Choose Wisely #17 – Coconut Milk
There are so many outstanding coconut products on the market, and if you choose wisely you can enjoy the many benefits each of them have to offer. Today let’s talk about coconut milk. Coconut milk is a good source of calcium, manganese, selenium, zinc and iron. Coconuts are an excellent source of good saturated fats and coconut milk contains the same good stuff. For years medium-chain fatty acids have been added to infant formula because it contains Lauric acid, which is found in breast milk. Lauric acid is known to protect and nourish babies as well as protect them from various infections and diseases. It, also helps to build the immune system.
Coconut milk is made by taking the meat, pureeing with water and squeezing out the milk, just like with other nut milks. If the consistency is too thick for your needs, you can add some water to it to thin it out to be more of the consistency of regular milk.
You can also make your own by using a couple of teaspoons of coconut cream concentrate with water. This makes the best additive-free coconut milk for your body. You will find coconut cream in various health food stores or you can order it online from Tropical Traditions. In the long run, this is much more nutritious and less expensive than buying it in cans. Also, they have a great video that shows you how to make your own coconut milk in a blender using dried shredded coconut and water. Click here to watch the video.
Canned coconut milk – My favorite brand is Trader Joe’s brand. It is very thick and creamy and it tastes great. Trader Joe’s sells it for 99 cents per can so it’s very affordable, especially if you add water to it. I use ⅓ cup of the coconut milk and ⅔ water in my protein shakes. If you don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s, my next favorite is Thai Kitchen. You can easily find this in just about any supermarket or whole foods market. Just make sure and buy whole fat, not low fat or light coconut milk. The low fat versions on the market are missing many of the benefits of coconut’s special medium chained fat.
The type of fatty acid that is in coconut milk is extremely stable, and does not go rancid very easily. Store unused portions in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days or freeze. I like to pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Perfect to add to coffee, tea or toss in a favorite recipe.
Do Not Choose This:
So Delicious Coconut Milk
You may think you are making a healthy choice by buying the unsweetened variety, but that is not entirely true. Even the unsweetened is not a healthy choice.
INGREDIENTS: Coconut Cream (Water, Coconut, Guar Gum) Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D-2, L-Selenomethoionine (Selenium), Zinc Oxide, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12
This brand is sold in the aseptic cartons and has so many synthetic vitamins and minerals added into it. Take a look at what the dictionary term for synthetic:
noting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin: synthetic vitamins; synthetic fiber.
It is very common to see manufactures do use chemicals and add back in these ingredients. The most common reason for doing this is because they have stripped the original vitamins and minerals away during chemical processing!
There are of course some ingredients that may look okay. For example, the mineral Selenium which protects us against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries.
Carrageen seems to be an ever popular ingredient and you will most likely find it in ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese and other processed foods. It is used as a thickening agent. Carrageenan is extracted from seaweed by using powerful alkali solvents. These solvents are no different than most acids would remove the tissues and skin from your body! Studies show forms of carrageenan can cause ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. It coats the insides of a stomach, like gooey oil. This can cause digestive problems and often people don’t know why they have issues.
Choose the right Coconut milk for your favorite recipes! I think it’s the best tasting milk substitute out there.