What is coconut milk powder? (Benefits & Uses)

Coconut milk powder is a shelf stable product made from unsweetened coconut milk that’s been dehydrated. When the milk is dehydrated, what’s left is a concentrated powder. 

It often contains additional ingredients that prevent the powder from clumping when stored, and sometimes ingredients to help the powder dissolve, thicken, or emulsify when mixed with water. However, you can find some brands that use natural anti-clumping ingredients or ones that are AIP-compliant.

It may also be referred to as desiccated coconut powder, as desiccated simply means to remove all moisture. However, it’s not to be mistaken with desiccated coconut, which you can learn more about here.

Benefits of Coconut milk powder

The benefit to purchasing coconut milk powder over coconut milk, is you can use small portions of the powder at a time without the rest of the package spoiling.

When you open a can or carton of coconut milk, you must consume it within 7 – 10 days.

You can add as much or as little water as you like to get a thicker or thinner milk.

It’s also a great lactose-free option for travel. A package of dried coconut milk is much lighter than cans or cartons of hydrated milk. This makes it ideal for backpacking, hiking, camping, and other activities that require you to pack light and carry your food. 

Some brands are a healthy supplement that can help with fat loss, brain function, and energy levels. Coconuts are full of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, so there can be many health benefits to consuming them regularly in a natural way.

Is coconut milk powder the same as coconut milk?

Coconut milk powder is the same as coconut milk, it simply has the water removed. Coconut milk powder has less fat than canned coconut milk and about the same amount as the milk-alternative beverage. However, beverage coconut milk is typically fortified with vitamins and minerals, and may have added sugar, salt and flavors.  

Does coconut milk powder taste like coconut?

Coconut milk powder does have a subtle coconut flavor and a touch of sweetness; it is coconut milk minus the water after all. How much you use and what you mix it with will determine how strong the coconut flavor comes through. 

When mixing the powder with water, it will be very similar to coconut milk; you can make the taste weaker by using more water. Stirred into coffee it will give a hint of coconut flavor, but it won’t overpower the coffee. A small amount mixed into a smoothie with stronger flavors from berries or pineapple won’t be as detectable. 

How to use coconut milk powder

Coconut milk powder can be used in any dish you’d add coconut milk to. Simply mix the powder with water to rehydrate the powder and turn it into a milk. You can alter the ratio to make a thinner milk with more water or a thick pudding using more powder. You can also skip the rehydration step if you’re making a curry dish, by adding the powder directly to the sauce so it stays thick and creamy.

Coconut milk powder may be used in:

  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Curry dishes
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Cake
  • Pancakes
  • Desserts
  • Ice cream
  • Milkshakes & smoothies
  • Hot cocoa
  • Coffee

Coconut milk powder is even used in soap making for its moisturizing properties.

Coconut Milk in Coffee

Many people use coconut milk powder in their coffee as a lactose free creamer. Start by adding 1 teaspoon to your coffee and add more for a creamier flavor. The powder will dissolve in the hot drink and give it a nice creamy flavor. 

I find you get a smoother consistency if you put the powder in your coffee mug first, then add a little bit of hot coffee. Stir that mixture together and once the powder is dissolved you can fill the rest of the cup with hot coffee.

You can also add it to other hot beverages such has tea or hot cocoa.

What does coffee with coconut milk taste like?

Coconut milk in coffee will add a mild taste of coconut and a touch of sweetness. The high fat content of coconut adds creaminess and a smooth buttery texture. It’s not the same as adding dairy cream to your coffee but it is one of the better alternatives. The coconut flavour isn’t overwhelming, but it is there. So if you don’t like the taste of coconuts, this may not be the best creamer for your coffee.

How to make coconut milk from coconut powder

To make coconut milk from coconut milk powder, just add warm water and stir. You can use cold water as well, however, warm or hot water helps dissolve the powder and create a smooth consistency. If you’re making a cold beverage with the powder, you can mix it with a tablespoon or two of warm water first to evenly dissolve the powder, then fill the rest of the cup with cold water. Start with two tablespoons of powder in one cup of water and add more powder for a thicker, creamier texture. 

How to make coconut cream from coconut milk powder

Coconut milk powder doesn’t have as high of fat content as coconut cream so you won’t get quite the same end product using coconut milk powder. However, you can get close to making coconut cream from coconut milk powder by mixing water and coconut milk powder at a 1:1 ratio to get a thicker consistency. Add more powder for a thicker mixture or more water to thin it out. 

Is coconut powder the same as coconut flour

Coconut powder is not the same as coconut flour, as one is derived from coconut meat, while the other is made with the coconut meat.

Coconut milk powder vs coconut flour

  • Coconut milk powder is made from coconut meat by blending it with water, then straining the meat out so you’re left with a smooth liquid called coconut milk. That milk is then dehydrated to remove the water so a powder is left.
  • Coconut flour is made with the meat that’s left after the fat has been removed through the coconut milk making process. The coconut meat is dried at a low temperature and ground into a fine powder. 

If a recipe calls for coconut flour, don’t use milk powder, and vice versa. 

Can you use coconut milk powder when baking bread?

Many bread makers have had success using coconut milk powder in their doughs. If a recipe calls for milk, you can swap in coconut milk that’s been made using the powder. 

If the dough recipe calls for coconut milk, you can rehydrate the powder to form the milk, but keep in mind, powdered coconut milk doesn’t typically have as much fat as canned. 

Some bread recipes call for powdered milk, or malted milk powder. Coconut milk powder can be used as a substitution, however, it doesn’t contain lactose, which helps breads brown and form a crispier crust. 

Here’s a bread recipe that specifically calls for coconut milk powder. 

How to store coconut milk powder

Coconut milk powder is shelf stable but should be stored in a airtight container and placed in a cool, dry spot. Although it’s not necessary, you can also store coconut milk powder in an airtight container in the freezer to ensure freshness.

With proper storage, it can last six months to a year.