Vegan baking essentials!!!!!! I knew I needed to make a series of blog posts like this, but honestly vegan baking essentials are mostly the exact same as non-vegan baking essentials, so some of the other blogposts in this series might not be that unique to just vegans. Except for this blogpost, which is about the best amazing vegan counterpart for a lot of non-vegan desserts, COCONUT MILK!!!!!!!
I am seriously obsessed with coconut milk. If you have seen any of my other blogposts, a few of my recipes have had this magical substance in it, but I wanted to talk about how healthy and amazing this is, as well as how it can be used in vegan baking. I recently made a blogpost about how to make vegan coconut whipped cream (which you can read here), and of course, the main ingredient is coconut milk! Also, in this post I will keep saying coconut milk/cream, so I’ll start with talking about the difference between the two.
Coconut milk and cream are both made by boiling coconut flesh and water, but when you make coconut milk you use half water and half coconut flesh, and when you make coconut cream you use 4 parts coconut flesh and one part water. This makes the coconut cream have MUCH more fat than the coconut milk, but the good thing is that these are healthy fats.
At the beginning of my love of vegan baking, I thought coconut cream was a magical substance that could be only found at super fancy health food stores but after my dad bought me coconut milk from a basic grocery store for a while he told me that he saw coconut cream there too, which solved my problem, so I was able to start baking with coconut cream, and I loved it.
Instead of being packaged in milk cartons, coconut milk and cream come in cans, and because of this the coconut fat (cream) that I mentioned earlier and the coconut water often separate from each other. Since coconut cream is made with more flesh than coconut milk is, there is usually a ton of the fatty coconut cream at the top of the can, but only a tiny bit of water at the bottom. On the other hand, coconut milk only has a little bit of cream at the top and lots of water at the bottom. Coconut milk is meant to be mixed together, because that would make it much more of a milk, while coconut cream is good if it is separated.
When I was researching the health benefits of coconut milk and cream, I learned that a lot of people think that the fat in it is bad for you, so they don’t like to eat it. But it can help you lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks or a stroke. Coconut milk and cream are also each full of lots of good vitamins, and the fatty acids in them are good for your heart health and keeping your body healthy overall.
Anyway, now for the part that is related to the title. Why is coconut milk a vegan baking essential? What can you bake with it? Well, as I’ve already said, coconut cream makes yummy vegan whipped cream, but these to substances can seriously bake way more. One main thing that you need coconut milk/cream to bake vegan is cheesecakes!!!!! For some reason vegans love making cheesecakes with ground up nuts in them, and this works but makes the taste way too raw and disgusting. Using coconut cream to make that thickness in cheesecakes tastes much better, for thickness as well as flavor because when using coconut milk you can taste a sweet coconut flavor but also the flavor of the cheesecake you are making instead of a raw nut flavor. Other things you need coconut milk to make are any kind of vegan puddings, to also make a great thickness, vegan truffles (check out my recipe!!!!!!!!), as well as anything you want flavored coconut!
Non-vegan bakers have so many different versions of heavy cream, which they can whip or bake with or pour or drink (okay probably not drink….) But of course they are all made by using the milk from another animal, so why use dairy when you have COCONUTS!!!!?!?! Coconut milk and cream are just the perfect natural substitute to non-vegan heavy cream, and they can be used to make a creamier drink and yummier whipped cream than other vegan milks, and of course are way better than their non vegan counterparts. And they even have a slight coconut flavor in them that makes everything taste better.
After reading this, you probably understand why I said that I am obsessed with coconut milk and cream, but hopefully you have learned something new about this magical vegan liquid and are inspired to try making your own yummy vegan bakes with it!!!