Coconut cream has a variety of uses, from making desserts and goodies to making various cultural dishes as well. Coconut cream and coconut milk are not the same thing, much like dairy cream and dairy milk are quite different.
Coconut cream is a versatile tool and you can purchase it from the store or you can even make your own. When you buy coconut cream, it usually comes in a can. Most recipes don’t call for a ton of cream when you are using it.
This leads to having an open can of coconut cream and no solution for preserving it so you don’t have to waste half of a can or whatever you have left after using your recipe. The last thing you want to do is spend time or money on coconut cream and then not be able to store it.
So how can you preserve coconut cream and make sure it doesn’t go bad? Can you preserve homemade coconut cream and canned coconut cream the same way? You can preserve both of these in the fridge or the freezer. If you are preserving coconut cream that you purchased in a can, please do not try to preserve it in the can. You will need to consider an alternate storage method.
We’ve put together a simple guide to walk you through the ins and outs of preserving your coconut cream. We have some treats in store for you (pun intended).
Keep reading to learn about preserving coconut cream and more.
A Coconut Cream Guide
Coconut cream is more versatile than its title might suggest. When you hear the term coconut, don’t immediately dismiss the thought. Coconut cream has a number of uses, some of which you may never have considered.
Coconut cream is highly popular in vegan-friendly and dairy-free recipes as well.
Coconut cream is for more than just baking purposes, it’s used in many Asian and cultural dishes. Here are a few common uses for coconut cream.
- Thai green curry
- Chocolate (or any flavor) mousse
- Use with whole-grains to thicken and sweeten
- Coconut cream pie
- Dairy-free ice cream
These are just a few basic ideas for using up that coconut cream or putting it to use if you simply don’t know what to make with it.
Coconut cream is pretty versatile and can be used for a lot of things. Anything that calls for cream can typically be substituted with coconut cream instead, particularly if you need a dairy-free option.
Coconut Cream vs. Coconut Milk
Coconut cream and coconut milk are not technically the same thing but they are very close. The primary difference is that coconut cream is a full-fat product whereas coconut milk is slightly more processed.
Coconut milk and coconut cream are essentially made the same way. Both are extracted from coconut meat, the meat of a coconut and then simmered in water to extract the creamy milky goodness the coconut has to offer.
When the process occurs for this, there is a thick layer and a thin layer. The thin layer is processed into milk while the thick layer is combined with guar gum to stabilize the cream. Coconut cream does not contain any other additives or sweeteners while milk usually does.
If you compare the ingredient labels on coconut cream and coconut milk you will find that coconut milk is enriched with various minerals and is usually sweetened artificially while coconut cream is left in its natural state with natural minerals.
Making Coconut Cream
You can make your own coconut cream from home as well if you prefer not to buy it from a can. Just know that using canned coconut cream is perfectly ok. You don’t have to worry about additives or anything in coconut cream as the only modification is guar gum.
We wanted to provide you with a simple coconut cream walk-through in case you want or need to give it a try!
- You will need grated coconut. If you are making your own coconut cream or milk, we recommend grating your own fresh coconut meat. Reserve the water from the coconut.
- Using a saucepan, put your grated coconut in the pan and then cover it with the coconut water you reserved.
- Bring the water to a boil slowly. Use medium heat. Stir frequently while the water is heating.
- When the water reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and cover it. Allow it to cool to room temperature while covered.
- Use cheesecloth and a strainer to dump the contents of the pan and strain into a bowl.
- Once you’ve strained the liquid, squeeze the remaining cream from the cheesecloth into the bowl.
- This is your coconut cream!
This is just the basic process for making your own coconut cream but remember, using canned coconut cream is fine and when it comes to preservation methods you will find that you can preserve them the exact same way.
Preserving Coconut Cream
Preserving coconut cream is really rather easy to do. There are no outrageous steps or challenging methods to prepare your cream for preservation. There are just a few slight details that you should be aware of and an easy process to follow.
You can preserve your coconut cream in either the fridge or the freezer, depending on how long you think you need to preserve it. If you don’t plan to use it within about 7 days of opening or making your coconut cream, then you should plan to just go ahead and freeze it.
Storing coconut cream in the fan is just fine until you have opened the can. At that time, you need to consider a sealing storage method – whether you repurpose a bottle with a lid or you place it into a storage container that seals.
No matter which method you choose, you should store your coconut cream in an airtight container that will not leak or allow outside air in.
Preserving Coconut Cream in the Fridge
- Place any opened or fresh coconut cream in an airtight container. Be sure you use a container that leaves ½ inch of headspace in the container.
- Seal the container tightly and place it in the fridge.
- Store in the fridge for up to 7 days.
- When you remove this from the fridge, you may need to stir it before using it.
Preserving Coconut Cream in the Freezer
- Place fresh or opened coconut cream into an airtight container that is freezer safe.
- Leave about ½ an inch of headspace in the container as frozen cream often expands.
- Seal the container well and place it into the freezer.
- Store your coconut cream in the freezer up to 6 months.
- When you remove from the freezer, you should allow the coconut cream to thaw at least 24 hours in the fridge before attempting to use or heat.
You see? Preserving your coconut cream is very simple and it shouldn’t take a lot of effort. It’s relatively easy to use your coconut cream after it has been preserved as well. You can even heat it as needed.
The most important thing to keep in mind about using your coconut cream after it’s been frozen is you will need at least 24 hours of thawing time if you froze your coconut cream. Even after 24 hours, it may still seem somewhat frozen but you should be able to proceed with using it as normal.
We hope that you have found this guide to be a useful resource in understanding how you can best preserve your coconut cream and how to prepare for the process overall. Preserving your coconut cream is so simple and you can’t go wrong with this guide at your disposal.
We’ve put together a question and answer section that could provide you with additional information. We invite you to check it out to see if it could be helpful for you.
How Can You Tell if Your Coconut Cream Has Gone Bad?
Coconut cream can be tested to see if it is bad in a similar manner to dairy cream or milk. When coconut cream goes bad, it is typically accompanied by a sour or rancid smell. If your coconut cream is in the fridge, you may notice swelling or bulging of the container.
If either of these signs occurs, you should discard your coconut cream. Separation of the cream does not mean it has spoiled. Try stirring it, as long as it does not smell sour it is still usable.
Will Coconut Cream Replace Heavy Cream in Recipes?
Coconut cream has the same texture and consistency as heavy cream and it can be used as a suitable substitute for heavy cream, particularly if you need a dairy-free option. You simply use the same amount that is called for in heavy cream as a substitution.