Coconut milk comes from grated coconut pulp. Particularly rich in nutrients, it is a flagship drink in vegetarian and vegan diets. How is this “milk” prepared? What does this vegetable milk contain? Is it good for health? We take stock with Raphaël Gruman, dietician-nutritionist.
Let’s start with a small clarification: the name “vegetable milk” is a shortcut of language because this product is in no way a dairy preparation but a mixture of water and vegetables. The trade name “milk” is also banned in the European Union, so these products are called “drinks” on their packaging.
How is coconut milk prepared?
Coconut milk is prepared from grated coconut. This is mixed for a few minutes with hot water before resting. The mixture is then filtered through a sieve to collect the vegetable milk. If coconut milk and cream are similar products (only the quantity of water changes, hence the smoother consistency of coconut cream), this drink is not to be confused with coconut water which is the liquid contained in fresh coconut.
Thanks to its exotic taste, coconut milk is a star ingredient in cooking recipes as it brings originality to the dish. Overview of its health benefits.
Nutritional values for 100 g of coconut milk (Ciqual table).
- Calories : 188 Kcal
- Proteins : 1,77 g
- Carbohydrates : 3,4 g
- Lipids : 18,4 g
- Saturated fatty acids : 16,5 g
- Monounsaturated fatty acids : 0,88 g
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids : 0,2 g
- Fibers : 0,57 g
- Calcium : 18 mg
- Fer : 3,3 mg
- Magnesium : 46 mg
- Phosphorus : 96 mg
- Potassium : 220 mg
- Sodium : 30 mg
- Vitamins E : 0,7 mg
- Vitamin C : 1 mg
- Vitamins B1 : 0,022 mg
- Vitamin B3 : 0,64 mg
- Vitamine B5 : 0,15 mg
- Vitamin B6 : 0,028 mg
- Vitamine B9 : 14 µg
What are the nutritional benefits of coconut milk?
This drink provides many nutrients beneficial to health.
Coconut milk remineralizes the body
The advantage of this plant-based drink? Its richness in minerals with a contribution of 6 different nutrients, including iron: 100 g of coconut milk provides 30% of our needs in this trace element with immunostimulating and anti-fatigue properties. This drink is also a source of magnesium, an essential mineral since it participates in more than 300 reactions in the body. “Among its benefits: it participates in the fixation of calcium in bones, it promotes muscle contraction, it regulates blood sugar levels helping us prevent type 2 diabetes, it normalizes heart rate and blood pressure thus playing a role. an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disorders, and it ensures the proper functioning of intestinal transit”Raphaël Gruman list.
Magnesium deficiency therefore exposes us to numerous health problems such as sleep disorders, low morale or hypersensitivity to stress. Finally, coconut milk is also an interesting source of calcium and phosphorus, essential for strong bones, and of potassium essential for good heart health.
Coconut milk contains vitamins
This coconut drink mainly provides us with B group vitamins, including vitamin B1 which contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system, vitamin B3 which reduces fatigue, vitamin B5 which helps make our small cells function. gray and finally B6, which contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems and helps reduce fatigue, in particular by promoting the assimilation of magnesium by the body. “This plant-based drink is also a good source of vitamin B9: this is particularly important for pregnant women or women planning to have children because it helps prevent fetal malformations., specifies Raphaël Gruman. Finally, coconut milk also provides vitamin C: immunostimulating and toning, it also promotes the absorption of non-heme iron, that is to say from products of plant origin.
Is coconut milk good for the heart?
Although coconut milk does not contain cholesterol and is a source of potassium, a mineral which helps regulate blood pressure, it is however rich in saturated fatty acids. Certainly not all of them are harmful to health. Only three are hypercholesterolemic, that is to say they promote cardiovascular risk by increasing blood cholesterol levels, and only when they are consumed in excess, specifies the dietitian. These are lauric, myristic and palmitic acids. However, coconut milk contains all three, in small quantities. “As part of a balanced diet, the consumption of coconut milk does not increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease nor does it cause major health risks, but it is important to ensure moderate consumption.recommends the dietician.
Is coconut milk good for your figure?
With a content of 188 KCal/100 g and a contribution of 18g/100 g of lipids, this vegetable drink is quite fatty and energetic. If you monitor your figure closely, it is recommended to consume it in moderation. Especially since coconut milk contains almost no fiber, substances that regulate appetite and can help limit food intake.
What can you replace coconut milk with?
If you are watching your figure or want to limit foods that are too fatty, you can turn to other plant-based milks. Drinks made from almond, hazelnut, rice, soy or spelled and buckwheat can be used to prepare various recipes such as smoothies, hot chocolates, pastries, meat and vegetable stews, such as coconut milk. On the other hand, the taste of these drinks is much more neutral.
How to choose coconut milk?
To get your hands on quality coconut milk, there are two pieces of information to check: “the percentage of coconut extract must be between 70 and 90% and we check that there is no sugar added to the preparation“, advises Raphaël Gruman. Ideally, opt for a product from organic farming. An organic milk will guarantee that the product will not contain dangerous pesticides for your health.
How to use coconut milk?
This drink is used in many dishes and desserts. With cream, curry, with fruit, meat, seafood… so it’s difficult to give you just one recipe!
This vegetable milk brings an exotic touch to your stews of poultry, vegetables, fish, shrimp and scallops. Mixed with curry, coconut milk is delicious and enhances your recipes. Added to a béchamel sauce, it awakens the taste buds. It goes very well with a vegetable gratin or a squash and butternut soup.
For dessert, this milk is delicious added to semolina or rice pudding, to flans, custards and pastry creams, pancake and waffle batter. Finally, coconut milk goes very well with fruits such as mango, pineapple as well as red fruits, especially strawberries.
How to store coconut milk?
As long as the briquette is not opened, the coconut milk can be stored at room temperature, in a cupboard for example. Once the drink is started, it must be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within 3 days.
Are there any contraindications to drinking coconut milk?
Consumption of coconut milk does not cause any particular health problems or allergies. This product fits into all diets and does not contain gluten or lactose.