Welcome to our non-dairy milk series! I have a fun new recipe for you… Home made coconut milk! And its super easy! Just so you’re in the loop, we started off with the classic Almond Milk, we moved on to the easy and yummy Cashew Milk and now, its coconuts…. (there will be 3 more milks in this series so keep with us :) ).
I love coconut milk. The thing is, I don’t like the plastic-lined cans it comes in (you know, the whole, BPA mutating my unborn children thing… ;) … much as I like a third set of eyes and a few missing fingers and all… okok I exaggerate lol but still….)… .
I also don’t really like how hard it is to find coconut milk without guar gum or carageenan or xanthan or nitrates or sulfites…. or any other manner of funky emulsifiers and preservatives that my gut really does not appreciate. I also really do not love how expensive it is. Is there any way, really, to make coconut milk cheaper and closer to REAL food? I got to thinking…
So, after looking around to see if its posible to somehow make my own coconut milk, I realized that the options in front of me weren’t too inviting. Either buy a coconut (right- do you know how expensive those puppies are this far north?!), figure out how to break it open (my fingers do not love this idea), scrape the flesh and stick it in my blender (um… I don’t have one of those Pro types like vitamix, so basically this means breaking the blender I’ve got…. plus ending up with a chunky mix, 2-3 hours and sweat and tears later)– not so awesome.
I opted for another method- I figured I’d try blending shredded dried coconut- you know the stuff you can add to your baking… Again, no go. I don’t know who all these people are who looooooove making coconut milk that way, but either they have Vitamix blender or they’re just full on fibbing. (ha! just like the people who say the may terrific home made rice milk. Whatever! lol)
Anyways. I got to thinking- what I needed was a way to get the natural oils and cream from the dried coconut to be released while blending it. I soaked it in cold water over night in the fridge. Again- no luck.
And then it came to me. Heat! I need heat! How do you make nut butters? You heat the nuts so that the oils can be released! BINGO. Same deal with coconut!
So, I must say, I finally figured it out! The end result is light and fresh and delicious and creamy. If you want it thicker, you can add less water. The only thing I have to figure out now is how to make coconut cream— thats still a mystery to me but I’ll crack the secret eventually!
K, so, you ready for some super easy home made coconut milk? Onwards!
Home Made Coconut Milk
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (the sweetened stuff might be too cloying)
- Boiling water
- your choice of sweetener to taste (I like honey or a few dates)
- pinch salt
- optional: a touch of vanilla or coconut extract or other extract of your choice
- Pour the shredded coconut into a medium sized bowl. Pour boiling water over top just to cover it. Put a plate on top of the bowl to keep the steam in.
- Let sit over night, or at least until cool (at least 1-2 hours).
- Strain the coconut from the water (put the water aside, don’t ditch it!)
- Add your coconut to a blender (I used a Magic Bullet and it worked well). Blend it without water to break it down a bit. Add a bit of your reserved water to allow it to blend.
- Continue blending until its as smooth a puree as you can get it. Keep blending and gradually add the rest of the water you had put aside.
- Pour your ‘milk’ through a strainer to get the pieces out . You may wish to re-blend the coconut bits with a bit of the milk to get everything you can out of them.
- Gently stir before drinking. Delicious! You can flavour with a little vanilla, almond extract, coffee extract, maybe heat it up and steep some chai in it, add a little cocoa and honey, or add a shot of espresso…. the possibilities are endless!
NOTE: this recipe is a lot lower in fat than store bought coconut milk, so if you are looking to make ice cream or any other coconut based recipe that requires alot of fat, splurge on the store version. :)
NOTE: try drying the leftover pureed coconut and use it instead of breadcrumbs on chicken or shrimp before pan-frying. Neato!