Foundation Diet and Health
Diet and Health
QR Code
The best perspective for your health
This page was translated through Google Translator

Coconut cream, raw? organic?

Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk, but thicker. Its mild, slightly sweet taste makes it a popular choice for cooking. Raw? Organic?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 14.79%
Macronutrient proteins 8.07%
Macronutrient fats 77.14%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.4g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Coconut cream is made from the flesh of the coconut ( Cocos nucifera ).

Use in the kitchen

What is coconut cream? Coconut cream can be described as "thick coconut milk". It contains a higher fat content than coconut milk and is therefore creamy. It has a mild, only subtly sweet taste. You can buy it in the supermarket (usually in cans or tetra packs) or make it yourself from full-fat coconut milk. If you put coconut milk in the fridge and leave it for a few days, the lighter parts of the coconut milk will settle to the top. This "coconut cream" can be skimmed off like milk. This is how you get coconut cream, also called coconut cream or coconut crème.

You can use coconut cream in a similar way to coconut milk or cream and use it to refine soups and sauces. If you add it to a curry, it makes it thicker and creamier. It is important not to heat dishes containing coconut cream too much. Coconut cream is particularly popular for sweet dishes and desserts such as cream, mousse or ice cream. Coconut cream can also be processed into whipped cream. To do this, beat the cold coconut cream with a hand mixer until it is creamy and fluffy. If necessary, you can add a little guar gum or locust bean gum to ensure that the cream retains its consistency.

Coconut cream is not to be confused with coconut cream. This is a cream made from thickened coconut fat and coconut milk sweetened with cane sugar. It is used as an ingredient in cocktails such as Piña Colada. Preparations made from coconut milk and cream made from cow's milk are sometimes also referred to as coconut cream.

Making your own coconut cream

The easiest way to do this is to put coconut milk from a can or tetra pack into a container and leave it in the fridge overnight. It is important that you use a thick, full-fat coconut milk. The coconut milk separates overnight into the solid and liquid parts. The solid part that floats to the top can now be skimmed off with a spoon and used as coconut cream.

Raw quality coconut cream can only be obtained from raw coconut milk that you have made yourself. You can find the recipe under the link to the ingredient coconut milk, raw .

Vegan recipe for fruit salad with coconut cream

Ingredients (for 4 people): 150 g strawberries , 1 pear , 1 apple , 1 banana , 2 green kiwis , 100 graspberries , 2-4 tbsp lemon juice , 150 g coconut cream (cold).

Preparation: Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and halve them. Wash the pear and apple, remove the cores and cut into small pieces. Peel the banana and cut into slices. Peel the kiwi, halve it and cut out the stem if necessary. Then cut into small cubes. Wash the raspberries and drain well. Put the prepared fruit in a bowl and mix carefully with the lemon juice. Put the cold coconut cream in a cold container and beat with a hand mixer until it becomes creamy and fluffy. Arrange the fruit salad on a plate and garnish with a portion of coconut whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Vegan recipes with coconut cream can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Coconut cream, also called coconut cream, should not be confused with creme of coconut or coconut cream. The latter is a thick cream made from thickened coconut fat and coconut milk sweetened with cane sugar. If in doubt, check the ingredients list. If sugar is present, it is creme of coconut and not coconut cream.

Coconut cream can be found at the major retailers Coop and Migros , as well as at Alnatura , sometimes also in organic quality. Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Billa , Denner , Volg , Aldi , Hofer , Spar , and Denn's Biomarkt do not have these in their standard range (as of 2023). Coconut cream can also be easily ordered from online shops. Coconut cream sometimes contains thickeners and stabilizers such as guar gum and locust bean gum. Also available is coconut powder, which you mix with water. Depending on how much water you add, you get thick coconut cream or liquid coconut milk . This is ideal if you only need small quantities. You should make sure that no additional rice starch, sugar or flavorings have been added to the coconut powder. Purchased coconut cream is not raw food quality.

The availability of coconut cream varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. If you are interested, click on our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries (above under the ingredient image). There you will find current prices from various supermarkets and their price development.

Storage tips

It is best to pour coconut cream from cans or tetrapaks into a closed container as soon as you have opened them. This way you can keep it in the fridge for two to three days.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Coconut cream contains 330 kcal per 100 g. The fat content is very high at 35 g/100g. This corresponds to 49.5% of the recommended maximum daily intake. The fat consists of a very high proportion of saturated (medium-chain and long-chain) fatty acids. Coconut cream has 6.6 g carbohydrates and 3.6 g protein per 100 g. 1

Coconut cream contains larger amounts of manganese at 1.3 mg/100g. Even more manganese is found in coconut flesh (1.5 mg) and coconut flakes (2.7 mg). A manganese-rich food that can be eaten in large quantities is teff (dwarf millet) . 1

It contains 2.3 mg of iron per 100g, which corresponds to 16.0% of the daily requirement. Coconut milk (preserved) contains 3.3 mg, and coconut meat contains 2.4 mg per 100g. 1 However, this is not much compared to iron-containing foods such as chia seeds (7.7 mg), amaranth and teff (7.6 mg), which can also be consumed in larger quantities. It is therefore wrong to promote coconut cream or coconut milk as a good "source of iron".

It also contains small amounts of phosphorus and potassium , as well as several essential amino acids. 1 Since coconut cream should only be eaten in small quantities due to the high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, the actual nutrient content absorbed is put into perspective.

