It looks like whipped cream and tastes just as sweet. It has a heavenly light and fluffy texture. It is free from artificial flavors, colors and fillers. It is rich in satisfying healthy fats. It takes less than five minutes to make, uses one ingredient and is completely dairy-free. No, it's not a dream- this is coconut whipped cream! (Sorry for the tacky rhyme...I couldn't help myself). In all seriousness, this popular primal treat is truly the ideal complement to most any real food dessert. In fact, it is so simple and decadent I often eat the stuff by the spoonful. Correction: I usually just end up eating whipped coconut cream by the bowlful.
I LOVE whipped cream. THAT is L-O-V-E in all caps. In fact I wrote an entire article all about the wonders of real whipped cream- delightful wisps of goodness made by hand from nutrient-rich raw dairy.
But what if you don't tolerate dairy? To me, it just doesn't seem fair that anyone should miss out on the joys of whipped cream. So here is a luscious topping made from a can of coconut milk that offers all the satisfying qualities of the dairy version without the casein and lactose that can be not-so-nice on the tummy.
The idea of coconut whipped cream is not new and it is definitely not mine. People in vegan and paleo circles have been making it and writing about it for years. I have found the key to this recipe is finding a good quality coconut milk to start with. Store bought coconut milk is one of the few canned products deemed generally “acceptable” by many traditional food enthusiasts, however you still have to be careful when selecting a brand. Check that the coconut milk you use has the following qualities:
1. BPA-Free Packaging This harmful agent easily leeches into foods and has been linked to neurotoxic and estrogenic effects.
2. No Chemical Additives/Emulsifiers Not only do these compounds act as gastric irritants, but they will make it impossible for you to separate the coconut cream from the milk.
3. Full Fat Avoid strained, watered-down or “lite” versions that have been sadly stripped of the fats that make coconut milk so delicious and nourishing. Low-fat coconut milks won't yield enough cream to make this recipe.
Homemade coconut milks like this one may or may not work for this recipe depending on the fat content you can achieve when making them.
Whipped Coconut Cream
If I really wanted to, I could describe this entire recipe to you in one sentence:
Scoop the cream from a can of chilled coconut milk into a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.
However, because I love details and pretty pictures, I have included the following explanations for you as well.
1 can organic coconut milk
(1/2 tsp vanilla extract and/or pinch stevia- optional)
1. Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours, or better yet overnight. When chilled, the fatty part of the coconut milk will harden, separate and rise to the top. This is the cream you will use for whipping.
Because I am impatient and forgetful, I often just put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator right when I buy it, so it is ready to go when a hankering for whipped coconut cream hits.
2. Open and scoop the hardened coconut cream into a large bowl. If you want to get all fancy about it, you can actually flip the chilled can of coconut milk upside down and open from the bottom to pour the liquid off and reveal the cream underneath. Otherwise, simply open as normal, and use a spoon to scrape the cream from the top. Either method will get the job done.
Keep the extra coconut milk liquid for cooking and baking. It will have less of the yummy fats, but is still healthy and delicious.
Also, it can help to stick the bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes before using. This way, your cream will remain nice and chilled as you whip it.
3. Using a hand held mixer, whip until light and fluffy. In order to prevent splattering the cream all over your kitchen, start to whisk at a lower speed at first. Slowly work to a higher speed to until you have incorporated enough air for desired fluffiness.
You can add vanilla extract or a pinch of stevia for added sweetness while whipping as you would with regular cream. However coconut is naturally sweet, so you may find you don't need it.
4. Enjoy! Eat right away, or store in an airtight container. I don't have leftovers all that often, but they do keep well in the refrigerator for several days.