Coconut Milk

Coconut milk—both the canned type for curries and the carton-variety that competes with soy-milk—is perfect for vegans. Here's what you need to know about each.
Last Updated: October 10, 2017

There are two very different kinds of coconut milk. Until recently, the term applied primarily to a thick and fat-rich canned product that’s perfect for making peanut sauce and Thai curries. You can think of canned coconut milk as coconut cream, since it’s far thicker and more fatty than anything that comes from a cow.

Recently, as the market for dairy alternatives has taken off, a non-dairy milk made from coconuts and packaged in traditional milk cartons has also become commonplace. This kind of milk is perfect for cooking needs and for pouring on your morning cereal.

If you’ve got access to coconuts, you can make either sort of milk in a Vitamix or Blendtec. Note that these milks require mature coconuts with substantial amounts of meat. Young coconuts contain sweet coconut water and have virtually no meat, so they’re unsuitable for producing both coconut creams and coconut milks.

Other vegan milk options include almond, soy, rice hemp and flax milk.