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10 Awesome and Unexpected Ways to Use a Can of Coconut Milk

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Have you ever had a leftover can of coconut milk lying around in your fridge, and were perplexed by what to do with it? Thankfully, canned coconut milk is a very common ingredient in plant-based cooking, and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes alike to achieve a decadent, creamy texture! Canned coconut milk is also readily available in most major grocery stores, very inexpensive to buy, and a healthier source of fat than dairy products. Here are 10 unique ways to use canned coconut milk with recipes from the Food Monster App that will wow your guests and engage your palate.

1. Coconut Sour CreamCoconut Sour Cream

Coconut Sour Cream/One Green Planet

Sour cream is the ultimate creamy topping to complement the flavors of a warm, spicy bowl of chili, a creamy pot of vegetable soup, or dolloped onto an overloaded veggie burrito or black bean tacos. By using a can of coconut milk, you can quickly whip up a rich, tangy condiment that you’ll want to eat by the spoonful.

This Coconut Sour Cream, pictured above, will go perfectly on top of our Healthy Chili and Loaded Baked Potato Soup, or spread onto a warm tortilla in our Veggie Protein Burritos.

2. CurriesCurry

Simple Potato Curry/One Green Planet

A steaming pot of curry will be sure to warm your home and your stomach with its rich array of nutrient-dense ingredients and spices. Curries can be sweet, savory, and sometimes spicy. You can also customize them to your heart’s content. And at the root of that creamy broth is canned coconut milk! Once you learn how to make curry, you can whip it up whenever you have canned coconut milk in your pantry with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.

Curry is a perfect meal on cold, winter nights, and is the ultimate comfort food. Be sure to try this Simple Potato Curry, pictured above, or this 20-Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry for a quick meal when you’ve got the hankering for something creamy and savory.

3. Whipped Coconut CreamWhipped Cream

Spiced Whipped Coconut Cream/One Green Planet

Looking for a delicious plant-based whipped cream to top your desserts? Homemade coconut milk whipped cream is free of high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals, and preservatives found in many traditional whipped creams. So indulge all you want, and go for that extra spoonful of whipped cream you’re craving!

Whipped Coconut Cream, pictured above, is perfect on top of any and all desserts, but it goes amazingly with this Perfect Apple Pie or this Pear and Almond Tart.

4. Crème Brûlée Creme Brulee

Pistachio Crème Brûlée/One Green Planet

There’s nothing that excites dinner guests more than a fancy French dessert with an equally fancy name. Creating a beautiful dessert that will put sparkles in your guest’s eyes can be easy, and involves only a can of coconut milk, a few sweet ingredients, and someone with a steady hand that can handle a blow torch without singing off any eyebrows.

Don’t be intimidated when making this dessert, because we’ve got your back with recipes like Pistachio Crème Brûlée, pictured above, and Matcha Crème Brûlée.

5. SmoothiesSmoothie

Mint Cacao Kiss/One Green Planet

If you are running short on time in the morning, a smoothie is the perfect meal on the go that is both filling and satisfying. There are also tons of different flavor combinations so you’ll never get bored! To add an extra level of creaminess to your smoothie, try pouring the liquid from a can of coconut milk into ice trays and popping them into your freezer. The frozen coconut milk can then be added to your smoothie whenever you want an extra level of indulgence, and can even be added to alcoholic smoothies, like piña coladas.

Try coconut milk ice cubes in smoothie recipes such as this Chocolate Banana Smoothie or this dreamy Mint Cacao Kiss, pictured above. 

6. Creamy Non-Dairy Sauces Tofu Benedict

Tofu Benedict Meets Tofu Florentine/One Green Planet

It is very possible to create a creamy, indulgent sauce without relying on dairy products, and canned coconut milk happens to be the perfect substitute. Add coconut milk in lieu of heavy cream when making all of your favorite cream-based sauces, such as Alfredo or vodka sauce, or take it to the next level with some of our favorite coconut-based sauces like these Creole Coconut Sauce over Grilled Seitan Kebabs or swap almond milk for coconut milk in this recipe for Tofu Benedict Meets Tofu Florentine, pictured above. 

7. Custard PiesCustard Pie

Coconut Custard Pie/One Green Planet

Pies are the perfect treat to bring to a party or family gathering, and custard pies in particular are extra delectable with their velvety center and flaky crust. Luckily, you can indulge in that beautiful piece of creamy pie simply by using canned coconut milk as the base. Surprise your friends and family with a rich Coconut Custard Pie, pictured above.

8. Cheesecake Coconut Cheesecake

Cinnamon Coconut New York Style Cheesecake/One Green Planet

Coconut milk can provide a great base for plant-based cream cheese to use in a luxurious cheesecake. For a plant-based cheesecake that’s absolutely delicious, try this Cinnamon Coconut Cheesecake, pictured above.

9. PuddingLemon Pudding

4-Ingredient Lemon Pudding/One Green Planet

Pudding is a versatile use for coconut milk. You can use it to provide your kids with the perfect lunchtime snack that will make all of their classmates jealous, or for a fancy dessert to be served at a classy dinner party. For a light, elegant, and quick treat try this Lemon Pudding, pictured above, that adults and kids will love.

10. Ice CreamLavender Ice Cream

Lavender Coconut Ice Cream/One Green Planet

All the best birthday parties have ice cream, and you can make creamy non-dairy ice cream using coconut milk. For an elegant, mature birthday party be sure to try this Lavender Ice Cream, pictured above, or for a more kid-friendly recipe that will be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face taste this Raw Fruit and Coconut Ice Cream Cake with Brownie Crust

For more non-dairy milk ideas like Which Milk for What Recipe:A Non-Dairy Milk Guide for All Your Cooking and Baking Needs we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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