9 Ideas for Leftover Coconut Milk

Smoothie bowl with kiwi, sesame seeds, muesli

Coconut milk, while being utterly delicious, is hugely healthful. It has been shown to improve heart health, assist with weight loss and support healthy blood sugar among so much more. What’s even better is that coconut milk goes with pretty much everything! If you’re anything like me, you have a dozen BPA-free cans of the good stuff stashed in your pantry right now.

But what do you do when, in that rare instance, you don’t use an entire can? Do you just shove it in the back of the fridge and forget about it? Not on my watch! Here are 9 recipes and ideas to ensure that not a drop of milk gets wasted.

Breakfast nog. Whether you want to go Marilyn Monroe-style and blend pastured egg yolks into your favorite milk to make a hearty breakfast nog, or you prefer getting some fruits and veggies in before noon via a breakfast smoothie, coconut milk is perfect for the job. Just add 1/4 can to your favorite liquid breakfast for a boost in creaminess while reaping the benefits of coconut.

Chia pudding. I’ll never get over how exciting it is to eat pudding for breakfast. Chia pudding makes a fantastic breakfast when barely sweetened and topped with fruit, but it can also make a healthy dessert. Try my personal recipe here. You could also blend the coconut milk base (pre-chia addition) with some colorful frozen fruit to create a fun chia pudding-smoothie bowl hybrid. Breakfast may become your most photogenic meal of the day.


Popsicles. Mix a little raw honey with the coconut milk and pour it into ice cube or popsicle molds. Toss in a few frozen berries, or even try blending in some pureed mango. Coconut milk popsicles make a great healthy treat to have on hand and are a fantastic use for leftover coconut milk.

Maple flan. Before you say, “ew, flan sounds disgusting,” give it a try. A non-dairy flan can easily be made out of eggs, coconut milk, and a little natural sweetener. By pouring some maple syrup into the ramekin before baking in a hot water bath, you’ll get that beautiful oozing caramel effect that is unique to flan when you invert and plate it. Give my classic Care2 recipe a try.

Granola’s +1. Just because you are dairy-free doesn’t mean your yogurt and granola days are over. That little bit you have left over is perfect for pairing with your morning grains. Just toss in some coconut milk and enjoy that granola crunch. Alternately, you could add it to oatmeal or porridge, too. Don’t eat grains? Blend some flax meal, chia seeds and nuts with warm coconut milk for a paleo-inspired breakfast porridge.

Add it to cooked veggies. Try mashing some in with your mashed sweet potatoes or sauteeing garlic and chard in a pool of sweet, creamy coconut. Get creative! Coconut cream makes a great butter replacement, and it doesn’t take much.

Matcha Latte. Foam Art

Make a latte. Okay, so maybe your matcha latte won’t look quite as pretty as the one above, but a coconut milk matcha latte is the ultimate afternoon pick-me-up. Make an iced version by blending coconut milk and matcha powder (and maybe a teaspoon of raw honey) on high until smooth and foamy. Ah, refreshing.

Coconut rice. If you have a little bit of leftover rice and a bit of leftover coconut milk, combine them both in a saucepan and simmer on low until some of the milk is absorbed and you have a creamy porridge. Viola! A quick, delicious meal base! Cooked-then-cooled rice is especially high in resistant starch, which acts as a beneficial prebiotic for your gut, while the creamy coconut supports blood sugar balance.

Top your soup. If you make vegan butternut squash soup, homemade veggie chili, or even chicken and rice soup, topping your bowl with a dollop of coconut cream/milk can turn your soup into a delightfully creamy delicacy. It works well to replace sour cream or creme fraiche, and even works in a pinch to cool down hot soup without diluting it.

Have your own ideas for using up leftover coconut milk? Share them with the Care2 community in the comments section below!


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