Coconut milk vs almond milk: is one better? When to use each? Here’s what to know about these non-dairy milks.

Coconut milk vs almond milk

Coconut milk vs almond milk: which is better? When should you use one or the other? Both of these non-dairy milks are great options: it just depends on what you’re looking for! Here’s what to know about when to use them and their nutritional profiles.

The difference: coconut milk vs almond milk

What are the differences between these two products? Here’s the general breakdown:

  • What is coconut milk? Coconut milk is a milk extracted from the pulp of coconuts. It is rich and creamy, and has a high fat content. Canned coconut milk is a traditional ingredient used in Southeast Asian and East African cuisine, as well as Latin American and Caribbean foods. You can also buy coconut milk as a non-dairy beverage in a refrigerated carton: this is essentially coconut milk with added water.
  • What is almond milk? Almond milk is a plant milk made of ground almonds and water. It’s low in fat and has a very thin texture.

Coconut milk vs almond milk: is one healthier?

Is there a better choice between coconut milk and almond milk? Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. Both of these dairy-free milks can be part of a healthy diet. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrition info per 1 cup serving:

Canned coconut milk5525 grams13 grams57 grams
Carton coconut milk450 grams1 grams4.5 grams
Almond milk401 gram3.5 grams3 grams

You can see from the notes above that canned coconut milk is very high in calories and fat, so it’s best to use in smaller quantities. Carton coconut milk (found in the refrigerated section) and almond milk are lower in calories and fat, with less carbs or protein than canned coconut milk.

How to use each in recipes!

With all of that in mind, here are some of the best ways to use these products!

  • Canned coconut milk: It’s high in fat and calories, so it’s best used in smaller quantities. The benefit is that it is very, very creamy. It’s great for adding a creamy richness to sauces like in a curry or soup, or blending into smoothies.
  • Almond milk and carton coconut milk have a thinner texture since they have less fat. They work in baking and also as a milk substitute like with granola or muesli.
Coconut milk vs almond milk

Got coconut milk or almond milk to use up? Here are some great recipes using both:

Coconut milk recipes

Almond milk recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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