Tropical Vacation with Coconut Creamed Corn

I’ve had about ¾ of a cup of light coconut milk saved in the freezer for a few months now, just waiting to be used. I needed the rest, at one point, in a curry dish, but besides that, had never used coconut milk before. So what to do? I came across this summer recipe for Coconut Creamed Corn in Eating Well Magazine.
Because coconut milk (even the lite kind) is a source of saturated fat, it is best to consume in moderation. However, the saturated fat in coconut milk is different from the harmful, artery clogging saturated fat found in meat and whole dairy products. The saturated fats in coconut are different in their structure, and studies show that cultures whose main source of fat is from coconut do not suffer from high cholesterol or high rates of heart disease and cancer; in fact, there is no evidence that a high saturated fat intake from coconut has any harmful effects. Coconut milk comes canned, and could be found in the grocery store with specialty Mexican ingredients.

This dish was a mini-vacation on a plate. I felt like I was on a tropical island tasting the lime, coconut and fiery red pepper combination. I know I’ll return to this recipe in the winter with some frozen corn when the fresh is no longer in season to bring back my tropical taste buds. Note: Best served with a Corona and Lime with a private island on the side.

Coconut Creamed Corn – Makes 4 servings, about 1/2 cup each
Ingredients
4 ears corn, kernels cut from cob (I used three ears of corn, and about ¾ cup of coconut milk)
1 cup “lite” coconut milk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I only had fresh parsley on hand but cilantro would have been even better!)
1 tablespoon lime juice (I used the juice from one squeezed lime)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional, but the heat helps to give off a tropical-climate feeling!)

Instructions:
Combine corn kernels, coconut milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to maintain an active simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the coconut milk has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and crushed red pepper, if using.

Nutrition Information Per serving: 148 calories; 5 g fat (3 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 178 mg sodium; 319 mg potassium.

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