Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Starbucks New Coconut Milk: It Isn’t Really Coconut Milk

So will you find the same benefits with a coconut milk latte from Starbucks? Due to the highly processed formulation of Starbucks coconut milk, the answer may be no.

Starbucks hopes its coconut milk alternative, which is certified vegan, will fair well with those who have dietary restrictions, or for those who are simply "curious." Though coconut milk has less protein than soy milk, it's generally used by people with tree nut allergies or, as stated above, for those who live a vegan lifestyle.

Not to be confused with coconut water, coconut milk is a thick, creamy white liquid traditionally made by simply processing and straining grated coconut milk and water.

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

Heat water, but don't boil. Put coconut in blender or Vitamix and add water. Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.Pour through a mesh colander first to get most of the coconut out, and then squeeze through a towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to get remaining pieces of coconut out.

Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Should be used in 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the "cream" of the coconut milk may separate on the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.

Making coconut milk at home is simple and very inexpensive. From my calculations, homemade coconut milk costs less than $1 per batch, and it can be used in smoothies, recipes, or just to drink by itself. It can also be flavored with natural vanilla, strawberries, or cocoa powder.

'Starbucks’ processed coconut milk, however, contains more than a dozen ingredients, including sugar, salt and thickeners. According to a product photo posted to Reddit, the full list of Starbucks coconut milk ingredients are:

filtered water, coconut cream, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, carageenan, gellan gum, sea salt, natural flavor, vitamin A, palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12

Bottom line: More non-dairy milk alternatives are an excellent addition to the Starbucks menu, and pure coconut milk is a healthy option. Unfortunately, the highly processed blend at Starbucks may not be.

People who are committed to real food are no stranger to coconut milk. It’s deliciously thick and creamy, full of healthy saturated fats, and low in sugar.That’s real coconut milk, though.

Starbucks is debuting coconut milk that isn’t coconut milk. It’s not just that Starbucks coconut milk is a watered down version, it’s that it’s basically sugar water with emulsifiers and a little bit of coconut product.

Water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum, corn dextrin, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2.

Ingredients in most legit coconut milk:

Coconut milk, water. But corn? Multiple gums? Carrageenan?

“Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago.That’s not to say that everyone is going to start getting ulcers, but carrageenan is known to cause gut inflammation and digestive distress in many people.So think before ordering!

That's not all, they even sweetened it. Now, people who enjoy the taste of coconut milk in their drink can’t enjoy Starbucks coconut milk without also drinking sugar.That’s not where the annoyances end though. The fat content is severely reduced. This isn’t surprising considering the base of Starbucks coconut milk is water.

Real coconut milk would have four to five times the fat content. This is important because low fat, high sugar beverages are notorious for driving cravings later. A higher fat, lower sugar beverage would help balance hormones and sustain satiety.

This kind of thing is pretty typical of Starbucks though. They’ve done a masterful job marketing themselves as being health-conscious and high quality, both of which they’re really not.

No comments:

Post a Comment