There are approximately 45 calories in 1 cup (240 ml) of light coconut milk. The exact calorie count can vary depending on the brand and fat content. Light coconut milk is a reduced fat version of regular coconut milk, with around 50% less fat and calories.
Calories and Nutrients in Light Coconut Milk
The calories and nutrients in 1 cup (240 ml) of light coconut milk are:
As you can see, light coconut milk is low in calories, fat, carbs, and protein compared to regular coconut milk. The main nutrients are 4.5 grams of fat (mostly saturated fat), 45 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 140mg of potassium.
Comparing Light vs Regular Coconut Milk
Light coconut milk has significantly fewer calories and fat than regular coconut milk. Here is a comparison:
|Light Coconut Milk (1 cup)
|Regular Coconut Milk (1 cup)
As you can see, regular coconut milk contains about 10 times more calories and fat compared to the light variety. Regular coconut milk gets nearly all of its calories from fat.
The difference in fat and calorie content is because light coconut milk is diluted with water to reduce the fat and thick creaminess.
Light Coconut Milk Brands
Some popular brands of light coconut milk include:
- Thai Kitchen Light Coconut Milk
- So Delicious Culinary Light Coconut Milk
- Natural Value Light Coconut Milk
- Native Forest Organic Light Coconut Milk
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Light Coconut Milk
- Silk Light Coconut Milk
- Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
The calorie and nutrient content can vary slightly between brands, but most light coconut milk contains around 45 calories and 4.5 grams of fat per cup. Always check the nutrition label for accurate details.
Thai Kitchen Light Coconut Milk
One of the most popular brands is Thai Kitchen Light Coconut Milk, which contains:
|Amount Per Serving
|1 cup (240ml)
|1/4 cup (60ml)
The full nutrient profile per 1/4 cup serving is:
So Thai Kitchen light coconut milk contains 45 calories in 1 cup total.
Uses for Light Coconut Milk
Light coconut milk has a thinner, more watery consistency compared to richer, creamier regular coconut milk. It has a milder coconut flavor too.
Here are some of the main uses for light coconut milk:
- Coffee Creamer – Light coconut milk is an excellent dairy-free creamer for coffee, tea, and other drinks. The mild coconut taste enriches the beverage without overpowering it.
- Smoothies – For fruit smoothies, light coconut milk adds creamy texture without weighing it down like regular coconut milk can.
- Cereal and Oatmeal – Drizzle light coconut milk over your morning oats or cereal for a creamy, protein-rich start to the day.
- Curries and Soups – Light coconut milk can provide creamy richness to curries, stews, and soups without being too heavy.
- Baking – When baking, substitute light coconut milk for some of the butter, oil, or regular milk in recipes like cakes, muffins, or quick breads.
- Chia Pudding – Soak chia seeds in light coconut milk rather than regular milk or yogurt to make a dairy-free chia pudding.
- Whipped Cream – Chill light coconut milk and whisk it to make plant-based whipped cream.
The milder taste means light coconut milk works better than regular coconut milk in lighter dishes where you don’t want an overly strong flavor.
Nutrition Benefits of Light Coconut Milk
Here are some of the main nutritional benefits of light coconut milk:
- Low in calories and fat – With only 45 calories and 4.5 grams of fat per cup, light coconut milk can help reduce calorie intake compared to regular coconut milk and other high-fat creams.
- Lactose-free – Light coconut milk is dairy-free, making it a good option for those with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.
- Plant-based – Suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets, as it contains no animal products.
- Rich in MCTs – Contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) like lauric acid, which have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- High in potassium – Light coconut milk provides 140mg potassium per cup, which plays essential roles in blood pressure and heart health.
- Low in sodium – With just 25mg sodium per cup, light coconut milk fits into low-sodium diets needed for some health conditions.
Overall, light coconut milk offers a tasty plant-based milk alternative that is lower in calories and fat than regular coconut milk or dairy cream. Just be mindful of the saturated fat content if you need to limit this.
How to Make Your Own Light Coconut Milk
It’s easy to make homemade light coconut milk using just 2 ingredients:
– 1 can (14 oz) regular coconut milk
– 1 cup water
- Shake the can of coconut milk well, then open it and pour the coconut milk into a bowl.
- Add 1 cup of water to the coconut milk and whisk together until fully blended.
- Store homemade light coconut milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Shake before use as it can separate.
Be sure to stir or shake the homemade light coconut milk before using, as the cream may separate a bit during storage.
You can adjust the ratio of coconut milk to water depending on how thick or thin you want the light coconut milk to be. For a very thin, skim-like consistency, try 2 cans coconut milk plus 2-3 cups water.
Making your own lets you control the brand of coconut milk and ingredients used. Plus it avoids additives and preservatives found in some store-bought light coconut milks.
Potential Downsides of Light Coconut Milk
Light coconut milk has some benefits over regular coconut milk, but there are also a few potential downsides to keep in mind:
- Lower fat content – The lower overall fat content means light coconut milk lacks the full richness and creamy mouthfeel of regular coconut milk.
- Less coconutty flavor – The milder flavor may be undesirable if you want that full coconut taste in a dish.
- Not suitable for all recipes – Using light coconut milk in place of regular coconut milk can impact the taste, texture, and cooking properties in some recipes.
- Contains saturated fat – While lower in total fat than regular coconut milk, light coconut milk still provides 3.5 grams saturated fat per cup, which some people need to limit.
- May separate during storage – The watery consistency means homemade or opened light coconut milk needs shaking before use as the cream separates easily.
For uses like adding to coffee or cereal, light coconut milk works excellently. But for curries and baking, the lower fat content may not provide the right richness and mouthfeel.
Light Coconut Milk Storage and Shelf Life
An unopened can or carton of light coconut milk will keep for several months past the printed expiration or best by date. Once opened, it’s best to use light coconut milk within:
– Fridge: lasts for 4-5 days
– Freezer: lasts for 4-6 months
Proper storage helps maximize the shelf life.
To store light coconut milk:
- Store unopened light coconut milk cans or cartons in a cool, dry pantry away from direct sunlight.
- Once opened, transfer any remaining light coconut milk to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- To freeze, pour into freezer bags or airtight containers leaving headspace, then freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
- Stir or shake light coconut milk before use to reincorporate any separated cream.
Look for any signs of spoilage before using, including mold, curdling, or a rancid smell. Discard if any spoilage is present.
Properly stored light coconut milk has a decent shelf life of up to 4-6 months past the printed date. Follow safe food handling and storage to get the most use out of your light coconut milk.
Light coconut milk contains around 45 calories and 4.5 grams fat per cup, offering a much lower calorie alternative compared to regular coconut milk. With its milder coconut flavor, light coconut milk works well in coffee, smoothies, cereals, and lighter dishes where you don’t want an overly rich coconut taste.
While not suitable for all recipes, light coconut milk provides a tasty plant-based milk that is lactose-free and lower in calories than dairy and regular coconut milks. Just be aware that light coconut milk still contains some saturated fat. Overall, light coconut milk can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet when used in moderation.