There is a common misconception that coconut milk is the liquid inside the nut. Actually that liquid is coconut water – coconut ‘milk’ is made by blending shredded coconut with water until a thick and creamy mixture is obtained. If you’re making your own, try blanching the flakes first for better results.
Taste: Coconutty of course. Its natural sweetness makes it a great ingredient for baking moist cakes and confectioning ice creams.
Health benefits: High in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that have been shown to improve sensitivity to insulin and reduce fasting lipid levels. 1
Nutritional profile: Coconut milk is rich in calories. But don’t switch to the low-fat version or you’ll lose the MCFAs. Instead, simply practice moderation.
Brand watch: The canned versions may contain traces of BPA if the chemical was used in the can’s lining. Canned coconut milk can come with guar gum (check the ingredient list) – this polysaccharide may cause digestive trouble in sensitive individuals.
Food intolerance: People suffering from IBS, IBD and fructose malabsorption may react to coconut milk.