In the Kitchen

6 Delicious Uses for That Leftover Coconut Milk

It happens to us all. The recipe calls for a tiny amount of some ingredient, yet you can only find it in super large quantities. Most of the time, especially with more niche ingredients, the majority of your purchase goes unused, no matter how much you tell yourself you’ll find a way. One of the biggest culprits in this category is coconut milk. You buy a big can, but the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup. Rather than putting those sad remains in the fridge to eventually be forgotten, try to put that extra deliciousness to good use.

We came up with a few recipes, both sweet and savory—and a cocktail, for good measure—to help you take full advantage of that pesky (but delicious) leftover coconut milk.

Coconut Curry

This dish is a Plated favorite, inspired by traditional coconut curries of typical Thai cuisine. The zest of fresh ginger and spiciness of the red curry paste balance perfectly when paired with coconut milk to create a hearty, comforting meal for any season.

Coconut Dressing

If you’re a fan of Caesar, Ranch, or other creamy salad dressings, you’ll love this flavorful blend of avocados and coconut milk. The lime and garlic provide extra flavor to balance the richness of the avocados and coconut. This dressing pairs well with sturdier greens like romaine, iceberg, or kale. You can also use it as a spread or pasta sauce!

1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup of water
salt, pepper

Add avocado, lime juice, coconut milk, garlic and water to a blender and process until completely smooth. Keep the dressing in an air-tight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Coconut Whipped Cream

This simple dessert-topper is a creative way to get a sweet coconut fix as we head into our favorite season: cobbler season. Even better, this recipe doesn’t require any equipment, so you’re only a few minutes away from fluffy, coconut-y whipped cream.

2 cans full-fat coconut milk
2–3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Hand mixer or mixing bowl

Place a large mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.

Without tipping the cans, scoop out the coconut cream from the cans of coconut milk, reserving the clear liquid for other uses. Place in chilled mixing bowl.

Using a mixer, whip until creamy and smooth. Then add vanilla and maple syrup. Whip until fully incorporated. Serve on top of ice cream, cakes, or fresh fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Piña Colada Pops

Curries and dressings aside, coconut cocktails are where the magic’s really at. Give the classic Piña Colada bevvie a twist by making them into popsicles. You won’t regret it. 

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