Getting to Know Your Coconut. Understanding the Difference Between Coconut Oil, Milk, Cream, Water and Butter

Coconuts have incredible health benefits. They are rich in fiber and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

It seemed like not too long ago coconuts were an exotic fruit that we only enjoyed during our winter getaways to the tropics. Not so any more! Coconuts have become so mainstream now that you can even buy some that come with a straw and are ready to pop open for a refreshing drink. Awesome!

But many of us still aren’t there with understanding all of the coconut’s working parts. Often there is confusion when it comes to differentiating between coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut water and coconut butter.

Well this post is going to clear all of that up for you!

Here we go…

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is the fat that is extracted from the flesh or meat of the coconut.  Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats, the most abundant being lauric acid.  Lauric acid is a medium-chain tryglyceride that when consumed goes straight to the liver and is used as a quick source of energy.

Coconut oil is great to cook with having a smoking point similar to butter at approximately 171 degrees celcius (350F).  You can add it to smoothies or as a boost to your morning coffee.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a non-dairy milk made by blending the meat (flesh) of the coconut, usually shredded coconut, with water.  The resulting mixture is squeezed through a cheesecloth.  You can use coconut milk in so many ways including adding it in to smoothies, your morning coffee and in baking recipes.

Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk but blended with less water.  It is also the cream that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk.  Coconut cream is an awesome whipped topping for desserts and is a main ingredient in the famous Coconut Cream pie recipe

Coconut Water

Coconut water is simply the lovely, refreshing liquid that you see and drink with a straw when you crack open the coconut.  I have great memories of coconut water from one of our trips to the Caribbean.  My husband and I ran before breakfast each day.  A lovely employee took note of our morning ritual and decided to greet us each day after our run with a cold, opened coconut and a straw.  Honestly is was the most delicious thing on our whole trip!

Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is simply pureed coconut meat.  Yep you take coconut, drop it in to your food processor, blend it to a butter consistency and you have coconut butter.  Full of good fat and fiber, coconut butter has endless uses from crafty recipes to amazing skin and hair applications.

So there you have it.  Coconuts deconstructed in to its parts and put back together for you!