6 Best Coconut Milk Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Many people are looking for a great coconut milk substitute, both for health reasons and due to availability when preparing certain meals. Luckily, there are many viable coconut milk substitutes you can add to your pantry.

Coconut Milk Substitute

The best coconut milk substitutes include spiced milk, yogurt, nut milk, soy milk, silken tofu and heavy cream, among others.

Spiced Milk

This particular type of milk is made by heating regular milk and adding certain spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves. This will cause the milk to thicken up, and also give it some of the sweetness of coconut milk, without adding as many sugars or calories to your diet.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a very popular coconut milk substitute, as it is extremely nutrient dense, but doesn’t have quite as much sugar or calories as coconut milk. It is lactose-free and has a thinner consistency. Both sweetened and unsweetened soy milk is available. But there are some possible side effects of drinking soy milk for people with hormonal issues.

A white bowl of almonds, a bottle of almond milk and 2 spoons on a grey background

Silken Tofu

If you blend silken tofu into a puree, it can have a very similar consistency to coconut milk, but it is a much healthier alternative. It is very low in calories, and absorbs many of the flavors of the recipe, making it a subtle and less sweet replacement for coconut milk.

Heavy Cream

If you want the consistency of coconut milk, then heavy cream is one of your best options. Furthermore, in terms of the fat content and calories, heavy cream is quite close to coconut milk. Heavy cream has a pleasant taste and can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for coconut milk.

Almond Milk

This is arguably the best coconut milk substitute because there is such a natural sweetness to almond milk. Furthermore, there is a good amount of sugar and healthy fats, such as omega-3s, which is quite similar to coconut milk. Almond milk has fewer calories and is notably thinner in consistency, but it can be a good substitute for most recipes.

Yogurt

In terms of consistency, yogurt works very well as a coconut milk substitute, particularly when mixed with some water. It maintains a similar sweetness but has a good probiotic content, fewer calories, and less saturated fats than coconut milk, making it an effective and health-conscious alternative.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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