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Coconut Panna Cotta (Dairy Free, Gaps, Paleo, Grain-Free)

by Deliciously Organic on May 1, 2013

 Coconut Panna Cotta via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #paleo

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to protein powder, gelatin is a great option. It contains between 6-12 grams of protein per tablespoon, helps aid in digestion, and can contribute to the building of strong cartilage and bones. Gelatin has also been shown to benefit the digestive tract, immune system, heart, liver, muscles, and skin. It also helps aid in detoxification.

One of the best ways to consume gelatin is in homemade chicken stock. If you’re looking to increase the amount of gelatin in your diet, you can add granulated gelatin to soups, stews, puddings, baked goods, etc. I like to use it in grain-free baked goods because it acts as a binder and I also add it to smoothies for the nutritional benefits.

Not all gelatin is created equal, so it’s important to purchase from a good source. Bernard Jensen and Great Lakes gelatins both come from grass-fed animals and do not contain any MSG (most other brands of gelatin do contain MSG). Now, it might sound like a processed food, but it’s basically the same as if you made a pot of chicken stock, moved the gelatin from the liquid and let it dry.

Coconut Panna Cotta via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #paleo

Panna Cotta is a simple, slightly sweet and creamy dessert that is a great way to get some extra gelatin in your diet. I adapted this recipe from my first cookbook Deliciously Organic. The original version uses milk and cream, so for a dairy-free version, I substituted with coconut milk. It’s a popular “girly” dessert (great for bridal or baby showers) because it’s smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. Top with seasonal berries, and you have the perfect light dessert.

Coconut Panna Cotta (Dairy Free, Gaps, Paleo, Grain-Free)

Serving Size: Serves 6

Coconut Panna Cotta (Dairy Free, Gaps, Paleo, Grain-Free)

Ingredients

Instructions

Pour 1 cup coconut milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle evenly with the gelatin. Let the milk sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften.

Heat the milk and gelatin over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and milk begins to steam. Stir the remaining coconut milk and honey into the warm milk and whisk until all the ingredients are dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

Divide the coconut milk mixture evenly among 6 glasses or small bowls. Cover panna cottas tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap does not touch the cream's surface. Refrigerate for about 5 hours, until cold and set. When you are ready to serve, top with seasonal berries.

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookin Canuck May 1, 2013 at 10:36 am

Every time I stop by your blog, I’m amazed at the amount of knowledge that you have. These panna cotta are gorgeous, and I love the addition of coconut.

It was so good to see you last weekend, Carrie!

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Deliciously Organic May 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

Thanks, Dara. It was great seeing you too!

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Ashton| @rudulife May 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

It’s already hot and summery here in Chicago and this just looks absolutely refreshing. I’ve got everything except the berries, so it looks like I’m off to the store now!

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Kelly @ The Nourishing Home May 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

These look SO good! I have a fun girls-only party coming up and these will definitely be on the menu, although I bet my boys would love these too! So great to have lunch with you! Praying for you as you get ready for your big move! Many blessings and appreciation, Kelly

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Kelly @ The Nourishing Home May 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I couldn’t resist sharing these on my FB page. YUM! I think I’m going to have to make these tonight! :)

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 8:10 am

Thanks, Kelly! I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for the prayers. It’s busy around here! :)

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Erika May 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I’ve never had panna cotta? What is the texture like? Is it “Jello-y”? I have an issue with textures! haha

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 8:09 am

It’s sort of like jello, but more like a custard. It’s not very jiggly like jello. I hope that helps!

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Erika May 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

Yes; thank you :) Custard I can handle.

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emily nichols May 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Yum!! Will this recipe work with coconut milk in cardboard half gallons found in the refrigerator aisle of the grocery store?

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

I haven’t tried it with a coconut beverage before, so I’m not sure if the gelatin to milk ratio would be exact. Also, you might want to check the ingredients on the coconut milk sold by the half gallon since they usually contain quite a few preservatives and such. I usually order coconut milk from Amazon. It’s the cheapest price I’ve found and it comes right to my door! :)

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Gaby July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

What brand of coconut milk do you buy from amazon? :)

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Deliciously Organic July 20, 2013 at 5:54 am

I prefer Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk.

