Coconut milk has become a real pantry darling for anyone opting for a dairy-free, plant-based, or paleo diet. Made from the flesh of raw coconuts, the creamy consistency and subtle tropical flavor of coconut milk works in everything from curries to cakes. Not to be confused with coconut cream—which is made by simmering grated coconut flesh in water, then collecting the cream that rises to the top—coconut milk is more similar to cow’s milk in consistency, and just uses a different ratio of coconut to water during the cooking process. If you love a kitchen DIY project, you can actually try your hand at making coconut milk at home using a recipe of one part shredded coconut and one part water. Just blend the two ingredients in a high-speed blender, then strain the milk through a cheesecloth. But if you’d rather just pop open a can, Thrive Market is stocked with the best coconut milk you’ll never want to run out of.
Ways to Use Coconut Milk
If you’re new to the coconut milk game, prepare to be obsessed. And if you’ve seen the light for a while now, this list might give you some new ideas!
- Enrich soups, curries, and stews without cream
- Make coconut whipped cream to top your favorite desserts
- Make your own coconut milk yogurt
- Use coconut milk to make dairy-free ice cream
- Boost your morning beverage with a splash of coconut milk, or froth it for a latte
- Use it as a base for fruit smoothies
- Swap in coconut milk for almond milk, buttermilk, and more in baked goods like muffins, pancakes, and cakes
Top Coconut Milk Brands
These top coconut milk brands are the cream of the crop.
Native Forest is known for being the first brand to introduce organic hearts of palm to the U.S. in 1999. Its line of canned fruits, coconut milks, and vegetables, like artichoke hearts, make it easy to stock your pantry with wholesome ingredients to help bring meals together.
Thrive Market Goods offers more than 500 products to enhance your home. From pantry must-haves like olive oil or biodynamic pasta, to natural cleaning supplies like laundry detergent and toilet bowl cleaner, we’ve got you covered.
This baking brand makes everything from banana flour to potato starch, but it has a soft spot for all things coconut. You’ll find coconut flour, shredded coconut, coconut milk, and coconut cream—all organic and ready for your kitchen.
Best Certified Organic Coconut Milk
When shopping for coconut milk, it’s easy to opt for certified organic.
Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk, Regular
This can of coconut milk is made from ethically sourced organic coconuts that are grown in the Philippines, and is free of preservatives or additives. The only two ingredients are water and organic coconut extract, making this coconut milk as pure as they come.
Native Forest Organic Simple Coconut Milk
For sensitive tummies, Native Forest offers a can of coconut milk made with only organic coconut and purified water—and without guar gum. This non-dairy alternative is the perfect companion for soups, curries, and smoothies.
Let’s Do…Organic Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
When recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, swap in this coconut milk version instead. (We’re looking at you, dairy-free tres-leches cake.) You can also use this powder as the base of a rich hot chocolate mix, or stir it into coffee.
Best Coconut Milk for Baking
Have cake on the brain? Craving a warm muffin? Or is a scoop of ice cream more your speed? Whatever you fancy, coconut milk can make it luxuriously dairy-free.
Let’s Do...Organic Heavy Coconut Cream
Adding a dollop of whipped cream to the top of your dessert plate is always the right finishing touch. And now you can enjoy a vegan and dairy-free option. Just chill the can of thick coconut cream overnight, then whip up.
Thrive Market Organic Coconut Cream
You’ll love the tropical flavor of this coconut cream that’s thicker than a regular can. It’s perfect for creamy desserts like pudding, mousse, or ice cream. Plus, every bite delivers a little dietary fiber and protein, too.
Pacific Foods Original Unsweetened Coconut Beverage
Sure, you can drink this coconut milk straight from the carton, but it’s also the perfect consistency to swap into baking recipes. Pancakes, muffins, and quick breads are a great place to start.
Easy Coconut Milk Recipes
Whether it’s a morning beverage or a sweet ending, there are plenty of ways to enjoy coconut milk from morning to night.
Coconut Cream vs. Coconut Milk
Trying to decide between coconut cream versus coconut milk? Here’s what sets these two vegan ingredients apart, plus ideas for how to use them.
Low Sugar Chicken Satay Recipe
Engage your savory side by trying this winner of a chicken dinner. Before cooking, chicken breasts are marinated in a flavorful blend of red curry paste, coconut milk, and cilantro.
Paleo Matcha Latte Recipe
Cozy up to this sip made with ceremonial matcha, creamy coconut milk, and honey for just the right amount of sweetness.