Coconut puree is generally a mixture of coconut cream and a sweetener, with a taste and texture similar to whipped cream. If you buy coconut puree, it will likely be homogenized to keep the mixture smoothly mixed to prevent separation.
There are different versions of coconut puree on the market, and not all of them are created equally. Some types of “coconut puree” have several types of sugar as the first ingredient. If you buy coconut puree, opt for those that have some type of coconut product listed as the first ingredient, such as coconut cream.
How does coconut puree compare to other coconut products?
Coconut puree vs. coconut cream
Because coconut puree is usually made from coconut cream, the two are very similar. Coconut cream is a thicker version of canned coconut milk, which is made by heating coconut flesh and water. The thicker, solid layer of the mixture is removed, which is the coconut cream.
Coconut puree is made by mixing coconut cream and a sweetener and then stabilizing it through a process called homogenization, which evenly mixes the fat particles and liquid so they don’t separate.
The main difference between coconut puree and coconut cream is the added sugar in coconut puree.
Coconut puree vs. coconut milk
Canned coconut milk is a little thinner (contains more water) than coconut puree and is generally used in recipes and baking. Carton coconut milk is more watery (coconut cream diluted with water) and used for drinking as a non-dairy substitute.
Canned coconut milk isn’t usually sweetened, whereas coconut puree is. Another difference is that canned coconut milk isn’t homogenized like coconut puree, which is why the solid fat separates from the liquid in the can.
Coconut puree vs. coconut oil
Coconut oil is made by extracting the oil from coconut flesh. The result is a 100% fat product that is solid at room temperature. Coconut oil is much higher in fat with a greasier texture compared to the smooth, creamy texture of coconut puree.
Coconut puree vs. coconut butter
Coconut butter, also called coconut manna, is very similar to coconut oil (see above for the difference between coconut puree and coconut oil). The main difference is that coconut butter contains some coconut pulp, so it’s higher in fiber compared to coconut oil (3 grams of fiber per tablespoon compared to 0 grams of fiber per tablespoon of coconut oil).
How do you make coconut puree?
If you want to make coconut puree, the closest way you can make it at home is by mixing coconut cream and a sweetener of your choice.
Many recipes call for coconut cream instead of coconut puree. Because they are very similar, you’ll likely be able to get away with making coconut cream instead. To make your own coconut cream at home, here is a modified recipe that will provide a similar texture as coconut puree:
- Chill a 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove the thick layer of coconut cream from the top of the can and place it into a chilled mixing bowl.
- Blend the coconut cream with a hand mixer, adding vanilla and powdered sugar (around ¼ cup) to taste.
You can store your homemade coconut “whipped cream” in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, and it will stay hardened due to its high fat content.
Coconut puree uses
In cocktails and mocktails
Coconut puree or coconut cream are popular ingredients in tropical cocktails and mocktails such as coconut margaritas, pina Coladas, and coconut martinis.
Coconut puree can be blended with other ingredients like pineapple juice, or it can be drizzled on top of a drink as a finisher or garnish.
Coconut puree can be used in creamy desserts such as puddings, mousses, and pies. Coconut puree and other coconut products are popular in vegan recipes because they provide a creamy texture without relying on cow’s milk products like cream cheese or whipping cream.
Nutritional information for coconut puree
Here are the ingredients and nutrition facts for coconut puree from ‘The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley’ as an example.
- Coconut cream
- Cane sugar
- Filtered water
- Natural flavor
- Fruit pectin
- Titanium dioxide (color)
Nutrition facts (per ¼ cup):
- Calories: 160
- Total fat: 13 g
- Saturated fat: 11 g
- Total carbohydrates: 13 g
- Dietary fiber: 0 g
- Total sugars: 13 g
- Added sugars: 10 g
- Protein: 1 g
Now, let’s compare coconut puree to coconut cream since they are so similar.
|Per serving||¼ cup coconut puree||¼ cup Unsweetened coconut cream|
|Total Fat||13 g||12 g|
|Saturated Fat||11 g||12 g|
|Total carbohydrates||13 g||0 g|
|Dietary fiber||0 g||0 g|
|Total sugars||13 g||<1 g|
|Added sugars||10 g||0 g|
|Protein||1 g||0 g|
Sources: The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley, Thai Kitchen (unsweetened coconut cream)
As you can see, the main difference between coconut puree and coconut cream is the addition of sugar, making it higher in carbohydrates and calories.
Coconut products can be given to babies once they have been introduced to solids. Ideally you should choose a coconut product that is unsweetened, since babies shouldn’t be exposed to sugar-sweetened products early in life.
To introduce coconut to a baby, consider offering unsweetened coconut cream on a spoon. Avoid giving coconut water to babies under 12 months, since they should only have breastmilk or formula and water in their first year of life.
Coconut cream can be substituted for coconut puree – simply add a sweetener of your choice, such as stevia, sugar, or powdered sugar.