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Gabe May 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

These look great! I’m thinking they would make a wonderful, light, summer breakfast too. How easy it would be to make them up the night before and pull them out of the frige in the morning.

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 8:06 am

They are great for breakfast! They would definitely be nice and chilled by the time morning comes if you make them the evening before.

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Maxine May 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I absolutely am going to try this dessert this week, and I have everything I need for it. Looks wonderful

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 8:05 am

I hope you enjoy it!

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Gail @http://biblelovenotes.com May 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Hi Carrie,
I just found your site by checking a pin on pinterest. I’ve bookmarked it so I can return and learn more. I’ve started having some health problems that seem to have no real reason, but I suspect some of it is eating chemical-laden food for so many years. I am now trying to eat healthier, more organic, no GMO, but it is a huge lifestyle change for a 61 year old like myself. By the way, I am a former military wife (my husband retired after 22 years in the Army).
So glad to have found your site.
Bless you,
Gail

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I’m glad you found my site! I hope it’s helpful for you in your quest to better your health. And, it’s always nice to “meet” another military wife! If you ever have any questions, please let me know!

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Noelle Salinas May 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

What??? Panna Cotta with coconut? Genius? I think so! Beautiful pictures as well, I must say!

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Denise May 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I have to do an elimination diet that calls for no honey. Do you think stevia would work as the sweetener?

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Deliciously Organic May 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Stevia should work just fine. I would add a little bit and then taste the mixture to see if it’s to your likeness.

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Denise May 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Thank you! I can’t wait to make this!

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Valentina May 5, 2013 at 1:55 am

It’s great to see that also Americans have discovered the delicious Panna Cotta!
Hi Carrie, I’m writing from Italy and enjoy reading your blog, it’s full of interesting tips and great cooking ideas…but I never thought you could make Panna cotta with coconut milk! I’m gonna try this recipe soon!

Happy Sunday from sunny Italy,
Val

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Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat May 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm

This panna cotta sounds devine! I’m amazed at how easy it seems to be to make. Love it!

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Betsy May 6, 2013 at 6:20 am

Made this yesterday because I had extra coconut milk leftover from another recipe. I didn’t have 4 cans, so I halfed the recipe.

I think I did something wrong though, because while the mixture did thicken in the fridge, it’s still liquidy. I didn’t cook it very long, just til the honey and gelatin looked dissolved and steam was coming off it. I didn’t let it thicken in the pot. Is that where I messed up? Or maybe this is the right consistency? I’ve never had panna cotta.

It’s delicious though, so it will get eaten, just wondering if it should heve gelled more?

Thanks,

Betsy

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Deliciously Organic May 6, 2013 at 10:10 am

Hmmm….did you make any substitutions? What brand of coconut milk did you use? It should have gelled more and shouldn’t have been liquid. Maybe it didn’t set long enough?

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Betsy May 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

Thanks for your reply.

Let’s see, I did use 1 cup of Trader Joe’s light coconut milk and the other can was Native Forest. I used Great Lakes brand gelatin. I will try again sometime, but wasn’t sure how thick it’s suppose to be.

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Deliciously Organic May 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

It might have been because it was light coconut milk – it’s much more thin than other brands. If you use the TJ’s brand again, I would increase the gelatin by 1/2 teaspoon.

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Michelle May 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Betsy, I saw you said that you didn’t have 4 cans of coconut milk, but the recipe calls for 4 cups, not cans…maybe that’s why it was liquidy…4 cans would be a lot more than 4 cups. Getting ready to try it tonight…don’t have berries, but will try it with mango!

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Karen May 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

Yum, Mango, that sounds like a terrific substitution! How was it?

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Kelly June 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

I too tried this with 4 cups TJ light coc milk (the only brand I’ve found w/out a bunch of other ingredients) and Great Lakes gelatin and followed directions. It separated in the fridge and never firmed up. I then poured everything back in the saucepan thinking I didn’t heat it enough the first time, so I got it closer to boiling this time. Put it back in the dessert cups overnight with the same result. I then gave up and added chia seeds to make a pudding (a la http://detoxinista.com/2013/02/vanilla-chia-pudding-vegan/)

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Deliciously Organic June 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve never tested this recipe with a lite milk, so I’m thinking that was the issue. Panna Cotta needs a full fat milk to gel properly. Also, are there preservatives in the lite milk? It could be that the preservatives or emulsifying agents played a part in it not gelling. And, if the mixture separated, then it’s possible that the gelatin wasn’t completely dissolved.

