Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Random ingredient of the week: Coconut Milk

Felt coconut found for sale here
So, I have recently discovered something about myself.  I am (most unfortunately!) slightly lactose intolerant.  Mostly it just makes me tired, especially if I have it early in the day.  (My theory is that because my body can't process dairy efficiently, it makes me sleepy.  Any other thoughts? Not like I've researched or bothered to see a doctor!)  Boo.  I love dairy.  Cheese.  Milk.  Ice cream.  I could go on.  One way I have found to decrease my dairy consumption, especially in the morning, is to replace the milk in my multiple cups of coffee with non-dairy alternatives.  I've been experimenting (with whatever is on sale, go figure!) and have determined the following:
Soy milk = good (the unsweetened is best)
Almond milk = also good
Coconut milk = NOT GOOD IN COFFEE!!!  It turns out that coconut (unsweetened drinking beverage style) is bizarrely thick and just doesn't taste good AT ALL in coffee.  So, I find myself with a half gallon of coconut milk that I am definitely NOT going to drink.  (Am I a little heavy on the CAPS?  I worry sometimes that I tend to over-EMPHASIZE what I am trying to SAY!)

When I go searching for recipes that include coconut milk, the vast majority are curries.  Not that I am against curry, I loooove curry, but it might be tough to sell the kiddos on a curry spree!  So, I thought I'd try replacing milk in a couple of simple recipes to start:

Coconut Milk Pancakes

2 cups Bisquick
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups coconut milk

I should mention, I stink at flipping full size pancakes.  Case in point:

So, I almost always make "silver dollar" pancakes.  See?

Much better!
And, bonus!  Not only are they easier to make, they are also easier for little people to pick up, negating the need for forks, butter, syrup, plates...

Next recipe, for dinner this time:

Coconut Milk Cornbread Muffins (recipe from the Albers brand Yellow Corn Meal box...well, except for the coconut milk...and they called for white flour...you know me!)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup canola oil (the recipe calls for vegetable oil, but I only buy canola!  Google it, canola is sooo much better for you.)
3 Tbsp melted butter

Oh, look, more coconut milk!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray muffin cups with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
Combine eggs, coconut milk, oil, and butter in small bowl; mix well.
Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended.
Pour into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.

(One more note, I made 12 full size muffins, plus a second pan of mini muffins.  I saved the mini muffins for tomorrow's breakfast, like the pancakes, smaller = easier for itty bitty hands to hold!)
Bake (large muffins) for 18 to 10 minutes (little ones for 8-10 minutes)
Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, serve warm.

They turned out less yellow than your average cornbread, but SUPER TASTY!

Our thumb round-up for the day:

Pancakes AND Cornbread Muffins...

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