Coconut milk has become an absolute staple in my diet. I use it in sauces, coffee, and tea, and in any recipe that calls for regular cow's milk...I just love the stuff!
When I first started using it, I purchased the canned variety at my local health food store and would go home and transfer it into a glass container in the fridge. The ingredients list was very short (coconut and water) and it seemed like a delicious, healthy option for me and my family.
But there was one thing that continued to bother me a bit. With the frequency that I began to use the stuff, I didn't like that I was using a canned product so often. Unfortunately, any canned foods are going to contain chemicals that leach from the actual can and I just didn't feel good about using something like that SO often.
Don't get me wrong. I'll use canned products from time to time, and there's nothing wrong with using some canned items every week, but when it is a food that has become a daily staple, I felt I needed to take a bit more of a natural approach to this particular food.
Next, I found the coconut milk varieties you find in the refrigerator section of your grocery store. That seemed like the next best thing. Unfortunately, once I started going through the ingredients list, I quickly found ingredients like carrageenan, guar gum, and evaporated cane juice, and decided I wanted to enjoy my coconut milk without these added ingredients.
So I decided to do what any super-busy, working mom would do: make my own! Hahaha...as if I really have the time to do this!
In all seriousness, the recipe below is so easy and fast that even a pregnant, working mom (yes, I'm talking about me) can handle it and keep it in the fridge on a regular basis.
Homemade Coconut Milk (I learned this method from Tropical Traditions)
7/8 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup hot water
You will also need:
Add shredded coconut into the blender. Then add 1 cup hot water into the blender. Blend at high speed for 2-3 minutes. Put your cheesecloth over the colander. Pour the pulp (from the blender) into the cheesecloth. Squeeze the coconut milk into the colander. Put the pulp back into the blender. Add 1/2 cup hot water. Blend on high speed again for about 1-2 minutes. Pour the pulp back into the cheesecloth. Squeeze more coconut milk into the colander (basically repeating the process to get as much coconut milk out of the shredded coconut as possible).
This may sound like a lot of steps, but I assure you it's super easy. It's just blending water and shredded coconut and squeezing the milk out of it. You will notice right away this homemade version is much tastier and healthier than any store-bought canned brand.
Let me know what you think!