Coconut milk is truly delicious and amazingly healthful, primarily because of the coconut oil it contains. Coconut oil facilitates the formation of ketones that help in maintaining nutritional ketosis and maximise fat-burning efficiency, but also feeding brain cells their preferred, and in fact, the perfect fuel, while in addition helping to clear out amyloid plaques (the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia). Coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids, which are readily used by all muscle cells for energy production as a fast fuel because it is easy to burn, but which also have anti-fungal, anti-yeast, anti-viral, and powerful healing properties, especially for the gut and blood vessels that are subject to inflammation caused by these pathogenic microforms. In short, coconut oil is a miracle of nature for our health, and the more we consume, the better.
Freshly pressed coconut milk is made by pulping the flesh of whole mature coconuts. In order to preserve it well, it must be canned (or tetra-packed) as quickly as possible. The fresh coconut milk I use is Dr Goerg’s, and it is excellent—the best in the world, I think. It contains nothing other than coconut from three whole, just harvested coconuts (less than 3 days off the tree), and within one hour of cracking their shell.
I don’t like talking or writing about calories because it is an undeniable and proven scientific fact that calories don’t count, and that it is the hormonal environment induced by the foods we eat that determines metabolic function, and to a great extent, overall health and longevity. Nevertheless, I will mention that whole coconut milk (Dr Goerg) is 18% fat (between half-and-half and light cream), 2% protein and 1.5% carbs by weight. By calories, this makes it 92% fat, 4.5% protein and 3.5% carbs. It is therefore the perfect ketogenic (fat-burning) and energy sustaining food, and one can of 400 ml contains 78 g of fat, 8 g of protein, and 6 grams of carbs. There are many ways to use coconut milk. Here are the ones I use the most:
1. Creamed Soups
Add a can or two of coconut milk to any creamed vegetable soup. This will always make the soup creamier, richer and more delicious, but also far more nutritious and filling. I do this with almost all soups during the winter months when we have soup almost daily: broccoli or cauliflower or celeriac, celery and cashews, curried squash, spinach and chard, etc. Whatever the soup, the coconut milk is almost always a super easy addition that will make it better and more nutritious. Naturally, this is also true for all curries and a variety of winter stews.
The preparation is ultra simple: make the soup or curry; when it is ready, blend it smooth; and at the very end, add the one or two cans of coconut milk. You can give it a quick blend again and then leave it to warm up at low temperature if needed because the milk will be at room temperature, but not much, as it’s best not to cook the milk. The same goes for the veggies: cook them just enough to be able to blend them smooth.
Coconut milk is simply excellent for making any and all the smoothies you can think of. To sweeten, use stevia extract powder, of which you need very little. Naturally, all the berries are delicious: raspberries, blackberries, mixed red berries, blueberries, but they all contain a little sugar. The quantity of berries you put is up to you; the more berries, the stronger their flavour and the less you taste the coconut milk; but the less berries, the less sugar also. I think 2-3 tablespoons is very good.
Zero-sugar alternatives of the ones I use are Ceylon cinnamon powder (1 heaping teaspoon per 400 ml can) with 5 drops of orange essential oil, ginger root powder (1 rounded teaspoon per can) with 5 drops of lemon essential oil, ground green aniseed (1 heaping teaspoon) with 3 drops of aniseed essential oil, the coffee-flavoured roasted barley and chicory root drink made by Lima called Yannoh (2 heaping teaspoons), or the more-than-classic chocolate flavour (1-2 rounded teaspoons; try to get whole, raw, organic and fair-trade cacao powder). All of these are also sweetened with stevia extract powder in the same quantity, 3 miniscoops (the one that comes with Now’s stevia powder) or basically just rounded knife’s tip of powder. This is what I made for my son as his breakfast the whole of last year, alternating flavours every day to make it interesting. Today was the first day of school for him, and I made the cinnamon/orange smoothie, one of his favourite flavours.
Naturally, it is also possible to combine an amazingly healthy fresh green vegetable juice (for example: celery, fennel bulb, cucumber, chard, spinach, kohlrabi, yellow pepper, broccoli, ginger and parsley) with coconut milk, combining all the wonderful healing properties of the green juice with those of the coconut oil, but with the additional mild sweet taste and smooth creaminess of the milk. This is what I make for breakfast now that school has started. We are three, and I make 600-750 ml of green juice to which I add a whole can of milk (400 ml) before blending. This yields three large glasses (350-400 ml) of a mild tasting, smooth and milky green juice, which makes for a stupendous breakfast for children and parents alike.
This is basically the same as making a smoothie, and adding a thickener to make the final consistency as that of a pudding, either thinner or thicker depending on preference. Puddings make for excellent zero-sugar desserts and sweet midday meals, giving more “eating satisfaction” than drinking a smoothie, because it is eaten slowly with a teaspoon as are all puddings.
Therefore, the preparation is the same as for a smoothie with the addition of a rounded teaspoon of psyllium husk powder. And you can be absolutely sure that this is the most delicious way to have psyllium husks! It is also possible to use chia seeds, which are in themselves very nutritious. In this case, you need 2-3 tablespoons of seeds, but maybe also more flavouring agent and stevia, as the chia seed alter the flavour quite a bit compared to the psyllium husk which do not. Mix well with a hand blender, pour into glasses, dessert cups or bowls if you are serving it as a dessert, or simply in a single soup bowl if you are making it for yourself as a meal. Then, put in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to allow the psyllium or chia seeds to absorb the water, and to make the coconut milk harden in order to make the pudding firm. This is what I eat every day at the office for lunch, with a few handfuls of nuts.
4. Ice Cream
Coconut milk is really the best thing in the world for making ice cream: it is delicious and mildly sweet, it is nutritious and really healthful, it is very fatty and the oil hardens quickly when the temperature goes below 15C. The fresh milk from the can is equivalent to 15-18% cream. If, however, you place the can in the fridge overnight, the water part will tend to separate from the fleshy part that will then become firm as the oil emulsified throughout the pulp hardens. Then, we can easily separate the two, drink the very refreshing and electrolyte-rich coconut water, and use the pulp which is now equivalent to 25-30% cream for making our ice cream. This is not necessary, but makes for creamier, richer and faster ice cream.
The preparation is similar but a little different primarily because when something is cold, we tend to not taste its flavour as much. For this reason, we need to make the flavour more concentrated. In addition, I always make ice cream for at least the three of us, but often for more when there are guests. So, in this case it is based on two cans, and all are sweetened with 1/4 teaspoon of stevia extract powder.
We can use the same zero-sugar flavours as for smoothies and puddings like cinnamon-orange (1 heaping tablespoon and 10 drops of essential oil), ginger-lemon (1 heaping tablespoon and 10 drops), powdered aniseed (1 heaping tablespoon and 6 drops), Yannoh and chocolate (2 heaping tablespoons), but also vanilla (1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder) and coconut (using 1/2 cup of shredded coconut for the flavour).
All the berries are wonderfully delicious. In this case it is best to use frozen berries, that you have either bought or picked and frozen yourself, and the quantity to use is one and a half cups of berries for two cans of milk. This makes for an very rich berry flavour. Naturally, you can put more or less berries, but I and everyone who has tasted my blackberry, raspberry or strawberry ice cream have found this to be really good.
This one is super plain and ultra simple: eat and drink lots of coconut milk. It is delicious and enjoyable, and it is one of the best things you can do for you health.
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