Coconut Milk Tips and Orange Coconut Crepes

This post is in conjunction with the recipes included here for Orange Coconut Crepes from my appearance on KSL STUDIO 5! 


            ~Not all Coconut Milk is created equal! A product with added cellulose is going to be a different texture and flavor. Don't be fooled by the description on the can the ingredients. If Coconut Milk is not the first ingredient listed, be wary. There is even one variety that I have seen in stores which has no actual coconut milk in it and is flavored only with extract. BAD choice. In general, the fewer the ingredients, the more pure your coconut milk will be. Also be aware that added emulsifiers are meant to keep the product well-mixed, ie: not allowing the "solid" to separate from the "liquid". While that may be desirable for some recipes, for others it is not. Coconut "whipped cream" cannot be made with an emulsified product. For recipes where a "stirred" coconut milk is suggested, it's easiest to just shake the can vigorously. Conversely, if you want a separated product, treat the can with care!  It does help to refrigerate the appropriate minimal-additive milk overnight to encourage separation of the solids.

            ~"Cream of Coconut" is not the same as Coconut Milk, nor is the drinkable coconut milk that you find in the dairy case the same as canned coconut milk. The drinkable version is nothing like the canned version as the solids are greatly reduced in the production process. The texture is not interchangeable in most recipes.

            ~Cream of Coconut is equivalent to Sweetened Condensed Milk, in that it is a canned milk combined with a large amount of sugar. I call it "Manna from Heaven"'s THAT good. You can substitute it in recipes calling for the other. My syrup recipe above is similar to cream of coconut, but not as thick and without the solids in it. The syrup cannot be substituted for sweetened condensed milk, but it is good on pancakes.

            ~Once you open a can of coconut milk, the remainder must be refrigerated. I would not leave it in the can, but transfer it to a glass jar. The recipe I have given today uses 2 full cans of coconut milk. I developed these recipes to use every last drop of both cans with nothing going to waste. Always try to use any leftover milk you may have within 5 days of opening the can. It will spoil just like a dairy or fruit product.

            ~One last tip about Coconut is a natural laxative. Be forewarned! If you eat ALL the portions of this particular recipe by yourself, you will be in the bathroom a lot for a few days. It's "slippery", and if your digestive system is not accustomed to a large amount of it, it's best to enjoy it in moderation!  A regular recipe, where at least 4 servings are allowed per can used, should not have an adverse affect on anyone except small children. It's not a painful experience, just inconvenient. 

            ~"ULTRA GEL" is a Utah-made product that I am very fond of. I have been using it for 10 years and I cannot be without it in my kitchen. It's an instant thickener that does not require heat to set, and it will thicken any liquid that it is added to. I can't say enough good about it. You can find it online as well as at many local grocery chains.


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