Keto Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut Cream
Another keto ingredient that is very useful for making high-fat desserts is coconut cream. It’s higher in fat than most other ingredients, it’s straightforward to make, and has some simple, staple recipes to use it in. We’re so excited to introduce you to this extraordinary ingredient!
Meet coconut cream!
It’s time to talk about another keto baking ingredient! The ketogenic diet may be low in sugar, but it’s not at all limited in ingredients we can use to make delicious desserts. This time coconut comes to the rescue again in the form of cream! Read on to learn about what it is and how to use it!
Recap of the ketogenic diet
First of all, let’s remind ourselves that to maintain a ketogenic diet, about 70% of our energy intake should be fat. We also have to keep our carbohydrate intake low, less than about 50 grams per day, to make our bodies burn fat as the primary form of fuel. Scientists have shown countless health benefits of the keto diet and continue to find more!
So how do we keep our carbohydrate intake below 50g a day? First, we have to know about calculating net carbs. Some types of carbs affect our blood sugar, but others do not. Only the ones that affect blood sugar count towards your daily total of “net carbs.” Fiber, however, is a type of carb that does not affect blood sugar and does not go towards our net carbs.
It’s super easy to make!
Commercially, coconut cream is produced by simmering coconut flesh in water and collecting the cream that rises to the top. But this cream is incredibly easy to make at home! All you have to do is refrigerate a can of coconut milk, and the thick cream will separate to the top, leaving the coconut water below. When you’re ready to use it, remove the can from the fridge and carefully spoon out the thick cream without mixing it with the coconut water below. You can also buy pure coconut cream itself in a can. If you need it in a pinch though and have a can of coconut milk around, coconut cream is easy enough to make.
The nutritional profile
In 100g of coconut cream, there are 34.7g of fat and only 6.7g of carbs. That makes coconut cream about 35% fat and only 7% carbohydrates—fantastic for the keto diet with such minimal carbs and high fat! And since there is 2.2g fiber, that leaves only 4.5g net carbs. We have another keto superhero on our hands here with coconut cream!
As discussed before with coconut milk, the main type of fat in coconut cream is medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s). MCT fats are the easiest to break down for the body, so they’re the most readily available for energy. This makes them optimal for the keto diet and using fat as fuel. Coconut can be antibacterial and antiviral, boosting the body’s immune system. Coconut can also have positive effects on body weight, insulin levels, metabolism, and body fat. Research has also shown that coconut can help raise beneficial HDL cholesterol while keeping overall cholesterol low.
Ancient medicine even uses coconut cream!
The health benefits of coconut are mentioned in Sanskrit writings from four-thousand years ago, and it has countless uses in the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda. Studies have shown that people whose diets naturally include coconut cream actually have a lower occurrence of heart disease. Coconut has been used as a health food for thousands of years, and scientists are now catching up and confirming all of these health benefits in the lab.
What’s the difference between coconut milk and cream?
The main difference is the thickness and consistency. Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk due to the higher fat content. The fat makes it taste richer and creamier.
Watch out for “cream of coconut”!
Cream of coconut sounds like it would be the same thing as coconut cream, right? Well, it’s not! This can cause a keto confusion in the grocery store! “Cream of coconut” is a form of coconut cream that is highly sweetened and definitely not keto! So when you’re looking for a can of coconut, check the ingredients and make sure you’re buying pure, unsweetened, coconut cream.
The fun part: How to use coconut cream in keto desserts!
In many recipes, you can replace regular, dairy cream with coconut cream. If you’re looking to stay away from dairy, which as we’ve mentioned, can be desirable in certain situations, coconut cream can be a good substitution. It works perfectly instead of regular cream in our vegan keto panna cotta and pumpkin pie.
One of our favorite ways to use coconut cream is also one of the simplest. You can use it to make a delicious, high fat keto and dairy-free whipped cream! Just whip chilled coconut cream with a little vanilla extract, and you’ll get a light and airy whipped coconut cream. If desired, you can add some of your favorite keto sweetener as well. Then use your coconut whipped cream to top keto ice cream, pie, or brownies! You can also make keto blondies and keto Nutella. Yes, you read that right. Keto Nutella is possible! We’ll stop talking now so you can get to making some right away.
Another keto-friendly baking ingredient
Coconut cream is another keto-friendly baking ingredient to add to your repertoire! It’s super high in fat and low in carbs and has many proven health benefits. We have lots of options for using coconut cream in your keto desserts, and highly suggest you try out the coconut whipped cream and keto Nutella. Isn’t it great when ingredients are so useful in keto desserts?