Thursday, October 17, 2013

How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk with Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk with Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

In case you haven't noticed, I'm full-fledged obsessed with coconut products. My coconut obsession started with coconut water last year. I drank it anytime I felt thirsty, dehydrated or had just exercised and I instantly felt better. It's naturally hydrating with lots of electrolytes, so it's the perfect alternative to commercial sports drinks.

The obsession then progressed into unrefined virgin coconut oil. I began slathering it on my toast, then using it to pan fry my eggs, and before long I was cooking most of my meals with it. 

Around that time I bought my first can of full-fat organic coconut milk and tried it in my coffee. Before long I was pouring coconut milk in my smoothies, pasta, and mashed potatoes. Luckily, my boyfriend didn't seem to mind. (That would have sucked!)

To say I love coconut stuff is an understatement. Not a day goes by where I don't use it. At the very least, I always put coconut oil in my bulletproof coffee!

Which is why I finally made the (very small) leap to homemade coconut milk. At $2.50 a pop for a can, coconut milk isn't super cheap if you go through it quickly. If you can find affordable unsweetened organic shredded coconut in bulk, it will cost a bit less than the cans. And as an added bonus, you can make your own coconut flour from the wet pulp that remains after straining the coconut milk.

If you use coconut flour in baking or cooking then you know how expensive it can be at the store! Each batch of coconut milk will yield a good amount of coconut flour, which will add up and save you lots of money in the long run!

EDIT: Here's my recipe for homemade coconut flour using the wet pulp leftover from making homemade coconut milk! If you've tried my almond milk recipe then you know how easy it is to dry out the leftover almond pulp to use for baked goods and snacks.

How to Make Coconut Milk with Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Learn how to easily make coconut milk at home in only a few hours using unsweetened shredded coconut, water, and a blender. 
Yield: approximately 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk + 2 cups of coconut pulp

2 cups of unsweetened, organic shredded coconut (get it here
2 cups of purified water (I recommend reverse osmosis)

Recommended Equipment
nut milk bag (recommended) OR unbleached cheesecloth (works, but not as durable)

Want more real food & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page

Measure out the shredded coconut into a blender and pour the purified water over it. Stir it around. Let it sit for 2-4 hours. (Alternately, if you want to speed up the process, you can use warm water and soak it for only 2 hours OR use boiling water and make it immediately.) After soaking, place the lid securely on the blender and puree for about a minute.

Place a colander or fine sieve over a large bowl and line with either a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the coconut milk into the bowl. At this point, you'll probably only be able to process about a quarter or half the batch at a time. You can either wait for the liquid to drain naturally (oh my gosh you're so patient) or if you're like me, you'll gather the nut bag or cheesecloth in your hands and hurry it through by squeezing. 

If you're using cheesecloth, which is less durable, be careful about squeezing too roughly. Some of the coconut pulp could push through. Once you've squeezed the liquid out, remove the pulp and set it aside. Repeat until all of the coconut milk is strained. Save the pulp in the fridge for a day or two to use in other recipes or freeze immediately. Alternately, you can dry it in the oven at a low temperature to make homemade coconut flour

Notes & Tips
  • You can change the ratio of water to coconut to suit your tastes; however, on my first try I attempted 2 cups of coconut flakes to 4 cups of water (as recommend by A LOT of other bloggers) and I thought it was SUPER watery. My 1:1 ratio is the same as my homemade almond milk recipe, which yields a more substantial flavor. It still won't be as thick and creamy as canned coconut milk, but it tastes awesome!
  • After sitting for a period of time, the coconut with separate naturally. Simply give the container a shake to redistribute.

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite way to use coconut milk when you're cooking? 

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P.S. Love recipes with coconut? Try these: 

This post was shared at Natural Family Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, and Home Sweet Home

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks! 

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