First we need to get one thing very clear here. Coconut milk and coconut water are two totally different things. Coconut water is what is found in a fresh coconut. It is very healthy for you and quite refreshing. The problem though is that many people believe this is coconut milk. Unfortunately, there are a couple steps in making coconut milk as you will see below.
The first time I tasted coconut milk in a recipe, I fell in love with the slightly sweet richness it added. It was soothing and satisfying all at the same time without the heaviness associated with eating a high fat meal. I have the benefit of now living in South Florida where I can literally walk out my front door and get coconuts straight off a tree. The farmers markets here have them piled high just as they do tomatoes and peppers. They are now becoming a staple in my kitchen.
How to make coconut milk
Here’s what you’re going to need, before starting, and what you’re going to do.
- Coconut meat [Either get fresh coconut chunks -my new option – or dried shredded (unsweetened) coconut]
- a good blender
- water (I like to use the coconut water right from the coconut I am getting the meat from, makes it a bit richer in flavor)
- a strainer bag [the nylon fine mesh are the best]
- a bowl.
Take your coconut, about 1 cup; place it in your blender with water, about 1 1/2 cups. Cover and blend on high for 3 – 5 minutes [depending on the strength and speed of your blender ]
Pour into your strainer bag that’s been placed in your bowl, strain and squeeze the milk from it. I will sometimes process over again with 1/2 as much water if you want thinner milk and want to get as much out of the coconut pulp left from the first straining. This is totally up to you though.
You’re now ready to use it in whatever recipe calls for coconut milk. Or try your hand and coming up with some new recipes utilizing this wonderfully healthy, preservative free coconut milk.
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