Coconut milk has become an increasingly popular plant-based milk alternative in recent years. Made from the white flesh of mature coconuts, coconut milk provides a creamy, nutty flavor that stands out from other non-dairy milks. But can you actually juice coconut milk like you can with fruits and vegetables? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is made by grating the flesh of a brown coconut, soaking it in hot water, and then straining out the liquid. This strained coconut water is referred to as coconut milk. The leftover coconut meat can be resoaked and strained again to make coconut milk a second time, which results in a thinner consistency. Coconut milk comes in a few varieties:
- Full-fat coconut milk – Made from the first press of coconut flesh, full-fat coconut milk contains around 17-24% fat.
- Lite coconut milk – A thinner, more watery version made from the second press.
- Canned coconut milk – Often has thickeners and stabilizers added and contains around 13-18% fat.
- Coconut milk beverages – Lower fat, drinkable versions with added water.
Full-fat canned coconut milk or homemade coconut milk are the richest, creamiest versions ideal for cooking. Coconut milk beverages make great dairy-free coffee creamers or smoothie add-ins. Nutritionally, coconut milk has a high fat content from medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). It also contains manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6.
Can You Juice Coconut Milk?
Given its thick, creamy texture, you may wonder if it’s possible to juice coconut milk in the same way you can juice fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Here’s why:
- Coconut milk doesn’t contain juice – Juices are the liquid portions naturally found in fruits and vegetables. Coconut milk is technically an emulsion or extract made by steeping coconut flesh in hot water.
- Lacks juice content – Fruits and veggies are 50% or more juice by weight. Coconut meat has no naturally occurring juice.
- Fibrous texture – Coconut flesh is high in insoluble fiber that can’t be juiced.
- High fat content – Coconut milk is very high in fats that don’t juice well.
While coconut milk can’t be juiced directly, the good news is that you can still enjoy its flavor and nutrients in homemade juices and smoothies by adding a splash of canned coconut milk or coconut milk beverage.
Coconut Milk Juice Recipe Ideas
Adding a small amount of coconut milk to your favorite juices and smoothies provides creamy nutrition. For the best flavor, stick to no more than 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) per serving. Some tasty ways to use coconut milk in juices and smoothies include:
Coconut Milk Fruit Smoothies
- Pineapple Coconut Smoothie – Blend pineapple, banana, Greek yogurt, coconut milk beverage, and ice.
- Mango Lassi Smoothie – Mango, plain yogurt, coconut milk, honey, and ice.
- Strawberry Coconut Smoothie – Strawberries, banana, vanilla protein powder, coconut milk, and ice.
Coconut Milk Green Smoothies
- Green Piña Colada – Spinach, pineapple, banana, coconut milk beverage, and ice.
- Coconut Kale Smoothie – Kale, mango, coconut milk, lime, honey, and ice.
- Green Coconut Cream Smoothie – Cucumber, celery, pineapple, coconut milk, honey, and ice.
- Coconut Orange Juice – Orange juice, coconut milk beverage, and ice.
- Coconut Carrot Juice – Carrot juice, coconut milk, orange slice, and ice.
- Coconut Watermelon Juice – Watermelon juice, lime juice, coconut milk, and ice.
Feel free to get creative and come up with your own coconut milk smoothies and juices too!
Benefits of Adding Coconut Milk to Juices
Adding a splash of coconut milk to your homemade juices and smoothies provides several benefits:
|Healthy fats||Coconut milk provides MCTs that support energy, weight management, heart health, and more.|
|Creamy texture||Coconut milk creates a rich, creamy mouthfeel compared to water-based juices.|
|Nutrition||Adds manganese, copper, selenium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.|
|Fiber||Contributes some fiber for improved digestion and satisfaction.|
|Flavour||Provides a tropical, coconut flavour that pairs well with fruits.|
The healthy fats in coconut milk support energy, weight management, and heart health. It also contributes important minerals like manganese, copper, selenium, and phosphorus. Adding coconut milk or coconut milk beverages to juices is an easy way to create a rich, satisfying drink with additional nutrition compared to juice alone.
Considerations When Adding Coconut Milk to Juice
While coconut milk can add great nutrition and flavor to juices, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Calories and fat – Coconut milk significantly increases the calorie and fat content. Enjoy coconut milk juices in moderation.
- Curdling – Coconut milk may curdle when mixed with acidic juices like orange or pineapple. Add coconut milk last and stir gently to help prevent curdling.
- Beverages vs. canned – Beverage versions are thinner and mix more easily than thick canned coconut milk.
- Allergies – Coconut is a tree nut. Those with tree nut allergies should avoid coconut milk.
It’s best to stick to no more than a tablespoon or two (15-30ml) of coconut milk per serving. Too much can lead to excessive calories, fat, and sugar when paired with fruit juices that also have natural sugars. If your juice seems to curdle after adding coconut milk, try adding it last and stirring gently to incorporate it without curdling.
Storing Leftover Coconut Milk
You’ll likely have some leftover coconut milk when making juices and smoothies. Here are some tips for storing it:
- Canned – Transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
- Carton – Reseal and refrigerate up to 5-7 days.
- Freeze – Portion into ice cube trays or muffin tins. Freeze up to 3 months.
- Use – Mix into oatmeal, curries, baked goods, etc. Replace milk in recipes.
Properly stored leftover coconut milk retains its quality and flavor. Frozen coconut milk cubes make great additions to future smoothies too. And leftover coconut milk can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Coconut Milk Juice Recipes
Ready to start making refreshing coconut milk juices? Try out some of these tasty recipe ideas:
Coconut Lime Juice
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/4 cup coconut milk beverage
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- Lime slices for garnish
- Blend coconut water, coconut milk, lime juice, and honey together until smooth.
- Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with lime slice.
Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut milk beverage
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- Blend all ingredients together until creamy and smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Coconut Almond Milk Juice
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients except ice in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour over ice and enjoy!
Coconut milk can’t be juiced directly since coconut flesh lacks an easily extracted juice. However, adding a splash of canned coconut milk or coconut milk beverage to your favorite homemade juices and smoothies allows you to enjoy its flavor and nutrition in drink form. Keep coconut milk to 1-2 tablespoons per serving and add it last when mixing into juices to prevent curdling. Coconut milk provides healthy fats, minerals, fiber and delicious coconut flavor to juices. With a little creativity, coconut milk can elevate your homemade juices to the next level.