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Coconut Milk

An Introduction
Coconut milk is the white liquid that comes from the inner flesh of a coconut. The color and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content. Most of the fat is saturated fat. Coconut milk is a very popular food ingredient used in Southeast Asia, especially in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and South China.

Preparation of Coconut Milk

Coconut milk can be prepared by squeezing grated coconut meat. Then squeezed coconut meat is soaked in warm water and squeezed for a second or third time for thin coconut milk. There are two types of coconut milk called Thick Coconut Milk and Thin Coconut Milk. Thick milk is used to make desserts. Thin milk is used for making soups and general cooking.

Coconut milk also can be made at home by processing grated coconut with hot water or milk, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. Then it has a fat content of 17-24% depending on the fat level of the coconut flesh and the quantity of added water. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will come up to the top and separate out from the milk.

Canned Coconut Milk
Canned coconut milk typically combined with thin and thick milk, with the addition of water as a filler. Depending on the brand and age of the milk itself, a thicker, more paste-like consistency floats to the top side of the can, and is sometimes separated and used in recipes that require coconut cream. Shaking the can prior to opening will even it out to a creamy thickness.

Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

  • Coconut milk contains a very large proportion of lauric acid, a saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of high density lipoprotein cholesterol that is also found in breast milk and sebaceous gland secretions.
  • Coconut milk is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which the body processes differently than other saturated fats. MCFAs may help promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels.
  • Coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.

Popular Uses
Fresh coconut milk has a consistency and mildly sweet taste similar to cow's milk, and if properly prepared. It may be consumed raw by itself, or used as a milk substitute in tea, coffee, and even baking by vegans or people allergic to animal milk. It can also be mixed with fruit to make a yoghurt substitute.

Coconut milk is a common ingredient in many tropical cuisines, such as Indian, Burmese, Cambodian, Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Sri Lankan, Thai, Vietnamese and Southern Chinese, as well as Brazilian, Caribbean, Polynesian, and Pacific islands cuisines. Frozen coconut milk tends to stay fresh longer, which is very important in dishes in which the coconut flavor is not competing with curries and other spicy dishes.

Since the ancient times the chefs in Southeast Asia and India have extensively depended on the versatility of coconut milk, using it in everything from spicy curries to savory soups. Latin cooks also reach for it; it's a soothing antidote to a chile's heat. Even it is an important aspect of the African and Hawain cuisine. Many oriental eateries offer coconut chicken or shrimp on the menu, and coconut milk soup is a

gourmet treat. Two very popular recipes of our times are as follows:-

Virgin Colada
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple fruit
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • Ice, crushed or cubed
  • Add all ingredients into a blender and puree until everything is mixed and slushy

Coconut Milk Based Chicken Curry/Thai Chicken Curry

  • Ingredients
    • 1 cup chicken breast
    • 2 cups coconut milk
    • 2 tbsp green curry paste
    • 1 cup sweet peas
    • 2 green chilies, cut lengthwise
    • 2 tbsp fish sauce
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Method
    • Slice chicken into strips or cubes, depending on you own preference
    • Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet
    • Stir-fry green curry paste for about one minute to flavour the oil
    • Add chicken pieces and fish sauce. Stir fry until chicken is cooked through
    • Add coconut milk and bring to a simmering boil. Add peas and chilies. Cook for 3 to 5 more minutes
    • Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Use of Coconut Milk for Beautiful Skin

Coconut Milk for a more smooth, supple, healthy and radiant skin. Make it a regular practice.
Use of coconut milk is recommended for sensitive skin in particular -  it is abundant with natural antiseptic fatty acids that gently removes impurities without drying the skin especially when one has sensitive skin.


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