Advertisement
UK markets open in 2 hours 33 minutes
  • NIKKEI 225

    38,400.27
    -70.93 (-0.18%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    16,238.09
    -10.88 (-0.07%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    84.77
    -0.59 (-0.69%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,397.50
    -10.30 (-0.43%)
     
  • DOW

    37,798.97
    +63.86 (+0.17%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    51,282.70
    +964.48 (+1.92%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    885.54
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • NASDAQ Composite

    15,865.25
    -19.77 (-0.12%)
     
  • UK FTSE All Share

    4,260.41
    -78.49 (-1.81%)
     

11 Popular Canned Coconut Milk Brands For A Creamy Texture, Ranked

11 canned coconut milk brands
11 canned coconut milk brands - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

The popularity of vegan lifestyles and dairy-free diets today has skyrocketed the demand for coconut milk. A study conducted by Future Market Insights indicates the projected market should reach nearly $2,200 million in sales by 2033, thanks to the drive towards more health-conscious food choices.

Because of its high fat content, some might find the idea that coconut milk has nutritional benefits questionable. But not all fats are bad for you. Coconut milk contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which break down quickly and immediately travel to your liver to provide your body energy. That also means that they are less likely to be stored as fat.

While you should refrain from overindulging in fatty foods, you can confidently cook with coconut milk. It is a staple in many Asian dishes and doubles as a milk substitute. It's also great for creating tasty desserts or whipping it into a cream. Canned coconut milk always comes in full-fat versions, but some brands offer a low-fat option. However, this style of milk may not be suitable for all recipes.

ADVERTISEMENT

With such a growing market, there are now many coconut milk brands to choose from. In this guide, we reviewed 11 popular brands of coconut milk and ranked them from worst to best. We tested for taste, creaminess, and cost, plus nutritional value. More on our methodology is at the end of the article.

Read more: 15 Boba Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

11. Iberia

Iberia canned coconut milk
Iberia canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Iberia Foods makes both organic and non-organic canned coconut milk. We chose the non-organic since it is more readily available. Unfortunately, this version of Iberia's coconut milk is full of added ingredients. That's not always a bad thing. However, in this case, the milk had a clear chemical taste that brought to mind plastic. The added ingredients included potassium metabisulfite, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, and polysorbate 60. These are preservatives that prevent spoilage and bacterial growth.

The label designates the presence of sulfites. People sensitive to sulfites  can experience allergic reactions from mild ones, like dizziness, to full-on anaphylactic shock. Because of this, the FDA requires stand-out labeling of this ingredient.

Although reasonably priced and easy to mix, Iberia's brand was not as creamy as the other brands we reviewed. However, the taste and smell of the preservatives made this one the worst of the bunch. If you are a fan of Iberia's products, we recommend you buy the organic version.

10. Badia

Badia canned coconut milk
Badia canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Badia is a brand that makes many similar products to Iberia, so it should not be surprising that this brand, too, had that same odd chemical taste. The ingredient list is also full of added ingredients, like polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate, also known as polysorbate 60, a preservative, and sodium metabisulfite, which Badia states is to retain color. Perhaps these additives are the culprits responsible for the poor flavor.

Polysorbates are a controversial preservative, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only allows very small amounts of this preservative in food manufacturing. While this may not pose a danger to people, there are less controversial additives that can serve the same purpose.

Badia only beat out Iberia's brand because it is creamier and easier to mix the solids and liquid portions together for a nice consistency. It's also affordably priced. We did not, however, see an organic version available.

9. Coco Lopez

Coco Lopez canned coconut milk
Coco Lopez canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

If you've ordered a piña colada at a beachfront bar, you've likely had Coco Lopez. The brand is famous for coconut cocktails, but you can use it for all coconut milk recipes.

While Coco Lopez coconut milk was difficult to find at any local store, it was readily available online at Walmart for over $6. Most stores only carried the brand's coconut cream. Upon opening, its gray color was immediately apparent, especially compared to the other brands. While the brand thankfully did not add sulfites to make it white, the manufacturers did add polysorbate 60. You should note that some cans have the disclaimer, "may contain potassium metabisulfite," but this one did not.

The taste was neutral, without a strong coconut flavor or chemical taste, and mostly uninspiring. Oddly, it was not creamy. It did not solidify when refrigerated overnight, and mixing did not provide a smooth consistency either.

