Coconut Milk vs Coconut Cream
The difference between coconut milk and coconut cream stems from the amount of fat in each item. As we all know, 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.
What is Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is the liquid that is obtained by squeezing the meat of the coconut. However, in some parts of the world, the water inside the shell is referred to as coconut milk, which it is not correct. In Sri Lanka, South India,and Thailand, 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.
The coconut milk is prepared by shredding the coconut meat and mixing water to it. The content is then either squeezed in cheesecloth or churned 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. When it comes to fat content, you will see that coconut milk has 23.84 g fat in 100g.1
What is Coconut Cream?
Coconut cream is practically the coconut milk without all that water. Thus, it is thicker and pastier. 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. Also, if the recipe requires concentrated coconut milk, it is better to use coconut cream instead of coconut milk. Then, it is clear now that coconut milk and coconut cream are same ingredients in a different ratio. Coconut cream, being thicker and pastier, has a higher fat content than coconut milk. So, you will find that coconut cream has 34.68 g fat in 100g.2
However, you do not have to worry if you only have coconut milk where your recipe needs coconut cream. It is possible to make coconut cream from coconut milk. You can skim the coconut milk from the can to get coconut cream. 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. Of course, the quicker way is to leave it in a refrigerator. In the same way, you can make coconut milk from coconut cream by diluting the cream with water to the required consistency.
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 milk is more watery as it is a liquid.
• Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk.
• Fat Content:
• Coconut milk has 23.84 g fat in 100g.
• Coconut cream has higher fat content as it has 34.68 g in 100g.
• Coconut milk is consumed by adding it to food and is available in cans.
• Coconut cream is used as a base in thick recipes and coconut cream is also available in cans.
• 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.
As you can see, both coconut milk and coconut cream are products that we can get from the coconut. They are both produced by shredding the coconut meat and squeezing it with water to extract the milk. Coconut milk is a liquid and less thick as the word milk implies. Coconut cream, as the word cream implies, is thicker than coconut milk. Both are used in Asian cuisine as a base for most of the curries and soups. They are tasty too. If you are more conscious of the amount of fat in food, choose coconut milk as it comes with a less fat content than coconut cream.