Coconut milk facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Coconut milk
Cononut milk.JPG
Origin
Region or state Tropical region
Details
Main ingredient(s) Coconut

Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a mature coconut. The opacity and rich taste of coconut milk are attributed to its high oil content, most of which is saturated fat. Coconut milk is a popular food ingredient used in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and northern South America.

Definition

Coconut milk is distinguished from coconut water by its thicker consistency and milkier appearance. Unlike coconut water, which is the liquid found directly inside a coconut, coconut milk is the result of combining coconut water with coconut meat.

Coconut milk exists in two grades: thick and thin. Thick coconut milk contains 20-22% fat while thin coconut milk contains 5-7% fat. Thick milk is prepared by directly squeezing grated coconut meat through cheesecloth. Thin milk is produced by soaking the squeezed coconut meat in water and further squeezing the meat until a thinner liquid forms. Thick milk contains soluble, suspended solids, which makes it a good ingredient for desserts and rich and dry sauces. Because thin milk does not contain these soluble solids, it is mainly used in general cooking. The distinction between thick and thin milk is not usually made in Western nations due to the fact that fresh coconut milk is uncommon in these countries and most consumers buy coconut milk in cartons or cans.

Food

Coconut milk can be consumed on its own or as a milk substitute in tea, coffee, and baking. It is a common ingredient in many tropical and Asian cuisines for curries or other seasonings, meats, vegetables, or garnishes.

Drink

In Southeast Asia, coconut milk is used to make many traditional drinks. Cendol is a popular iced drink from this region containing chilled coconut milk and green jellies made of rice flour. Coconut milk is also used in hot drinks, such as bandrek and bajiguar, two popular drinks from Indonesia. Sweetened coconut milk and coconut milk diluted with water are two popular coconut beverages in southern China and Taiwan.

Health effects

One of the most prominent components of coconut milk is coconut oil, which many health organizations discourage people from consuming in significant amounts due to its high levels of saturated fat. Excessive coconut milk consumption can also raise blood levels of cholesterol due to the amount of lauric acid.

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