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6 Health-Conscious Coconut Cream Substitutes

coconut cream substitute
Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - sentidos humanos

There are plenty of substitutes for coconut cream if you’re looking for healthy, plant-based alternatives. Read our guide on where to find them!

Coconut cream is a delicious, dairy-free milk and cream alternative made by pureeing the meat of coconut in water. It’s about 20% fat, so it’s thick and creamy. You can use it in any number of recipes for a healthy, flavorful vegan option. But what if you run out and need an easy coconut cream substitute?

The alternatives to coconut cream we list below pack a tasty punch in vegan sauces, dips and smoothies. They also lend a helping hand in pies, tarts, soups and other savory dishes. To reduce your impact on the environment, remember to look for organic, locally grown and in-season ingredients when possible.

Give these coconut cream substitutes a try and let us know what you think!

1. Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is a delicious and smooth coconut cream substitute.
Cashew cream is a delicious and smooth coconut cream substitute. (Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Conscious Design)

When a warm curry or soup recipe calls for coconut cream, you can swap some cashew cream. Cashew cream is vegan-friendly, easy to make, and its thick, smooth consistency makes it the perfect coconut cream substitute.

From a nutritional standpoint, cashew cream is high in fats and calories. However, the good news is that most of the fat in cashew cream is unsaturated. This is much better for your heart than the saturated fats found in most traditional dairy products. Cashew cream also offers a good amount of protein, is high in magnesium, and is cholesterol-free.

You can make homemade cashew cream by combining the following ingredients in a blender and blending until smooth and creamy. For a lighter option, try making cashew milk instead.


  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soak overnight for best results)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower oil

2. Coconut Cream Alternatives: Almond Milk

Almond milk is packed full of healthy vitamins.
Almond milk is packed full of healthy vitamins. (Foto: Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - dhanya purohit)

You can also use almond milk as a replacement for coconut cream. Although not quite as fatty and creamy as coconut cream, almond milk is ideal for french toast, mashed potatoes, creamy curries, ice cream, a plethora of baking recipes (like this tasty vegan carrot cake) and milkshakes.

Almond milk is rich in vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant. Vitamin E can help lower your risk of serious health conditions like stroke, cancer, and heart disease. Almond milk also contains riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

If you purchase it rather than making almond milk at home, pay attention to the fact that many store brands have added sugars and sweeteners. Where possible, try to get your hands on unsweetened organic varieties.

3. Soy Milk

Soy milk is a classic vegan favorite and an easy swap for coconut cream.
Soy milk is a classic vegan favorite and an easy swap for coconut cream. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / bigfatcat)

Soy milk offers plenty of versatility when it comes to cooking with dairy and coconut cream substitutes. Soy milk is stable at high temperatures which makes it a great choice for savory dishes like curries, soups and sauces. Thanks to soy milk’s high protein content, it is a great coconut cream alternative for baking recipes. It is also low in sugar and high in fiber.

Again, if you opt to buy soy milk from the supermarket, seek out those brands that do not use extra additives and sugar and have organic sources.

4. Oat Milk

Oat milk is so easy to make at home.
Oat milk is so easy to make at home. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / sunxiaoji)

Often praised as one of the healthiest plant-based milk products, oat milk is another great coconut cream substitute to consider trying. Its thick consistency makes oat milk an ideal ingredient for vegan-friendly oat milk pancakes, custards, mousses, buttercreams, and ganache. Oat milk comes with riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Furthermore, oat milk production is fairly sustainable. When growing, oats are very low maintenance and the production of oat milk produces little waste. Check out our discussion about the best plant-based milks to learn which dairy-free milk options are good for you and kind to the climate.

To make sure you know exactly what’s in your food, you can also try making your own oat milk at home.

5. Coconut Cream Substitute: Plant-Based Yogurts

Don't forget about the host of vegan yogurts you can buy in most good grocery stores.
Don’t forget about the host of vegan yogurts you can buy in most good grocery stores. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / katjasv)

Plant-based yogurts offer many of the properties you look for when cooking or baking with coconut cream. We suggest trying a couple at a time and seeing what works (and tastes) best for you in any given recipe or dish. You can make dairy-free plant-based yogurts using:

  • hemp
  • soy
  • oat
  • almond
  • cashew
  • and others!

Once you find a favorite, look into producing your plant-based yogurt at home to have it on hand whenever you need an alternative to coconut cream.

Want to learn how to make delicious homemade yogurt at home? Take a look.

6. Silken Tofu

Silken tofu mixed with plant milk is also an excellent coconut cream substitute. This reliable and readily-available vegan alternative goes well in a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes. Soft and easy to break down, silken tofu offers a creamy, animal-product-free kick to pasta dishes, desserts, soups and sauces.

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