I have to admit, one of the best things in life is lots of half & half in my dark coffee and with my morning oatmeal. As I transitioned to vegan, I discovered coconut cream. Hey – it’s a healthy saturated fat, so I just assumed I could use it the same as I used half & half. Well, I was wrong!
I had been steadily losing weight through my transition, but the daily addition of coconut cream stopped that very quickly. That’s because I was adding it to my morning coffee and using a lot more of it to get that half & half creaminess.
If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s not going to happen. Coconut cream just doesn’t come close to the taste I love with half & half in my dark coffee.
Adding it to my oatmeal was quite another story. Instant creaminess – and – I fell in love. There went my morning meal rotation as I filled up on oatmeal with coconut cream every day!
Realize that I had been on a strict vegan diet as I also wanted to heal my body of the chronic illness I had for over ten years. I also cut out all other grains, all sugar, all dairy, all fat, all meat, fish, and poultry. That left me with very specific recipes I made every week as I enjoyed the weight loss and healing that was happening.
Then one day my chiropractor asked me what I was eating and we discovered I wasn’t consuming any fat. He recommended a little coconut milk or adding coconut oil to my soup and smoothies. That’s how I ended up going crazy with coconut cream.
While fats help the body feel full, that wasn’t a problem because I was eating a lot of fiber. Some say the fat in coconut milk may increase metabolism and increase weight loss on a reduced calorie diet.
What about Coconut Cream?
I suspected my new love handles came from the coconut cream so I did a little research and immediately discovered (to my horror) how many calories, fat, and carbs are in the cream. I don’t count any of these on a regular basis – I just eat vegan. Needless to say, I was stunned.
And to think, I was pretty excited when I saw the “whole food” markets stocking coconut cream for coffee. I just keep on walking past it now that I know the dangers to my waistline!
Take a look at the comparison of calories, fat, and carbs in dairy half & half, coconut cream, and coconut milk:
The health benefits of consuming coconut milk are far superior to half & half, so I will continue to use it over dairy. I’ll leave the coconut cream for special recipes and only consume it occasionally. But – I still use a little coconut milk on my oatmeal – can’t give that up!
When I purchase coconut milk and cream, I only use an organic, unsweetened brand. I prefer Native Forest because it’s the only brand that uses BPA free cans.
Have you made a similar mistake when transitioning to vegan? Are you using coconut cream in your diet? Leave a comment and share.
P.S. One of the ways I use coconut cream is as a whipped topping on vegan pies and smoothies. Using a full-fat coconut cream or or coconut milk that is fully chilled (store in the refrigerator for a couple of days), all you do is scoop out the ball of coconut fat and whip at high speed until firm, then sweeten. Yum!
Follow me @RealVeganLife