Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk vs Coconut Cream

With so many different coconut products filling grocery shelves, many people wonder what the difference is between coconut water, coconut milk, coconut cream and cream of coconut. All are popular coconut products, so let’s explore their differences and their similarities.

Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk vs Coconut Cream

The Similarities

The Similarities between Coconut Water, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream and Cream of Coconut :

Shown below is coconut water, coconut milk, coconut cream and cream of coconut.

coconut water vs coconut milk
coconut water vs coconut milk
coconut water vs coconut milk
coconut water vs coconut milk

What do they have in common?
All of these products are derived from fresh coconuts.
That’s where it begins and ends!

The Differences

The Differences between Coconut Water, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream and Cream of Coconut:

The chart below summarizes the differences between these coconut products.

Product Description Usage
Coconut Water Found naturally inside young green coconuts, it is the clear liquid located inside the fruit. It really is water, but with plenty of potassium and other electrolytes. It is often used as a sports drink since it is naturally rehydrating. But, beware of labels when purchasing from containers as some are reconstituted from concentrate and some add different sugars.
Coconut Milk Produced from the coconut meat by soaking the grated flesh in hot water and straining the result and then adding water. Coconut milk is unsweetened and thinner than coconut cream, but about the same consistency as cows milk. First off, be sure to shake or stir this product before use. Coconut milk is versatile and can be added to many different types of dishes in order to add both coconut flavor and a bit more consistency. Coconut milk comes in a can with a thick layer of cream on top and then thin clearish unsweetened coconut water beneath. It is commonly used in Thai curry dishes and can make ice cream dairy free.
Coconut Cream A thick, stable and rich cream in a can. It is an unsweetened product made by soaking four parts coconut meat in one part water. It is used in recipes, including many Thai recipes and drinks. It can be chilled and then whipped just like heavy cream.
Cream of Coconut This product is coconut cream that has been thickened and sweetened. Makes a great pina colada and other cocktails.

Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk vs Coconut Cream

Additional Information

To find out how long coconut water lasts, check out coconut water page.

To find out how long water lasts, check our water page.

To find out how long coconuts last, check our coconut page.

Here is an example of expired coconut water.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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