12 Best Coconut Milk Substitutes You Need To Try Now

6 mins read
Image by eskymaks on Unlimphotos



Coconut milk is known to be the pioneer of classic recipes. Most people nowadays look for substitutes for coconut milk in a recipe. This is merely due to the unavailability of coconut milk at home or the need for a low-carb coconut milk substitute. Coconut milk substitutes give a thick consistency to the food, although the flavour is never the same.

Since you are here looking for a coconut milk substitute, you’ve either found a recipe that calls for it and does not have it or have a strong aversion or allergy towards coconuts. For those having an aversion, let’s understand coconut milk added in curries and other dishes only add to the depth of the dish and does not overpower it.

There’s nothing that can truly replace the consistency and taste of coconut milk. So you may want to give it a try! On the other hand, if you don’t have coconut milk and still want to prepare the dish, let’s understand, the substitutes won’t substitute the flavour well.

A coconut milk substitute can either be coconut-based or even non-coconut. Here are the 12 coconut milk substitutes you need to try now:

1. Coconut Cream

Coconut cream: coconut milk substitute
Photo by zkruger from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Mix 3 tablespoons of coconut cream with 1 cup of hot water
  • You can also opt for 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • Coconut cream works best as a substitute for piña coladas and curries.

2. Instant Coconut Milk Powder

Instant Coconut Milk powder
Photo by antpkr from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Take 1 cup of instant coconut milk powder
  • Add approximately half a cup of hot water to it
  • Whisk them thoroughly
  • You can also use a blender or food processor
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • Instant coconut milk powder is best if you wish to store it as a coconut milk substitute for a long time.

3. Coconut Juice or Coconut Water

Coconut water
Photo by towfiq007 from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Instead of coconut milk, you can add 1 cup of coconut juice or coconut milk to the recipe.
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • Coconut water or coconut juice will only substitute a slight coconut flavour. If you want that creamy consistency in your recipe, you can instead add heavy cream separately.

4. Coconut Essence

Coconut essence
Photo by makidotvn from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Take 1 cup of evaporated milk and add a few drops of coconut essence to it
  • Stir the mixture
  • You can also opt for regular or skim milk
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • The major problem with using coconut essence as a coconut milk substitute is that most people dislike its taste.

5. Coconut Extract

Coconut extract: coconut milk substitute
Photo by makidotvn from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

There are four procedures for using coconut extract as a coconut milk substitute. Have a look at the following procedures and choose the best for yourself.

Procedure 1

  • Take approximately 8 ounces of cottage cheese.
  • Add three tablespoons of powdered milk and about one tablespoon of coconut extract.
  • Blend them thoroughly and pour about half a cup of hot water into it
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary
  • You can also add one tablespoon of sugar, especially for dessert recipes

Procedure 2

  • Add about a half tablespoon of coconut extract to one cup of regular milk
  • You can also opt for a cup of yoghurt instead of the milk
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary
  • This procedure is perfect for curry recipes

Procedure 3

  • Add about a half tablespoon of coconut extract to a cup of evaporated milk
  • Stir them well
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • Most people often get confused with coconut extract and coconut essence. Keep in mind both the substitutes are different and work differently.

Procedure 4

  • Heat about half a cup of milk in a saucepan
  • Add approximately half tablespoons of cornstarch to the milk
  • Stir them thoroughly until the mixture thickens
  • Once you reach a thick creamy texture, turn off the heat and add about half tablespoons of coconut extract to it.
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • If your mixture gets too thick, don’t panic. Just add some more milk and keep stirring.

6. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Coconut flakes: coconut milk substitute
Photo by eskymaks from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Boil about a quarter cup of water
  • You can also opt for warm milk
  • Add another quarter cup of unsweetened coconut flakes to it
  • Let them boil for about 5 minutes
  • Once the bubbles are formed, turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a blender.
  • Blend them well and strain if required
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • You do not have to strain the mixture if you’re using it for a curry recipe.

7. Heavy Cream Or Full Cream Milk

Milk cream
Photo by towfiq007 from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Add about one cup of heavy cream to the recipe instead of coconut milk
  • You can also opt for whole cream milk
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • This is a non-coconut substitute for those who do not like coconut or have allergies to coconut food.
  • Heavy cream has many calories and imparts a lovely creamy texture to your recipe mimicking coconut milk.
  • You can also add coconut water to the recipe for a slight hint of coconut flavour

8. Low-Fat Cream Cheese

Cream cheese
Photo by eskymaks from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Take about half a cup of low-fat cream and pour another half cup of skimmed milk into it.
  • Blend them thoroughly
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • This is a non-coconut substitute for those who do not like coconut or have allergies to coconut food.
  • This substitute will only impart the creamy texture but not the flavour

9. Cashew Cream Or Almond Paste

Cashew and almond
Photo by towfiq007 from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Take about a cup of unsalted cashews or almonds.
  • Soak them overnight and blend them with some warm water or milk using a blender
  • The above measurements will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary.
  • This is a non-coconut substitute for those who do not like coconut or have allergies to coconut food.
  • This substitute is great for making curries. If you need a thicker milk substitute, go for more cashews and almonds.

10. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt
Photo by billberryphotography from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Simply add 1 cup of Greek yoghurt instead of coconut milk
  • The above measurement will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary
  • This is a non-coconut substitute for those who do not like coconut or have allergies to coconut food
  • You can also blend the yoghurt first. It is best if you’re looking for low-calorie substitutes.

11. Evaporated milk

Evaporated Milk
Photo by zkruger from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Simply add one cup of evaporated milk instead of coconut milk
  • The above measurement will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary
  • This is a non-coconut substitute for those who do not like coconut or have allergies to coconut food
  • You can also opt for coconut-flavoured evaporated milk if you wish to

12. Condensed Milk

Condensed milk
Photo by towfiq007 from Unlimphotos

How To Use It As Coconut Milk Substitute?

  • Simply add a quarter cup of condensed milk instead of coconut milk
  • The above measurement will satisfy only 1 cup of coconut milk requirements. Thus, quantities might vary
  • This is a non-coconut substitute for those who do not like coconut or have allergies to coconut food
  • Condensed milk is extremely sweet and thus works excellently for piña coladas

Coconut Milk VS Coconut Juice

Coconut milk is the creamy, white milk extracted from the thick, white flesh that is all around the inner wall of a ripe coconut. Often coconut milk is mistaken to be the juice inside a coconut. However, this is not true. Coconut milk is made by squeezing grated coconut through a cheesecloth.

Coconut milk is used as a base for cooking many food recipes. It is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines, especially in authentic Thai food recipes. It is also popularly used in West Africa, Hawaii, and the cuisines of the West Indies. It is also available in the canned or bottled version.

Final Note

 

You must not forget the fact that a substitute can never mimic the true creamy texture and coconut flavor of coconut milk. Nevertheless, if you have to substitute it, pick accordingly.

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