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Kelly June 27, 2013 at 9:09 am

TJ coc milk is just coc milk and water…I’m guessing the “lite” caused the problem. TJ’s is the only coc milk (in stores) I’ve found without a bunch of other ingredients, unfortunately they only have lite.

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jen May 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

Is there a substitution for coconut milk? I have Flax milk and Sunflower milk at my house (coconut and nut allergies)

Thanks !

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Deliciously Organic May 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

1 cup whole milk + 3 cups heavy cream would be the best substitutes. Flax milk and sunflower milk would probably be too thin for this recipe.

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Michelle May 12, 2013 at 6:10 am

I made mine last night…haven’t tasted it yet, but I’m sure it will taste great. Mine settled on the bottom. about a half inch of yellowish clear looking substance at the bottom. Do you know what that could be (gelatin?) and why it happened? Can’t wait to eat it later!!

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Deliciously Organic May 12, 2013 at 7:11 am

I’m not sure what the yellowish substance at the bottom is. Did you make any substitutions to the recipe?

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Michelle May 23, 2013 at 9:52 am

No substitutions…I do think it was the gelatin, though. It was still fantastic…everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing!

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Kelly June 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

Mine separated, too, and never firmed up.

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Deliciously Organic June 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

Did you make any substitutions to the recipe? What kind of milk were you using?

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Karen May 23, 2013 at 9:46 am

I made this yesterday for my husband, he LOVED it! I could only make half a batch because I only had one can of Coconut milk. In cutting down the recipe my only mistake was not enough gelatin. It wasn’t quite thick enough for his taste, never having Panna Cotta before, maybe that’s the way it is. But, it was still DELICIOUS! I topped it with fresh boisenberries from our garden, yum! I will definitely be making it again, one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made.

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Diana Rodgers June 14, 2013 at 8:58 am

Mine keeps separating. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Did yours have a layer of gelatin at the bottom?

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Deliciously Organic June 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

I’ve never had that happen. What brand of gelatin and coconut milk are you using?

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Kelly June 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

Mine separated w/ TJ lite coc milk and Great Lakes gelatin (and never firmed up).

I was so excited to receive my gelatin from Amazon so I could try this recipe (for company) and then it didn’t work :(

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Deliciously Organic June 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

I’ve never tested this recipe with a lite milk, so I’m thinking that was the issue. Panna Cotta needs a full fat milk to gel properly.

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Deliciously Organic June 27, 2013 at 8:15 am

If it’s separating, then the gelatin hasn’t dissolved completely in the liquid. Make sure there isn’t any “gritty” texture from the gelatin before pouring into the cups to gel.

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Dina June 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

sounds like a perfect summer dessert!

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lyra July 7, 2013 at 2:22 am

I was searching the web for a recipe to make coconut yogurt with Native Forest coconut classic milk and Great Lakes gelatin and came across this recipe. Think I will make some changes and try to mix this with a probiotic to make yogurt in my one quart Salton yogurt maker! I tried yesterday, but didn’t have any idea about properly dissolving the gelatin and coconut milk, and ended up with separated yogurt and gelatin on the bottom. This sounds like the way to start it and then add to the machine! I only have some conventional starter from yogourmet and some probiotic capsules to use to ferment, so I am definitely still in the experiment stages here, with too many variables! Hope this helps!

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E Barry September 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I made this today.. added vanilla, maple syrup and sweet cinnamon. It tastes SO good. The only thing is.. the fat rose to the top and hardened and it isn’t very creamy. Not sure how to remedy this.

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Deliciously Organic September 14, 2013 at 10:10 am

Hmmm…I’m not sure why the fat rose to the top. Did you use coconut milk or non-homogenized cream/milk? If you used a coconut milk, do you mind telling me what brand you used? Thanks!

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Kim February 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Are there other things you use gelatin in as a binder? I have never heard of it as a binder. Can you substitute for eggs.

