When I first eliminated dairy from my diet several years ago in order to manage some health problems that had crept up, and soon after this starting the GAPS diet, I pretty much avoided anything with milk (any kind of milk—dairy or non-dairy). Then a year or so in, I began tinkering with canned coconut milk for smoothies and ice cream and got really good results. But I still didn’t use it for anything else, mainly because I didn’t like having to open a can every time I needed a small amount of milk for a recipe.
Around this time, I tried once to make my own coconut milk. It didn’t turn out so well (a total flop), so I just gave it up and kept using the canned coconut milk here and there. Looking back, I realize I should have given it another go because it’s really quite easy and cheaper than buying canned coconut milk.
Now, I will insert here that I still like using canned coconut milk for certain things because the consistency is a bit thicker (more creamy), which works better for things like ice cream. But the homemade version is perfect to use in any recipe that requires milk and I love it in smoothies as well.
So what are the benefits of making your own? Like I mentioned above, the biggest benefit is that it’s cheaper. Secondly, you can avoid any additives that are included in many canned coconut milk brands.
And even if you still consume regular dairy, using coconut milk as a substitute every now and then is a good way to get more coconut in your diet (more on the health benefits of coconut coming soon!).
All you need to get started is 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut flakes, filtered water, and a blender. That’s it! Directions are listed below.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing lots of ways to use this kind of milk. But you probably don’t need any help with that…
Homemade Coconut Milk
(makes approximately 4 cups)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4 cups filtered water
Combine ingredients in a blender and allow to soak for 2-3 hours (optional—can omit if time doesn’t permit). Blend on high for several minutes (usually at least 4-5). Stop in between to scrap down the sides and test consistency. When finished, strain milk through a fine sieve; discard remaining pulp (or you can dehydrate this pulp to make coconut flour). Store milk in refrigerator and use within 4-5 days.
What is your favorite way to use coconut milk?
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