Want a delicious dairy-free, creamy, sweet, filling beverage that you can enjoy without guilt? Look no further than incorporating coconut milk into your diet.

Coconut is a wonderful food. It contains healthy medium chain fatty acids that the body can efficiently use as energy. As it is low in sugar and high in healthy fats, it can help to keep blood sugar more stable than drinking regular cow’s milk and has little sugar for those sensitive to it, such as diabetics. Even though it is high in saturated fat, it can actually help keep cholesterol levels low. Saturated fat and cholesterol are not “bad” as they have been vilified to be. Coconut is a great example of a high saturated-fat food that can be very beneficial, even for those trying to lose weight.

While a whole coconut is a great food to buy from the market (and I would definitely recommend buying, cracking, and consuming the coconut yourself), we don’t always have that luxury. So instead of relying on low-quality, conventional cow or soy milk to satisfy your milk-cravings, I would encourage you to try adding some good quality, thickener-free coconut milk to your pantry.

While cow milk, soy milk, and almond milk may be beneficial in certain ways, they have drawbacks. Most cow milk comes from conventional feedlots from cows treated improperly and fed a poor diet. This is not exactly a food I would recommend consuming often, though dairy products from cows treated properly is definitely a better choice.

Organic soy milk may be an OK choice, but as is also the case with almond milk, usually these concoctions are just watered down sugar-water with a little bit of soy or almond to justify the high price tag.

Now unfortunately most coconut milk you find in the markets are not too much better. Even the ones that are sugar-free are usually loaded with toxic additives. Even beyond that, most have added guar gum (a thickener in them) which many people do not tolerate.

However, gum-free coconut milk does exist. Here is a great gum-free coconut milk which I use. This brand is about $.50 more than others; if your digestive system is not irritated by guar gum, you can choose another cheaper brand. However, just make sure that you choose one that does not use BPA (Bisphenol-A) in the can lining.

Natural Value coconut milk brand from vitacost.com

Okay, okay. Enough details. Let’s get down to business.

Once you have obtained your delicious BPA-free, additive-free coconut milk, here is what you can do.

  1. Drink up!
  2. Water down to make regular “milk”.
  3. Add a little bit of stevia or maple syrup for a delicious desert or sweet treat.
  4. Freeze with maple syrup to get an iced “cream” indulgence.
  5. Eat it with cereals.
  6. Use it in recipes (like coconut chicken curry).

Another wonderful way to include coconut milk in your life is this: If you do not want to have a full desert, just take a gulp of coconut milk with a small tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. You will be in heaven – at least for a short while. This healthy combination is only two ingredients and simulates the delicious taste of ice cream without any dairy or artificial or excessive sweeteners.

I hope that you will consider incorporating some coconut into your life. Next time you are hankering for a creamy, rich, filling beverage, curry, snack, or desert, you will be thankful that you have some of this on hand!