If you like Asian food, then you must have tried coconut cream sometimes. Coconut cream is one of the products that can be made from coconut.
Although it comes from Asian cuisine, coconut cream is popular in other parts of the world as well.
In this article we are going to talk about this coconut product. You will get to know all about coconut cream and its properties.
However, if you have not heard of coconut cream yet, you may be thinking that it is the same product as coconut milk.
But, you are wrong. There are a lot of differences between those coconut products and we are going to talk about this, too.
When it comes to coconut cream, there is a very common question – can we freeze it or not?
Before we start to talk about coconut cream and its properties, we are going to answer you this question.
The answer is yes. It is truth that we can freeze coconut cream, but we have to do it properly.
Otherwise it can go bad and we can throw it away.
Now when you know that you can freeze coconut cream easily, we are going to tell you something more about this tasty coconut product.
Coconut Cream – the Most Important Properties
Coconut cream is thick, creamy and very tasty.
Also, it contains a big amount of fat, so you have to be careful when you eat it.
You can prepare coconut cream easily on your own and later we will talk about that, too.
As we have already mentioned above, coconut cream comes originally from Asian cuisine and it is used as an addition to many dishes.
For example, coconut cream is a very common ingredient in soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, but also in many desserts.
Coconut cream is often used to make pancakes and waffles, as well as to make various cakes.
Also, coconut cream is great for vegans, because you can use it instead of milk in many recipes.
Now when you know the most important properties of coconut cream, we are going to tell you how to prepare it.
Preparation of Coconut Cream
If you decide to buy coconut cream in the supermarket, you should always choose coconut cream that doesn’t contain preservatives.
Also, it is very important to shake coconut cream before you decide to open the can and to use it.
But, if you don’t want to buy coconut cream and if you want to prepare it yourself, then we can give you useful tips.
The preparation of coconut cream is not complicated. You just need to prepare coconut water, grated coconut and whole milk or heavy cream instead of it.
Coconut water is actually the liquid that we can find in coconut.
First of all you need to grate a fresh coconut and to put it in a saucepan. Mix coconut water and whole milk (or heavy cream) and put it to the saucepan as well.
When you have all the ingredients in the saucepan, you can boil it, but don’t forget to stir it from time to time.
When you have boiled it, you can remove the saucepan from the stove and cover it.
The next step is to cool the content in the saucepan to room temperature and to strain it.
The liquid you’ve got this way you can refrigerate for a couple of hours.
The next day you can separate the mixture in two different parts.
On the top of the saucepan you will notice a thick cream and this cream is actually coconut cream. At the bottom of the saucepan you will find liquid and it is coconut milk.
Now when you know how to prepare coconut cream, we are going to tell you something more about the difference between coconut cream and coconut milk.
Difference between Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk
Even though both coconut products come from coconut, they are not the same thing.
First of all, you have to know that coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk and it contains more fat than coconut milk.
However, we can prepare both products in a very similar way.
As we have already mentioned above, we just need coconut water, shredded coconut and whole milk or heavy cream.
After boiling this mixture the substance that will appear on the top is actually coconut cream and it has consistence like a paste.
That’s why coconut cream is actually used to thicken soups, marinades and other dishes.
On the other side, coconut milk will appear on the bottom of the saucepan and its consistence is rather like liquid.
It is said that the coconut cream has about 24% of fat, while the coconut milk has about 17% of fat only.
Now when you know what coconut cream and coconut milk are, we will mention another coconut product that is similar to coconut cream and coconut milk. It is the cream of coconut.
What Is the Cream of Coconut?
This coconut product is actually a sweetened variant of coconut cream.
You can make cream of coconut easily at home. You just need to mix big amounts of sugar with coconut cream.
This coconut product is usually used in desserts and it has a very sweet taste.
Also, many cocktails have been made by using cream of coconut.
Shelf Life of Coconut Cream
Even though coconut cream is very tasty, we have bad news when it comes to its shelf life.
This coconut product cannot last too long.
If you open a can of coconut cream, it can go bad over the night.
Because of that we recommend you to eat all the content from the can or to store it properly.
If you open a can of coconut cream and you cannot eat all of it, then you should store it in the proper way.
You should take the rest of the cream out of the can and put it in the container made of glass or plastic. When you have already done that, you can refrigerate it.
If you store coconut cream properly in the fridge, it will last 7-10 days approximately.
Sometimes it can last even 2 weeks, but you really need to store it properly.
Not only can you refrigerate coconut cream, but you can also freeze it.
We have already mentioned it at the beginning of this article, but now we are going to tell you how to freeze it properly.
How to Freeze Coconut Cream?
If it is not possible to eat all of your coconut cream at once or in the next few days, then the best solution is to freeze your coconut cream.
If you do it in the right way, then your coconut cream will last a couple of months.
Most usually it can last 2-3 months, but sometimes it can even last 5 months this way.
However, you should not forget to freeze it in the right way.
The most important thing if you decide to freeze your coconut cream is to transfer it to a container that will be safe in the freezer.
