Please wait, the site is loading...

Food

Coconut craze: get to know the differences between coconut products

Coconut craze: get to know the differences between coconut products
Image: Faith Mason

From coconut flour to coconut milk and oil, it seems that everyone is going coco-nuts! Learn about all the different products and how you can use them in your cooking.

Coconut flour

A natural by-product of making coconut milk, the leftover meat is dried and ground to a soft, fine flour. Popular among those following a gluten-free diet and lauded in the Paleo-eating world for its high levels of protein, fibre and low-glycaemic index, coconut flour can be tricky to use. Unlike a lot of naturally gluten-free flours, it can’t be used like-for-like as it is highly absorbent and requires a completely different ratio of liquids and raising agents to produce a true crumb, so follow a trusted recipe rather than experimenting. Use for baking (especially gluten-free recipes), and for coating meat or fish before frying.

Coconut milk in a can

Coconut milk is an emulsion of two fluids: coconut cream and coconut water. At room temperature the milk will be smooth and emulsified, but if you chill a can of coconut milk it will separate into cream (at the top) and coconut water (at the bottom). Use for savoury cooking, such as Asian curries and sauces. It has a velvety, creamy texture.

Coconut milk in a carton

This is much the same as coconut milk in a can, except it will contain more water, additional sweeteners and some stabilisers to keep it creamy. Use for drinks or to pour over cereal as a dairy-free milk alternative.

Coconut cream

The rich, thicker part of coconut milk. You can buy this in cartons, or chill a can of coconut milk to separate it out. Use for enriching sauces, or whip with icing sugar as a dairy-free cream substitute. Not to be confused with...

Creamed coconut

The unsweetened, dehydrated, fresh meat of a mature coconut, ground to a semi-solid, white, creamy paste. It comes in a hard block, which is chopped or grated before use. Use for stirring into sauces or curries or add warm water to grated creamed coconut to turn it into coconut milk or cream.

Coconut water

Taken from the centre of young, green coconuts, this naturally sweet water is low in calories and packed full of potassium, making it a favourite as a post-exercise drink or as part of a nourishing, power-boosting smoothie. Definitely a drink rather than an ingredient. Use for smoothies. Try blending a cup of coconut water with one frozen banana, a handful of kale or baby spinach, a dash of maple syrup and possibly a teaspoon of maca powder for a nourishing breakfast drink.

Coconut oil

Solid at room temperature, you can buy coconut oil in two forms: the raw, virgin kind that has a rich coconut flavour, or a refined version that isn’t raw but also doesn’t have any coconut flavour to speak of. Use for roasting and baking, in place of other cooking oils. Great in raw treats and puddings too, helping ingredients to set and bind.

Desiccated coconut and coconut flakes

Desiccated coconut is the dried and finely grated flesh of the coconut. Usually unsweetened, although the coconut meat still retains a hint of natural sweetness when dried. Coconut flakes are a larger cut of the coconut flesh, also dried. Use for baking (sweet and savoury), for decoration or add to granola or trail mix. Also look out for…

Coconut nectar sugar

Made from the sweet nectar of the coconut blossom, this has a light caramel flavour and is low-GI, although it’s no lower in calories than standard sugar. You can use it like-for-like, but it gives a darker colour to bakes.

Coconut yogurt

Pure coconut yogurt is made from freshly squeezed coconut cream, with added water and stabilisers made from coconut milk. It is so rich that a little goes a long way. Useful for people who need to avoid dairy, it adds a creaminess to mousses and icings and moistness to tea breads and cakes.

Ready to cook? Don't miss...

Raw choco-nut tart

Raspberry and coconut muffins

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years