The main difference between coconut milk and coconut cream is that coconut cream has a higher and richer fat content than coconut milk. Furthermore, while coconut milk is more liquid-like, coconut cream is thicker in density and includes less water and more coconut.
It is true that coconut milk and coconut cream are made of the same ingredients: coconut and water. However, if you are not from a tropical country, it is very easy for you to mistake coconut cream for coconut milk. Although they share many similarities, there are a few differences between them as well, most significantly, in their usage in cooking and baking.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Coconut Milk
– Definition, Features, Uses
2. What is Coconut Cream
– Definition, Features, Uses
3. Similarities Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream
– Comparison of Key Differences
Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream, Coconut
What is Coconut Milk
Unlike the crystal clear and natural coconut water we find inside the cracked nut, coconut milk is made by grinding the coconut flesh you find inside the nut with water. Coconut milk shares a liquid consistency similar to cow’s milk. In making coconut milk, we usually simmer one part of scraped coconut in one part water. Coconut milk is the foundation of most Thai, South Indian and Sri Lankan curries.
Coconut milk is usually a rich and creamy liquid. It acts as a staple ingredient in most curries, sauces, soups, beverages, and desserts everywhere in Southeast Asia. For instance, Malai prawn is a creamy prawn curry that is a popular Bengali delicacy where the jumbo prawns are cooked in a thick coconut milk gravy mixed with Asian spices.
Most importantly, coconut milk is currently available in both sweetened and unsweetened versions. However, if you are highly concerned about keeping your blood sugar levels down, unsweetened coconut milk available in cans at Asian markets would be a better option for you.
What is Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is much thicker and richer than coconut milk. We make it by simmering four parts scraped coconut in one part water. Further, when you open canned coconut milk, the cream that rises to the top of the can is also called coconut cream.
Coconut cream is a great way to give a tropical taste and a colour to desserts such as chocolate cream and chocolate truffles. Cream of coconut is a sweetened and a more sugary version of coconut cream, which is smooth and thick. This version of coconut cream is commonly mixed in drinks like Coco Loco and used in desserts such as the famous coconut cream pie and chocolate matcha coconut cups, bite-sized dark chocolate cups filled with matcha coconut cups. However, due to the added sugar, cream of coconut won’t be a good choice for people with high blood sugar levels.
Similarities Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream
- The process of making coconut cream produces both coconut milk and coconut cream.
- We can use coconut milk and cream together or individually in spicy soups and in gravies to balance the heat of the dish.
- They also act as ingrdients in delicious desserts such as coconut ice cream or coconut rice pudding.
Difference Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream
Coconut milk is a liquid made from water and scraped coconut, whereas coconut cream is a creamier and thicker ingredient that includes less water and more coconut.
Moreover, coconut cream has a higher and richer fat content than coconut milk. Coconut milk is lighter in fat content as it contains more water and less coconut.
Coconut cream has a creamier and thicker texture than coconut milk, which is more liquid-like.
Coconut milk is a base ingredient in Thai, South Indian and Sri Lankan curries, whereas coconut cream is an ingredient in many desserts and beverages.
In brief, the main difference between coconut milk and coconut cream is that coconut cream is thicker and has a comparatively higher content of fat compared with coconut milk. However, if you are a South Asian food lover, both coconut milk and coconut cream would be everyday ingredients in your kitchen.
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