Wednesday, March 22, 2006


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UPDATE OCTOBER 27, 2010:  Solution to the "casein in coconut powder" problem (see below in Aug. Update)! Coconut FLOUR!  It is made from dried coconut meat with most of the fat removed.  NO CASEIN! It's high in fiber, too, BTW. There are many, many brands out there now.  I'm using an organic Canadian brand, Alpha, which is reasonably priced and the label states that 2 tablespoons contains 26 calories, 1.2 g fat and 5.4 grams of dietary fiber.  The calories vary from brand to brand, but the fat content seems to be about the same ( not sure how that works!).  Here are some organic brands available in the USA: Swanson Organic; Let's Do Organic; Aloha Nu; Tropical Traditions; Island Harvest; Bob's Red Mill; Wilderness Family Naturals.

It's a tiny bit grainy, but it has alot of coconut flavor, and it smooths out nicely when well-blended in a Vita Mix or blender.  So, give it a try in my updated low-fat coconut milk recipe below.

UPDATE AUG 29, 2010:  Since I did my last update, I have not been able to find ANY coconut milk powder without sodium caseinate in it!  The brands that I recommended before seem to have either changed their formulas or their labelling!  Even Wilderness Family Naturals brand contains "a trace of casein; a milk protein used to keep the fat from separating. The only one I could find that contained nothing but coconut was TRS Coconut Powder, a Sri Lankan Brand, which only seems to be available in the UK!  There is a Jamaican brand that is widely carried online, called Grace, but I can't find ingredient info anywhere, even on their website.  (If you have a package, could you please post the ingredients in Comments??)

I know that So Delicious has a new low-fat coconut milk beverage tastes good, but it doesn't have the intense coconut-y flavor that coconut powder can provide for cooking and baking (without all the fat), unfortunately.  So I guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board.

(BTW, in case you're wondering why I haven't climbed on the coconut oil bandwagon, read this.) Also, I'm not opposed to using or drinking coconut milk beverage [or rice or almond, etc.], but be aware that the nutrition simply does not equal that of soy milk, or, second in line, hemp milk!  See this article comparing non-dairy milks.  

Here are the nutrition facts for coconut milk beverage.  The calories are fairly low, and the fat about the same as many plant milks, but all saturated.  Coconut milk beverage contains only 1 g protein per cup, the same as almond and rice milk, and nowhere near the 6-8 g of dairy, soy and hemp milk.  Coconut milk beverage contains 7 g of carbohydrates and 6 g sugar per cup (better than rice milk, which is very high in carbohydrates [24 grams] and sugar [11 grams]. Coconut milk beverage has 10% of the RDA for calcium, which is added, whereas many soy milks and other plant milks are fortified to 30%, about the level of dairy milk.  Coconut milk beverage does have B12 added to 50% of RDA.  Dairy milk contains no iron. Hemp and soy milks are highest in iron (10-20% each).  Almond and rice milks are iron-poor (just 2% each).  Coconut milk beverage has 4% RDA. Coconut milk beverage has added vitamin D at 30 % RDA, but no vitamin A.  Coconut milk bevrage is very low in sodium, but unsweetened soymilk contains none at all.)
Anyway, I'll report back when I do some more research.

Original Post:
Spice Island Vegan and I have been having an online conversation on low-fat coconut milk. She’s been craving South Asian dishes, but she’s also been cooking low-fat to lose weight. I seldom use coconut milk because of the fat and the fact that there is so much saturated fat in it.

Regular Taste of Thai coconut milk contains 420 calories and 45 g fat per cup! Taste of Thai Lite coconut milk contains 135 calories per cup and 12 g fat, better, but still too high for me and Spice Island Vegan. Unfortunately, we have found no really good coconut flavoring, whether extract or oil, natural or not. Some are downright nasty!

I wondered about using a “mock coconut milk” made from a low-fat nut milk called “Almond Breeze” (Update: or So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, which is low-fat) and some reduced-fat silken tofu for creaminess, along with some coconut powder (also called "instant coconut cream powder") for authentic flavor. (UPDATE: Okay, this is the part that got complicated when I could no longer find coconut powder without added casein!  See updates above.)


Printable Recipe


10 (1/4 cup) servings  (can be SF)

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
This recipe is easily multiplied (or halved). It makes a really creamy, slightly-thick coconut milk.  Almond Breeze is my preferred liquid for this recipe (or Silk Almond). It is made from almonds, but is quite low in fat, and has a nutty flavor which is closer to coconut flavor than either soy or rice milk. You can also use the new low-fat So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, if you prefer.

This milk can be used in East Indian, West Indian, Southeast Asian, and other dishes which call for coconut milk. The real thing contains from 45 to 60 g of fat and 400 calories or more per cup, compared to 4.4 to 5.4 g fat and 104 to 120 calories per cup for this recipe! It is also alot cheaper AND creamier than canned regular or lite coconut milk. NOTE: If you pressure cook a dish with the mock coconut milk, add the blended silken tofu just before serving.

NOTE: For a soy-free mixture with a few more calories. substitute 1/4 cup raw cashews and 1/4 cup more milk for the tofu.
1/2 cup    firm or extra-firm silken tofu (you can use the reduced-fat kind if you like)  
2 cups    almond milk (see above) or So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, Original 
1/4 cup    coconut flour (see information above)  
Mix in a blender until very smooth. Refrigerate in a sealed jar.

For "Coconut Cream" or Thick Coconut "Milk", use more silken tofu (or raw cashews), and less milk.
For a thinner "coconut milk", omit the tofu and use 1 cup milk.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS calculated using Almond Breeze Original, regular extra-firm silken tofu and Alpha Organic Coconut Flour.
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 26.6 calories; 32% calories from fat; 1.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 42.9mg sodium; 62.2mg potassium; 3.8g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 1.8g sugar; 2.5g net carbs; 2.0g protein; 0.4 points.
NUTRITION ANALYSIS calculated using So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, Original, regular extra-firm silken tofu and Alpha Organic Coconut Flour:
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 30.6 calories; 43% calories from fat; 1.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 15.9mg sodium; 44.2mg potassium; 3.6g carbohydrates; 1.1g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 2.5g net carbs; 2.0g protein; 0.5 points.


Bethany said...

I got the soy silk at a yarn store in Nanaimo. There are lots of yarns now for folks who are allergic to wool, or don't like to use it, soy, banana fibre, bamboo...

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Interesting! Who knew? (Well, you knitters knew...) PS: for anyone reading this with a pouzzled expression, this is my daughter commenting on a comment i left on HER blog!

spiceislandvegan said...


Thanks for the recipe! I will try it. Yes, your mock coconut milk is perfect with Almond Breeze. I tried it with Westsoy Non-fat milk and it was too sweet (maybe ok for dessert).

Lito said...

I have vegetarian friends who might love your recipes. Can I share this with them?

Little's Blog Things

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

SIV-- what a relief to find something that works! Lito...yes, please share! You can email the post by clicking on the little letter with the arrow beside where you click to post a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm thrilled to see a low-fat version of coconut milk!

But I have one question: You said to use Almond Breeze, plain -- do you mean original or original unsweetened?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Claudia, either one, according to your taste.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, Bryanna!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I prefer the Original, however!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

By all means, try it!