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Creamy Coconut Milk


Yields 3 Cups

We got to escape the desert summer, and for 4 glorious weeks enjoyed greenery and autumn-like temperatures that both the Hudson Valley and Lake Champlain had to offer. I can’t tell you how grateful I was for that, and as you can see, I’m still daydreaming about it. But, the summer lull is over and autumn has ushered in a bit of motivation.

I realized that a lot of the goals I’ve set for the blog are good…great in fact! Now I just have to get to them in a more timely manner! I know better than to make promises I may not be able to keep, but 2 things I am working on are; cleaning up the categories for easier browsing (it’s either my OCD or my nesting) and including a category for basics such as this coconut milk (this was a request from some of you ).

I’ve encountered some great learning opportunities while living abroad. You don’t always have access to food and drink the way you did back home and this fact prompts a lot of experimenting in the kitchen. It’s how I started making kombucha (finally) and pickling so much more and the bread-making! Yes, it takes a bit more time, but as I’m sure you’ve heard before, it’s every bit worth it.

I have the good fortune of being able to get fresh coconuts and fresh coconut meat already ground. If I am using the coconut milk that day, I usually opt to make the milk straight from the meat. If I’m going to use it over a few days then I use (dry) unsweetened shredded coconut just because it lasts an extra day or 2 in the fridge and it’s so luxuriously creamy you could cry from the joy of it.

I can get organic canned coconut milk here, but now that I’ve gotten used to making it, and knowing how easy and much more nutritious it is (it’s fresh and not sitting in a can lined with BPA and who knows what else for who knows how long), I go with making it. It’s an extra step, but once you get it configured into your routine, it just kind of works. And, the peace of mind is worth it, too.

Coconut Milk from Fresh Coconut Meat

You’ll need:

3 C coconut meat

3 C filtered water

Optional ingredients (for extra flavor): 1t vanilla extract, 1/2t cinnamon, 1t maple syrup

To make:

1. Add coconut and water to a blender (high powered blenders work great for non-dairy milks) and blend on high for about 3 minutes, or until well, well blended.

2. Pour milk into a colander lined with cheese cloth (or other creative cotton mesh you use for cheese cloth) over a large bowl. Once you’re done pouring in the liquid, start massaging more milk from the cheese cloth till you can get a nice full grip on the coconut meat left in the cloth. Then wring it out with everything you’ve got!

3. If you’re using additional ingredients, return the milk to the blender (rinse it out first) and blend the ingredients you’re adding.

Coconut Milk from Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

You’ll need:

2 C organic unsweetened shredded coconut

4 C filtered water

Optional ingredients (for extra flavor): 1t vanilla extract, 1/2t cinnamon, 1t maple syrup

To make:

1. Place the water in a saucepan and heat the water until just hot, not boiling.

2. Add coconut and water to a blender (high powered blenders work great for non-dairy milks) and if you have the time, let it sit for a few minutes. The coconut will absorb the water and in a sense reconstitute. Then, blend on high for about 3-4 minutes, or until well, well blended.

3. Pour milk into a colander lined with cheese cloth (or other creative cotton mesh you use for cheese cloth) over a large bowl. Once you’re done pouring in the liquid, start massaging more milk from the cheese cloth till you can get a nice full grip on the coconut meat left in the cloth. Then wring it out with everything you’ve got!

4. If you’re using additional ingredients, return the milk to the blender (rinse it out first) and blend the ingredients you’re adding.

And voilà! You now have coconut milk. Keep it stored in an airtight, glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days. (I usually use the fresh coconut milk within 2-3 days max.) Oh, and since there are no preservatives, the cream will rise to the top. Just give it a good shake or stir before using. Use it in anything from curries to smoothies to oatmeal to ice cream!

Enjoy!


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Nathalie Curabba

Health-Supportive Chef

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Created by Ana Gavassa. Edible Rainbow Project ©2017