Canned coconut milk is having more than a moment. Loved by paleo dieters, vegans, and foodies alike, the canned stuff can mimic milk and cream in recipes, from soup and curries to DIY yogurt and ice cream, adding a rich milky texture without added dairy.

So, how do you pick the best one? We put seven brands to the test with one recipe: whipped coconut cream. We refrigerated the cans overnight to separate the solid cream on the top from the liquid bottom and whipped them up to see which performed and tasted the best. Spoiler alert: Our top two favorites were the least expensive!

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Just keep in mind not to go overboard on the coconut. “In general, coconut milk can be loaded with saturated fat and sneaky added sugar,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “If you are choosing one of these condensed versions, opt for ones that are clearly labeled ‘unsweetened’ to limit the sweet stuff and cut back on heart-unhealthy saturated fat.” Her advice: Use plant-based milks like unsweetened pea- or soybean-based milk for your other recipes as they contain more protein and less fat.

With that said, read on to see where your go-to brand ranks.

365 Everyday Value Organic Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Allison Young

Price: $1.99

Ingredients: Organic coconut, purified water, guar gum

Even after refrigerating 24 hours, there wasn’t a clear division between cream and liquid, so scooping out the white stuff wasn’t easy. But it whipped into white, fluffy peaks with a clean coconut taste — just wish there was more of it.

Verdict: Worth it! Buy now at Whole Foods or on Instacart.

Sprouts Farmers Market Organic Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Allison Young

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Price: $1.99

Ingredients: Organic coconut, purified water, organic guar gum

Points right out of the gate for being USDA Organic — and the contents didn’t disappoint. Once whipped, this one got the firmest and major thumbs up for its fresh coconut flavor.

Verdict: Best taste and texture. Buy at Sprouts stores or on Instacart.

Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Allison Young

Price: $1.69

Ingredients: Water, organic coconut

No gums, fillers, or thickeners in this one, just water and organic coconut. Plus it gets props for tasting silky smooth. The one downside: It only yielded about 2/3 cup of whip.

Verdict: A very close second place. Buy at Trader Joe’s or on Amazon.

Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Allison Young

Price: $2.99

Ingredients: Water, coconut milk, guar gum

The red can has a lot going for it: USDA Organic, a distinctive separation between solid and liquid, and the most whipped coconut cream of them all with 1 cup of the white, fluffy stuff. The only negative came from taste: Chalky!

Verdict: Looks don’t trump taste. Pass!

Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk Classic

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coconut milk

Allison Young

Price: $3.49

Ingredients: Organic coconut, purified water, organic guar gum

The priciest of the bunch, this one comes with the USDA Organic seal, but on top of the solid cream was a waxy coating that didn’t break down (definitely remove before whipping), and the finished product was gritty and grayish.

Verdict: Way too pricey for what you get.

Goya Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Allison Young

Price: $2.29

Ingredients: Coconut milk, water, micro crystalline cellulose, guar gum, potassium metabisulfite

The longer ingredient list was a turn-off, it took longer than most to whip, and the end product tasted artificial.

Verdict: Three strikes, you’re out!

Chaokoh Coconut Milk

coconut milk

Allison Young

Price: $2.39

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Ingredients: Coconut extract, water, citric acid, sodium metabisulfite

The liquids and solids didn’t separate super well, which could have been why it didn’t whip up. Even worse, the taste matched the texture: limp and lifeless.

Verdict: Major fail.


Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe

Coconut whipped cream is the perfect creamy, non-dairy topper for pumpkin pie, cobbler, or chocolate avocado pudding. Here’s how to make it:

coconut milk whipped cream

Allison Young

Ingredients

  • 1 can full-fat* coconut milk, chilled overnight
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener like maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar

    Directions

    1. Place mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
    2. Scoop out white solids from canned coconut milk (coconut liquid can be saved for smoothies) and place in chilled bowl.
    3. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat coconut solids until soft peaks form. Scrape down sides of bowl, add sweetener, and continue beating for another minute.
    4. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days (you may need to whip again before serving).
      1. *Do not use “lite” coconut milk as it won’t whip. Coconut cream, which is generally thicker than coconut milk, can substitute — just be sure to refrigerate first and separate solids from liquid. Ditto for cream of coconut, which is similar to coconut cream, only with added sweetener.

        https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a20707670/best-canned-coconut-milk/

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