Fresh Ideas for Vegan Dishes Using Spiced Coconut Milk
Coconut milk has become a popular dairy alternative for vegans and omnivores alike, and for good reason. Not only is this plant-based substitute well suited for a variety of cooking styles, but it may also have some surprising health benefits as well. For flavorists looking to up their flavor game, there’s perhaps no better way than to use spiced coconut milk as the base for curries, vegetable dishes, soups and more. No matter what your dietary preferences may be, spiced coconut milk is indeed worth a second look.
Spiced coconut milk is the basis for several traditional Southeast Asian dishes. Many Thai curries rely on the creamy texture and bold flavor profile that only spiced coconut milk can provide. A simple way to make use of this vegan-friendly ingredient is to create a basic curry sauce using coconut milk, garlic, and curry powder.
It all begins with buying coconut milk (or preparing it at home). Many canned and boxed varieties can be found at most specialty Asian markets, and at quite a few major supermarket chains as well. The trick to obtaining rich-tasting coconut milk is to be sure you are buying a brand with a higher percentage of coconut milk or cream. Once you have your spiced coconut milk ready, simply add some quinoa and your preferred veggies to the mix, and you’ll have a satisfying and delicious 30-minute coconut curry, worthy of bulk-prepping for leftovers.
This versatile dairy-free substance is also ideal for a wide variety of desserts and beverages. When combined with allspice, nutmeg, ground cinnamon, and cloves, coconut milk makes for a wonderful vegan-friendly hot chocolate that is perfect for the holidays or anytime you’re in the mood for a cozy beverage. In addition to making hot cocoa, spiced coconut milk can be used in a wide array of smoothies, milkshakes and as a substitute for dairy in many baking recipes. You can even use spiced coconut milk at breakfast time by preparing oatmeal mixed with sumptuous homemade whipped coconut cream, flavored with a pinch of ground ginger and cinnamon.
Once you’ve sampled a few decadent spiced coconut milk-based dishes, you’ll probably be relieved to know that this power-packed liquid comes with some potent nutritional benefits. Not only are coconuts high in energy-boosting B-vitamins, but they are also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Since they do not contain any lactose, they are an ideal alternative for those who cannot tolerate dairy (not to mention the perfect choice for vegans looking for a delicious plant-based cow’s milk substitute).
With so many creative uses, there is no shortage of what you can make with this deceptively simple ingredient. The next time someone complains that there are no good dairy substitutes or that vegan cooking is too bland; you’ll be able to whip up any number of spicy and satisfying treats that are sure to please even the most ardent of dairy lovers.