Pasta in a butternut and coconut milk sauce, with broccoli and bacon
How to Cook With Coconut Milk

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January 20, 2019

These Coconut Milk Recipes are Dairy free, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free, Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan and Low in Carbs.

Coconut milk is an excellent dairy free milk alternative. It’s both creamy and filling and  healthier than cows milk or cream but sometimes you’d prefer your meal not to have that distinctive and sweet coconutty flavour, especially if you’re using it as often as I do.

I’ve come up with some great recipes to disguise coconut milks characteristic taste,  leaving your guests wondering what you’ve used to give that dish a creamy but healthier and dairy-free touch.

For an even better taste experience try and create your own coconut milk using my post on How to make coconut milk from scratch.

Go Straight To:

1. White Sauce

2. Creamy Marinara Sauce

3. Cheese Sauce

4. Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce

Plant Based Milk

Firstly if you haven’t followed all the hype on switching to plant-based milks from regular dairy milk you should do some research on the topic. One of the contributing factors is that dairy milk contains mammalian hormones and somatic cells (better known as pus) having negative effects on our body.

I have been substituting cows milk with plant based milks in my diet for over 8 years now and am very happy with my decision in doing so. Dairy, and cows milk in particular, never agreed with me and as a result I follow a low dairy diet. One of the ways I manage this is by making my own Homemade Almond Milk that I include in many of my homemade creations and drink daily with my morning cup of coffee.

What I have noticed is cooking with Almond milk gets a little expensive and unfortunately isn’t the creamiest or tastiest milk substitute when added into home made meals (as with soy milk or any other nut milks), so that’s where coconut milk fills the gap perfectly.

1. White Sauce

About This Recipe:

This coconut milk recipe forms the base for the next few sauces. I use this white sauce when making creamed spinach, lasagne, as a base for alfredo or other creamy pasta sauces, potato bake, chicken a la king or even added into creamy soups.

The Ingredients Needed:

  • One can of coconut milk or fresh homemade coconut milk.
  • 150ml Bone broth (Veg stock water for vegans/vegetarians).
  • 4 Florets of pre-steamed Cauliflower (frozen or fresh).
  • Handful of Cashews (for a nut free alternative use a spoon of tahini).
  • Garlic.
  • Small onion.
  • Salt.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Mustard seeds.
  • White pepper.
  • Sprigs of thyme.
  • 1 tsp Tapioca flour.

Shop Ingredients And Equipment Needed:

My coconut milk recipes do require a high-speed blender or smoothie maker to blend the nuts into a really fine paste. Unfortunately you won’t get the desired texture without using one.

Method:

Place all ingredients together in a pot on the stove and heat mixture on low, stirring continuously. This step infuses the flavours from the mustard seeds and herbs into the milk and softens the nuts. It’s not a crucial step but will make a big difference to the final taste.

Remove herbs and as many mustard seeds as possible, blending all the remaining ingredients together using a Vitamix or Nutribullet until completely smooth.

Return the mixture to the stove, if it needs to be made thicker add some tapioca water, or thinner add more plain water.

2. Creamy Marinara Sauce

About This Recipe:

This recipe has two parts, firstly prepare the white sauce as mentioned above and then a tomato based concoction baked in the oven. Finally we combine the two parties together for a creamy tomato marinara sauce explosion.

Once completed this sauce can be used as a pasta sauce, in lasagna or as a base for tomato soup, curries and stews.

 

The Ingredients Needed:

  • Between 200ml and 300ml of white sauce (from recipe above).
  • Whole cherry tomatoes.
  • Red peppers.
  • 1 Large red onion (white is fine too).
  • 1 Large carrot.
  • Garlic.
  • Olive oil.
  • Fresh herbs.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Tapioca flour mixed into a  little water.

Method:

On a tray combine tomatoes, peppers, chopped onion and carrot, herbs and spices. Add a splash of olive oil and bake in the oven at 180 degree celsius (350 F) for approximately 40 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Once cooled, blend the roasted ingredients, using a Vitamix or Nutribullet, with the white sauce base from above. 

This creamy tomato sauce can be used straight away or kept in the fridge up to 7 days or frozen for up to 30 days and thawed when needed.  

When ready to use, warm up on the stove and if necessary thicken using tapioca flour water or thin out with plain water or broth. 

3. Cheese Sauce

About This Recipe:

This coconut milk recipe has a base of butternut squash and coconut milk with a few more ingredients to give a stringy consistency and awesome cheesy taste (but still being dairy and gluten-free). Once completed this sauce can be used as a topping on nachos, pizzas, pastas, hamburgers, in lasagna, as a cheesy potato bake, in garlic bread, toasties, soups and as a dip. 

 

The Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash
  • 2 TBSP coconut milk.
  • 2 Tbsp Yeast Flakes (crucial for the cheesy flavour and texture)
  • 1 tsp Gelatine (omit if making a runny sauce or for vegetarians use agar agar or psyllium husk).
  • 1 tsp Turmeric.
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder.
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • 1/2 tsp Medium Curry Powder (optional, depending on dish).

Method:

Blend butternut squash with coconut milk until completely smooth..

While mixture is still hot, add the remaining ingredients into the blender and blend again.

This cheese sauce can be used straight away or kept in the fridge up to 7 days or frozen for up to 30 days and thawed when needed.

When ready to use, warm up on the stove and if necessary thicken using tapioca flour water or thin out with plain water or broth.

3. Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce

About This Recipe:

This recipe also uses the white sauce base . The sundried tomatoes, when added to the white sauce, creates a thicker and creamier sauce compared to that of the marinara. This sauce is ideal, as is, for a pasta sauce (especially Bolognese). It can also be added to curries or stews and stir fries. 

The Ingredients Needed:

  • Between 200ml and 300ml of white sauce (from white sauce recipe above).
  • Handful of soaked sun-dried tomatoes.
  • 2 tsp Red curry paste.
  • 1 tsp Paprika.
  • 1 Deseeded small chilli.
  • Handful of pre-cooked butternut (optional).

Method:

Heat up the white sauce on the stove, once at boiling point, remove and add to the Vitamix or Nutribullet machine.

While white sauce is still hot, add the soaked sun-dried tomatoes, paprika and spoonful of red curry paste. 

Blend everything together for a fine and creamy paste.

When ready to use, warm up on the stove and if necessary thicken, using tapioca flour water or thin out with plain water or broth.

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