Coconut in all of its forms is a fantastic ingredient to be included on the Candida Diet. This is because it is a nutrient dense food with natural anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.
Coconut milk in particular is such a versatile ingredient, it's certainly something you want to be stocking up on. Read on to find out how to save money on coconut milk!
🥥 Different Types of Coconut Milk
When I realised that coconut milk was going to become a huge part of my diet, I was determined to find a way to source it that was as cost effective as possible.
Generally, you can find coconut milk in two different packaging types; tinned, or in a carton.
After spending some time comparing prices both online and in-store, I discovered two things:
- Firstly, all pre-packaged coconut milk is actually quite expensive.
- And secondly, many of the brands on the market are not very "clean". Many contain added emulsifiers, preservatives and sweeteners, which is not ideal on the Candida Diet. In fact, I struggled to find a fresh coconut milk drink in a carton that was only made using just coconut and water.
🥥 Drawbacks of Tinned Coconut Milk
Regarding tinned coconut milk, I did find it easier to find brands which were made from 100% coconut. Having said that, there are some additional drawbacks to this type of packaging:
- Essentially, the fact it is stored in a tin. This is not ideal on an anti-candida diet as you should be trying to limit your exposure to heavy metals wherever possible.
- Also, once opened, the tin needs to be consumed quite quickly. And that's even if you transfer the contents into an airtight container. Food that spoils quickly is not ideal for this diet. Plus, it could work out very wasteful to open an entire tin every time you want to use only a small amount of coconut milk.
- Also, the more premium brands which don't include any added "nasties", are the ones that would set you back AT LEAST £2 a can, and that's even if you buy in bulk.
So what is the solution? For many recipes the answer is creamed coconut!
🥥 Save Money By Using Creamed Coconut
Creamed coconut is the dehydrated meat of a coconut, which comes in solid blocks and can be melted and combined with water to create coconut milk. I use it in all sorts of recipes, from making drinks, to adding to my oatmeal, and thickening sauces. It is just so versatile!
The best value brand that was most accessible to me locally here in the UK was Blue Dragon. This product is 100% coconut, and costs £1.60 at Sainsburys (correct as of 2023) for a 200g block.
You can make an entire batch of coconut milk by mixing the creamed coconut with boiling water, allowing to cool, and them storing in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator. This is a good idea if you like to use the milk for cold recipes or drinks.
🥥 How To Make Coconut Milk With Creamed Coconut
To turn the creamed coconut into a full tin of coconut milk, you need to mix 100g of creamed coconut with 400ml water. Basically, you can get the equivalent of two tins of coconut milk out of one block, which works out to be the equivalent of 80p per can - now that's more like it!
Another fantastic thing about creamed coconut is that it has a very good shelf life. Once opened, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. I like to to write the date I opened it on the packet of the carton, that way I know to use the product up before it spoils.
🥥 Top Tips For Cooking With Creamed Coconut
When using creamed coconut from the block, instead of worrying about opening and storing a carton or tin of milk, you simply cut off the amount you need from the block as and when required.
You can then use smaller portions chopped or grated into hot meals such as currys, stews, or porridge / oatmeal.
I love adding creamed coconut directly into my morning porridge to make it thick and creamy, you can find the recipe: Coconut Chia Oatmeal.
Add markings on the block to help with portioning. For example, if you plan on using your creamed coconut for making batches of milk instead of cookin, you could split the block into eight equal parts of 20g.
That way, when each slice is mixed with 80ml of water, this creates the equivalent to one quarter of a tin of coconut milk in a recipe.
Be careful to always check the ingredients on the back of your creamed coconut. One product I found had 100% coconut on the front of the box, but the ingredients list included trace amounts of sulphur dioxide.
Lastly, because creamed coconut is formed from dried coconut meat, you will get some small bits floating in your coconut milk. So if you're using it to make a hot chocolate then either strain your milk beforehand, or expect to see some floaty bits in there!
🥥 When to Not Use Creamed Coconut
Many recipes work really well with the use of creamed coconut instead of tinned coconut or coconut milk from a carton. Having said that, some recipes only really work with the tinned stuff.
These recipes are the ones that require a particularly smooth consistency. For example:
- Homemade coconut ice cream
- Coconut milkshake
- Baked custards
💭 Final Thoughts
So there you have it. I hope I have convinced you to consider creamed coconut as one of your new grocery list staples!
Don't have any creamed coconut to hand? No worries! Did you know you can also make coconut milk at home using desiccated coconut?
You can find full instructions on how to do this here: How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk With Desiccated Coconut.
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