Milk looks and tastes pretty darn similar whether it’s from an udder or a nut. While there’s some controversy over whether or not plant-based milk alternatives should be called “milk,” we know the animal-based version is one of the foods we think are “healthy” but shouldn’t be eating. Cow’s milk causes allergy problems for many people and often leads to inflammation, autoimmune disease, and even type 1 diabetes thanks to allergenic proteins such as casein. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hydrates and boosts energy, improves brain function, builds muscle, accelerates weight loss, and may even reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s your gut’s new best friend.
Substitute coconut milk whenever milk or heavy cream is called for in baked goods, creamy soups, sauces, and more. Or simply pour over your favorite cereal, use to make smoothies or chocolate milk, and add to your coffee. We’ve collected a few new classics to get you started.
TRY A HEALTHIER SPIN ON CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP
Thai Coconut, Broccoli, and Coriander Soup
- 1/3 cup store-bought green curry paste
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- 3 cups water
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 pound broccoli florets, chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, plus more to serve
- 2 cups cilantro leaves
- 2 scallions, shredded
- Store-bought crispy shallots or onions, to serve
- Place the curry paste in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat and add the spinach leaves and half the cilantro.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Divide among serving bowls and top with the extra spinach, remaining cilantro, scallions and shallots.
OPT FOR CHIA PUDDING
Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 14 oz can of coconut milk (or milk or choice)
- 4-5 TBSP chia seeds
Optional Ingredients depending on what you like: Fruit, nuts, vanilla, cinnamon, cacao or cocoa powder, chocolate chips, honey, pure maple syrup, etc.
- Pour milk into mason jar.
- Add chia seeds and screw the lid on tight. Shake for about 15 seconds or until there are no clumps of seeds.
- Open jar and add any other fun toppings that you want. Mix it up. Let it sit for at least 1 hour before eating.
GOLDEN MILK IS THE NEW EGG NOG
Golden Milk Tumeric Tea
Yields: 2 cups
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk beverage or almond milk
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Ground cinnamon (for serving)
- Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan
- bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
Do Ahead of Time
Golden milk can be made 5 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill. Warm before serving.
Using fresh turmeric adds a clean, bright flavor to this drink, but dried turmeric can be substituted when fresh is not available. Keep in mind that dried turmeric will settle to the bottom of the mug, so stir well before drinking.