The popular wisdom is that vegan substitutes are no replacement for the real thing – but that’s a misconception. There are many, many absolutely delicious recipes that use neither meat nor dairy. It’s not just vegans saying this; diners of every taste agree that plant–based dishes are healthy, flavourful and tasty.
One versatile ingredient common to vegan recipes is coconut milk. This dairy alternative is rich in healthy fats, amino acids, and minerals. It’s also a fantastic substitute for cream when you’re making soups, stews and desserts.
Coconut milk is an easy way to make vegan-friendly dishes part of any menu – and to attract diners who are health conscious or who have strict diets. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Filipino cuisine, other than carnivorous delights like sisig or adobo, has long been vegan friendly, and coconut milk has long been used when making many local dishes.
One popular and appealing recipe for Filipino taste buds is ginataang gulay, or vegetables in coconut milk. Here’s how to make it. Over a low heat, cook up some squash, string beans (sitaw), chilli peppers and moringa leaves (malunggay) and add coconut milk.
Another local dish is laing, made of dried taro leaves, coconut milk and spices. For some extra kick, add ginger or chilli – and if you’re making big batches, try Knorr Aromat, which contains real herbs and spices.
For a filling meal, you can’t go wrong with a curry, which is why this Indian dish is a perennial favourite for diners. Veganism is one of the cornerstones of Indian cuisine, so it’s not hard to find an acceptable recipe. However, if you’re using a premade current paste or powder, check the ingredients to make sure that its vegan friendly.
Our pick? Try cahana masala, which highlights chickpeas and gives the dish a crunchy texture. You can also whip up a meat-free version of a Thai red curry using jerk sweet potato. Don’t forget to add a heap of vegetables, like carrots, spinach, or potatoes.
It’s the end of the meal and you don’t want to forget your vegan diners or those with dairy allergies. This is where coconut milk comes in. It’s natural sweetness, mellow taste, and creamy texture are ideal.
Coconut milk is an excellent base for ice cream and tastes delicious when paired with chocolate or vanilla. You can also use coconut milk when crafting cupcakes, puddings, tarts or smoothies. Add some sprinkled coconut shavings for an extra touch.
Catering to vegans and health-oriented diners makes good sense for any restaurant. Make sure your pantry is stocked with coconut milk and experiment with this versatile and tasty ingredient.