Coconut Milk vs Coconut Cream
Coconut has a special place in the hearts of health conscious people because of its myriad health benefits. One can get these benefits by consuming coconut in various forms right from eating it straight after breaking the hard outer shell (take care to not spill the water contained inside), as coconut milk, coconut cream, coco butter or coconut oil. Many people are advised to stay away from dairy products on health grounds, and for such people, coconut products like coconut milk and cream prove ideal replacements for milk products. Many think of coconut milk and coconut cream as same, which is not correct. The differences between these two products will be evident after reading this article.
In some parts of the world, the water inside the shell is referred to as coconut milk, though it is not correct and milk is one that is obtained from the meat of the coconut. In Sri Lanka and South of India, coconut milk is used generously in preparation of all kinds of recipes. This milk makes a great base for many types of soups and curries. Milk is prepared by shredding coconut meat and mixing water to it. The content is then either squeezed in cheesecloth or by churning in a mixer. It is a wholesome drink in itself, and people consume it regularly. Coconut milk is also available in canned form in western countries.
Coconut cream is practically coconut milk without all that water. Thus, it is thicker and pastier. If the recipe requires concentrated coconut milk, it is better to use coconut cream instead of coconut milk. You can also skim the coconut milk from the can to get coconut cream.
It is clear then that coconut milk and coconut cream are same ingredients in a different ratio. Cream being thicker and pastier has a higher fat content than milk. While there is 21-25% fat content in cream, fat content goes down to 17% in milk. It is possible to make coconut cream from coconut milk. In fact, if you leave coconut milk for a while, it separates on its own with a thick creamy layer at the top, which is nothing but coconut cream. Coconut cream is a very versatile product and just like cow’s milk, it can be used in various recipes as sweetened or non sweetened cream.
Do not confuse between coconut cream and cream of coconut as cream of coconut is just coconut cream that has been sweetened and used to make different kinds of desserts.
What is the difference between Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream?
• Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk, which is a liquid
• Coconut cream has higher fat content (21-25%) than coconut milk (17%)
• Coconut milk is consumed by itself ,and is available in cans, whereas coconut cream is used as a base in thick recipes
• Coconut milk is prepared by adding water to shredded coconut flesh, and then squeezing the content through cheesecloth.
• When allowed to sit for some time, milk separates, and the top thick layer is nothing but coconut cream.