Dr. Gourmet Says... Eat - Don't Eat

Dr. Gourmet Says... Eat - Don't Eat

June 19, 2007

One ingredient that I always have in my pantry is coconut milk. I use it in dishes such as curries and Thai food, but I dont buy regular coconut milk I buy the lite.


Lite Coconut MilkLite Coconut Milk is now widely available. When I first started with Dr. Gourmet I might have had to go to three or four stores to find one that carried reduced fat versions. Now pretty much every grocery carries cans of lite coconut milk. Theres a lot of good brands on the market and I generally buy and keep a few cans on hand.

Thai Kitchen Lite Coconut Milk is probably one of the most popular brands but Kame, Whole Foods 365 house brand and Native Forest all have versions easy to find on grocery shelves.

Don't Eat

Regular Coconut MilkRegular Coconut Milk. Why? How much difference is there really?

Coconut milk is pressed in much the same way as olive oil. The coconuts are cracked open and the meat is scraped out of the brown husks shells. There is a thin layer of lighter brown skin that must then be removed.

The remaining white meat is soaked in water then processed into a pulp which is squeezed and the liquid strained. Sort of like extra virgin olive oil the first liquid that rises to the top is the coconut milk. This is also known as the "head of the coconut milk". This is the stuff with the high fat and calorie content.

The same process is repeated but using the remains of the previously squeezed meat. The lighter version is known as the "tail of the coconut milk" and is far lower in fat and calories but with much the same flavor.

Not much difference in the final flavor or texture of your dish but a HUGE savings in fat and calories. Heres the breakdown:

Regular Coconut Milk: 111 calories per serving and 12 grams of fat, with 5 grams of that as saturated fat.
Lite Coconut Milk: 45 calories per serving and 4 grams of fat, 3 grams of that saturated fat.

Its a simple way to save some calories and saturated fat in your recipes. Here are some from the Dr. Gourmet web site to get you started:

Salmon with Red Thai Curry Sauce | Curried Chicken | Thai Peanut Sauce | Coconut Rice

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