Coconut milk, as the name suggests is a liquid extracted from grated coconut. Don’t confuse it with coconut water as the latter is obtained from inside the coconut shells. Due to its rich and creamy consistency, it can be used as a milk substitute. In Southeast Asia, it is often used as a common food ingredient.
There are different grades of coconut milk depending upon its thickness. Thick milk contains about 20 to 22% of fat whereas thin milk has 5 to 7% of fat levels. Most of this fat is saturated fat. Thick milk is used in desserts and dry sauces whereas thin milk is used in soups and general cooking.
This milk is rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 as well as iron, selenium, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Thus, this sweet creamy liquid can be a part of a healthy diet and is a great option for those who are allergic to animal milk.
How to Make Coconut Milk at Home?
It is quite simple to make your own coconut milk. All you need is around 2.5 ounces of fresh grated coconut and 1 ½ cups of hot simmered water.
- Place the coconut in a heat proof bowl and add hot water. Stir the mixture and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Placing a sieve or strainer over a large bowl lined with a double layer of cheesecloth, pour the liquid from the soaked coconut into the strainer.
- Lift the cheesecloth and pull the edges together to squeeze out the coconut milk. This milk should be refrigerated.
- Coconut milk is different from coconut water or coconut cream in the sense that they use coconut and water in 4:1 ratio whereas coconut milk uses grated coconut and water in equal proportions.
Coconut Milk Benefits
Coconut Milk For Health
Due to its rich array of vitamins and minerals, benefits of coconut milk for health are many and they are given below.
1. Strong Bones:
Although coconut milk does not contain as much calcium as regular milk (38 mg per cup), it is a rich source of phosphorus. It provides around (how much) milligrams of phosphorus per cup which contributes to strong bones.
2. Treatment of Arthritis:
Selenium found in coconut milk is an antioxidant, which relieves arthritis symptoms by controlling free radicals and decreasing the risk of joint inflammation.
3. Lowers Cholesterol:
Though coconut milk contains saturated fat, it can actually reduce cholesterol levels in comparison to butter and dairy based creams. This is because of its lauric acid boosts HDL (good) cholesterol. When choosing among saturated fats, coconut milk is preferable as it is easier for the body to break down and metabolize healthy fats such as omega 6 essential fatty acids.
4. Great Source of Magnesium:
Coconut milk is a rich source of magnesium, providing around 89 milligrams per cup. This mineral helps to calm the nerves and maintain normal blood pressure as well as prevent nerve cells from becoming overactive by virtue being stimulated by calcium. It results in the reduction of muscle contraction, thus making you feel more relaxed.
5. Aids in Weight Loss:
Coconut milk is often considered as a fattening agent due to its saturated fats. But it is also rich in fiber, which makes you feel full for a longer time and if taken in moderation, can help to control weight.
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