Sorry - these are probably really cringe-y "newbie" questions ....
I buy my coconut milk in cans. When I open them the milk has usually separated into the liquid and then about an inch of denser cream at the top. This is fine when I am cooking as it all goes in, heats and mixes. But if I wanted to drink the milk straight out of the can, how would I get the cream and the milk to mix together into one emulsion again? Or don't I?!!
Is eating fresh white coconut "meat" a good thing to be doing? As a dessert for example or a quick snack if I don't have time to get a meal? (Kind of using it how some folks use coconut oil as a snack)
Lastly - desiccated coconut - good thing or bad thing? I'm thinking glove box/plane travel snack alternative when you can't get hold of anything else?
Again - apologies, I'm pretty much new to coconut (but love it) and want to make sure I am getting the best from it/not overdoing or wrongly doing things.
Thanks for your help.
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1) If the can is unopened, shake it for a minute or two. If it's opened, stir it to get it back to one consistency. Start off stirring it slowly and then gradually stir faster as it starts to come together. It should only take a minute or two. Depending on the brand, there will probably be lumps. If you don't want these, strain it or try a hand mixer.
2) Eating fresh coconut meat all depends on your tolerance. I personally avoid it because it has too much fiber for me. But if it doesn't cause you any problems, go for it.
3) Desiccated coconut is perfectly fine (if it doesn't cause you problems, that is). I would suggest going with an unsweetened brand without any additives.
No need to apologize, your questions are perfectly valid. Just remember that not every food is "good" or "bad". Sometimes it just depends on your personal tolerance.
For your first question, I just shake it like crazy, I pretend it's a workout. Always comes out blended for me.
I usually eat dried unsweetened flaked coconut (Bob's Red Mill) as a snack; it's got a nice chew to it. I need to pick up a fresh coconut one of these days though.
Thanks guys. Really helpful answers.
Yeah ...Sorry about the "good" question ... it's difficult to phrase things.
I guess I was concerned about the meat being like fruit for example - paleo; but not something you'd be happy to guzzle tons of. It was more of a check if there were any hazards or alarm bells with the food itself. But it seems that there aren't and it certainly doesn't disagree with my tummy :)
Minimally processed coconut like dried or the meat or the milk if not over processed is most definitely a paleo food, if that is what you are asking. Many primitive populations have used it as a staple with great success. There are some who have sensitive stomachs that may have a problem if they eat too much or too much too soon before they are adapted to it. Personally, I have no prob but then again, my digestion is quite hardy in general. And no one food should be overdone, but coconut is generally considered one of the better and more versatile paleo options. Ironically, I just finished enjoying a smoothie made with fruit and coconut milk. Yum! (and for the fructose police, relax, it was mostly berries) I have been buying the light coconut milk in a can from Trader Joes. Looks like what they do to make it 'light' is add some water, which is fine since it's only a dollar and change and I would have added water anyway for the smoothie. I have not had any prob with separation. I just shake and pour.
Edited to add this: Also, apparently coconut water (not milk) can actually be used INTRAVENOUSLY to the blood as a substitution for plasma! Jeepers! Plus it's also supposed to make for a good electrolyte replacing sports drink. It's a bit carby, but if you are in glycogen depleting mode, this could be a good thing.
I wonder if this will be the new standard of safeness. I mean, if you can take it intravenously, it's probably going to be safe to eat as well! ;-P
You can put it in a pan of warm water and then shake it. It's much easier to mix when it's been warmed a bit.
1) It's tough, hand belnder is the quickest way I know and even then you get lumps. If you want more cals/MCT's etc then yes you would want to mix it.
2) 'Good'? How often, how much? There is no good or bad! There are certainly less wise choices though...
3) Dessicated is fine when convenience counts.