Powerful plant-based cream
There are a lot of plant-based milk and cream options out there, but coconut cream boasts incredible flavor, as well as an abundance of benefits. Coconut cream is high in healthier saturated fats, which our body is more likely to use as energy and less likely to store as fat. Powerful immune-boosting abilities and a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals make coconut cream a delightfully nourishing base for our superfood snacks. Continue reading to learn what it is, how it’s made, and why we’re in love with it.
What Is Coconut Cream?
Coconut cream is made by removing some of the water from coconut milk which is a rich, creamy liquid made from the flesh of mature, brown coconuts. Coconut milk should not be confused with coconut water, which is also very popular. Coconut water is made from young, green coconuts and is composed almost entirely of water, while coconut milk is about half water and half coconut flesh.
How Is Coconut Milk and Cream Made?
Coconut milk starts with finely grated coconut flesh. This flesh is then gently cooked to draw out all of the wonderful nutrients and flavor from the flesh. After cooking, the solids are strained off leaving behind a nutritious liquid substance resembling milk. By removing more of the water from the milk, it becomes coconut cream. In a grocery store you will typically see coconut milk and cream sold in cans. It is common for the solids and fats to separate from water in these cans. You just need to stir it all back together to use in recipes. Be sure to check that these products do not contain any added sugars or gums on the ingredient label.
What do you mean by ‘healthy fat’?
When you first see the nutrition facts on coconut milk or cream you may get nervous because nearly all of the calories come from fat. Perhaps even more surprising is the high level of saturated fats. However, these saturated fats are quite different from the types you would find in meats and traditional dairy. Most of the fat in coconut oil is made up of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides).
The term “medium” refers to the number of carbon atoms on the fatty acid. Short-chain fatty acids contain less than 6, while long-chain fatty acids contain 13-21. In between those two are the following MCTs:
- Caproic Acid (C6)
- Caprylic Acid (C8)
- Capric Acid (C10)
- Lauric Acid (C12)
Coconut cream contains of all four MCTs with over 50% of the fat content being lauric acid.
Some of the benefits of these MCTs include:
Unlike most fats, MCTs can go directly to the liver where they're used for immediate energy or transformed into ketones, which your body uses for fuel when it is burning fat. The benefit to you is rapidly available energy without any insulin response.
Increased HDL Cholesterol
This is an area still under research, but the early results are promising. Diets rich in coconut fats appear to have a positive benefit on “good” HDL cholesterol, which is associated with better cardiovascular health. Many people struggle to find ways to raise HDL, coconut oil may be a useful tool for this.
Better Fat Burning
By now we know that all calories are not the same. In the case of MCTs, researchers have found that consuming them actually ramps up metabolism resulting in increased overall calorie burn. One potential mechanism for this result is that MCTs can help “jumpstart” your body into ketosis where fat is dominantly used for energy.
MCTs may actually prevent you from getting sick. When your body processes lauric acid, it produces another compound called monolaurin. Both monolaurin and lauric acid appear to have the ability to kill pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As these substances make their way through your gut, they may benefit your overall immune-health by preventing pathogens from growing.
MCTs help reduce cravings and keep you feeling full for longer. The consumption of MCTs leads to the release of hunger-regulating hormones, such as leptin, which signals to your body that you are full. Additionally, ketones can also help to suppress appetite.
Potential Neurological Benefits
MCTs and ketones are two substrates that are able to easily cross the blood-brain barrier to be used for fuel by our brains. With the modern Western diet, most people fuel their brains with glucose. However, researchers are finding that patients with Alzheimer’s may have issues using glucose for energy in parts of the brain, with some suggesting that the disease is a form of diabetes in the brain. There is hope that MCTs and ketones can be used as an alternate energy source in these patients to help their brains get the fuel they need.
What other benefits does coconut cream offer?
In addition to all of the MCT-related benefits of coconut milk, it is also rich in fiber; vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6; and minerals, including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
With all of these amazing properties, it should be clear why we chose coconut cream as a core ingredient for our products. We’d love to hear about how you use coconut cream in your own wellness routine or answer any questions you might have.