Is Cream of Coconut the Same as Coconut Milk?
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If you are on a diet that requires you to have coconut milk, you may end up becoming quite confused about the various coconut products available. For instance, is there a difference between coconut milk and cream of coconut?
Most of us have heard about coconut milk, but cream of coconut is something that you just don’t hear many people talking about very often, and then there is coconut cream.
So, we thought we would do a bit of research and find out for ourselves just what cream of coconut really is, if it is the same as coconut milk, and if it offers any health benefits.
Are Coconut Milk and Coconut Water the Same?
First of all, we need to clarify something. Many people think coconut milk and coconut water are the same thing.
They are not. Coconut water is the juice you find when you crack open a coconut. Coconut milk is something that is made from coconut water. Coconut water is a clear juice that has absolutely no additives, and is totally natural.
Coconut milk is made by boiling coconut water with coconut meat. Actually, cream of coconut is made using the same process, but there is a higher concentration of cream in cream of coconut, and the consistency is a bit different.
Then there is coconut cream. Confused yet? Don’t be, because we are going to explain what each is and how they are used.
Coconut water is basically the liquid that you will find in a coconut that is young and green. It has a delicious flavor, and you can even drink it right out of the coconut (which makes for a pretty cool looking drink).
Some people find that it is great to use as a natural energy drink, and many use it in smoothies and even alcoholic cocktails.
Coconut milk is about the same consistency as cow’s milk. To make it, one must simmer equal parts of shredded coconut and water.
If you are wondering what coconut milk is used for, think of your favorite Thai curry dishes. They likely are made using coconut milk. This is ideal when making curry, as coconut cream is too thick and creamy for this type of dish.
It also has less flavor than coconut cream, so it isn’t going to overpower the other flavors in the dish.
There will be some cream in a carton of coconut milk, so it is best to open the carton from the bottom so you can get the milk out easier.
You can also find light coconut milk, which has less fat and calories than coconut cream, but it doesn’t work as well in many recipes as regular coconut milk.
Coconut cream is a lot thicker, and richer, than coconut milk, and it has a creamy consistency. To make coconut cream, you need to use one part water and four parts shredded coconut.
An easier way to get coconut cream is to simply buy a can of coconut milk. There will be cream that has risen to the top of the can, and most people consider it to be coconut cream.
Coconut cream is a lot like coconut milk, but it is thicker and creamier. It also has a much more intense flavor, and the consistency is creamy.
If you add coconut cream and water to a recipe, it is ultimately going to have a lot more flavor than if you were to simply use coconut milk.
Some of the best recipes to make with coconut cream include coconut and cardamom rice pudding, and spring onion salad with couscous and ginger.
The fat in coconut cream is saturated fat for the most part. If you are buying it already prepared, the cream will rise to the top so it is better if you open the carton from the bottom so you can get at the cream easily.
Cream of Coconut
Cream of coconut is even richer than coconut cream. You will likely see this in many dessert recipes, as well as recipes for a lot of mixed drinks.
There is added sugar in cream of coconut, making it completely different from coconut cream. It is made by grinding and dehydrating coconut flesh or meat, and compressing it into a block.
It is then wrapped, and sold in block form. Often, it tends to separate a bit, and the fat will all be at one end. This is ideal for recipes that call for coconut flavoring but you don’t want to add any actual liquids such as coconut milk or cream.
This stuff can even be chopped and grated, so you can add it to a number of your favorite foods as they are cooking.
Now, this may get a bit confusing. You can turn creamed coconut into coconut cream and coconut milk. All you have to do is dissolve the cream of coconut in hot water.
But, keep in mind that it is going to have a higher sugar content than coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut water.
If you want coconut cream, mix one part cream of coconut with two and a half parts hot water. If you want to make coconut milk, use four to five parts water with one part cream of coconut.
Making Coconut Cream from Coconut Milk
What if you want to turn coconut milk into coconut cream? The process is relatively easy. All you have to do is pour coconut milk into a saucepan, and then boil it until the liquid has evaporated by half.
Then, what is left is something that has a much thicker and creamier consistency, or coconut cream. If you keep on boiling it and let all of the liquid evaporate, you will be left with cream of coconut.