Can You Substitute Milk For Coconut Milk?


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Milk is an important ingredient in many recipes. Most everyone has a jug of the white liquid sitting in their fridge. Milk can come in all kinds. There is whole milk, low-fat milk, nonfat (skim) milk, nut (almond, coconut) milk, soy milk, etc. 

For this article we will be discussing coconut milk. Coconut milk has a lot of health benefits and is a yummy alternative to cow’s milk. 

It comes from the white flesh of coconuts and is rich and creamy in texture with a thick consistency. If coconut milk can be used instead of regular milk, can you substitute milk for coconut milk?

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When a recipe calls for coconut milk and you don’t have any, you can substitute milk for the coconut milk. Since coconut milk is thick and creamy you should use whole milk or 2% milk in place of the coconut milk and use less than the recipe calls for.

Milk can be substituted for coconut milk. If you do not have any coconut milk on hand and your recipe calls for it, just use regular milk. Coconut milk provides the recipe with coconut flavor, so if you like this flavor, try adding a little coconut oil in with the milk. 

Now, if you don’t have regular milk, any other kind of milk can also be used instead of coconut milk. Coconut milk is lactose-free so those with a milk allergy can drink this kind of milk.  

If you are needing a dairy-free milk to use in place of coconut milk then try soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, rice milk, spiced milk, or evaporated milk. Even heavy cream can be used as a substitute for coconut milk. 

But if you are wondering if milk can be used in place of coconut milk, yes it can! To see the most popular kitchen gadgets just click here. 

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Can You Use Milk Instead Of Coconut Milk?

There are so many kinds of milk. Some are variations of dairy milk while others don’t have any lactose in them at all. Coconut milk can be used in many recipes including curry. 

A curry is a sauce or gravy dish.  In recipes, can you use milk instead of coconut milk?

Whole milk isn’t at the top of the list for coconut milk substitutes, however it still can be used instead of the coconut liquid. For coconut flavor add a little coconut oil. Milk is thinner than coconut milk so less is needed when using regular milk in a recipe.

According to the article, 8 Substitutes for Coconut Milk, “Perhaps you’re out of coconut milk, or allergic to coconut. Or maybe you don’t like the flavor! Whatever the case, never fear…Here are our top substitutes for coconut milk in curry:…” 

They go on to say, “We’d suggest a milk with a higher fat content to mimic the richness of coconut milk, like whole milk or at least 2%. The consistency will be more watery than coconut milk, so use less than the recipe calls for. If you like a coconut flavor, add a little coconut oil.”

If you need a substitute ingredient for coconut milk, use milk. Even in a curry which calls for coconut milk, you can use milk. 

Milk however, is thinner than coconut milk which is thick, rich and creamy. So, when using milk in place of coconut milk, use less. Really, any kind of milk will work just fine in place of your coconut-flavored liquid. If you need a dairy-free option stick with milks like soy or almond. If you don’t, then regular milk is just fine to use.

Is Coconut Milk The Same As Regular Milk?

Along with being a staple ingredient in many kitchens and recipes, milk is also yummy to drink by itself. It has many health benefits and vitamins. 

Since milk can be used in place of coconut milk, is coconut milk the same as milk?

Coconut milk is different from regular milk. Coconut milk is made from the white flesh from mature brown coconuts. Regular milk, comes from cows and has a thinner consistency. 

The article, Coconut Milk Versus Cow’s Milk explains that, “…coconut milk and creamer compare with cow’s milk and half and half, nutritionally speaking…plain unsweetened coconut milk has only about half as many calories as skim milk.  However, coconut milk contains no protein, compared with about 8 grams per serving with cow’s milk. Coconut milk is also very low in carbohydrates, while milk has about 12 grams of carbohydrates per serving in the form of lactose, or milk sugar…So, if you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to milk proteins, coconut milk offers a clear advantage.  If you’re trying to include more protein in your meals, coconut milk will be of little help there.”

By just thinking about the name of these types of milk, you can see that they are different. Obviously, coconut milk comes from a coconut. Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut tree that are mature when brown. 

Their white slesh is shredded, pureed with water and strained to make the rich creamy liquid called coconut milk. So, it’s not real milk, but definitely simulates milk. 

Regular milk comes from a cow. It is pasteurized and then sold in stores.  Milk is very healthy as it is an excellent source of protein and contains a lot of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, B and D vitamins, and potassium. 

Just like milk can be used for coconut milk, coconut milk can be used instead of regular milk. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you can use milk as a substitute for coconut milk. If a recipe calls for coconut milk and you don’t have any or simply don’t want to use it, you can use regular milk. 

Any type of milk can be used, even non-dairy milks. If you want coconut flavor, add in some coconut oil. 

Since milk is thinner than coconut milk, you will want to use less than the amount of coconut milk the recipe calls for, or the final result may be watery. Coconut milk is definitely different from milk, but they can be used interchangeably in most recipes. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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