It doesn’t get any simpler than this.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Surely something so simple cannot be this easy, can it?
I assure you, with a little effort, it absolutely is, and with that effort, you will be so richly rewarded.
With all the wonderful alternatives to dairy milk out there, it is no surprise that coconut, with all of the amazing health benefits that come with it, is leading the charge in many ways as a delicious way to get good fats and loads of high quality energy into our bodies.
While it surely isn’t a local food (unless you are lucky to live where they grow of course), coconuts are widely available in markets & supermarkets all across the world, and with (just a little) know how, can be purchased for just a few dollars and used in any number of amazing ways.
Here is my favorite way to enjoy it (other than found as-is on a beach in Mexico), and I am sure I am not the only coconut milk lover out there!
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
~ Jimi Hendrix
Picking coconuts can be a little tough, and often can yield something less than fresh.
Perhaps the greatest challenge is finding a coconut that hasn’t gone bad. I assure you, once you crack it and drain the water inside, you’ll know if you’ve got a rancid one on your hands. Such is life, and I often purchase 2 at a time just to be sure. And at such a low cost of $2-$3 each, it’s not such a bad way to go.
If you’ve never worked with fresh coconut before, you are in for a treat!
Just talking about cracking these guys open brings back some of the fondest memories of my childhood – when finding the soft spot on the coconut with my dad (and the nail and hammer) was just about as awesome as it got.
And that’s pretty awesome.
This method of making (and enjoying) coconut might not be for everyone, but if you’ve got the will and a good blender, you might just be in heaven with this.
The taste and texture of fresh coconut milk is about the creamiest, dreamiest thing I can think of, and here it can be done right at home!
So be prepared for (just a little) work, and maybe (just a little) mess, but I promise the results will be worth it. And so will the recipe coming up for the pulp in my next post 😉
Less canned, processed items in the home means more hands on, homemade goodness. Less packaging and labels used means less waste, resources, and energy. Less shelf stable anything means more fresh live energy, so you can infuse yourself and your loved ones with love, straight from the earth right to you.
More rich, satisfying health food means more all round satisfaction in your belly. More whole, natural fats means more easy assimilation and clean fuel. More delicious fresh dairy alternatives means lots of healthy & tasty options, so living with less is easy, while still being tempting and delicious.
Fresh Homemade Coconut Milk:
- (1) fresh hard-shell coconut
- (3-4) cups water
- Sweetener if desired
- Lots of Love & Elbow Grease
Start by grabbing a safe sharp object – a good pair scissors with a sharp tip, or my dad’s favorite (and thus, mine), a nail and hammer.
Find the three spots on the tip of the coconut and with the tip of the sharp object, gently and carefully try to poke each hole. One of the three holes is the ‘key’ to the coconut and will cave under the pressure much easier than the other two. This is how you know which one to go for! Once identified, poke the soft hole all the way through and twist the scissors or nail to make as big a hole as you can (it will be about as big as a small pencil eraser).
Drain the water inside the coconut and set aside for drinking (right away or later).
Now the fun part.
(and you might find a better way to do this).
You’ve got to break the coconut into pieces. I do this by throwing it against the concrete in my backyard as hard as I can. It’s pretty satisfying and kids do love this (just make sure they are well out of the way of flying pieces!!). Otherwise, you can set the coconut on a hard surface and hit it with a hammer until it breaks. Keep breaking up the pieces until you get pieces smaller than the size of your hand.
Then, using a firm object (like a strong metal spoon that you don’t mind bending), separate the hard shell from the coconut meat. The meat itself will have a soft brown ‘skin’ – this can stay on, just carefully (and with elbow grease) get all the furry hard shell pieces off until you have a bowl of clean pieces of white coconut. Yum!
Growing up, this was a special dessert for us.
Once you’ve got all of your coconut pieces, give them a quick rinse under cold water to get any mess from the skin off. Break the pieces into smaller pieces if desired and add all the coconut to your blender (you should have roughly 4-5 cups of coconut pieces).
Next, add 3-4 cups of clean cold water to the blender. Blend the coconut and water on high for up to 3 minutes, ensuring all the pieces are well blended (the pulp will remain quite coarse depending on the strength of your blender).
If you start with less water, make sure to add enough water to facilitate good blending.
Once you have blended the mixture for up to 3 minutes, strain the milk through a fine strainer or cheese cloth. Notice the cream that rises to the top during this process – this is so good for you and so incredibly delicious too!
From here, transfer the milk to a large mason jar or container for storage in the fridge for up to 5 days. The milk will separate a little in the fridge, but just give it a good shake before using!
One recipe will make enough milk to fill just under a one liter jar (depending on how watery you like it). Feel free to sweeten with vanilla or maple syrup as desired, and enjoy this with anything and everything you like 🙂
And there you have it, fresh, homemade coconut milk. How awesome is that?
Make sure to save the pulp, as I’ve got a most yummy dessert to share with you next, when I will be posting fresh upon our arrival in France!
You’ll be ready to dive into making coconut milk just to make the dessert I am sure, but once you’ve done both, you might not be able to stop (or maybe you will).
The more I see, the less I know for sure.
~ John Lennon
I’ve said before that coconut is almost literally a vegan’s dream, and whether you are vegan or not, I have yet to meet a soul (aside from my youngest daughter but never mind her) that doesn’t love the flavor and richness of coconut.
Here it is in all of it’s pure, unadulterated glory. The best kind of glory there is, if you ask me.
There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.
~ Edgar Allan Poe
Beauty is not caused. It is.
~ Emily Dickinson
So if you are an adventurer in the kitchen (I know quite a strong few of you out there) – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I’ve been relishing in the freshness of this drink all week and I’ve got to tell you, my friends and co-workers have not minded one bit, as they’ve also enjoyed the outcome of the delicious pulp too.
- Have you ever made coconut milk at home?
- What is your favorite way to use coconut milk?
Do tell friends! This will be the last of me from Vancouver for a while, we are literally in the last few hours here, and we leave very early Sunday morning. I’ve said my good-byes (some were very hard this time), but I am so looking forward to not only going, but to returning too.
Renewed. Inspired. Fresh.
I can’t wait to have you all join me. I hope you will!
This recipe has also been featured in Healthy Vegan Fridays #5 – check it out here!
Yours in Less,