Difference between Coconut Milk and Cream of Coconut

Key Difference: Coconut milk is thick milk like liquid that is acquired from the coconut, while cream of coconut is a thicker creamier substance that is produced from the coconut milk. Coconut milk is produced in two grades; thick and thin. A grated coconut is directly squeezed into a bowl using a cheese cloth to separate the liquid from the solids producing thick milk. In order to get cream of coconut, a coconut is grated, then simmered with one part milk or water until it is frothy. It is then strained through a cheesecloth producing coconut milk, which is then refrigerated. When cooled, the water in the milk sets, while cream rises to the top. This is coconut cream, sweetened coconut cream is known as cream of coconut.

Coconut Milk and Cream of Coconut are both different parts of a coconut and can create confusion among people who are not associated with these words. Coconut milk is thick milk like liquid that is acquired from the coconut, while cream of coconut is a thicker creamier substance that is produced from the coconut milk. Both of these are used for different reasons in cooking.

Coconut milk is produced in two grades; thick and thin. A grated coconut is directly squeezed into a bowl using a cheese cloth to separate the liquid from the solids producing thick milk. For thin milk, the already squeezed coconut is simmered in warm water for a few minutes before putting it through the same process again producing thinner milk. Thick milks are most commonly used for deserts and rich sauces, while thin milk is used in gravy and soups.

In order to get cream of coconut, a coconut is grated, then simmered with one part milk or water until it is frothy. It is then strained through a cheesecloth producing coconut milk, which is then refrigerated. When cooled, the water in the milk sets, while cream rises to the top. This is coconut cream, sweetened coconut cream is known as cream of coconut. Cream of coconut is much thicker than the coconut milk and should not be substituted with coconut milk in any recipe. Cream of coconut is also a sweeter version of coconut cream and is highly concentrated. Cream of coconut is usually used in desserts and beverages such as piña colada.

Both, coconut milk and cream of coconut come with fats, though coconut milk has a lower fat content (17%) compared to cream of coconut (25%). Though, coconut milk and cream of coconut has saturated fats, they are easily metabolized. In many western countries, canned coconut milk is available in the market for easy accessibility.

Image Courtesy: goodness-direct.co.uk, cocoreal.com

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