You can choose a plastic food tub or maybe a bag that has a zip-top. Some people transfer coconut cream in the tray for ice cubes or in a jar made of tempered glass.
Whichever way of freezing you choose, you can be sure that the leftover of your coconut cream will last for a couple of months.
Of all those ways of freezing, maybe the most practical way is to freeze coconut cream in the ice cube tray, because if you need to take a little amount of this cream, you can take it and the rest you can bring back in the freezer.
On the other side, all other ways of freezing require you to defrost the entire content of the container. That is why it may be best to freeze the coconut cream in ice cube trays.
The next thing you should know about the freezing of coconut cream is that the texture of the frozen coconut cream will change the texture.
Also, its taste will certainly change a little. In any case, it is much better to change the taste and consistency slightly than to have to throw away the rest of the coconut cream.
If you don’t freeze coconut cream that you have already eaten and if it stays in the fridge more than a couple of days, then you should simply throw your coconut cream out.
When it comes to freezing of coconut cream, there is one more question that is also important. Can we freeze whipped coconut cream or not?
The answer is yes, but you also need to respect the rules of its freezing. You need to prepare an airtight bag that will be safe in the freezer.
If you freeze the whipped coconut cream in such bag, then it will stay fresh 1 month in your freezer.
It is recommendable to use this coconut cream within a month.
When you take it out of the freezer, you will need to keep it on a room temperature for a while and then you will probably need to whip the coconut cream again in order to use it for you dessert or for something else that you have planned.
Now that you know how to freeze coconut cream properly, you can always have a supply of this cream in the freezer and use it occasionally when you need it to make various dishes.
We have already said that various dishes can be made from coconut cream and that coconut cream will give a special note to any dish and it will make it thicker and tastier.
If you love coconut cream and, above all, Asian cuisine, then take a look below at some of the recipes that we have prepared for you, which are made of this cream.
Recipes with Coconut Cream
- Chicken Satay with Coconut Cream
Ingredients: 4 chicken breast fillets
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 garlic cloves
150 ml of coconut cream
½ teaspoon of chilli powder
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
leaves of coriander
steamed rice of jasmine (optional)
Preparation: You can prepare a delicious chicken satay in a very short time. First of all you need to cut the fillets of chicken breast into cubes.
Take a pot and mix all the spices in it – peanut butter, garlic cloves that you have already chopped, lime juice, coconut cream, chilli powder, soy sauce, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar and turmeric.
When you prepare this mixture, you should put the chicken meat in it. You should cover it and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour.
This time you can use to prepare the bamboo skewers. You should take 16 of them and soak them in water.
After an hour you can take the chicken out from the fridge and to place the spiced chicken on the skewers that you have prepared.
Take the saucepan and cook the meat on the skewers for about 10 minutes.
While you are cooking the meat, you should turn it until the meat is completely cooked.
Your dish is ready and you can serve it with the wedges of lime and the leaves of coriander.
Also, if you want, you can add the rice of jasmine above, but you should steam the rice first.
If you follow our instructions, you will get 4 portions of chicken satay. You can serve it and enjoy your meal.
- Rice with Ginger and Coconut Cream
Ingredients: 200 ml of coconut cream
¾ cup of water
220 g of basmati rice
1 peeled ginger
2 tablespoons of toasted coconut
2 tablespoons of spring onions
Preparation: You should take a saucepan and mix water and coconut in it. Then you should add basmati rice that you have already rinsed.
Also, you should add one peeled ginger that is about 2 cm long. Add salt as well. When you add all these ingredients, you should boil this mixture.
After boiling, you should cook 10 minutes more on the low heat.
You should drain the mixture and throw the ginger away.
After that you should sprinkle the boiled mixture with toasted coconut and spring onions that you have already sliced.
Your rice is ready and you can serve it.
- Coconut cream pie
Ingredients: 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
3 cups of half-and-half (mixture of half cream and half whole milk)
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup of flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of the extract of vanilla
¾ cup of a toasted coconut
1 shell for pie
1 cup of topping (whipped and frozen)
Preparation: When you have heated the oven enough, put the sweetened coconut flakes in the tray. Bake for a few minutes until the coconut is sufficiently browned.
Take a saucepan and mix sugar, flour, salt, eggs and half-and-half. If you are wondering what half-and-half is, we can tell you that it is a simple mixture of half cream and half whole milk.
It is something between milk and cream in its texture. Half-and-half is actually thicker than milk, but it is less thick than cream.
You should boil this mixture and you should stir it all the time. After boiling, you should cook the mixture a couple of minutes more.
You can remove the saucepan from the heat now. Add vanilla extract and toasted coconut and mix all together.
The cream for your pie is ready. You can save the leftover of the toasted coconut to garnish the pie.
Now you can pour the cream into the shell for pie that you have already prepared. Let the pie cool down and harden, and you will need about 3-4 hours for that.
At the end put the frozen whipped topping and the rest of the toasted coconut on it and your coconut cream pie is ready.
We are sure that you will enjoy the taste of this pie, and there is no doubt that your friends and family will also be delighted with this delicious pie.
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