This Homemade Coconut Milk is Raw, Vegan, Paleo-Friendly, Whole30 and Dairy and Nut-Free.
Ever wondered how coconut milk is made? Back up a step and discover WHY first. With so many milks available on the market today, both dairy and dairy-free, it can get a bit confusing which to choose. On a nutritional level coconuts are low in sodium and cholesterol, naturally gluten free and high in fibre and good fats. There’s no doubt that coconuts contain a high amount of fats, however they are plant-based saturated fats, which break down easily and convert into energy, so not necessarily stored as fat. These healthy fats also boost the function of the endocrine system and thyroid function to speed up your metabolism and enhance the secretion of insulin to regulate blood sugar.
Even if you’re not too interested with the health benefits, the flavour of true homemade coconut milk is like no other and it’s well worth taking the time and effort to learn how to make at home.
Homemade vs Canned/Boxed Coconut Milk:
Previously mentioned in my article on making Homemade Almond Milk and why I choose to make homemade almond milk over simply buying store bought version, coconut milk is the same. Canned coconut milk contains stabilisers, sweeteners and thickening agents. Once you’ve learnt how to make coconut milk you’ll be eliminating these unnecessary add in, and bring you once step closer to eating a whole food diet, the ultimate goal.
An ingredient like Polysorbate 80 that stabilises separating liquids decreases beneficial bacteria in your gut. Pathogenic gut bacteria also feed on polysorbate 80, which leads to increased gut inflammation and risk of weight gain. Carboxymethylcellulose (sometimes listed on ingredient labels as cellulose gum or CMC) is another common emulsifier that damages your gut. It’s also sometimes used as a thickening agent.Unlike polysorbate 80, which harms your gut over time, carboxymethylcellulose causes gut inflammation immediately by messing with gene expression in your gut bacteria. Gut bacteria exposed to carboxymethylcellusose overproduce flagellin, a gut-irritating protein.
Most coconuts you buy at the store have the outermost layer removed already, this is the fibrous husk, leaving you with a hard-shelled ‘nut’ that fits in your hand. Selecting the correct coconut is an important measure to ensure the flesh inside is ripe but not too old and dried out either. Select a ripe coconut by holding it up to your ear and gently shaking it; if you hear the liquid inside you’ve got a winner.
Coconut Milk Nutrition
A half-cup serving of coconut milk has 276 calories,
3 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fibre, 4 grams of sugar, 29 grams of fat (including 25 grams of saturated fat).
It also has 316 milligrams of potassium, 18 milligrams of sodium, 44 milligrams of magnesium, and 2 milligrams of iron.
Amounts per serving:
- Protein 3g 7% 7%
- Carbohydrates 7g 16% 16%
- Fibre 3g 7% 7%
- Fat 29g 69% 69%
The Ingredients Needed:
1 Coconut and 3 or 4 Cups of drinking water.
Shop for Equipment Needed:
For this recipe you will need: hammer, kitchen towel, sharp knife, medium bowl, a cup, blender and muslin cloth or nut bag.
Step by Step Instructions on How to Make Coconut Milk from Scratch:
2. Drill Holes
Pierce the soft eyes of the coconut with a butter knife and drain the coconut water into a cup. You will need to pierce two holes at least (there are 3 in total) for proper drainage. Store the drained coconut water in the fridge and drink once chilled. Coconut water has huge benefits and contains loads of electrolytes. Interestingly enough, It is so similar to human plasma that in an emergency situation could be used intravenously (1)
2. Remove Liquid
Once all the liquid has been removed, cover the coconut in a kitchen towel and gently knock it against a hard surface. The knocking action we will be loosening the coconut flesh from it’s hard shell layer, making our job a little easier in the next step.
5. Crack It Open
After knocking a few times start using a bit more force and crack the shell open. Break the coconut up into a few pieces.
6. Seperate Flesh From Shell
The hardest and most injury prone step is prying the coconut meat away from its shell so be careful! With a butter knife, pry the coconut meat from its shell.
11. Blend With Water
Place the coconut flesh in a blender and add one cup of hot water at a time, blending in between. Once the coconut and water mixture forms a smooth and creamy slurry the mixture is ready to sieve (about 3 or 4 cups of water). Hot water is preferred over cold to produce a richer coconut milk that had a higher coconut oil content.
11. Sieve Through Bag
Pour the coconut mixture through a muslin bag or nut milk bag into a bowl. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, and transfer the coconut milk to the refrigerator.
11. Store in Fridge or Freezer
Homemade coconut milk will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Without preservatives, fresh coconut milk lacks the shelf life of the canned or boxed stuff. Alternatively freeze the milk in ice-trays and use coconut milk blocks as needed. Store this way for up to 2 months!
11. Keep The Pulp!
Do not discard the ‘pulp’ remains in the muslin bag, instead create one of my 5 Best Homemade Body Scrub Recipes by combining the coconut flakes with sugar and various spices to create a magical Coconut Chai Body Scrub.
Coconut Milk Uses:
Once you have made this delicious coconut milk you can check out my post on How to Cook With Coconut Milk. This versatile milk, when combined with different and unusual ingredients, yields greatly different flavours. From creamy pasta dishes to cheesy sauces, there’s something for everyone.
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