A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
Since my diagnosis, I've gone a long way from the teenager who could barely cook a baked potato. Having limited sources of safe food at college served as one killer motivator to learn how to cook, that's for sure!
Cooks - especially those with celiac disease - are only as good as their kitchen ingredients, however. Which I why (at my mom's suggestion) I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite edible ninja tools in the next few weeks.
My first favorite cooking ingredient!
And with temperatures rising for summer, what ingredient is a better start than canned coconut milk?
Once dairy and I stopped getting along, I tried a rainbow of dairy free milks. Almond. Rice. Flax. Coconut (in the carton). But while I still use Rice for certain baking recipes, the creaminess (and limited ingredients) of canned coconut milk won over my taste buds in the end.
Tons of dairy free options, as this post explains!
While other dairy free alternatives do offer enriched vitamins or preservatives, coconut milk from the can usually just contains coconut, water and possibly guar gum. I started using coconut milk to easily gain weight thanks to its high calorie and fat content. Now that I've reached a mostly stable weight, I usually buy Sprouts' Lite Coconut Milk instead. Either way, the canned milk is a good source of healthy fats and iron.
My favorite ways to use it? First of all, it makes for the perfect smoothie bowl or banana ice cream base! I was shocked at how much creamier (and addictive, you've been warned!) my breakfast became by adding only a few tablespoons of coconut milk. To make the addition even easier to smoothies, try pouring and freezing coconut milk into an ice cube tray. Cube o' creaminess in a few hours!
Super creamy thanks to some coconut milk magic!
Coconut milk also transforms chia seed pudding from a protein packed breakfast to a worthy dessert. My favorite dessert at True Foods Kitchen is their coconut banana chia seed pudding. By using coconut milk as the liquid base, my at-home attempts turned out just as scrumptious.
For those walking on more of the savory side, here's a recipe I stumbled upon that turns the typically dairy-packed white pizza into one of this celiac's favorite pizza sauces. By boiling coconut milk (optionally adding a little rice milk too) and lots of spices (oregano, thyme, turmeric and a bit of cayenne), a thick, cheesy-like sauce emerges. Toss it on a gluten free pizza crust (I love the recipe here!), add your favorite toppings and, one oven stay later, a creamy white pizza is born!
Coconut milk "cheese sauce" hiding under the toppings!
Finding safe, tasty foods as a newly diagnosed celiac can feel like a trip down the rabbit hole. So many options, yet so few familiar choices. That's why, whether canned coconut milk is your individual jam or not, I wanted to share one of the most versatile and tasty tools from my kitchen.
Cause to me, using canned coconut milk is anything but coo-coo.