Friday, April 15, 2011

Low Saturated Fat Coconut Milk Replacement

I love the flavor of coconut milk but I am not crazy about the saturated fat content. I know what you are thinking isn’t coconut good for me? Sadly that is only theoretical at this time and until there is hard science regarding the benefit I am going to stay away from concentrated sources of saturated fat whether it is animal or vegetable since we know saturated fat isn’t healthy. When/if there is definitive science on the benefits of coconut fat I will let you know.

Since coconut milk adds lusciousness to food, particularly Indian food, I really wanted a replacement for it to use in cooking. Wednesday I made coconut soymilk and today I made coconut almond milk so that I could compare the two. Here is what I did:

Coconut Soymilk
Makes approximate 1 quart


1 cup dried organic soybeans soaked in plenty of water over night in the refrigerator then hull
4 cups filtered water, or to the top line in your soymilk maker
3 tablespoons oatmeal, dry
½ teaspoon coconut extract (start with ¼ teaspoon and taste)


Follow the directions for making soymilk found here or here. Add the oatmeal to the soybeans and water in the machine. Strain the milk and add in the coconut extract starting with ¼ teaspoon and add more from there if necessary.

The result, the milk has a nice coconut aroma and is reasonably thick from the additional oatmeal. Before I made this I considered adding a couple of tablespoons of raw cashews for richness but I didn’t think it absolutely needed it. This was very easy and tasty. I loved the heady coconut aroma that wafted off of this each time I opened the jar. It is definitely good stuff.

Then it was time for the Coconut Almond milk. Here is what I did:

Coconut Almond Milk
Makes approximately 1 quart


1 cup almonds (which I did not skin)
filtered water to make 5 cups in the blender
3 tablespoons oatmeal, dry
½ teaspoon coconut extract starting with ¼ teaspoon


Place the almonds in your high-speed blender. Cover the almonds with water to the 5 cup mark. Add the oatmeal and process on high until the nuts are thoroughly ground (about 3 minutes but I didn’t time it). Strain through a fine wine sieve. Add ¼ teaspoon of coconut extract and taste the milk. I ended up using ½ teaspoon. Refrigerate until needed.

Comparing the Two Coconut Milks:

I liked them both but thought the almond milk version was a little richer. Not to mention the almond milk is faster to make. However I was very pleased with both versions and will be using them both again. If you want to more closely mimic the richness (i.e. fattiness) you can try adding raw cashews to the milk. I would start with a tablespoon at a time. Additionally you could try adding a little unsweetened shredded coconut (but I suspect that will need to be strained).

I am not including nutritional information for either recipe since it would be a SWAG (scientific wild as..d guess) on my part.


You have probably already figured out that my Thursday was hectic. I spent some time making orange marshmallows that were chocolate dipped some with coconut and some with walnuts. Even though we don’t eat the marshmallows I do like to make them for others. There is something fun about the process for me. Jonathan and Brittany are celebrating their anniversary today so I was happy to help out with some homemade sweets. I made extra to take to the restaurant since everyone there also enjoy sweets and have had my marshmallows before. What? You don’t take food to your local restaurant? LOL, I know I am not right.  ;-)

We got the restaurant late, late, late. Knowing that they stop seating at 9pm I called ahead and placed an order for dinner so that we weren’t holding up the guys in the kitchen.

No surprise Dan wanted a vegan whole wheat pizza and Brandon picked our toppings and Mike executed it and the result was delicious. Thanks guy’s great job as always!

We also ordered our new favorite Tuscan carrots

and a plate of roasted veggies.

Then we hung out on the patio for a while with Jonathan and chatted with Jenn, Steph and Corey. If you don’t have a restaurant where you are a regular I am sure our stories seem very odd.  As you can probably tell we have gotten to know everyone fairly well.  ;-) We wouldn’t go out to eat nearly as much if we didn’t have such a nice time every time we are there.

