What Kind Of Coconut Milk Should I Use For Smoothies

Coconut MilkRecently I posted a delicious recipe for a Buckeye Smoothie to support my Ohio State Buckeyes.  (Yay we won! Go Bucks!)  In that post I mentioned a friend who had been making a similar smoothie with coconut milk.  That sounded so good that I had to try it!

The next day I went to my basement pantry and pulled out a can of organic unsweetened coconut milk.  I was not too well versed in coconut milk since a childhood of fake coconut flavor had turned me against the thought of coconut, but the emerging health benefits of coconut milk convinced me to try it.  To my surprise, I actually like the subtle flavor of REAL coconut.

So there I am, adding all the ingredients to my Vitamix, when I realize that the label says there is 7 servings in a can.  I just dumped 1/2 a can in and it still doesn’t look like enough liquid to mix my protein powder, peanut butter & cocoa.  Hmmmmm – something wasn’t right.

Turns out that my friend was using coconut milk from a carton, not a can.  Looking at a popular brand’s (Silk) website I found the ingredients of their carton to be:

Coconutmilk (Filtered Water, Coconut Cream), Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Yam Flour

The ingredients in my canned coconut milk from Native Forest:

Organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water, organic guar gum).

After some quick research into the kinds of coconut milk, it appeared to me that carton coconut milk is diluted and often times contains ingredients I’ve been trying to avoid.  The Food Babe goes into greater detail about why Carrageenan is a carcinogen that has been allowed into our organic foods.  She also has done research about what Natural Flavors can be (yuck!).  Yam Flour seems innocuous, but why do they need it?

The next day I went back to my smoothie again – armed with the knowledge that I have to dilute my canned coconut milk, but how much?  One person online had suggested equal parts water to coconut milk, but I thought the smoothie became too watery and lost much of its thick creamy texture.  My next attempt revealed that about 1 part water for every 2 parts canned coconut milk provided enough liquid to blend with while still enjoying a rich and creamy smoothie.

Do you use coconut milk?  What kinds do you prefer?


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