Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a product that is widely used in East Asian cuisines. In Indonesia and Malaysia it is known as "santan", in the Philippines it is called "gata".

A very gentle, delicate taste, a delicate refined aroma, and most importantly, a very impressive list of useful properties and beneficial effects on health have made this product very popular in East Asian cuisine. There, sauces are prepared on its basis, soups are cooked, cocktails are mixed.

Coconut milk began to conquer Europe relatively recently, but this product has already become the cause of fierce debate among nutritionists, since it has no less opponents than supporters. To understand whether it brings benefit or harm to the body, you should first of all understand what coconut milk is.

General Description

Contrary to the popular belief that many of us have been influenced by advertising, coconut milk is not a liquid that “splashes” inside each coconut. This substance is the so-called coconut water or, simply speaking, coconut juice.

In fact, coconut milk - the same snow-white liquid from advertising videos - is a product that is obtained artificially. To prepare it, the pulp of a well-ripened nut is rubbed, and then the resulting slurry is squeezed out. This is how first-pressed milk is obtained - the thickest and sweetest, it is valued above all. If you dilute the already squeezed pulp with juice and squeeze it again, you get second-pressed milk. This product will have a more liquid consistency, and its cost will be significantly lower.

Among Europeans, the French were the first to appreciate coconut milk. In the homeland of the Three Musketeers, this product is known as "Asian cream" due to its high content of fats. Indeed, virgin coconut milk, in terms of its composition, may well be considered an alternative to conventional cream from cow's milk.

Chemical composition and calorie content

Coconut milk is a rather high-calorie product. Its energy value is 230 kcal per 100 g. The composition of nutrients is as follows: 2.29 g proteins, 23.9 g fat and 3.34 g carbohydrates. Dietary fiber in the product is present in the amount of 2.2 g per 100 g.

The vitamin composition of the product is impressive. So, vitamin PP (0.76 mg) is one of the participants in the synthesis of gastric juice, thereby normalizing the activity of the digestive system. In addition, it improves blood microcirculation and significantly reduces the level of "bad" cholesterol in the blood, thereby preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of blood vessels.

Vitamin B1 (0.026 mg) plays the “first fiddle” in energy metabolism. It also sharpens cognitive abilities, helps to keep the organs of the digestive system in good shape, and is necessary to normalize the emotional state.

Vitamin B4 (8.5 mg) is a powerful hepatoprotector. It helps liver tissues recover from the negative effects of alcohol and drugs, and promotes regenerative processes. In addition, this vitamin helps to normalize the level of glucose in the blood, thereby preventing the development of diabetes. Also, this substance is necessary for the functioning of the human reproductive system.

Vitamin B6 (0.033 mg) is beneficial for individuals diagnosed with diabetes mellitus as it reduces the need for insulin. It also helps to normalize the activity of the nervous system, prevents the occurrence of cramps and spasms in the muscles, and helps to cope with skin diseases.

Vitamin B9 (16 mcg) is important for pregnant women, as it helps prevent pathologies during fetal development. Also, this vitamin helps to stabilize the emotional background in the postpartum period. It is also useful for increasing the overall resistance of the body to viruses and bacteria. Finally, vitamin B9 helps to cope with stressful situations and emotional overload.

Vitamin C (2.8 mg) is a powerful antioxidant that enhances the protective properties of the body. It significantly accelerates wound healing, is involved in the synthesis of collagen protein, which is critical for maintaining normal bone tissue. It is also a component necessary for the synthesis of a number of hormones, regulates the blood formula.

Vitamin E (0.15 mg) stimulates the immune system, improves the regenerative properties of tissues, and reduces the overall fatigue of the body. In addition, it helps prevent the development of cancer, is necessary for the production of hormones, and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.

Vitamin K (0.1 µg) is responsible for the normalization of the blood coagulation process. It also protects against osteoporosis, being responsible for the normal state of bone tissue. Another of the properties of this substance is the protection of vessels from calcification, in other words, from hardening due to deposits of calcium on the walls.

The chemical composition of coconut milk also contains a very impressive list of minerals.

Calcium (16 mg) is responsible for the condition of bone, dental and cartilage tissue. Also, this macronutrient has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, is a component necessary for the synthesis of a number of hormones and enzymes, normalizes the emotional state.

Magnesium (37 mg) is necessary for energy metabolism, normalizes the activity of the endocrine system, helps to bind and remove toxic substances from the body, including heavy metals. It also prevents the formation of stones in the gallbladder and kidneys.

Sodium (15 mg) is responsible for normalizing the water balance in the human body. It has a vasodilating effect, preventing the occurrence of spasms, activates the function of the pancreas, promotes the production of gastric juice.

