Coconut milk is an opaque, milky-white liquid extracted from the grated pulp of mature coconuts. The opacity and rich taste of coconut milk is due to its high oil content, most of which is saturated fat.
It is basically just shredded coconut flesh that is pureed with water and strained to create a rich, shock-white liquid that can lend body, flavor, and richness to soups, curries, wilted greens, and much more.
In the coastal region, Mombasa, Malindi, and Lamu residents value this item as a spice.
It is used in making meals such as Plain (white) cooked rice wa nazi, coconut beans, and mahamri among other meals. All these delicacies are associated with the people and culture of the Coastal people.
Health benefits of coconut milk
- It aids in weight loss. Coconut milk is rich in short and medium-chain triglycerides that are considered to be healthy fats. They prolong the feeling of satiety causing you to eat less and avoid giving in to cravings. In addition, they are more likely to be converted to energy as opposed to long-chain fatty acids.
- Coconut milk is rich in vitamins C and E which are well known for their anti-oxidant properties. Antioxidants contained in coconut milk help to neutralize these harmful substances.
- Coconut milk is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Therefore it is able in promoting Electrolyte balance.
- Coconut milk is known to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol in the body, and reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body if consumed in low quantities. This contributes to preventing heart disease.
- Coconut milk contains lauric acid which is known for its antiseptic properties. It assists the body in fighting infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Coconut milk has significant quantities of iron. Iron is an important mineral in the formation of healthy red blood cells with normal hemoglobin levels, thus preventing anaemia
- Recently, coconut milk has gained popularity for its use as a conditioning treatment for healthy hair. Its high-fat content acts as a sealant for moisture retention. When applied to the scalp, coconut milk helps to reduce dandruff and scalp itchiness.
- Coconut milk when applied topically on the skin helps in the maintenance of the skin’s elasticity. This effectively reduces wrinkle formation giving you a more youthful appearance.
- Coconut milk aids in the reduction of joint pain and inflammation.
- Coconut milk contains zinc, a mineral that aids in the renewal of the cells that line the intestinal wall. This prevents the translocation of harmful bacteria from the intestinal lumen into the bloodstream and reduces the incidence of diarrhoea.
Where to find coconut milk
One can make coconut milk at home. First, the coconuts are available locally in grocery markets in Malindi Town. It is bought at Ksh 50 each. Ready-made coconut milk can be found in supermarkets nearby at a retail price of Ksh 209 for 409 ml.
Meals made with coconut milk recipe
- Coconut Rice (Plain (white) cooked rice wa Nazi)
- Sweet potatoes- garnished with Coconut Milk
- Samaki wa Kupaka (Grilled Fish in Coconut Sauce)
- Coconut Mandazi (Mahamri)
- Sweet Coconut Papaya Noodles (Tambi za mapapai)