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4 Clever Ways to Use Coconut Milk to Increase Healthy Fats

If you haven’t gone crazy for coconut milk yet, it’s time to add it to your repertoire! Coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to dairy milk that makes a convenient swap when leaning towards a plant-based diet. But coconut milk has the potential to be so much more than a simple dairy alternative. Adding thickness and enhancing the overall flavor profile of dishes, coconut milk yields plenty of potential for getting creative in the kitchen – all while boosting the nutrition of homemade meals!

coconut milk

Coconut Milk Nutrition

Wait just a minute – why exactly are we so fond of this plant-based powerhouse? While it’s true that coconut milk can’t actually be considered a low-calorie ingredient, it does have other benefits that deem it a healthier option in meals. When compared to dairy milk, coconut milk comes in lower in both carbs and sugar. If sugar is of particular concern, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for unsweetened coconut milk, too, as sweetened options will unnecessarily ramp up your sugar intake.

Although coconut milk is high in calories and fats, most of its fats are made up of medium-chain triglycerides, which are recognized as being more easily metabolized by the body when turning those fats into energy.

Finally, there’s another reason coconut milk is considered a good catch – it’s a great source of many different vitamins and minerals. You’ll be getting a good dose of magnesium, iron, manganese, selenium, potassium, and more when coconut milk is included in the menu.

If you’re just getting acquainted with this popular pantry item, here are 4 clever ways to include coconut milk in your home-cooking.

Thicken Soups

Watery soup not your thing? Good! Because adding coconut milk is an excellent way to thicken up soups, stews, curries, and gazpachos. The flavor profile of coconut milk works particularly well with a variety of other ingredients, like carrots, potatoes, and ginger, not to mention chicken, fish, and shrimp. All in all, you can expect to get a creamy consistency that’s likely to eliminate the need to pack up leftovers!

Sweeten Smoothies

Add coconut milk to cold smoothies for a thick and creamy sweetness that won’t leave you feeling too guilty! Again, coconut milk is a pretty versatile component, playing well with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, cinnamon, honey, dates, nuts, and many other ingredients popular in smoothies.

Use it to Boil Beans

Why use water to boil your beans when you can use coconut milk and ramp up your nutritional intake? Coco-beans are a popular dish in many parts of the world. If you haven’t tried them yet, get ready to be blown away by an incredible depth of flavor.

Bake a Cake

Bakers can get in on the coconut milk action, too. Most recipes that call for dairy milk will turn out just as great (or even better!) when using coconut milk. The ratio is the same, so if the recipe calls for 1 cup of dairy milk, just use 1 cup of coconut milk in its place. So easy!

A plant-based powerhouse that adds incredible creaminess and flavor – what’s not to love? You can count on coconut milk to bring your home-cooking to a new level.

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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