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Using Coconut Milk

Updated on March 14, 2013
Coconut milk is yummy
Coconut milk is yummy

When you puncture a coconut, a watery liquid will come pouring out. Though this is often used as a drink in some cultures, this is not coconut milk.

Coconut milk, as called for in many drink and cooking recipes is a far creamier liquid actually made from the white meat inside the coconut. The coconut meat is grated, soaked in hot water and then strained through mesh or cheesecloth. This produces the think coconut milk we are all familiar with. The thinner liquid inside the nut is sometimes called "coconut water".

Coconut milk is very high in fat, but it's saturated fat so the body can process it better than some other high-fat drinks. Besides the fat content, there are other health benefits to coconut milk. It's also considered to be anti-viral (due to the high levels of lauric acid), as well as anti-bacterial and possibly even anti-carcinogenic. The latest health trend is coconut oil, which is a whole other article.

While you can always make your own fresh coconut milk from the meat of a coconut, it's more likely that you will just buy it by the can in the supermarket. You can usually find it in the "ethnic" foods section.

If you love the tropical and creamy taste of coconut milk, you can experiment with some new drink or food recipes:

Virgin Colada

A classic Mexican drink, but served in a non-alcoholic variety. It's very tropical and a cool way to usher in the warmer weather of upcoming summer. Enjoy with while lounging on the patio.

  • 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. Have chilled glasses ready for serving. A little paper umbrella would be a nice touch too.

Thai Chicken Curry

You can certainly use coconut milk in cooking as well as in drinks. This classic chick curry recipe is quick, easy and an exotic change from your everyday chicken dinners.

  • 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

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.


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 9 years ago from USA

      Dear Terri, thanks for this hub. I like coconut a lot.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 9 years ago from India

      the taste of the cocunut water will be very sweat...

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      HI Terri, I was smilling as I was reading this hub. We have lots of coconuts here in the Philippines. And yes, one of the uses is for mixing it with food. Thanks for the chicken curry recipe. Do you know, we also use coconut to make our hair bright and shiny? Some do. It's inexpensive and truly brings out the shine in the hair. Haha

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      I find the strong taste of coconut to be powerful, but using it sparingly might help me grow to like it. Curry is a powerful herb that is very good for us...and I will try this recipe !!! Thanks, Terry, I look forward to more!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Dear Terri, coconut is one of my favorite, how should I say: fruits or nuts or drinks or ... I like it in any delicious form, really. I also need to admit, that I am not very good at cutting it and preparing it and I always ask a professional to do it for me.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      I do like curry and the colada sounds ideal for a hot day, thanks.