Canned coconut milk can be your best friend in the kitchen and there are tons of tasty ways to use canned coconut milk to make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods. If you haven’t tried using it yet, fall is a great time to start. Canned coconut milk doesn’t have an overpowering coconut taste, but instead offers that rich, creamy flavor you need to really make a comfort dish work. Yes, coconut milk is high in fat, but the saturated fats in canned coconut milk are much healthier than those in dairy-based milk, and have no cholesterol. Coconut milk’s fats actually have huge health benefits to detoxify the body and supply the liver with essential nutrients for a great metabolism, and to ward off bacterial infections. One of the best ways to use canned coconut milk is anywhere you would use canned dairy milk like condensed or evaporated, which is how you’ll see me suggest it. Try one of these simple uses and let me know if you have a favorite!
Pancakes are one of the best ways to use canned coconut milk. Just use canned coconut milk in place of either milk, or another liquid called for. It makes your pancakes really fluffy, moist and so rich tasting. It also works great in smoothies to accompany your pancakes if you’re into that!
Soups like tomato or cream soup that call for canned milk are a great place to use canned coconut milk. My favorite soup, tomato, often calls for evaporated, but I switch in coconut milk for a richer taste, and much better nutritional profile. Use canned coconut milk in any soup where cream or canned milk is called for.
If you’re northern, you probably love chowder and I wish we had it served more often here in the South. Chowder is a fabulous place to use canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk. Plus, it adds this rich flavor that you can’t quite put your finger on, which is the key to a great comfort food recipe.
4. Coffee Creamer
If you’re not into fancy recipes to use canned coconut milk in, no worries! Just pop open the can and use it as a coffee creamer! Canned coconut milk makes the best coffee creamer, and it is so much better for you than coconut-based creamers in the dairy section. Though they are marketed as healthy, those versions often have sugar and oils added. Instead, just use plain old canned oconut milk and add your favorite sweetener. It won’t make your coffee taste like coconut though, so don’t worry.
5. Hot Chocolate
There are two ways I like to use canned coconut milk in hot chocolate. Let’s start with the first, which is to simply use it in place of milk that you heat on the stove for your hot chocolate. You can use it as a full replacement for milk, or you can use half your regular milk and half canned coconut milk if you want it thinner. Canned coconut milk makes it incredibly thick, which I prefer. For the second way to use it in hot chocolate, check out the item below!
6. Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is a classic way to use canned coconut milk, especially for vegan recipes. All you need to do is place your can of coconut milk in the fridge for several hours, or overnight. This makes it turn solid in the can, and all the water will seep to the top so the remaining coconut milk is left into a thick, whipped cream texture. When you open the can, pour off the liquid or save it, and you’re left with whipped coconut cream! Use this in pies, on top of ice cream, on lattes, or as I mentioned above, on hot chocolate.
7. Ice Cream
Lastly, let’s get a little creative with canned coconut milk. You can actually make ice cream with canned coconut milk, without an ice cream maker, or with one. You can either use the coconut milk in place of regular milk you would use in a recipe that makes ice cream in an ice cream maker, or you can use my favorite method. My favorite method for making ice cream without an ice cream maker is to pour canned coconut milk in the blender and blend with stevia and vanilla extract. Then, pour this into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. When the ice cubes are done, pop the cubes in your Vitamix or other high powered blender with just ½ cup liquid. I usually use almond milk or more coconut milk. Use the tamper and process it until the cubes become ice cream. Then, just scoop it out and serve. Easy, peasy and oh so tasty!
I advise buying organic brands for the best nutrition and flavor, along with BPA brands if you can find them. Do you use canned coconut milk for anything?