Coconut milk is a great vegan and dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk. But what’s the difference between coconut milk in a carton and canned? And is one better than the other? Here’s what you need to know.
Coconut milk has a creamy texture and a slightly sweet flavor, making it an excellent option for many recipes. The main difference between canned and carton coconut milk is the amount of fat. Carton coconut milk has lower fat content than canned coconut milk. Canned coconut milk is also thicker and creamier than carton coconut milk. Let’s take a closer look.
Is coconut milk in cans the same as in cartons?
We first need to talk about canned coconut milk to answer that question.
Coconut milk in cans
Canned coconut milk in cans is used for cooking curries, soups, and other dishes. Canned milk is the coconut flesh pureed with some water and added guar gum. When you open the can, you see a rich, creamy layer on the top. This is the richest part of canned coconut milk, high in fat and protein.
A good quality canned milk should have a creamy layer on the top and less dense thinner milk beneath the creamy layer.
Milk In Cartons
Coconut milk sold in cartons is a different product than canned coconut milk. This type of coconut milk doesn’t have the same consistency as canned milk because it doesn’t have any gelling agents or emulsifiers. Coconut milk in cartons can be used for drinking, cooking, and baking and has a shelf life of two weeks.
Why is my canned coconut milk solid?
Canned coconut milk is often thicker and more solid than carton coconut milk. This is because canned coconut milk contains less water. The consistency can vary depending on the brand, but it’s usually a bit denser than the kind you would get in a carton.
Don’t panic if you see a solid mass at the top while opening the can. The thick layer at the top is the coconut cream, and the syrupy milk is at the bottom. If you want to add the cream to a recipe, use the top layer. If you’re going to add full-fat coconut milk to the recipe, blend the cream and milk and use it as whole milk.
What does it taste like?
Coconut milk is a creamy white liquid extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. It has a rich, creamy taste due to its high oil content and most often contains saturated fat as well! Therefore, the flavor profile of canned coconut milk is similar to the actual coconut milk.
Can you eat cereal with coconut milk?
You can use canned coconut milk in any cereal you usually eat with regular milk. Pour the canned coconut milk into a bowl or on top of your cereal. You might want to add some sugar if you eat plain cereal without fruit added to it. For healthy options, add grated palms or honey for sweetness.
You can add canned coconut milk over cereal as it’s a great option for lactose intolerant or vegan. You can use canned coconut milk to make rice and soup also.
It depends on the type of consistency you want for your coconut milk. If you want to have thinner consistency milk, you can add some water to the can of coconut milk.
My go-to recipe is adding one can of water to one can of coconut milk to have a good consistency. You can also add raw sugar or honey for taste. Some people don’t like the coconut flavor in cereal. To mask that coconut flavor, you can add a few drops of vanilla flavor.
Can you substitute carton milk for canned one?
For many recipes, of course, you can use a carton of coconut milk. However, for some recipes like whipped coconut cream, you cannot use the carton coconut milk. Carton milk is not as thick as canned milk.
Uses of canned coconut milk
Canned coconut milk is used in Thai and Indian cuisine. The canned version is thicker and has a more intense flavor than the carton variety. It can be used in place of cream or milk in recipes. Be sure to shake the can well before using, as the solids will have settled at the bottom.
- Use it as an alternative to dairy milk in cereals
- Add it to your cup of coffee
- Use it to make Indian ad Thai curries
- Add canned coconut milk to your soups and smoothies
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