October 1, 2014

How to Make Homemade Fresh Coconut Milk

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by Sarah Shilhavy

We are often asked why we do not sell any packaged coconut milks. The answer is that we have never found a packaged coconut milk that meets our high standards. It is a processed product, and freshly made coconut milk will separate and spoil quite easily. The water is heavier than the natural coconut oil, so the water sinks to the bottom and the oil tends to float on top after leaving it sit for a while. Commercially packaged coconut milks must add stabilizers to keep the product from separating, and often these stabilizers are in such a small quantities that they are not listed as ingredients on the labels. It could be soy lecithin, or something like guar gum which can cause problems for people who are gluten intolerant. The product then needs to be packaged in air-tight containers to preserve it, and this is often done in metal cans that have aluminum inside, and potentially Bisphenol A (BPA). Since canned coconut milks are over 90% water, you have to be concerned about the source of water that was used in packaging as well. The best coconut milk is one you make fresh yourself!

Since most people reading this probably do not live in tropical places where you have access to fresh coconuts, the best way to make fresh coconut milk is from a high quality organic dried coconut that is not treated with sulfites and is not sweetened. If you live in a non-tropical climate and see fresh coconuts in your local grocery store, its a good bet that they have already started to mold as fresh coconuts have a very short shelf life. They start molding within a couple of days. Some coconuts that are imported to the U.S. are apparently irradiated to prevent them from spoiling.

The recipe in this video is a simple recipe anyone living in a non-tropical climate can make with a high speed blender and a top quality organic dried coconut. It takes about 10 minutes (or less) and we demonstrate just how easy it is to make your own fresh coconut milk in the video. If you do not use the coconut milk right after you make it, keep it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Servings: 1

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 7/8 cup dry unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. In a medium-size kettle, heat the water, but do not bring it to a boil.
  2. Place the coconut in a blender and add 1 cup of the hot water.
  3. Blend for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place a colander in a bowl and line the colander with 4 thicknesses of cheesecloth.
  5. Pour the blended coconut mixture into the cheesecloth and twist to extract the milk, letting the milk go into the bowl.
  6. Return the coconut pulp to the blender and add the remaining 1/2 cup of hot water. Blend for 1-2 minutes, strain and press through the cheesecloth into the bowl.

Makes about 1 cup

What to do with the left-over pulp?

There are some rumors going around the internet that the left over pulp from this recipe can be dried out and used the same way as coconut flour. This is NOT true. Coconut flour is the residue left over from making Virgin Coconut Oil, and not coconut milk. A mechanical press is used to almost completely remove all the oil from the coconut pulp – something that cannot be done by hand or a kitchen blender. The result is coconut flour which is very high in protein and fiber, with almost no oil left. The pulp left over from making homemade coconut milk will have much more oil left in it than coconut flour does. It will be more similar to our shredded coconut than it will be to our coconut flour. If you try to substitute the pulp left over from this homemade coconut milk for coconut flour, especially in recipes that are 100% gluten free coconut flour like quick breads or cakes, the result could be disastrous, as it will have more oil and less fiber and less protein. Some people have successfully used the pulp to make coconut macaroons. Adding to a granola recipe is another favorite use! So don’t throw it away!! Here is a video demo showing how to make macaroons from coconut pulp.

Full recipe link: http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/recipe_HomemadeCoconutMilk.htm

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