Sprouts Canned Coconut Milk Is The Brand You've Been Overlooking

open can of coconut milk
open can of coconut milk - Gagarova Olga/Shutterstock

Is coconut milk something you really shop for at the store? Sure, you buy it, but do you compare brands and search out your favorite? Or do you just grab the first can that pops into your line of sight? No shade if that's the case; plenty of people peruse the "international" or "world" foods aisle of their grocery store and slip a can of Goya or Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk into their cart and go about their shopping. Luckily, Tasting Table popped the top on some major brands of coconut milk to figure out which ones are worth the effort and which ones should be left on the shelf. The result was a surprise victory for an underdog brand that isn't available everywhere.

Sprouts Farmers Market locations aren't as ubiquitous as those of rivals in the grocery and specialty market sector. Nevertheless, Sprouts is a chain beloved by shoppers for its fresh, local produce and commitment to quality. While there are too many products to give it a blanket stamp of approval, Tasting Table's taste tester was certainly in agreement when it comes to coconut milk. Bursting with a delightful toasted coconut flavor, Sprouts' unsweetened organic variety is imminently pourable. This flavor and consistency means that it holds up in a variety of applications from cooking up a vibrant coconut fish curry to using it as a dairy supplement in coffee and smoothies. It's easy to see why it took home the number one spot.

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What Makes A Coconut Milk Sing?

sprouts coconut milk can
sprouts coconut milk can - Sarah Bisacca/Tasting Table

What makes good coconut milk? Our tester had alliterative three-pronged criteria on which to base their judgment: "color, consistency, and craveability." A visually appealing coconut milk will appear stark white to off-white with a uniform color that looks natural. Craveability is another way of saying it tastes good enough to come back to. Many coconut milks -- which are made by steeping shredded coconut in hot water and straining out the solids -- are wan and insipid, lacking in the very flavor of the drupe from which they are extracted. While taste will always be subjective, Tasting Table set out looking for an identifiable and enjoyable dose of coconut flavor in each can.

Consistency is a huge factor with coconut milk. If you've ever opened a can directly after it has been sitting on a store or pantry shelf, you know that coconut milk has a tendency to separate. The watery liquid components settle to the bottom, leaving a rich creamy layer on top. A simple shake for about 30 seconds before opening will generally emulsify everything back together, but some coconut milks come out grainy, which is an unsavory trait that can become more pronounced with cooking. The best brands, though, assert a smooth, even texture straight from the can and when heated, making them a great choice no matter how you choose to use them.

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