I Keep reading from paleo sites about the wonder of Coconut Milk. I have coconut oil that I use to cook with interchanging between it and Ghee.
I recently found Coconut Milk, it was not easy to find. (downtown Toronto, Canada)
However the two varities I have been able to (easily) find are in a tin.
They are: 1. Aroy-D: 60ml has 40c, 3.5g of fat, 1g carb, 1g protein Ingredients are: Water, Coconut Extract 24%, potassium metabisulphite (e224) as preservative.
Is the general feeling around these that use them but look for ones without preservatives, of only use them if you can find them without and stay away from ones with?
Things I look when buying coconut milk.
I think all canned products have sort of preservative added. In most cases it's Potassium /Sodium metabisulfite. I haven't done any research on the topic since I prefer (no preservatives plus no BPA leeching posibility) cardboard versions.
Stabilizer/emulsifiers are for vegetarians. If we eat rare steaks, we can survive the separation of coconut cream from water.
In my experiences, low fat tastes like shit. And the Aroy-D one (3.5g/60) is "low fat" in my book. I recommend you search for products which have coconut extract percentage value 60 or more.
Highly premium grade / Fat 26-28%
Premium grade / 23-25%
A Grade / 17-19%
Standard grade /12-14
Economy grade / 5-7%
Overall, I wouldn't buy any of the products you mentioned. Look harder and you shall find. I'm positive.
I hate to say it but all of the coconut milks that I've seen seem to be heavily processed, sweetened, and contain preservatives. I will use it as a treat/indulgence but don't use it on the regular for these reasons. There is information about this on the Tropical Traditions web site as well as Sally Fallon's "Eat Fat Lose Fat".
Commercial coconut milk is extracted through a process involving high heat and chemicals, and I would worry that some/most of the food value is destroyed.
I think an exception to this is the products available from Tropical Traditions (which are recommended by Weston Price), which are extracted by hand and retain most/all of its food value.
When you buy coconut products from Tropical Traditions, they send you a book about how their products are produced vs. commercial plants. The book is somewhat promotional and self-serving, but also contains some compelling science and anecdotes.
However, the coconut cream products from TT are not silky smooth and pourable like commercial stuff, so you can't easily use it as a replacement for milk/cream.
High five for Toronto! The Whole Foods in Yorkville has Native Forest coconut milk (BPA-free cans, only other ingredient is guar gum), as well as a couple other brands. Most Superstores/Loblaws carry Native Forest too (usually cheaper than Whole (Paycheck) Foods).
The Big Carrot (on Danforth) also has coconut milk I believe, and last time I was there they had coconut cream and coconut butter (preservative free!).
Ingredients: Water, Coconut Extract 24%, potassium metabisulphite (e224) as preservative is NOT complete. When these are the only additives a coconut milk shows, they are violationg the ingredient declaration laws. Why the food authorities do not interfear ? Because it is not a priority and.. they do not have an idea...
As you probably all know, fat does NOT stay dissolved in water. IMPOSSIBLE. And coconut milk is nothing else then coconut fats/oils dissolved in water. Lower fat levels are achieved by adding water and thickeners as the consumer wants a cheaper product. An emulsifier has to be used and a stabiliser to keep it like that. Natural additives can be used like thickener: Guar Gum (E 412), modified tapioca starch (E 1442), Emulsifier: Polysorbate 60 ( E435 = artificial), Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose (E 466 = artificial) ; stabilisers ( work also as thickeners): Carrageenan ( E407), Xantan Gum (E415), Locust Bean Gum (E410). Anti oxidant Sodium meta bisulphite (E 223 ) or its potassium variety E 224 is used to keep its white ( milky) colour. If not, like in Australia, do NOT complain when it gets a grey colour.
Not the appropriate level of emulsifier and stabiliser will give a jelly, especiallyt when stored at lower temperatures, e.g. < 15 C. Remind: coconut milk is a "child of the tropics", not from Alaska.
E-numbers given to additives and are allowed only after many years of testing. To give an idea: stevia was tested for 15 years, before the EU released the use of this plant extract.
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