My Product of the Week is Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk. Those of you who read my blog regularly already know about my love of the Coconut. If you are new in these parts, you will find that some form of Coconut is used in nearly every recipe that I make. This is not because I love the taste of Coconut, in fact, I rarely make anything that is Coconut flavored (though I do, in fact, love it!). Coconut just happens to be one of the healthiest, most versatile ingredients in my pantry. Today we will talk about Native Forest Coconut Milk and why I heart it so very much.
About Coconut Milk
Coconut Milk is made from the meat of the Coconut, which is strained, soaked and re-strained to extract the cream. The process is fairly simple and can be done yourself using fresh Coconut meat and cheese cloth if you have the time and inclination.
Coconut Milk has many wonderful health benefits and has become a health media darling in recent years due to its laundry list of beneficial characteristics, including antibiotic properties, promotion of heart, brain, skin and immune system health. Coconut milk aids in sugar regulation for those who are diabetic or glucose intolerant. Coconut milk is a quality source of Omega 6 fatty acids, and is wonderful for skin and hair health. High in iron and magnesium, fiber, and potassium, which is good for lowering blood pressure, vitamin c, which supports immune system health, zinc, which promotes prostate health and can lend anti-cancer benefits, Coconut milk also promotes brain health, builds strong bones and is basically an all-around wonder food.
Perhaps my favorite part about Coconut milk is that the canned product is shelf stable with a long storage life. Sold in cans that do not require refrigeration, you never have to worry about the product going bad or having to run to the store for dairy to use in a recipe. Dairy is very expensive in organic form, is hard to find, and even organic dairy carries concerns about how the animals were treated and has food safety concerns. Coconut milk has none of these problems. You can stock up, have it on hand, it won’t go bad and you never have to wonder about how an animal was treated or cared for to create it.
A Dairy Substitute
Coconut Milk is a wonderful dairy alternative, lending all of the properties of dairy to your recipes. For those of us who cannot or choose not to include dairy in our diet, Coconut milk is a tremendous blessing. It allows us to enjoy many wonderful recipes again! It is a great substitute for milk or cream in cooking and in baked goods. You can whip it into Whipped Cream, you can caramelize it for use in desserts, you can use it in Mashed Potatoes, as a coffee creamer and in natural beauty products. I substitute Coconut milk for dairy in every recipe I prepare and have been nothing but pleased with the result.
Coconut milk has a slight Coconut aroma, but lends only a very slight Coconut flavor. There are many people who do not care for “Coconut”, but I have found that most of those people never know that Coconut milk was used in my recipes. That is because the flavor is very mild compared to the meat, found in shredded Coconut. I would say that even for a Coconut hater, Coconut milk is a safe ingredient and I would challenge anyone to detect it.
Coconut Milk is available in Asian food stores, natural food stores and even at Costco. I am careful to purchase certified Organic Coconut milk, however, which is one of the primary reasons that I tried Native Forest Coconut Milk. Most Coconut milk is an import product, which creates food safety concerns about processing. The Certified Organic status provides a level of protection and oversight that the product was handled safely. Coconuts are often cultivated using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers which degrade our overall health and the environment. While the thick shell of the Coconut protects the fruit from direct spray of chemicals, the chemicals in the soil can be leached into the fruit. Buying organic allows us to avoid any repercussions of these chemicals that would be transferred into the fruit and means that there is oversight on the additives, which is a concern in all packaged food products.
Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk
I love the Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk, which is available in Original and Light Version. I purchase this in bulk and keep at least 1 dozen of each in my pantry at all times. I specifically selected this product due to its Certified Organic status and because it is one of the very few Coconut milk products that is packaged in BPA-free cans. If you are not familiar with BPA and why you should be avoiding it, Mark’s Daily Apple has a good segment on it, found here. Apparently Mark likes Native Forest Coconut Milk also, as his article also lends and endorsement!
I don’t normally advocate “Light” products, which typically requires a lot of processing to create and destroys the healthfulness of the food in the process. Coconut milk, however, requires no heat or chemicals to se
parate the fat. I contacted Native Forest to verify their processing for their Light product, according to the company the Original Coconut Milk comes from the first pressing and the Light product comes from the second pressing. Only filtered water is utilized in this process. I use the Native Forest Coconut Milk Light as a coffee creamer. Original Coconut milk tends to clump when added to hot liquid, where the Light version stays smooth and creamy when added to hot beverages, even when chilled.
Why choose Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk:
• BPA- Free
• Certified USDA Organic
• Certified GMO-Free and has company commitment to GMO- Free products
• Only filtered water used in production
Ingredients: Organic coconut milk (organic coconut, water, organic guar gum).
In a fertile Thailand valley, hundreds of acres of certified organic coconut trees are naturally protected from outside contamination by surrounding highlands, while organic stewardship nurtures the overall ecology of the region. Organic coconuts are generally smaller than their conventional counterparts, but the organically managed trees are more drought-resistant and their soil is more rich and moisture retentive.
The meat of these fresh organic coconuts is pressed, yielding an oil-rich extract that is mixed only with filtered water and a tiny amount (less than 1%) of organic guar gum from the seeds of the guar plant. A staple of Thai and many Asian cuisines, coconut milk lends rich and creamy goodness to classic regional dishes. Perfect in soups, curries, sauces, desserts and beverages, Native Forest® Organic Coconut Milk may be the most delicious coconut milk you have ever tasted.
“Edward & Sons’ Trading Company, Inc. was born out of a commitment to create delicious natural foods featuring convenient preparation in step with busy, health-aware lifestyles. We travel the world to taste and evaluate regional foods, to source the finest ingredients, and to partner with the most reliable farmers, packers and food artisans to create our unique range of natural and organic specialties.
There are many reasons why we believe businesses and consumers would be wise to insist upon certified organic products. Organic farming is a sustainable system of agriculture that respects biodiversity, returns nourishment to the soil, conserves water resources and co-exists harmoniously with the rhythms of the natural world.
As purveyors of consumer packaged groceries to the health aware marketplace, we instruct all our suppliers to disclose and replace any ingredients that they know to contain genetically engineered materials and we assist them in sourcing acceptable alternatives. We secure affidavits of genetic integrity on scores of ingredients, and we are proud participants in the Non-GMO Project (http://www.nongmoproject.org/), which is perhaps the most important and comprehensive food industry response to the threat of unlabeled GE food overwhelming our food supply. Native Forest® Organic Coconut Milk, both Classic and Light varieties, are our first items to become ‘Non-GMO Project Verified’.
Buy Native Forest Coconut Milk from these places: