I'm assuming you are talking about the refrigerated cartons not the aseptic cartons. If that assumption is correct, I would go for the canned. Here's why: The refrigerated stuff is essentially just watered down canned coconut milk with some extra flavorings and other ingredients added it.
I've never seen canned coconut milk with preservatives. You might be thinking of guar gum which is added to many coconut milks, but that isn't a preservative--it's a thickener that keeps the coconut milk from separating. There are some brands that don't have guar gum, but so far none of the ones I've found have been organic and none of them are in BPA free cans. I'm far more concerned about BPA than I am about guar gum, but everyone has different priorities.
If you can get the Native Forest canned coconut milk it is organic and the cans are BPA free. If you prefer the drinkability of the refrigerated kind all you have to do is add some water (and vanilla) to taste and pop it in the fridge. It's cheaper and you don't get all the other additives.
What do you guys think about creamed coconut. With this you can use it straight or make your own milk at whatever concentration you want, Here in Canada it costs about $1.50 for a 170g brick so its almost like buying in bulk, Here are some links: http://www.harvardcocopro.com/Creamed_Coconut.html and http://www.foodfacts.com/NutritionFacts/Coconut/Grace-Pure-Creamed-Coconut-6-oz/15064
In the book Healing Foods, Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Crohn's and IBS it says you can make your own coconut milk using 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flour and 3 cups of water. Combine in food processor and process for 3 minutes. Line a sieve with 4 kitchen cloths and pour in the mixture. Let drain, squeezing out as much milk as possible. I haven't tried it as I just got it. Worth experimenting with though. No bpa's no crap - can't beat that. Just hope it tastes good.
Hi everyone, I am new to the site but I like it already. I purchased a carton of the "Silk" brand coconut milk and it contains more ingredients than any of you would probably approve of but probably not BPA. This was my first purchase of any type of coconut milk and I also bought (but didn't open yet) a "can" of Golden Star coconut milk and I noticed the higher fat content. So from reading here what I have in the can (according to the label) is coconut milk and water. Is what's in the can; condensed (coconut cream) milk which increases fat content of the canned product?