While the can features a convenient flip-top lid, you might be better off using Coco Lopez's cream of coconut for mixed drinks. However, that product contains even more questionable ingredients.

8. Goya

Goya canned coconut milk
Goya canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Goya was a must for this list. Goya, the premiere brand for authentic Latino food products, also carries coconut milk. This is not surprising as there are many Latino recipes that call for this ingredient, like the popular drink, coquito. Some stores didn't even carry any other brand of coconut milk besides Goya, so we expected it to place well but could not give it a higher ranking.

The reason? The taste is off because Goya also uses potassium metabisulfite. While they use considerably less noticeable amounts of this additive, the milk was unbalanced because the coconut flavor was not as strong.

On the plus side, it was very creamy and easy to mix. The consistency was a little unusual, however. The mouthfeel was more on the order of food than a drink, so it's ideal for cooking rather than drinks.

Of course, Goya's products are readily available everywhere and quite affordable. The can also features a flip-top lid, making it easy to open. If you like this brand and don't need to avoid sulfites, it's a good choice.

7. Andre Prost

Andre Prost canned coconut milk
Andre Prost canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Next up is Andre Prost coconut milk. This is the first brand on the list that did not contain questionable ingredients. The ingredients are coconut, water, and guar gum, an additive that thickens and binds the product. Guar gum is derived from beans and is often used in dairy products. It has some potential benefits, as it is supposedly high in fiber and can act as a prebiotic. Studies show it may lower blood sugar and cholesterol, as well.

How did it taste? It wasn't the most tasty brand, and the milk was not as creamy as we would have liked. Unfortunately, it did not mix well by hand. When refrigerated overnight, the milk was incredibly lumpy and, thus, needed more stirring before use.

However, this brand was readily available at the supermarket, providing an affordable alternative to Goya. It's not a bad choice and clean to eat, but there are better choices.

6. Taste Of Thai

Taste of Thai canned coconut milk
Taste of Thai canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Did you know some companies use monkeys to harvest their coconuts? As surprising as that sounds, this is a controversial practice used around the world, especially in places like Thailand and Sri Lanka, where most coconut milk is sourced. Many people consider this animal cruelty, as the monkeys are allegedly kept in chains since they were babies. Though, some people argue that they treat their monkeys like pets -- or family members!

A Taste of Thai wants you to know that they would never use any vendors that participate in those practices. They ask vendors to assure them of animal-friendly practices with letters and photos. This company also supports animal causes, including an elephant hospital and protecting turtles in Thailand.

More importantly, their coconut milk is delicious. It has a creamy texture containing fine bits of coconut meat, almost like crumbs. These were evident when drinking the mixed version. The clear liquid was the best-tasting part, so when it was all combined, the flavor was more subtle.

It was easily and quickly mixed by hand into a smooth and creamy mixture that was still on the firm side. Available for under $2 at Walmart, we recommend this brand, especially for cooking Thai recipes.

5. Whole Foods 365

365 brand canned coconut milk
365 brand canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Naturally, the Whole Foods 365 brand of coconut milk was a top pick to review. This brand offers reasonably priced, certified organic options; its coconut milk is no exception.

365's coconut milk was the second brand on this list that contained purified water. It also has organic coconut and organic guar gum. This product bears the organic certification label from Quality Assurance International, an accredited certifier under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a designation that is just as trustworthy as the USDA's label. The can also states that it has a non-BPA lining.

The coconut milk was as creamy as expected. However, combining liquid and solid portions by hand was not easy and did not result in a smooth, consistent mixture. Although the flavor was not bad, it was just disappointingly unremarkable, with the clear liquid tasting better than the solid part. Sadly, better-quality ingredients don't always mean you get the desired flavor, consistency, or texture.

4. Native Forest

Native Forest canned coconut milk
Native Forest canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

If you are looking for a clean, organic brand, Native Forest is a top choice. The coconut milk is both USDA-certified organic and Project Non-GMO Verified. It's even certified kosher and comes in a BPA-free can. The Native Forest website states that their milk contains only a small amount of guar gum -- less than 1% of the product. It was one of the few brands that uses filtered water.

While those are great features, the real test is the taste and texture. Native Forest was good, although not the tastiest brand. It did not solidify when refrigerated overnight, so we can't recommend it for whipped treats. However, it was easy to hand-mix it into a very creamy drink. You might want to choose this one for a coquito or piña colada!

