Thanks to popular diets like keto and paleo, and more people moving toward other plant-based diets, the amount of coconut-derived food products on the market is expanding. So whether you’re replacing nuts in a pesto, milk in a smoothie, butter in the pan, or whipped cream atop your favorite piece of pie, there’s a coconut alternative at the ready.
Coconut cream is made the same way as coconut milk — by blending the flesh of a coconut with water. The only difference between coconut milk and coconut cream is the ratio of flesh to water. Coconut cream uses more of the coconut’s meat and less water, resulting in a thicker, creamier consistency (via MasterClass).
Aside from the obvious different plant versus animal sources, there are some nutritional differences between heavy cream and coconut cream, per Souper Sage. For example, coconut cream is much lower in cholesterol than dairy cream, as well as saturated fat. However, heavy cream has twelve times more protein than coconut cream and substantially more vitamin A. In addition, they’re both great sources of calcium and are low-carb. However, their differences can be slightly more notable when it comes to taste and texture.