28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

Coconut is a dairy-free girl’s best friend. It’s that huge sigh of relief when you realize creamy ice cream can still be a part of your life. I did a little dance the first time I tasted coconut whipped cream. I wanted to shout, “Yay! My tastebuds are no longer deprived!” Coconut makes a delicious alternative that’s rich in key nutrients.

High in magnesium, 1 cup of coconut milk contains 88.8mg and this combined with it’s content of calcium keeps muscles and nerves functioning properly. It is also an excellent source of potassium, where 1 cup has over 630mg compared to 422mg in 1 banana. It is also rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6.

A saturated fat, coconut is a medium chain fatty acid and quickly absorbed as energy in the liver. The body views it as priority energy and is therefor less likely be stored as fat. Coconut’s fat make-up contains lauric acid which the body converts to monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that protects against infections and viruses. It is easily digested, making it a good choice for people working to heal their gut.

This table is a good run-down of all the nutrition in coconut milk.

For the best results and the most nutritional value, I recommend using organic, canned full fat coconut milk or cream. Native Forest and Let’s Do Organic are good brands I like. Coconut milk separates into water and cream in the can. When you open the can, drain off the water and use the cream for all the substitutions below. You can drink the water or add it into smoothies. Watch my video on how to do this here.

1. Coffee & Tea Creamer – add a spoonful of coconut cream right from the can into your cup.

Chai Tea dairy free

2. Creamy Soups – stir 2-3 tablespoons into any cream-based soup, such as a bisque or cream of mushroom soup.

3. Chowders – substitute coconut milk for the heavy cream

4. Substituted for cream and milk in any recipe

5. Whipped Cream – How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream 

6. Creamy Dressings – Dairy Free Ranch Dressing by Grass Fed Girl 

7. Creamy Dips like Spinach Artichoke Dip from Paleo Parent’s Real Life Paleo

8. Substitute for Sour Cream in any recipe + ½ teaspoon lemon juice

9. Curry Sauces

10. Smoothies – add ¼ cup to any smoothie – Find my Green Super Smoothie recipe here.

green super smoothie

11. Ice Cream – Sugar Free Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream by In Sonnet’s Kitchen

12. Milkshakes – substitute coconut milk for the ice cream

13. White Chocolate Candy – Better Than Candy Nut Crunchies by Free Coconut Recipes 

14. Candy Bark – Holiday Salted Peppermint Bark by PaleOMG

15. Cream Cheese – 5 Minute Coconut Cream Cheese by The Spunky Coconut 

16. Cake Frosting – layer thick coconut cream between cake layers and on top

17. Pumpkin Pie – Find my recipe here

Pumpkin Pie - dairy free

18. Frozen Pudding Pops

19. Chia Seed Pudding

20. Hot Chocolate

21. Combine with eggs for custard

22. Add to Scrambled Eggs

23. Substitute for Creme Fraiche

24. Alfredo Sauce – Find my recipe here.

 dairy free alfredo


25. Added to Mashed Potatoes

26. Substitute for condensed milk in any recipe + 1 tsp honey

27. Caramel Sauce – 3 Step Honey Caramel by The Urban Poser

28. Coconut Yogurt – Simple Coconut Yogurt by Paleo Plans 



Harry Belafonte and the secret proteome of coconut milk, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22037231

Coconut Milk Benefits, http://www.med-health.net/Coconut-Milk-Benefits.html

1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk Recipes, https://www.pinterest.com/recipes/1-can-full-fat-coconut-milk/

Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Going dairy free can be complicated when you don’t know how to substitute for your favorite foods. I’ve spent years of trial and error to find the foods that work best. This is the first of a series of videos showing examples of easy food swaps for dairy.  I had to begin with something extra delicious, whipped cream!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this video. Please share with me below! 

Stacked Pear Salad

Stacked Pear Salad

Christmas came early this year. We had a pre-Christmas celebration with my family in south Florida last week. It was 75 degrees and clear, blue skies everyday. My body soaked up the sun, the humid sea salt air and the therapeutic beach sounds. The hubby and I were grateful to be out of the winter chill and have a peaceful place to relax.

I spent a few Christmases down there as a kid, yet it’s still odd to see palm trees decorated like candy canes. Going from the northeast to the tropics numbs the holiday spirit a bit. We managed to keep the Christmas music playing as a reminder that it’s still December. I was so disoriented until I heard “White Christmas” playing.

The highlight was our special Christmas dinner, surf and turf style. We stood in line for over an hour to buy the perfect lobster tails. The guy selling them had a solo operation in a parking lot. Fresh caught in the morning and selling it all by noon. Word spread fast that he had the freshest seafood in town and we were willing to wait.

It was just four of us for dinner so I wanted to make this Stacked Pear Salad for a showstopper dish. We needed a light salad to begin our heavy meal. The tangy dressing matches perfectly with the pear’s sweetness. I baked the pears slightly to soften them a bit. Otherwise, I think they’re too hard to enjoy. Everyone loved it and it may have stolen the spotlight from the lobsters.

Stacked Pear Salad
Stacked Pear Salad
Makes 4 servings.

4 ripe Bosc pears
2 cups arugula
½ cup sweet onion – thinly sliced
optional: ½ cup Maytag blue cheese or goat cheese

Red Wine Vinaigrette
3 tsp raw honey
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

►Combine all vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil. Allow to sit for a minute. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk together.

►Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
►Using a paring knife, core each pear from the bottom. Make sure to remove all seeds. You may need to cut a flat bottom to ensure the pear stands upright without falling. Slice each vertically into four sections. Then stack back together and place in a baking dish. Bake 7 minutes until just slightly soft.

►To assemble, place the bottom pear slice onto a salad plate. Top with arugula, onion and drizzle with dressing. Repeat until all sections are stacked. If you include cheese, you can use it like a glue to keep the sections together.
►Serve immediately.

Stacked Pear Salad