Homemade coconut milk, it seemed like a big hurdle, but I’ve made my first leap!
We found our homemade coconut milk to be very tasty. We also had peace of mind because we were avoiding all of those nasty toxins from canned goods, and it had a beautiful fresh taste. My husband mentioned that the smoothie we made using it didn’t have a “funny” taste that he had noticed with canned coconut milk.
Another thing I noticed when making my coconut milk was how beautiful the coconut flesh is! It’s a very pure white and was quite fun to work with.
A few things I noted when reading up on making homemade coconut. Different recipes used varying amounts of coconut flesh to water. This is important to keep in mind as the less water you use, the thicker the end product will be. In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon uses two whole coconuts to get just 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk. I am sure that would be much thicker then what I did, so if you would like thicker coconut milk or need it to be thicker, definitely cut back on the water and use more coconuts! I was using my coconut milk mostly for smoothies, so I didn’t mind if it was a bit thinner this time around. (Canned coconut milk is very thick compared to homemade coconut, by the way). I decided to loosely follow the directions from this great video, which I found quite helpful. I tried to do her cool knife trick in cracking my coconut with no success, so I had to use a hammer. But I recommend watching the video as it’s a great visual.
Here’s what I did.
Making Homemade Coconut Milk-Attempt Number One
Make sure you buy a coconut that feels heavy and has a nice “sloshing” sound when you shake it. At some points in the process below, you may need to rinse your coconut pieces off, as they have have little pieces from the outside layers on it.
You will need:
A sieve and bowl
a food processor
1-If you want the coconut juice inside of the coconut, you can hammer a clean nail into one of the eyes of the coconut and drain. This is what I did: On a sturdy surface, place your coconut with a towel over it. Hammer until it start to crack, I was able to let it drain into a bowl before continuing.
Hammer until it cracks in half, or it has cracked enough to be able to pull apart into two halves.
2-Now, on a heavy cutting board, place one half meat side down and place a kitchen towel over it (this is to prevent a piece from flying into your face). Hammer again to break into smaller pieces.
3-Once the coconut is broken into smaller pieces then take a sharp small knife, and pop out the coconut meat. At this point, if you don’t care about saving the flesh, you can place in the food processor. Otherwise, with a very sharp vegetable peeler, peel the brown part off of the coconut pieces, and then place in the food processor.
4-Pulse in the food processor until it is very fine and place in a clean bowl.
5-Pour 2 cups of warm water over your coconut shreds and squeeze the coconut shreds in the water to help release their “milk”. Do this for a few minutes. Then set up a fine sieve over another bowl (you may want to line the sieve with a cheesecloth too). Make a ball with some of the coconut shreds in your hands and squeeze tightly over the sieve to release the milk. Continue to do so until you have released all of the milk and you have dry coconut shreds again.
6-You can now add more warm water (another 2 cups) and do one more “pressing”, though this time it will be much less rich.
So that’s how I did it! Any coconut milk experts out there want to share how they do it? I would love to hear.