VIDEO: The Coconut Ingredient You’ve Been Ignoring—and 4 Ways to Use It

January 29, 2016

Psst: There are a few things coconut oil can’t do. But it does have a close cousin that can do just about everything it can’t.

Fluffy, creamy, and lactose-free, coconut milk is just as much of a Paleo and vegan staple as coconut oil. But while the latter can turn a cup of coffee into a high-octane energy drink, it can’t exactly make a frothy vegan hot chocolate on its own. And oil just won’t do when you’re making a chia parfait. You can whip it, it’s not exactly a sub in for whipped cream. And a true vegetable curry is impossible without some help from coconut milk.

In this video, wellness coach Jennifer Partridge shares four amazing sweet and savory ways to use coconut milk. Press play to see why it’s a pantry essential, and check out the recipes below.

1. Vegan hot chocolate


⅓ cup water
2 tablespoons cacao powder
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Simmer water in a pot, and stir in cacao and coconut sugar. Add coconut milk and vanilla extract. For an even fluffier, frothier drink, blend it. Transfer to a mug, top with vegan marshmallows, and enjoy.

2. Coconut chia parfait


For the pudding

¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon honey
Pinch Himalayan sea salt

For serving

2 handfuls granola, split in half
½ cup chia pudding, split in half
Maple syrup
Coconut milk


Mix pudding ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve, layer in a parfait cup: start with 1 handful of granola. Layer on ¼ cup chia pudding. Repeat another layer of granola and pudding. Top with berries, maple syrup, and, if you’d like, a drizzle of coconut milk.

3. Coconut whipped cream


1 can coconut milk
Vanilla extract, to taste (optional)
Cinnamon, to taste (optional)


Refrigerate one whole can of coconut milk overnight. Do not shake it.

The next day, open the can, and scoop the thick top layer into a small bowl. Mash it up, and mix in vanilla or cinnamon if you’d like. Done! Use it to top desserts or anything else that needs some vegan whipped-cream goodness.

4. Thai coconut vegetable curry


For the vegetables

1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 to 3 cups mixed string beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and chopped tomato
¼ teaspoon salt

For the curry sauce

1 can coconut milk
2 to 3 teaspoons curry paste
Juice of 1 lemon


Heat coconut oil in a wok over low heat. Sauté onion for 1 minute, then add garlic, and sauté until fragrant.

In a separate pot, heat coconut milk over low heat, then add curry paste and lemon juice. Stir.

Stir onions and garlic, then add other fresh vegetables. Sauté until softened but still crisp.

Add curry sauce to the wok and stir. You can serve it right away to keep veggies crisp, or let it to simmer for 20 more minutes to infuse in more curry flavor.

Try it over a bed of brown rice or quinoa, or straight up as a soup.

Video credits
Produced and Directed by: Liza Glucoft
Director of Photography: Naeem Munaf
Editor: Stephanie Provence
Clothing by: Spiritual Gangster

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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