You can find all the ingredients of coconut cream, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Effects on health

The high proportion of medium-chain fatty acids (MCT) is advertised as being particularly healthy. However, this should be treated with caution. It is true that our body can absorb them more easily from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream, which is why they are mainly used in patients with digestive and absorption disorders who suffer from energy deficiency and impaired fat absorption. But apart from that, the disadvantages clearly outweigh the advantages, especially when you consider that extra-enriched MCTs are often used for the above-mentioned medical conditions and not pure coconut oil or other coconut products. Experts also recommend the use of MCTs only for strictly specified medical indications. 9

For more information on health aspects, see the links to coconut oil (coconut oil, coconut fat) and coconut milk, preserved.

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

The health value of coconut cream and other coconut products is controversial. The content of saturated fatty acids in coconut meat is very high at around 82%. Saturated fats promote an increase in cholesterol levels, which promotes heart disease and strokes. Animal fats are not the only ones that contain a lot of saturated fatty acids. In addition to coconut fat (coconut oil) with 82% , palm oil (palm fat) with around 49% and cocoa butter (around 60%) are also rich in saturated fatty acids.

In general, saturated fatty acids have a negative effect on blood values and cholesterol levels. When coconut fat or coconut oil is consumed, the undesirable LDL cholesterol in the blood increases, which promotes cardiovascular disease. However, the healthy HDL increases slightly more, which then improves the total/HDL serum cholesterol ratio. Only measured by this ratio and when ignored, coconut fat appears to be healthier, which is a fallacy. A 2016 study analyzed 21 research papers, including 8 clinical studies and 13 observational studies, and concluded that replacing coconut oil with a healthier oil reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. 8

A coconut allergy is rare. However, as consumption becomes more widespread, more and more cases of allergic reactions are occurring. This particularly affects children who are given coconut milk as a cow's milk substitute or who use coconut oil as a body lotion. It has been found that a cross allergy with walnuts , sesame , macadamia nuts , almonds and cashews can occur. 10,11

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

The ecological CO 2 footprint of coconut cream depends on various factors, including the way the coconuts are grown, processing, transport and packaging. Despite extensive research, we were unable to find any precise figures on the ecological footprint of coconut cream. According to the Big Climate Database, this is 3.5 kg CO 2 eq/kg 14 for coconut milk, so it can be assumed that the footprint for coconut cream is quite similar.

Due to their numerous useful properties and clever marketing, coconuts are in demand almost worldwide - as food, but also for generating energy or for making decorations, furniture or medicine. In the tropical growing countries, this creates important jobs; in the Philippines, for example, up to 3.5 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on the coconut industry. 15 However, the coconut industry should be viewed with extreme skepticism, because small farmers often manage the coconut plantations for the western market, but the price is dictated by large trading companies. The farmers can barely live on this wage. When day laborers manage company-owned plantations, the conditions there are usually inhumane. 4,5 Certified goods have been available for years, but have rarely been in demand. 6 It should also be remembered that coconuts have had to travel long distances for our consumption and are therefore associated with high emissions.

The area required to grow coconut palms is often associated with land theft, deforestation and the destruction of local biodiversity. In order to meet the high demand, mixed crops are rarely planted, but monocultures are preferred. Coconut oil is also increasingly replacing the controversial palm oil . However, the yield of oil palms, with an average of around 3.8 tons of oil per hectare, is far higher than that of coconut oil, with 0.7 tons of oil per hectare. 4 If you look at the number of endangered species per million tons of oil produced, coconut oil performs even worse than palm oil. 16

A study by the University of Exeter shows that an average of 60 species on the IUCN Red List are threatened as a result. 6 Since trained monkeys are sometimes used to harvest coconuts, consumption also leads to a lot of animal suffering. The monkeys are trained violently for several years until they are able to pick the coconuts from the tall palm trees, which they have to do while tied up until they die. 7

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

Coconut cream is made from the flesh of the coconut. Coconut palms grow mainly in the equatorial zone, i.e. in tropical areas. People have been using the coconut palm for at least 3000 years. It probably originated in Polynesia (Pacific island region). From the 19th century onwards, coconuts gained economic importance when they were cultivated on plantations by the Dutch in Ceylon. 3

According to FAOSTAT , around 63.6 million tons of coconuts were produced worldwide in 2021. The main growing areas are Indonesia (17.1 million tons), Philippines (14.7 million tons), India (14.3 million tons), Sri Lanka (2.4 million tons). 2

For information on growing and harvesting coconuts, see Coconut meat, raw (Coconut meat, organic?)

Industrial production

The commercial production of coconut cream is analogous to the production of coconut milk . The difference between coconut milk and coconut cream is the fat content. This is at least 10% for coconut milk and 20% for coconut cream. 12 Coconut cream is, so to speak, "concentrated coconut milk".

To produce coconuts, you peel the coconuts and remove the flesh. This is then ground and pressed, sometimes with the addition of coconut water or drinking water. A mechanical screw press or hydraulic press is often used for this. Once the coconut flesh and water mixture has been well mixed, it is filtered so that the solid components remain. After filtering, it is usually pasteurized before the coconut milk or coconut cream is packaged. 13

Further information

The coconut palm ( Cocos nucifera ) is the only species of this genus, but there are many different varieties. The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm and is not a true nut, but rather a single-seeded drupe. It consists of three carpels that grow together, which is also why it is often slightly triangular in shape. The three eyes that you see on one side are the three germination holes, whereby only one germ begins to grow at a time.

Alternative names

for coconut cream can also be found in stores under the name Coconut Cream and Coconut Crème. The English name is coconut cream. Not to be confused with coconut cream or cream of coconut.

Authors: |