Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk: What’s the Difference
Coconut is an amazing treat which is appearing in so many recipes because it adds a fresh and delicious taste to any meal. The coconut is also a seed and is essentially made up of a number of different layers comprising of coconut meat and liquids. From a single coconut you can get coconut milk, meat and coconut water. Differentiating between these can be tricky if you are unsure. But as soon as you know what they are precisely and how you prepare a coconut; you should find it easy to select the correct coconut ingredient for your recipe.
What Is Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is taken from the interior of the coconut, from the white flesh of a fully-grown coconut. It is made by shredding the coconut white and simmering the inner meat with water. Coconut milk has a thick texture and a rich velvety smoothness. Coconut milk is very different to coconut water which is found organically in young green coconuts. You will typically find that coconut milk either comes in thick or thin forms based on its regularity and how it has been processed.
- Thick coconut milk – This is pure coconut flesh which is solid to the touch and is then finely grated and simmered in a pan of water. To produce thick coconut milk, this mix is then strained through cheesecloth to give you the final product.
- Thin coconut milk – Once a thick coconut milk has been made, then the remaining grated coconut left over after straining is again simmered in water to produce a thin coconut milk.
Traditionally, thick coconut milk is very creamy, so it is often used in desserts and added to thicker sauces. The thin coconut milk is great in juices and light soups. It is possible to buy coconut milk from your local store and the majority of canned coconut milk will be a mix of thin and thick milk. But as you can probably tell, it is also very simple to make your own homemade coconut milk to achieve the thickness you desire.
The Difference Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Water
Coconut water is fairly different from what we call coconut milk. It is a transparent liquid which can be found in the middle of younger coconuts and seems like water in its consistency. Unlike coconut milk it will not have any of the fat from the flesh of the grown coconut. This means that coconut water is really high in nutrients and so is frequently consumed for its exceptionally good hydrating abilities.
Unlike coconut milk, coconut water actually occurs naturally. Coconut water can be said to be around 95% water. It comprises so much less fat than coconut milk, but it also has less nutrients. Coconut water does have some benefits as it does contain high amounts of sodium and potassium. These minerals assist in balancing the bodies fluids after exercise. Coconut water is lower in calories than coconut milk, so it is more beneficial to drink if you are trying to stay hydrated. And it tastes great, typically, if the coconut is picked when it is young the coconut water will be sweet and even a little tangy. Coconut water may even help to recover electrolytes that are lost during exercise, more so than just drinking water in general.
Is Canned Coconut Milk Healthy?
Your local stores will probably sell several types of coconut milk, so it pays to take note of the exact ingredients in canned coconut milk. Canned coconut milk normally has a heavy, cream-like texture. Some brands may have a higher fat content and have more calories than others, reliant on how the blended milk has been created and just how much water has been used.
Canned coconut milk tends to be much thinner and have a texture which resembles dairy milk. It is important to store canned coconut milk in the refrigerator once it has been opened and be mindful of the expiration date. Additionally, when considering how healthy canned coconut milk is, it helps to be mindful that some brands will have added extra sugar to make the coconut milk taste sweeter, so you need to ensure that you check the label on the packaging.
In terms of health, coconut milk will have a lot less protein in it than dairy milk. So, if you are making the vegan switch you need to ensure that you will be getting protein from additional sources into your diet. Usually, it is safest to buy coconut milk foods which have very few additional ingredients other than the natural coconut. For health reasons you need to ensure that added sugars and preservatives have not been added to your coconut milk.
How to Use Coconut Juice
Even though coconut milk and water are nutritious, it can be said that this milk especially is also high in calories. So, you need to use them both wisely. Remember this when you put coconut milk or water into your next recipe as there are lots of ways to use them –
- Pour coconut milk over fresh berries or cut papaya
- Add in a few of tablespoons into your coffee
- Use as a healthy alternative when you are baking
- Add half a cup of coconut water to your next fruit smoothie
- Pour some milk into your oatmeal or fruity cereal.
How to Choose the Right Coconut Milk
- Read the label on the can: Every time you buy coconut milk you need to be selecting a high-quality product that simply contains coconut and additional water.
- Go for the lighter version: You should be picking the low-calorie option coconut water or pick a light version of canned coconut milk.
- Make your very own coconut milk: It you want the freshest and healthiest version of coconut milk then it is simple to make your own. Just mix together unsweetened shredded coconut with a few cups hot of warm water and use a cheese cloth to strain away the milk.