to my diet in the form of coconut milk.  I was on a special diet prescribed by my doctor and could not have any dairy for 6 weeks.  Initially this seemed problematic for someone who uses milk almost on a daily basis.  However, a quick trip to Whole Foods proved that there are many milk substitutes on the market.

Option #1 was soy milk.  That was quickly eliminated not because of the taste (okay, partly because of the taste...), but because the majority of soy beans grown in the USA are genetically-modified.  And anything that has been genetically altered is not something I want to be putting in my body.

Option #2 was almond milk.  I actually really like the taste of almond milk, but I was already eating a lot of nuts on a daily basis.  And gorging yourself on nuts is not a wise decision.

Which left me Option #3....coconut milk.  I had never tried it before, but I love coconut oil, coconut butter, and just plain coconut, so it stood to reason that I would like this concoction as well.  After experimenting with the white liquid, I found it to be quite valuable in my kitchen.  Even though my non-dairy diet is over, I have continued purchasing coconut milk instead of cow's milk.

Here are some suggestions for how to incorporate coconut milk into your diet:

1.  Drink it out of a glass like regular milk (goes especially well with cookies!)
2.  Use as a substitute for milk in pastries (cookies, brownies, etc.)
3.  Substitute for eggs/milk in pancakes (the thick texture helps batter stick together)
4.  Add to egg mixture for omelettes (makes it a little creamy)
5.  Mix with granola and fruit for a tasty breakfast
6.  Add to smoothies for consistency

And there are so many more options!  I have found that coconut milk (unsweetened) actually helps bring out the natural flavor of whatever you mix it with.  Because it has a thicker consistency than other types of milk, it is especially useful in baking.  But drinking it by itself is also quite tasty!

In addition, coconuts come with an assortment of health benefits including: boost in immunity, wrinkle prevention, renewed energy levels, helps with weight loss and maintenance, lowers cholesterol, and the list goes on.  With all the health benefits in addition to great taste, why wouldn't you try incorporating coconut milk into your diet?

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