Simple Homemade Coconut Milk
For those of you that are allergic to nuts and dairy, but still want milk for your cereal or coffee, coconut milk is a tasty option to try. Making your own coconut milk is super easy, and requires only 2 ingredients to make it – UNSWEETNED SHREDDED COCONUT AND WATER, plus a touch of vanilla to sweeten it a bit!
The list of ingredients in most store bought coconut and nut milks is absolutely ridiculous. If you’ve ever picked up a box of coconut or nut milk from the store and read the ingredients, it probably looked something like this: water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, carrageenan, guar gum, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors… Doesn’t sound like something I want to put in my body.
Fillers, thickeners, and extra flavors are added to almost all store-bought coconut and nut milks to help them keep their texture, avoid the fat in the liquid separating, and stay fresh for longer.
Coconut milk is not only dairy-free and nut-free, but it’s high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are both easily burned as fuel by the body. It’s also paleo to boot! I rotate between coconut milk, almond milk and hemp milk, because it’s better for your body to have a bit of diversity.
simple homemade coconut milk:
makes 3 cups
Note: the shredded coconut will have to soak for 1-2 hours
special equipment: Nut milk bag and high powered blender
• 2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut – I love this brand of shredded coconut
• 3 cups filtered water
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place shredded coconut into a glass 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, large glass or stainless steel bowl.
Pour 3 cups of water into a saucepan and let it come to a gentle simmer (not boil) over medium-high heat. A gentle simmer is when you start seeing tiny bubbles appear on the sides of the pan.
Pour the hot water over the shredded coconut, give it a stir and let it soak for 1-2 hours.
When the coconut water is done soaking, pour the coconut water mixture into a high-powered upright blender. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
Blend on the highest speed for about a minute or two, or until all of the coconut has been processed. My little friend Mattie came by to help me out!
To strain coconut milk you will need a nut milk bag, or you could use several layers of cheese cloth, or a clean flour sack towel, but I would honestly invest in a nut milk bag because they can be washed and reused again and again.
Place the nut bag over a medium bowl, jar or jug (one that can hold 3 cups of water or more). Pour the coconut milk into the bag and gently twist the top of the bag closed. Slowly twist the bag so the milk escapes. Keep twisting and squeezing the bag until every last drop is out. Make sure you squeeze the bag to get the last bit of liquid out, as this is the creamiest and yummiest bit of the milk, so don’t miss out on that!
Discard solids, or save them for adding to baked treats or dehydrate them and make coconut flour. Here’s great link that shows you few things you use the leftover pulp for.
Use the milk immediately, (it will be warm) or store in the fridge. Fresh coconut milk should be used within 3-4 days of making it for the best flavor and texture.
NOTE: Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the fat in the coconut milk will separate on the top as it sits. Remember the fat is good for us and it’s really just coconut fat! Just shake it well, or give it a good stir before using. If you really want it blended, then you can toss it in a blender and give it a quick whiz.
Here’s a simple recipe for making your own vanilla almond milk. Simple, tasty and easy!