Friday, May 6, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Coconut Milk

We've been making our own coconut milk about one to two times per week around here for the last couple of months. It's actually quite easy - and we love the final product!

Picking a good coconut:

First you want to pick a good coconut. Our local health food store sells them for less than our regular grocery store sells it for and not only are they organic but they have a fresher taste.

When picking a coconut you want to make sure there aren't any cracks in the shell or any dark water marks. Also see that there isn't any shrunken areas or openings on any of the three eyes/indentations.

Once you've picked out a good coconut - you're ready to make your own coconut milk!

Recipe/Instructions for making coconut milk:

You will need:

Electric or Battery powered screwdriver
Fine lined material for straining
two bowls
Blender (high powered one works best)
6-8 cups water

1. Using an electric or battery powered screwdriver, screw holes into two of the eyes of the coconut. One of the eyes will be soft, the other two will be hard. (Or hammer holes into the eyes with an ice pick.)

2. Place a nut milk bag or a fine lined material over a cup. Pour out the coconut milk/water into the cup.

3. Place the milk/water into your blender.

4. To loosen the meat from the coconut shell you can do one of two things: tap all over coconut shell with hammer for a couple minutes or simply bounce the coconut, from a low height, off of a hard cement or tile floor. (I bounce mine.) Sit or crouch on floor and bounce from that height - the longer you're able to bounce the coconut before the shell cracks, the looser the meat will be.

5. Once the shell cracks the coconut won't bounce anymore. At this point I drop the coconut parts until I get them into smaller pieces (maybe 4-6 pieces total).

6. Now pry the meat from the shell with a butter knife. Place the meat into a bowl.

7. Rinse the pieces off.

8. Chop the pieces into small sizes (so its easier for the blender to blend these up) - or simply throw the pieces into a food processor.

9. Place a strainer over a bowl and place the finely lined material into the strainer.

10. Place half of the meat into the blender (which should already contain the coconut milk/water). Add 3 more cups of water. Blend until pieces are very fine.

11. Pour blended coconut mixture into liner. Squeeze liquid from pulp. Pour the just strained liquid into pitcher.

12. Repeat these steps again with the remaining chopped up coconut.

13. Squeeze as much liquid out of pulp as possible and enjoy!

We like to use our coconut milk with quinoa topped with berries and sweetened with a few drops of berry flavored liquid stevia or we use it in our smoothies.

***The coconut pulp can be dehydrated and used in granola bars, in breakfast meals or in cookies for added nutritional fiber.

*** For a thicker coconut milk use less water.

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