Homemade Coconut Milk Tutorial
I started the Oil Cleansing Method because of Liz at CaveGirlEats swore it changed her skin. Three weeks later, I have to say my skin literally glows. After an initial purging period of a few breakouts, my pores are shrinking, my dry patches gone, my oily T-zone even, and the redness calmed. After a few tweaks with the oil ratios, I finally found my balance and I can honestly say I will never go back to putting any chemicals on my face.
Anyway, the point is this: I basically do whatever she tells me. Or I respect her opinion. Or something. So when she said she made her own coconut milk this week I made sure I picked up a coconut in the store. The whole process seemed like such a pain the arse, so I never wanted to try it. And although I’m Queen of Homemade Stock and All Things From Scratch, the rate of return on coconut milk never seemed worth the work. But she made it seem easy and I thought the kids would enjoy the process.
Plus, as I’ve been reading Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, I’ve been more interested in creating my own milks, creams, and butters from natural sources and finding it a lot easier than I thought.
It honestly wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. The worst part was getting the rind (not the shell which just comes off pretty easy) off the coconut. I finally figured out that my heavy duty vegetable peeler did the trick and finished pretty quick at that point. The finished product is rich and delicious and I’m thinking about it right now, despite just having it in my vanilla tea. From one medium-sized coconut ($1.99), I got this large jar, about 3 cans worth.
In the recipe in Nourishing Traditions, she uses 2 coconuts to get 1 1/2 cups of milk, obviously a much denser and thicker milk.
I’m not sure I’m going to stop buying the canned stuff because sometimes the rate of return just isn’t worth the extra $1.99 but I do think it’s important to know where our products come from and learn how to make them and I’m glad I did it.
I did use quite a bit of water because I plan on using it in my tea and smoothies. If you want it thicker, use less. Here’s how you do it if you’re interested:
1) If you buy a pre-scored coconut (most in the store are “easy-crack”) you can just hit it with a kitchen mallet and it will open. Make sure you have a dish under to catch the coconut water. Don’t throw it away – its nutritional benefits are endless. Save it to drink or add back in to the coconut milk later.
2) If you do not have a pre-scored one, simply put the whole coconut in an oven-safe dish and stick in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. Most of the time it will crack open for you in the oven.
3) Let cool and peel off the shell.
At this point you’re left with the coconut with the hard outer brown skin. It is easiest to remove by using a vegetable peeler.
4) Put the clean pieces of coconut into a blender.
5) Cover with warm, filtered water, about an inch or two over the top.
6) Blend on high for 3-4 minutes.
7) Strain through cheesecloth, squeezing out the milk, leaving behind the pulp. You can dehydrate the pulp for coconut flour, stir in some lard and freeze to make dog treats, dry out and add to your grain-free granola, etc.
8) Store in a closed jar in the fridge. Shake before use as the fat will separate.