Coconut Milk: Health Benefits, How to Make & Healthy Recipes

Coconut milk is a plant-based drink that has a number of health benefits, such as strengthening the immune system, increasing physical fitness and promoting weight loss.

Coconut milk reaps its benefits due the presence of medium-chain fatty acids (like gallic, caffeic, lauric and capric acids) in its composition. These fats have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and energizing properties that help to keep you full.

Coconut milk can be made at home from the pulp of fresh, ripe coconuts or purchased in supermarkets in liquid or powder form. It has a creamy consistency and mildly sweet, buttery taste. This drink can be consumed fresh or added to recipes such as cakes, sauces, stews, smoothies and smoothies.

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Health benefits

The main health benefits of coconut milk are:

1. Strengthening the immune system

Coconut milk contains gallic, caffeic, lauric and capric acid, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that strengthen the immune system. These can protect the body from fungal, viral and bacterial infections.

2. Promoting weight loss

Coconut milk can help with weight loss because it contains medium-chain fatty acids, a type of fat that keeps you full and reduces hunger. These fatty acids are used by the body to produce energy and temporarily increase calorie expenditure.

However, more research is needed to assess the benefits of coconut milk for weight loss. In addition, coconut milk should be consumed in small quantities, as it is high in calories.

3. Improving physical performance

As mentioned, coconut milk is rich in medium-chain fatty acids. These fats are quickly absorbed and used by the body as a source of energy and can therefore help to improve physical performance. It is great to consume before exercise or any major physical exertion. 

4. Managing blood sugar levels

Coconut milk has a low glycemic index, which helps to keep blood glucose levels normal. This makes it a great option for those wanting to manage or prevent diabetes. 

However, in order to adequately manage diabetes, it is also essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and to exercise regularly. 

How to make

To make coconut milk, you can use freshly grated coconut or canned coconut cream.

1. Coconut milk with grated coconut


  • 1 freshly grated coconut
  • 750 ml of hot water


Preheat the oven to 240ºC (or 460ºF). Remove the water from the coconut and set aside. Place the coconut in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to help loosen the coconut pulp from the shell. Remove the coconut from the oven, wrap it with a tea towel or cloth and hit it with a hammer to break the shell. Scrape the pulp from the shell with a dull knife.

Cut the coconut pulp, with the brown film, into pieces and blend with the hot water in a blender until you reach a smooth consistency. Strain the coconut milk through a sieve, transfer to a sealed jar and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

2. Coconut milk with coconut cream


  • 1 can or glass of unsweetened coconut cream
  • 500 ml of filtered or boiled water


Place the coconut cream and water in a blender and blend well until it becomes a homogeneous drink.

Nutritional information 

The following table gives the nutritional information for 100 g of coconut milk:

Components 100 g of coconut milk
Energy 166 calories
Carbohydrates 2.2 g
Protein 1 g
Fat 18.4 g
Fiber 0.7g
Potassium 144 mg
Zinc 0.3 mg

It's important to remember that in order to reap all the benefits of coconut milk, you should eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly.

How to consume

Coconut milk can be consumed fresh or as a substitute for cow's milk in preparations such as smoothies, cakes, sauces, cookies and pies.

It is important to remember that coconut milk is not a substitute for breast milk in infants, as this drink does not contain sufficient quantities of the nutrients that an infant needs for growth and development, such as calcium, vitamin D and proteins.

Does coconut milk contain lactose?

Because it is of plant origin, coconut milk does not contain lactose and can therefore be included in diets for people who are lactose intolerant.

Healthy coconut milk recipes

Checkout some healthy and tasty recipes with coconut milk below:

1. Coconut milk cake


  • 3 cups wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar or 3 tablespoons culinary sweetener
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 180ºC (or 350ºF). Put the butter and sugar, or sweetener, in a mixer and beat until a very homogeneous mixture forms. Add the eggs and beat for another 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, milk and coconut milk.

Then add the mixture from the mixer to the bowl and mix with a spatula or spoon. Transfer the batter to a greased tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and serve.

2.  Fish stew


  • 6 skinless sea bass steaks
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 and ½ medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 sprigs of coriander
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • ¼ cup palm oil
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to taste


Season the fish with salt to taste and set aside. Wash the peppers, tomatoes, chili peppers, onion and coriander well. Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and cut each half into medium-sized cubes. Cut the tomatoes into 8 equal parts. Peel and cut the onion into small cubes. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Place the coconut milk, palm oil and ½ teaspoon of salt in a blender and blend for 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and a pinch of salt and let it sauté for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Turn down the heat and add the coriander, coconut milk and tomatoes, mixing well with a spoon. Place the fish between the vegetables, cover the pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and moist and the vegetables are tender. Allow to cool and then serve.