Potassium (263 mg) is a macronutrient essential for heart muscle health. It helps to normalize the heart rate, and also improves the oxygen supply to the brain tissues. Also, this substance helps to remove excess fluid from the body, thereby making it possible to avoid the occurrence of edema.

Phosphorus (100 mg) helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth, takes part in protein synthesis, plays an important role in energy metabolism. Also, this macronutrient is necessary for mental activity.

Iron (1.64 mg) plays the “first violin” in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood, thereby preventing the development of anemia. In addition, it is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, as well as for the formation of the body's resistance to viruses and bacteria.

Manganese (0.9 mg) helps to normalize blood sugar levels, acting as a prophylactic that prevents the development of diabetes. Also, this trace element is involved in the work of the pancreas and helps to reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol in the body.

Selenium (6.2 μg) is a substance that prevents the formation of tumors and transformation and malignant. It also stimulates metabolic processes in the body, takes part in the formation of proteins and red blood cells, is an antioxidant and helps to eliminate toxic substances, including heavy metals.

Zinc (0.67 mg) is involved in the formation of bone tissue, increases the regenerative properties of tissues, improves the condition of the skin and hair, normalizing the activity of the sebaceous glands, acts as a preventive agent that prevents the development of inflammatory diseases of the joints, arthritis and rheumatism.

Copper (266 mcg) helps prevent the development of anemia, is necessary to stabilize the emotional background and fight depressive disorders. Also, this microelement prevents the development of diseases of the skin and digestive system.

In addition, coconut milk contains organic acids: capric and lauric, fructose, easily digestible fats and dietary fiber. Fiber acts on the gastrointestinal tract like a natural scrub, binding and naturally removing toxins and toxic substances.

Benefits

According to nutritionists, coconut milk can be an excellent alternative to cow's milk in case of intolerance to animal protein. The vitamins and minerals included in the product give it a wide range of useful properties.

Dietary fiber present in the composition helps to normalize metabolism. The body, freed from toxins and toxins, heals, and the extra pounds go away.

The product does not contain "bad" cholesterol, so it can be consumed by patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Also, nutritionists note that the use of this drink on an ongoing basis helps to normalize blood pressure.

Due to the presence of lauric acid in the composition of the product, coconut milk has the ability to restore the intestinal microflora, normalizing the digestion process and preventing the development of putrefactive processes. The antibacterial effect of lauric acid also helps to increase the overall resistance of the body, mobilize it to fight viruses and bacteria.

Cytokines present in the chemical composition have the ability to prevent the development of cancer. They also slow down the aging process of cells and have anticoagulant properties, preventing the formation of blood clots.

Due to the content of vitamins, the product helps to get rid of chronic fatigue syndrome, and also perfectly tones.

The fructose content of the product makes it suitable for consumption by people who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Magnesium, which is part of the product, together with the already mentioned lauric acid, helps to calm the nervous system in case of hyperexcitability, removes from a depressive state, and normalizes sleep.

This drink has the ability to make you feel full quickly. Therefore, it is recommended for obese people.

Harm and contraindications

At the same time, like any other product, coconut milk has a fairly wide list of contraindications.

First of all, this product is exotic for the post-Soviet space. This suggests that in many people it can cause an allergic reaction.

Coconut milk is contraindicated for people with fructose intolerance, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers. Caution should be taken when using the product for people who are prone to diarrhea.

It is also worth considering the fact that the composition of the canned drink contains stabilizers, flavors, thickeners and other chemicals that can not have the best effect on health. That is why, if you still decide to treat yourself to coconut milk, you can cook it yourself.

Cooking Uses

There are many uses for coconut milk in cooking. This product is truly versatile and can be used to prepare an incredible range of dishes, both sweet and savory.

Coconut milk is an ingredient in meat, fish, and seafood sauces. Unlike vegetable cream, it does not curdle during heat treatment and gives the product a sweetish, very piquant flavor and delicate aroma. So, in Thai cuisine, soups are prepared on the basis of this product, and meat is also stewed in it. Rice boiled with coconut milk is popular - this is one of the most common side dishes in the national cuisine. In France, flavored milk is the main ingredient for soup with shrimp.

When preparing desserts, the product can replace not only cream, but also regular milk and butter. It gives treats a special velvety flavor and creamy aroma. Real chefs know that the most delicious pancakes are made with coconut milk. The filling of banana or orange jam is ideal for them.

How to cook at home

To make milk at home, stock up on a ripe coconut. Keep in mind that a medium-sized fruit will make about a glass of milk.

The easiest way is as follows. Grate the pulp and pour over the juice. After half an hour, squeeze it properly.

The second option for preparing a drink involves the use of 1 part coconut and 1.5 parts hot water. Pour the grated coconut flesh with water and let it brew for at least two hours. After that, pass the pulp through a blender and squeeze out the resulting mass properly using cheesecloth or a sieve.

