Homemade coconut milk: why it’s worth it!

Most people have mastered the simple process of making nut milks at home, but many have relegated homemade coconut milk to the too-hard basket. Is this you? If so, stay with me!

Homemade coconut milk: why bother?

Oh, where to start?! How about FLAVOUR? There is a stark difference between this and the tinned stuff. In fact it’s not uncommon to find yourself genuinely repulsed at the idea of reverting back to buying cans once you’ve experienced the real deal. The texture is rich and creamy-as-anything. The flavour, delicate and aromatic. With no strange aftertaste!

It literally only takes 5 minutes to whip up a batch. And you can store it in icecube trays for super convenient plopping into curries, smoothies and whatever else takes your fancy.

Not convinced yet? Here are some other reasons:

  • Endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA is found in the lining of most cans.
  • Guar gum and other thickeners are in most brands as well. (Honest to Goodness is the only organic brand I’ve come across that is free from both BPA & thickeners).
  • Homemade coconut milk is much cheaper than storebought.
  • The process is so easy, you don’t even need a recipe.
  • And did I mention the taste?! Trust me. Do it once and you will never look back.

Perhaps most importantly, I’ll be posting my gorgeous black rice pudding recipe next week! So you want to have mastered it by then. (It’s soooo good.)

HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK

Water temperature

I just wanted to mention this as there’s often debate around whether the water you prepare the coconut milk with should be cold, hot or boiling. My take, if we consider the biochemical make up of mature coconuts, is that the water temperature doesn’t matter too much.

Boiling water will have a negligible effect on the nutrition as dehydrated coconut is predominantly heat-stable, saturated fat and fibre (with tiny amounts of protein and sugars). The only downside of working with boiling water, is that you’ll need to leave it to sit for several minutes before straining, lest you burn your paws!

Raw foodies will prefer to keep the temperature below 40C, so I’d advise soaking in warm water or leaving the coconut to soak in a dehydrator overnight. However, be aware that there is no real benefit in keeping the temperature low as there are minimal enzymes present in the first place.

Homemade coconut milk: why it's worth it

Rating: 51

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-4 cups of coconut flakes or dessicated coconut
  • Enough hot water to cover
  • Equipment you'll need:
  • Thermomix, blender or food processor
  • Medium sized bowl for collecting milk
  • Nutmilk bag (or collander with double layer of cheesecloth)

Instructions

  1. Place the coconut into your chosen food processor and pour over enough hot water to cover. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to help it soften.
  2. In the meantime, prepare your bowl and nutmilk bag.
  3. Blend the coconut mixture for 1-2 minutes on high, then strain it through your nutmilk bag, aiming to wring out the pulp as much as possible. This will give you a thick, creamy product that resembles coconut cream. (Great for use in desserts)
  4. Optional: repeat the process by pouring more water over the pulp and blending again to yield a slightly thinner product resembling regular coconut milk.
  5. Pour into a glass jar for storage in the fridge or into ice-cube trays for the freezer.

Notes

To make use of the pulp: Simply spread it out on a baking tray and cook on a very low oven for an hour or so to dry it out. (Or use a dehydrator if you have one). Then blend in a Thermomix or other processor into coconut flour which can be used in baking.

Have you tried making your own coconut milk using dried or fresh mature coconut? Any other tips you’d like to share with the Stirring Change community? Please leave us a comment below!

And if you’d like to see a video of me making coconut milk (looking a tad spaced-out, being a new mum), come and say hello in our friendly Facebook chat group.

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