Coconut milk is a great substitute to use in recipes and vegan dishes but finding coconut milk brands without guar gum or carrageenan can be a challenging task sometimes. While both are good thickening agents and are often used in non-dairy milk substitute products, they can be a problem for certain people.
Studies have linked both guar gum and carrageenan to intestinal issues and worsening of some health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease . Given the recent findings in regards to these food additives, we should be cautious and choose products without these ingredients.
I wasn’t really into coconut milk prior to 2012 even though I had been a vegetarian for many years at that point. Then that changed when I had a Thai soup called “Tom Kha” for the first time. I had a vegan version of the soup and it included mushrooms instead of soy. It was delicious and I became addicted!
There are a very limit number of products online that are free from both guar gum and carrageenan (usually it’s one of the other) but there are a few in powder milk and dehydrated powder form.
So now let’s take a look at some of the products. 🙂
Best Coconut Milk without Carrageenan and Guar Gum (suitable for vegans).
#1. Thai Kitchen Lite Coconut Milk – Free from BPA, Dairy, Guar Gum, Carrageenan
It is also free from BPA, which is a good thing because BPA is an endocrine disrupter and we don’t want that!
Another great thing about this product is that it also is low in calories. So if you love coconut milk and like to include it a lot of your meals, you won’t have to worry so much about calories as it contains 60% less fat.
Great to use in different foods such as baked goods, curries, soups, and smoothies, cereals and even a cup of coffee.
Overall it has great reviews but some people say the packaging wasn’t so great.
They have two options: This product which is 60% reduced fat and the one below (second option) that is full fat.
#2. Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk – Contains just water and coconut milk (BPA Free)
I’ve put this coconut milk second because is full fat coconut milk and that can add to calories and may increase cholesterol. If you are using coconut milk often, I would recommend using the “lite coconut milk” instead.
As with the previous product, this one only contains two ingredients: water and coconut milk.
Also suitable for including in a variety of delicious meals like soups, smoothies, cereals, tea, and coffee. Coconut milk is also great when added to a protein shake.
Suitable for people who have an allergy to milk, gluten, or have issues with gums that are often included in many store-bought coconut milk products. It’s also free from maltodextrin, which is often added to coconut milk powder.
Most reviews of this product are positive. People report that it has a great flavor, consistency, and goes well with foods like yogurts and smoothies.
Check out the reviews on Amazon below!
#3. 100% Certified Vegan Organic Coconut Milk Powder – Free from Diary, Guar Gum and Carrageenan
Wildly Organic has introduced a new product that is completely vegan and contains no dairy (unlike their conventional coconut milk). So if you choose to buy this one, make sure you should the organic version!
It just contains just three ingredients: 97% coconut milk powder, organic maltodextrin (3%) and organic acacia fiber.
This coconut milk product is suitable for using with curries, puddings, vegan ice cream, desserts, smoothies and more.
All you have to do is simply add hot water to with the coconut powder in a cup and mix. Add as much water as you like to get the right consistency (instructions are on the packet).
Coconut powder has a long shelf life, so if you aren’t frequently using coconut milk, this would be a great option to have around for when you need it!
This coconut milk powder has a lot of excellent reviews and is very popular!
Nutrients in coconut milk
A large percentage of the calories from coconut milk come from fat. It’s high in saturated fats, and this can be a concern to some people who are trying to avoid it due to the potential risk of increased heart disease. However, the evidence is mixed on whether or not coconut milk is bad for you.
Coconut milk is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as B1, B3, B5, B6, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, and Zinc.
Potential health benefits associated with coconut milk
- Protect against infections – Coconut milk contains lauric acid which is known to be bactericidal and may help fight antibiotic resistance. Coconut milk has also been shown to help reduce ulcer size in mice .
- Anti-inflammatory – Coconut milk has been found to provide anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (reduces fever) and analgesic benefits .
- May improve cholesterol profile – Studies are mixed on whether or not coconut milk is beneficial for protecting against cardiovascular disease. Some studies suggest that in normal free-living subjects, coconut milk can decrease LDL, increase HDL (good cholesterol), and even triglycerides . It’s unclear whether or not vegans or people on a calorie restriction diet would benefit (it’s possible there could be an increase in LDL).
Are there any side effects from consuming coconut milk?
As with everything, foods should be consumed in moderation! Due to the high caloric content of milk (mostly coming from fat), it’s advisable to either go for the low-fat version (see the first option) or consume sparingly.
The products listed above are simply made from coconut milk and water with one or two other ingredients in the case of the coconut powder. This reduces the chance of side effects that some people can get from consuming various types of gums.
Coconut milk if over-consumed might increase weight gain, simply by adding too many calories to your diet. It may also lead to higher cholesterol.
Since the coconut milk products above are free from BPA, there is no risk of being affected by that endocrine disrupter.
Simply put, coconut milk can be part of a healthy diet, just take it easy and enjoy it every now and then! 🙂
What can you use coconut milk for?
There are many potential uses for coconut milk, here are just a few!
- Add to smoothies – If you’re a fan of smoothies, coconut milk can make them a little thicker in consistency
- Tea and Coffee
- Soups – Try making a “Vegan Tom Kha Gai” soup! You’ll love it!
- Protein powders – check out the benefits of consuming protein powders.