Last Updated : Jun 24,2018
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Also known as
Nariyal ka doodh, kghati
Description Coconut milk is derived from the creaming of the flesh of the brown coconut and not the tender green ones. Unlike coconut water which is found when the shell is cracked open, coconut milk follows a process of grating before the meat is squeezed to release fresh, thick coconut milk. After this add a little bit of hot water and repeat the step of squeezing the milk out. 3 rounds of this should provide you with coconut milk of varying thickness. When making coastal stews, soups and curries, first use the thinner coconut milk before rounding it off with the thickest batch of coconut milk. This ensures that the coconut milk does not split.
How to select
• There are canned, tetra packs and powdered forms of coconut milk available.
• While in cases of emergency use, over-the-counter formats of coconut milk might be purchased, it is advisable to make it the old fashioned way, yielding freshly pressed coconut milk which is fragrant, naturally sweet and full of flavour, unlike the commercial varieties.
• Coconut milk is the base of most coastal curries both locally and internationally.
• Coconut milk is often a staple fat source for those following a Paleo diet.
• Sauces and toppings for desserts in places like Thailand and Kerala are often made from coconut milk.
• Substitute coconut cream by mixing 1 cup coconut milk powder in 2 cups of warm water.
• Coconut milk and cream can curdle. If heated too much the oil will separate out.
• A bit of cornstarch helps prevent curdling.
How to store
• Coconut milk should be refrigerated once the can is opened.
• It keeps for a couple of days to a week.
• Freezing coconut milk increases the likelihood of curdling when it is next used in cooking -
• Freeze only if you are just warming the milk through without boiling.
• Be careful not to buy sweetened coconut milk for Thai cooking, unless of course you're using it to make Thai or India desserts.
9 Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
1. Coconut milk is Lactose and grain free: Coconut milk ticks three boxes for those who follow a free, lactose free and grain free diet.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure : Coconut milk contains the mineral that enables our blood to flow smoothly and hence resulting in lower blood pressure which is always good for you. Your blood vessels will be elastic and reduce plaque build up.
3. Improves Endurance : Coconut milk is a medium chain triglyceride fatty acid which gets absorbed into the body easily as they are not processed through your stomach. Also being a good fat, it provides more energy over a longer period of time resulting in better performance.
4. Weight Loss
: By drinking coconut milk which has good fat or having it in the form of a curry, it will keep you fuller and healthier for a longer time. But remember to control the portion to not go overboard on calories.
5. Rich in Electrolytes : My favourite way to have Coconut Milk is to have a good smoothie. Avocado Coconut Mil Vegan Smoothie that provides all the energy and electrolytes.
6. Healthy Hair and Healthy Skin : Coconut milk is a MCT fatty acids which have antibacterial and antiviral and they help counter wounds, keep the smooth elastic and keep dandruff at bay.
7. Rich In Vitamins : Coconut milk is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and many other B vitamins. These vitamins are good antioxidants which help fight free radicals and thereby reduce the risk of most major diseases.
8. Rich in Minerals : Coconut milk is rich in Magnesium, Potassium and Phosphorus. Magnesium is good to maintain nerve function and good for formation of bones while potassium provides the electrolytes.
9. Boon for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS : Coconut milk has been researched and suggested healthy for the gut and thus a healthy addition for those suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome).
Glycemic Index of Coconut Milk
Coconut Milk has a estimated Glycemic Index of 45 to 50 which is low. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Coconut Milk have a low GI and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss and diabetics.
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