Happy Thoughts:

• I heard from Jonathan this morning and Brittany loved the marshmallows. *happy dance* I love doing things like this. I suppose deep down I have a bit of “food pusher” in me like Ian. LOL

• Thursday was hectic but not as bad as the last couple of weeks. I feel like life is starting to return to normal again. *huge sigh of relief* I am looking forward to having time to get back to my routine.

• Our weather has been very nice lately. The spring bulbs are all up and the garden is starting to come to life. My newly planted herbs are doing well. I can’t wait to spend a little time in the garden. Spring is my favorite season.

• I have been getting back into juicing again with the change in season. Needless to say I am enjoying starting my day with a big glass of fresh veggies.  This one contained beet, lemon, kale, garlic, celery and chia seeds.

• Is there a better day of the week than Friday? I am always in a good mood on Friday. Saturday is supposed to be rainy but Sunday we should be sunny and 66. *woo hoo* Then our temperatures are forecasted to get into the 70’s next week. I love spring!

Signing out:

Since it is Friday I am running errands today and getting ready for the weekend. I hope you have some fun things planned for the weekend. Talk to you again soon, hopefully tomorrow.


  1. Wow, I'm really impressed with your coconut milk replacement experiments. I would have guessed the soy milk version would be richer, but am happy that the almond milk one was! I'm much more likely to try that version, well once I get my vitamix (because of not needing to hull :)

    Happy Friday to you, hope you have a nice weekend!

  2. Making your own 'coconut' milk is brilliant!

    I really enjoy your blog because I get so many great ideas!

    Also, you're very sweet to make gifts for people. Marshmellows take patience!

  3. I can see exactly why Dan wanted that pizza. I want that pizza ;-)

  4. The marshmallows are cute. I want that pizza, too.

  5. What a genius idea! I am going to put coconut extract on my future shopping list. Thanks for sharing, Ali!
    Have a great weekend,

  6. I like the idea of almond/coconut milk. It sounds pretty tasty. Did you make the marshmallows from scratch??

  7. Sarah,

    I expected to like the soymilk better too. I would say make both and that way you can compare. Though I also agree almond milk is much easier. ;-)

    Happy Friday to you too!

  8. Jackie,

    Thanks, you are too kind. I got the idea from talking to someone else about a year ago and never got around to experimenting with it.

    Marshmallows are fun to make I think. But playing with 240 degree sugar is a bit daunting at first. I heard from Jonathan today that Brittany loved the marshmallows so that made me happy. :-)

    enjoy your weekend,

  9. Heather,

    The guys made that pizza up on the fly. When I called in for food I only said make us a vegan pizza. I thought they did a great job especially since it isn't a veg restaurant. It looks like we might be rubbing off on them a little. ;-)


  10. Jenny,

    I have been making marshmallows for years. They were my "Christmas" treat of choice. Other people made cookies I made marshmallows. One day I need to see if I can make them vegan but since we gave up sugar too I never got around to trying it.

    The pizza was really good. Particularly since after the marshmallows I wasn't in the mood for cooking.

    Happy Friday!

  11. Aimee,

    I found the coconut extract at Whole Foods and that has been the only place I saw it. If you have trouble finding it let me know so I can tell you manufacturer.

    enjoy your weekend,

  12. Food Feud (M),

    I was pretty happy with the coconut milk substitutes. I hope you like it as much as I did.

    Yes I made the marshmallows from scratch. I have made 100's of batches of them in the past but stopped when we gave up sugar and animal products. I didn't post the recipe because it isn't vegan. However since I made the sweets for omni friends I didn't bother to experiment to see if I could make the recipe vegan. If I get ambitious one day I may see if I can make a vegan marshmallow. ;-)

    Enjoy your weekend,

  13. Hey Ali,

    I just had to join the comments because I was so shocked to see marshmallows on your blog. You are funny, taking them to the restaurant. Just means you are confident in your cooking abilities and generous with your sweets. Also, thanks for sharing your juice recipe...I'm going to juice some beets and kale tomorrow morning (and chia seeds?).



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