What is coconut cream?
Even though there are hundreds of recipes and how-to guides about this ingredient, finding accurate information on coconut cream can be a challenge.
To help you out, this guide answers all your questions about coconut cream, including its nutritional information, where it comes from, how to make it, and where to get it.
Coconut Cream, Coconut Water, and Coconut Milk
Coconut cream is made by boiling coconut flesh with water. Even though it’s prepared the same way as coconut milk, it has a richer and thicker consistency. It’s a perfect addition for your keto dishes when you’re looking for a rich and exotic flavor.
Coconut water is the fluid found inside fresh coconuts. This naturally sweet water contains 45 calories per serving and is loaded with potassium and other electrolytes, making it a perfect replacement for sugary, additive-laden sports drinks[*].
Coconut meat refers to the white, edible portion of the coconut. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or turned into a variety of other coconut products such as oil, milk, and cream.
Coconut milk refers to two very different types of products. Real unsweetened coconut milk is made by taking equal parts of shredded coconut and water, and bringing them to a boil. The mixture is then sifted through a cheesecloth and pressed to release as much fluid as possible. Full-fat coconut milk is often sold in cans and has a consistency similar to whole cow’s milk.
The name coconut milk also commonly refers to the dairy milk substitute found on the shelves of supermarkets and health shops. This product is made following the same process as above, but the shredded coconut parts are further diluted and fortified to meet the national standards for a dairy milk replacement.
This lighter version of coconut milk is typically sold in cartons and is far thinner than the unsweetened version. Be sure to read the ingredient label as it could contain unwanted sugar, food additives, and stabilizers.
You now know about the most popular coconut derivatives and have the answer to your question, “What is coconut cream?” Even better, you can make your own coconut cream in just a few easy steps.
How to Make Coconut Cream
Homemade coconut cream is made in a similar fashion to coconut milk:
- Take 4 parts shredded of coconut meat and boil it with 1 part water.
- Sift the mixture through a cheesecloth and press it to remove any excess liquid. It will be much thicker than coconut milk.
- Allow the mixture to rest at room temperature. A layer of coconut cream will eventually float and rise to the top.
A quicker way to make your own coconut cream is to refrigerate a BPA-free can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid coconut cream. The fluid that remains can be discarded.
To do this, make sure the coconut milk doesn’t contain any emulsifying agents such as guar gum. These are put into coconut milk to keep it from separating.
Another product you may come across is cream of coconut. This is a sweetened, sometimes flavored version of coconut cream. It’s commonly used in preparing piña coladas and is definitely not keto-friendly.
Coconut Cream Nutrition
Coconut cream is packed with nutritional perks and health-boosting benefits. Here are some of the top reasons to add coconut cream to your keto lifestyle.
#1. It’s Satisfying and Satiating
What is coconut cream aside from a good-for-you fat? It’s a delicious way to amp up everything from your morning smoothie to keto curries. Its creamy texture, rich flavor, and fat content will not only help you stay fuller for longer, but it will also make the meal more satisfying.
A major reason why people overeat or stray from their healthy eating plan might be that they don’t genuinely enjoy their food. Too many people are eating just for the sake of filling up their stomachs, and that can lead to extra pounds and subsequent health problems.
#2. It Can Manage Cancer and Cholesterol
A study conducted in 2018 shows that lauric acid works synergistically with cancer cell-specific chemo agent selenite. This combination was shown to help to appease the sometimes brutal side effects of chemotherapy[*].
This fatty acid came to a rise in popularity over the past 20 years as it was found to increase HDL, otherwise known as good cholesterol. These days it’s making the news again for its recently discovered positive effects on the cardiovascular and neurological systems[*].
#3. It’s Versatile and Keto-Friendly
Coconut cream can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Beyond that, you can rely on this ingredient for a variety of uses ranging from vegan heavy cream to dairy-free dressings.
You can even use this dairy-free alternative to make rich and delicious coconut whipped cream to top your keto cupcakes. Here’s how to do it:
- Place 1-2 cans of coconut milk or cream in the fridge overnight.
- Scoop the frozen cream into a mixing bowl, leaving any liquid behind.
- Using a stand mixer on high speed, whip the cream until peaks form.
- Sprinkle some powdered stevia or another keto sweetener, or a dash of low-carb vanilla extract on top for extra sweetness. (This is entirely optional since coconut cream has a naturally sweet taste.)
Because of coconut cream’s versatility and ability to enrich your keto dishes, it’s a great ingredient to stock up on. Having it as a pantry staple will quickly turn it into one of your favorite add-ons for your low-carb meals and snacks.
How to Buy and Store It
Unless you’re making your own coconut cream at home, make sure to check the ingredient list on the packaging. Pure coconut cream will have just two ingredients — coconut and water.
Make sure it’s unsweetened and is packed in BPA-free containers. BPA is an industrial chemical that is often added to food packaging and it has been linked to several health issues, including hormonal disruptions and DNA damage[*][*].
Store your coconut cream in a cool, dry place like any other pantry staples. If you’re purchasing canned coconut milk to skim off the cream, place it in the fridge at least overnight. If you’re going to be doing this on a regular basis, store a few cans in the fridge.
Organic coconut milk or cream can be found at most grocery stores, like Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.
The largest safety concern with coconut cream or any coconut product is the potential for allergies. If you or someone in your household is allergic to coconut, avoid this ingredient.
Coconut Cream Recipes
Take advantage of coconut cream’s versatility with these easy, keto-friendly recipes. They’re simple, easy to prepare, and will help you stay in ketosis.
Chocolate Keto Birthday Cake With Vanilla Frosting
You can have your cake and stay keto, too. Whether you’ve got a birthday coming up or you just feel like a slice of moist cake that won’t kick you out of ketosis, this delicious chocolate cake is a perfect choice. It’s easy to make and even easier to devour.
Keto Guro With Creamy Tzatziki
This keto gyro with creamy tzatziki is a low-carb version of the Greek classic. It combines a delicious assortment of herbs and spices and substitutes high-calorie Greek yogurt with coconut cream. It’s a fantastic keto-friendly twist on this popular sandwich.
Chocolate Mint Keto Ice Cream
Coconut cream makes it possible for you to stick to a keto diet and still enjoy ice cream. This chocolate mint ice cream recipe is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and cooling down on a hot day.
What Is Coconut Cream? A Pantry Staple in Your Keto Lifestyle
Coconut cream provides a paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and keto-approved ingredient for your meals and drinks. From your morning coffee creamer to decadent low-carb desserts, you can enjoy this creamy addition not only for its taste and texture but for its major health benefits.
A major key to success is stocking your cabinets with healthy choices that support your goals rather than tempting you to go for that much-craved high-carb snack.
Coconut cream is a simple ingredient you can use for just about anything, from savory to sweet. It’s a healthy and easy way to increase your fat intake and cover your daily macro necessities.
Coconut is one of the most popular superfoods out there and there is a reason for it. It not only packs amazing health benefits but can also be used in many different ways.
From your kitchen pantry to your beauty cabinet, coconut is a great ingredient that will help you reach your macro goals, make your food taste delicious, and keep your skin and hair healthy.