Cooking coconut rice

In order to prepare this dish, you will need: 200 ml of coconut milk, the same amount of water, 200 g of jasmine rice, half) lime, 20 g coconut flakes, 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper, salt to taste.

Mix coconut milk with water, salt and bring to a boil. Rinse the rice and add to the boiling liquid.

Cook over medium heat, uncovered and stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

After the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat, cover the pan, wrap it in a towel and let it brew for a quarter of an hour.

Serve seasoned with pepper, sprinkled with coconut flakes and drizzled with lime juice.

Cooking Pork in Coconut Milk

To prepare this dish you will need the following ingredients: milk, 400 g of pureed tomato pulp, a tablespoon of turmeric, salt to taste.

Wash the meat, pat dry and cut into small cubes. Place in a baking dish. Peel and mince the garlic.

Combine tomatoes and coconut milk in a saucepan. Add garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper there. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Pour the contents of the saucepan into the mold with the meat. Bake in the oven, covered, at 200°C for 45 minutes. Serve with a side dish of rice or vegetables.

Cooking chicken in coconut milk

To prepare this dish you will need the following ingredients: two chicken fillets, one onion, two garlic cloves, 50 ml olive oil, 250 ml coconut milk, 2-3 sprigs dill, as well as spices: sea salt, peppercorns, coriander seeds and other seasonings to taste.

Defrost the chicken fillet, remove fat and films, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. After that, put it on a cutting board and beat it off.

Mix salt, coriander, pepper and other spices in a mortar and mortar. Grind them into powder and sprinkle the fillet on the side from which they beat. Let it "rest" for a quarter of an hour. The remaining spices will come in handy during the cooking process.

Peel and crush the garlic with a knife block. Fry it in olive oil in a pan. Then discard the garlic itself, because only the flavored oil is needed.

Make 3-4 not too deep cuts in the fillet so that it is better fried. Place in a frying pan with flavored oil and fry for five minutes on each side.

Peel the onion, cut into strips. Fill the fillet with onions, turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the meat for a quarter of an hour without stirring.

Remove the onion from the top of the fillet, arrange it around the meat and let it simmer for another five minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and add the remaining spices. Bring to a boil. After that, turn the fillet over, sprinkle with chopped dill and simmer it for about fifteen more minutes under the lid. Then remove the lid and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Application in cosmetology

Due to its unique chemical composition, coconut milk is successfully used in cosmetology. It is part of a huge number of balms and masks for skin and hair.

There is a legend that tells that the Queen of Sheba managed to preserve her youth and beauty until her old age thanks to the use of a special “magic elixir”, which included equal amounts of coconut and ordinary cow's milk. She drank half of this mixture, and applied the rest to her face. Coconut milk perfectly nourishes the skin, saturates it with useful substances, helps restore velvety and softness. It can also moisturize even the driest skin, tighten fine wrinkles.

The liquid is recommended to be applied to the body before going to the beach - it has the ability to effectively protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In addition, this product makes the tan even and gives it a delicate golden hue.

The antibacterial properties of the product make it an indispensable cleanser in the presence of acne and acne. It effectively heals wounds, relieves inflammation, and soothes the skin.

Coconut milk is also good for hair. It is noteworthy that this product can be used as a cosmetic product both for owners of oily curls and for those who have dry hair. In the first case, milk will eliminate oily sheen and help hair stay fresh for much longer, and in the second, it will effectively moisturize the scalp, relieve itching and irritation.

Recently, coconut milk has been widely used for laminating hair at home. According to reviews, lamination with coconut milk is even more effective than gelatin. To prepare the laminating compound, mix the juice of half lemon, 1.5 tablespoons starch, and 3-4 tablespoons coconut milk. Add 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil. Heat the mixture over very low heat, without bringing to a boil and stirring constantly, until it acquires the consistency of a cream. Apply the mixture to clean hair, put on a bathing cap and keep the mask on for about an hour and a half. Wash off with your regular shampoo afterwards. Curls will acquire simply incredible shine and silkiness.

How to choose a quality product

If you still decide to buy canned coconut milk, you should choose responsibly.

Read the label carefully. Ideally, only coconut and water should be present in the composition, and the more preservatives are indicated there, the less useful the product is.

Pay attention also to the fat content. In the event that you purchase coconut milk to drink, choose a product with a lower fat content. If milk is used for cooking, then it should be more fatty, for example, with an indicator of 50-60%.

It is better to choose jars that are not too large. You can store the opened container with canned milk only for 72 hours, moreover, in the refrigerator. In the event that the milk thickens, place the jar in hot water for five to seven minutes, then stir the contents.

Please note that freshly made homemade coconut milk can only be stored for 24 hours.