Coconut cream is a delicious and versatile ingredient that is becoming increasingly popular in cooking and baking. But many people are still unsure whether coconut cream contains dairy. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at coconut cream and explore its ingredients to see if it contains dairy and lactose.
What is Coconut Cream?
Coconut cream is a rich, creamy substance derived from mature coconuts. It’s made by soaking, simmering, grinding, and pressing coconut meat until a liquid coconut mixture is formed. Coconut cream is produced by straining the mixture to separate the cream from the coconut milk.
It’s a popular ingredient in many Asian and Caribbean cuisines. It’s often used as a thickener in curries, soups, and sauces or as a dairy substitute in desserts like whipped cream.
Does Coconut Cream Have Dairy?
No, coconut cream does not commonly contain dairy. Dairy products are made from the milk of mammals such as cows, goats, and sheep. Coconut cream is derived from coconuts, a plant-based source. Therefore, coconut cream is an excellent dairy-free alternative for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy.
The table below shows examples of what is in popular coconut cream products. The common ingredients of these products are coconut, water, and guar gum. Guar gum is a thickener made from the seeds of the guar plant. All other ingredients are self explanatory.
|Coconut Cream Product||Dairy Ingredients (Yes or No)?||Ingredients|
|Thai Kitchen – Unsweetened Coconut Cream||No||Coconut, Water & Guar Gum.|
|Native Forest – Unsweetened Coconut Cream||No||Organic Coconut Cream (Organic Coconut, Filtered Water, Organic Guar Gum).|
|Nature’s Greatest Foods – Heavy Coconut Cream||No||Organic Coconut Extract & Purified Water.|
|365 Whole Foods – Organic Unsweetened Coconut Cream||No||Organic Coconut, Purified Water, Organic Guar Gum.|
|Thai Coco – Organic Unsweetened Coconut Cream||No||Organic Coconut, Water, Organic Guar Gum.|
Be aware that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers coconut a tree nut for labeling requirements despite being scientifically classified as a fruit. So, when you view the ingredients on a coconut cream can sold in the U.S., you should see coconut declared as tree nut allergen.
Does Coconut Cream Have Lactose?
Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products. Since coconut cream is traditionally dairy-free, there is no lactose in coconut cream. People with lactose intolerance and/or dairy allergies can enjoy coconut cream without worry of dairy or lactose being in it.
In summary, coconut cream does not commonly contain dairy and is an excellent alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. Not only is it dairy-free, but it also offers numerous health benefits and is a versatile ingredient in cooking and baking. So the next time you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative, reach for coconut cream and enjoy its rich and creamy goodness.
Be sure to read the ingredients on the actual can of coconut cream to verify it contains no dairy if eating dairy-free is important to you. Ingredients can change at any time and the label will provide the most accurate information to make an appropriate buying decision based on ingredients/allergens. Do not rely on any ingredient information here to make any buying decisions.
Image Credit – Rachael Ludwick/flickr