This vegan sweetened condensed milk recipe will have your rethinking life as you know it. It’s that good!
I don’t have a sweet tooth, but when it comes to sweetened condensed milk, I can’t stop. Won’t stop. I remember eating it by the spoonful as a kid and then, occasionally, begging my mom to simmer a closed can of it in a pot of water to magically transform the heavenly white cream into a golden caramel dulce de leche. Sweetened condensed milk can simply do me no wrong. It’s perfect.
But, nutritionally speaking? Not so much.
As an adult, I can no longer get away with chugging sweetened condensed milk like it’s water. So, I had to compromise or, rather, to adapt. This vegan, soy-free, nut-free, white sugar-free version of sweetened condensed milk isn’t a step down from the traditional recipe –- it’s on par with your sweet tooth and creamy condensed milk needs, only it’s based in coconut flakes (vegan), sweetened with stevia (low-glycemic), and textured with coconut oil (vegan and a “healthy” fat). The result is pretty incredible and only takes a few minutes to achieve. Try it out yourself!
What is Sweetened Condensed Milk?
Traditional sweetened condensed milk is cow’s milk that has had 60% of its water removed. Sugar is added to comprise about 40% of the final product and also to deem any further sterilization unnecessary, since sugar inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Governmental regulations require that vitamin A is added to sweetened condensed milk.
These days, “sweetened condensed milk” is synonymous with “condensed milk” and the terms are used interchangeably, although condensed milk suggests that sugar has not been added to the mix. To avoid confusion, unsweetened condensed milk is referred to as simply “evaporated milk”.
In one cup of regular store-bought sweetened condensed milk, there are 982 calories, 27 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 104 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of potassium, 166 grams of carbohydrates, 16% of the RDA of vitamin A, 86% of the RDA of calcium, 21% of the RDA of vitamin B12, and 19% of the RDA of magnesium.
Despite being high in certain vitamins and minerals, store-bought sweetened condensed milk is extraordinarily steep in calories, saturated fat, and sugar, so any nutritional benefits are lost in their void.
What You’ll Need
In my quest to remedy the nutritional profile of sweetened condensed milk, I focused on taking processed white sugar out of the equation as well as avoiding animal-based products. The below recipe is undoubtedly full of coconut fat, but at least it’s a healthier, plant-based alternative to cow’s milk fat that our bodies recognize and thus can digest more easily.
To make this recipe, be sure to purchase organic coconut flakes, cold-pressed coconut oil, and a high-quality stevia (either powder or liquid). Because there are so few ingredients, each one must be the best version of itself.
My favorite stevia brand is NuNaturals. A lot of people complain about the “bitter” aftertaste of stevia, but I have found that NuNaturals manages to avoid this particular feature.
How to Use This Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe
If you’re like me, dip into this vegan sweetened condensed milk head first with a spoon. Alternatively, I suggest integrating it into your dessert recipes as a substitute for regular sweetened condensed milk or as a go-to glaze to further sweeten whatever cake, cupcake, pie, or baked good you whip up. This recipe is also great in coffee as a sweet vegan creamer.
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
Makes 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of sea salt
In a food processor or blender, add the coconut flakes. Pulse them until they are ground as fine as possible. Add in 3/4 cup of water and blend the mixture for about one minute. Once well mixed, add in another 3/4 cup water and the stevia, vanilla, and salt. Blend for one minute, or until smooth and creamy.
Use immediately or store the sweetened condensed milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.