My biggest complaint about using coconut milk as a coffee creamer / general dairy replacement is the fact that it comes in such small quantities! And it's really annoying to have an open can in the fridge which basically solidifies between each use.
A friend of ours who is on Paleo has this in his fridge: http://www.silkpurecoconut.com/
Unfortunately, the ingredients aren't very encouraging:
All natural coconut milk (Filtered Water, Coconut Cream), Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Dipotassium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2. And this is the UNFLAVORED version. I don't want to know what the vanilla version looks like.
Plus, its pasteurized as well.
So, the question is: If you're using coconut milk on a regular basis, do you use it straight out of the can or have you found a more 'milk-like' serving method?
My best solution for coffee so far has been to pour a can into an ice cube tray, freeze them and put them into a zip top bag.
The coconut cream concentrate from Tropical Traditions:
Comes in 16 and 32 ounce jars, and is approximately 6x more conentrated than supermarket coconut milk. So a 32 ounce jar is sort of the same as 1.5 gallons of coconut milk.
I say "sort of" because it isn't really the same stuff as supermarket coconut milk, first of all it contains NOTHING but coconut and is extracted without chemicals or excess heat. It isn't milky, it is solid up to about 75f. It isn't sweet except for the slight natural sweetness of the coconut. It is sort of like unsweetened peanut butter but made of coconuts, with a much higher fat content, totally organic, and delicious.
I think it is the perfect coconut food for Paleo diets for these reasons, but it takes a little getting used to because you can't use it similar to dairy cream as you do with coconut milk (but it hasn't been processed in all of the nasty ways that allows that). About 1 teaspoon in a cup of warm water produces something similar to unsweetened coconut milk. In concentrated for it is also a great addition to smoothies and curries.
The jars that I have bought come with about a half inch of pure cocout oil on top that seems to have separated (because it is completely natural without being homogenized or stabilized, it separates) which is pure enough to cook with. They also sell this coconut oil separately.
I've been using this coffee creamer recipe for some time now, and I think it works (and tastes!) great:
It lasts about 5 days in the fridge and stays pretty pourable - you just have to shake the bottle a bit (I store mine in an old glass kombucha bottle) before pouring.
I like your coconut milk ice cube idea - I may have to try that too!
I buy the big #10 3 quart size cans of Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk from a restaurant supply company. It comes out to 12 cents/oz compared to 23 cents on the small cans. So what used to cost me $300 is now around $160. We have a large family, so for us the cost is significant. As far as storage, I divide in in glass jars and I have found storing it on the door of the fridge as opposed to the shelf, keeps it from solidifying.
I use coconut milk every day. I take it out of the can and put it into a sealed plastic container for storage in the fridge and take it out first thing in the morning. By the time I make coffee it's not a solid block any more. I stir it a bit, put about 4 tablespoons into my coffee and away I go.
I haven't seen it in the stores yet, but I have a coupon for coconut milk that is being marketed in the dairy case with the other milks (cow, soy, etc) in a 1/2 gallon carton. Looks like it's made by "So Delicious" so it might be something to watch for in the upper-end grocery stores. No idea on ingredients.
By the way, anything in a can is pasteurized by nature of the canning process, which involves a lot of heat.
I just bought coconut milk and cream from http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/ it is in a carton - small carton not as big as So Delicious ones at the store. Only ingredient other then coconut is Guar Gum. I have yet to use it....LOL! but I bought because it is not in cans and full of other ingredients.
That being said shipping was $$$. I am not sure they ever do shipping specials. I went cheap and bought from their clearance bay of "50% off Regular Price" Emulsion Broke . I don't know how much separation there would be in a typical container.
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