Native Forest isn't available everywhere, but you can find it at Whole Foods and many health food stores. Look in the clean foods or organic aisle in other grocery stores. With excellent certifications and good flavor, we had to put this one at the fourth spot on this list.

3. Walmart's Great Value

Great Value canned coconut milk
Great Value canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Coconut milk is excellent for cooking up Asian and Latin stovetop recipes. But it has so many more uses, including cream for your coffee. Add it to dessert or baked goods, like flan, coconut cake, or everyday cupcakes. Make great dips and sauces, such as peanut satay, or add it to cream-based soups, like butternut squash. You can even whip up a decadent homemade coconut milk ice cream shake.

With all those uses, you may think you'd go broke stocking your pantry with high-quality coconut milk. However, with Great Value Brand coconut milk, you don't have to worry. The only odd ingredient is sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, which can possibly cause stomach issues when people consume amounts far greater than a can of milk contains.

The ingredients state that it contains coconut extract. We are not sure if it was another way of saying coconut meat or if it was a liquid extract, but the taste was on point. The flavor and consistency felt like we were eating a coconut, more flavorful than any other brand thus far.

While the milk had a slightly gray tint, it mixed well by hand, leaving a nice, creamy consistency. Coming in at the lowest price of any milk on this list, this brand earned the third spot on this list.

2. Aroy-D

Aroy-D canned coconut milk
Aroy-D canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Aroy-D was embroiled in some of the controversy involving the use of monkeys to harvest coconuts a few years ago. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleged that Aroy-D uses monkey labor, so PETA encouraged consumers to choose canned coconut milk that does not originate from Thailand, such as Goya and Coco Lopez. However, PETA has been charged with claims of unethical acts numerous times in the past, so decide for yourself if you trust them.

Either way, Aroy-D was on our list to sample. Unfortunately, this brand contains polysorbate 60, though only a small amount, as the label read that it contained 99.95% coconut milk. This ingredient has been approved in the U.S. and abroad as safe to eat, but you can avoid it if it makes you uncomfortable.

That would be unfortunate, though. Aroy-D coconut milk had the best flavor of any on this list. It was also the creamiest. There was no watery coconut milk, just a smooth, bright white can of milk. It was a bit lumpy but mixed easily, giving an excellent consistency for just about any recipe. Despite the problems listed, we felt it earned second place.

1. Thai Kitchen

Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk
Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Many coconut milk varieties hail from Thailand, as this cuisine is rich with savory recipes, like curry, that feature this delicious milk. While you can use a fresh coconut, canned coconut milk will save you time and labor. What's the number one brand you should try? After trying 11 brands in total, Thai Kitchen coconut milk earned the number one spot.

The flavor of this coconut milk was good enough to stand alone -- clearly the best for drinking by the glass. The taste was consistent throughout the clear liquid and solid forms, which were easily stirred together by hand to create a perfectly creamy result.

Thai Kitchen's coconut milk wears the Project Non-GMO Verified label. The brand also carries a USDA-certified organic version, if you prefer. While readily available in its distinctive red can at major grocery stores and smaller health food stores, you can also stock your pantry with this by buying in bulk at Amazon for a reasonable price.

If you're concerned about this product from Thailand using monkey labor, McCormick, which owns Thai Kitchen, claims in a product review that neither they nor their vendors employ monkeys or any other animal labor in its processes. You can feel good about using this product for all your dishes, from cocktails to curry.

Methodology

glass of coconut milk
glass of coconut milk - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

We selected available coconut milk brands that could be purchased at your local Walmart, on Amazon, or at neighborhood grocery stores that were within a reasonable price. A variety of Asian and Latino brand selections were chosen, as those are the most common vendors. Trader Joe's brand, for example, was not included because the store is not as available to shoppers in every region.

Each brand of coconut milk was tasted and compared for consistency, mouthfeel, and flavor. Did it taste like coconut? Was the flavor strong, mild, or neutral? We also explored ingredients to see which brands had additives and whether or not they impacted the taste and/or smell.

Each one was stirred by hand to see if it would produce a creamy result and how tough it was to combine solids and liquids. Some brands did not have any solid portions. They were refrigerated overnight to see if they would solidify. If not, they could not be recommended as a version available for creating whipped coconut milk.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.