Monday, February 17, 2014

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk

Here's something interesting to do at home.  Make your own coconut milk!  My son is lactose intolerant.  He usually drinks almond milk so we're no strangers to non-dairy milks in our house.  I could say that I tried this because it's better than the pre-made stuff you can buy, but really we did this because we bought a coconut on a whim at the store one day and had to figure out what to do with it.  After some youtube watching and googling, here's what we did.

First, take a screwdriver and hammer it into two of the dots on your coconut to make holes.  Then let the coconut water drain out of the holes into a cup (this is not coconut milk!).  You can drink it if you want.  I've heard it's kind of good as a sports drink.  I think I might freeze it into ice cubes to use later in smoothies.

Then comes the fun part.  Put the coconut in a ziploc bag and let your kids throw it on the ground outside until it cracks.

My son was so proud of cracking it into 3 pieces!

Now you need to get the white meat off of the shell.  There are probably some easy cool ways to do this that I don't know about.  I just use a knife to cut little sections and pry off pieces like this.  Make sure your knife is sturdy.

One coconut gave me about three cups of meat.

Now all you do is either grate up the white part of the coconut, if you have the time and inclination, or just put it through your food processor and chop it up really small.  

Then add 2 parts hot water to 1 part coconut, so for this one I added 6 cups of hot water.

My food processor doesn't fit that much (oops learned that the hard way and kinda made a mess), so I added 3 cups hot water to all the coconut, processed it, strained it, and then put the coconut meat back into the food processor, added the next 3 cups of water, and strained again.

If you have cheese cloth around you could use that instead and probably get more milk out.

And you're done!  You can put it in a jar or pitcher and let it sit until the cream separate if you want to.  There should be a small amount coconut oil (maybe a couple of tablespoons) in there that will form a solid at the top.  I've been using it as a lotion.  Keep the milk in the refrigerator and use it up because it will only keep for a few days.

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