Monday, March 31, 2014

How to Make Coconut Milk


So, years ago on the blog I did a few "how to" posts.  There weren't very many and it didn't last long.  Teaching people how to do something, especially when it comes to cooking and food, is a real passion of mine.

We got a coconut in our CSA basket a few weeks ago and my girls would not stop asking me when we could open it and make coconut milk.  I was thrilled at their enthusiasm and couldn't wait either to have some fun with them.  

Making coconut milk is a relatively easy process, although some steps are more labor intensive than others.  However, you not only come away with fresh delicious coconut milk, you also have the coconut water and the coconut flesh that you can use in other things.  So you get a lot of bang for your buck here as far as I'm concerned.  


How To Make Coconut Milk
what you need:
1 or 2 coconuts (If you use young coconuts you can drink the water, it won't be bitter like from more mature coconuts)
corkscrew bottle opener
Light tea towel
knife
vegetable peeler
warm water (below 115 degrees if you want it raw)
blender
cheesecloth or nut milk bag


1.  First, grab your coconut and find the dark indentations on the top.  Use the corkscrew bottle opener in one of the indentations and drill a hole.  (Alternately you can pound a clean screwdriver with a hammer to make a hole.  Just make sure it's wide enough that the liquid doesn't stay trapped in.) Drain all the coconut water out of the hole into a bowl.  Feel free to save it for smoothies or even drink as electrolyte replacement after a workout. Fresh coconut water will last about a week in the fridge.


2.  Next, whack it a few times with the back of a knife or a hammer and get it to split enough to pry it open. Once it is open, you can either use a knife to get the flesh out or flip it over and tap it out with the hammer.



 



3. Next, you'll want to get your vegetable peeler out and peel the skin off the coconut flesh. Hopefully you won't have too many small pieces so it doesn't take too long. 


4. Give the coconut a rough chop and throw it into a blender with 2 cups warm water per coconut. Blend it up and let it run a few minutes until it makes a slurry.





5. Strain the slurry through a nut milk bag or over a few layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze out any extra liquid.  Fresh coconut milk will last 2-3 days in the fridge.  The fat will separate and rise to the top as it sits.  Just give it a shake before using it.

*The remaining pulp can be made into coconut flour. Place in a dehydrator at 115 degrees until dry, then put it in a blender to grind until fine. Keep in an airtight container in the pantry or store in a freezer for longer term storage.  Use in any recipe calling for coconut flour.

*If you don't want to dehydrate the pulp, place it in the fridge and use within 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to a few months.  You can use the pulp in homemade granola, cookies, muffins or other baked goods.






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