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Deliciously Organic February 5, 2014 at 7:53 am

I use it in my baking since I use all gluten-free/grain-free flours. It can’t be used as a substitute for eggs. Here’s a link to my grain-free graham cracker recipe that uses gelatin as a binder for the gf flours: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/grain-free-graham-crackers-marshmallows-without-corn-syrup-recipe/

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sylver bee February 4, 2014 at 5:19 am

Hi there
I have been looking for easy to make coconut type yogurt
Is it like a yogurt ? and Can you tell me how long you can keep it the fridge ?
Also was thinking to replace gelatin with AGAR
Thanks

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Deliciously Organic February 5, 2014 at 7:47 am

Yes, it is yogurt and tastes like yogurt. It keeps for about 6-8 days in the fridge.

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sylver bee February 15, 2014 at 8:22 am

hi Carrie
just to say it work very well with agar … making it vegan
thanks you

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Linda Van Akin February 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

Hi, looks good I will try it but was wondering if you could use chia seeds instead of gelatin for vegans and get the same result. Or, is it the purpose to consume the gelatin , is that a protein source?

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Deliciously Organic February 5, 2014 at 7:46 am

Chia seeds would create a pudding and not a panna cotta so that wouldn’t be a good substitute. Yes, gelatin is a good source of protein. It contains between 6-12 grams of protein per tablespoon, helps aid in digestion, and can contribute to the building of strong cartilage and bones. Gelatin has also been shown to benefit the digestive tract, immune system, heart, liver, muscles, and skin. It also helps aid in detoxification.

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Jennifer February 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm

I was wondering what the nutrition info iS on this? Particularly what the carb and protein counts are? Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic February 10, 2014 at 6:33 am

I’m not sure, but there are many nutritional calculators online that you could use.

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Jen B February 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I made this exactly as the recipe specifies, using 4 cups full fat Natural Value coconut milk and Great Lakes Gelatin. It gelled appropriately (to the consistency of regular panna cotta) but mine also separated. There is a ca gelatin-y base with a creamy top. Since coconut milk separates on its own, I’m wondering if that’s why? Regardless, it tasted great, but didn’t look very pretty (I wouldn’t serve it to guests…).

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Deliciously Organic February 10, 2014 at 6:32 am

Hmm..I’m not sure why it separated. When coconut milk is whisked and then put in the refrigerator to chill it won’t separate like it does at room temp, so I’m not sure what happened. Did you let it sit out on the counter for longer than 10 minutes before putting it in the fridge? What kind of honey did you use?

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Jen B February 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I agree that the issue was that the mixture wasn’t cooled rapidly enough. I did allow it to sit for 10 minutes before putting it in separate dishes, but I also allowed those dishes to sit out a few minutes before putting them in the refrigerator. That’s probably the reason. Thanks!

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Megan May 12, 2014 at 6:07 am

I have made this twice and it’s been a HUGE hit each time. The first time I made it for Easter and as I completing a Whole30, I made it w/out the honey and it was still delicious. The second, I made mini versions to serve at a picnic. I added cardamom to the milk mixtrue and strained it before putting into cups, it was excellent. I topped it with mango and toasted coconut. I used Native Forest Brand coconut milk and before using it, I blended it really well with my immersion blender. If it begins to separate during the final 10 min rest, I’ll blend it again just to make sure it doesn’t separate in the fridge. I haven’t had any issues with separation so far and this is my FAVORITE go-to dessert (or breakfast!!!). Thank you!!!

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Jaime Sparkman June 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm

I added some key lime juice…..A-MAZING!!!!!!!!

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Deliciously Organic June 10, 2014 at 8:37 am

LOVE your idea!! I need to try it!

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Marada July 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

This was soooo good! I used 1 can of TJs coconut cream and the rest full fat coconut milk (just hand whisked it together) and it came out amazing! Will try everyone else’s tweaks as well. Definite dessert to serve company. Thanks!!!

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Deliciously Organic July 28, 2014 at 11:54 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Hailey August 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Love this recipe! I think I’ll try it with caramelized pineapple. Just wondering, are they firm enough to be unmolded onto a plate?

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Deliciously Organic August 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm

They are! I love your idea of caramelized pineapple. Enjoy! :)

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