Coconut milk has become one of the most popular milk alternative. Personally it’s my favourite choice for my coffee or even cereal. It also has some health benefits that I’ll mention here. The greatest thing about it is that you can make it nice and fresh in your own kitchen within 10 min. Let’s see then How To Make Coconut Milk?
A Little More About Coconut Fruit
The coconut tree itself is a part of the palm tree family. Main places where you can find it is Malaysia,
Polynesia and southern Asia. Sometimes people mistake the coconut for a nut but it’s classed as a fruit and actually a one-seeded drupe. The beauty of this fruit is that all it’s parts can be used. Mainly the milk, water, flesh, sugar and oil.
Brown coconut fruits come from the coconut tree. Inside they have the white flesh which is our point of interest to make the coconut milk. Don’t confuse it with the coconut water. That one can be found in the immature green coconut fruits.
It’s the clear liquid which you can bring straight from the fruit.
Coconut water occurs naturally but to make coconut milk you need to mix the solid flesh with water which will be around 50% of the whole mixture.
To understand the difference better, coconut water is mostly water – around 94%.
How to Make Coconut Milk From Natural Fruit?
The most important part which is the solid coconut flesh (white part from inside the brown coconut) is
finely graded and soaked in hot water. The cream from coconut rises to the top of the mixture and can be skimmed off. Remaining liquid has to be strained through the cheesecloth to extract what we need – our coconut milk. The more this process gets repeated the thinner milk we get as a result.
Thick version is usually used for deserts and all kinds of thick sauces. Thin milk is best for soups and lighter sauces.
Unfortunately in UK we’re not able to get the fresh coconut milk. We can only buy the canned version which is a mixture of thick and thin milk. The only good thing about it is that it can be stored in a room temperature for quite a long time. Once opened it has to be used within a few days and stored in the fridge.
How To Make Coconut Milk At Home?
The easiest version can involve only two ingredients:
– water (4 cups)
– unsweetened coconut flakes (1,5-2 cups)
Heat the water first but don’t boil it! Add flakes to your water and blend it. To get the coconut pulp out, pour your liquid through a strainer. After that squeeze it through a cheesecloth as well. You want to get rid of all the small coconut pieces. Use it right away or keep it in for fridge for maximum 3 days.
Why Coconut Milk Is A Healthy Choice?
Let me start from saying that unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose-free so it can be used by all my people with the lactose intolerance. Unfortunately it’s a common problem nowadays so this seems like a fantastic solution.
Fresh coconut milk includes straight coconut flesh which is highly nutritious. It contains vitamins like C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 as well as minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, selenium and phosphorous. On top of that it’s also rich in fibre. Unfortunately our canned versions in UK might be lacking some of these nutrients.
Coconut milk is believed to be a high-calorie food. Unlike like nuts they contain mostly medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). One of them which is called lauric acid is believed to be beneficial to help protect the body from viruses and infections.
Where Can I Use Coconut Milk?
My personal favourite use is with coffee but I also add it so smoothies and milkshakes. Sometimes I even use it as my non diary alternative in baking. When I feel like I need more coconut sometimes I eat it with my cereals. Might seem a little crazy but I like the mixture of taste with my corn flakes.
Coconut milk is very common in Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines. I’m sure you had curry at least once in your life. That’s where you can find it as well. It’s very popular in some other countries like India, Hawaii or some Caribbean and South American countries.
Tasty Recipes With Coconut Milk
Now that you know more about it and you can even make it yourself, it’s time to use it in your recipes. I’m sure it’ll add a new flavour to your cooking. I found some amazing suggestions from the website I mentioned earlier Minimalist Baker.
Thai Curry, 1 pot, 30 minutes
Thai Yellow Coconut Curry with Mango
Green Curry, 9 ingredients, 30 minutes
Vibrant Coconut Green Curry
Coconut Yoghurt, quick and easy, 2 ingredients
Easy Coconut Yoghurt
Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Mocha Frappe, Peppermint
Peppermint Mocha Frappe With Coconut Milk
French Toast With A Coconut Twist
Coconut Cream Pie French Toast
Whipped Cream – this page also has a list of best canned milk. Very helpful if you wanna just use the ones from the shop.
Coconut Whipped Cream + Best Canned Coconut Milks
For all the recipes it might be useful for you to use the right immersion blender to mix your ingredients.
I’ll be 100% honest with you. I was never a fan of coconut before. A lot of things changed when I changed my diet to plant based. First time I tried to have a coconut milk was with my coffee and I felt in love. I don’t need to use sugar anymore thanks to it. You can also see that the question How To Make Coconut Milk was answered super quick in this article so why not try it?
This year I was in Philippines and I had a chance to try the real coconut water from green coconut and also eat the flesh from inside. That only make me like it even more now as I got to know how it really tastes. I also had a chance to try the real coconut milk made by locals and the taste is unforgettable. I highly recommend for everyone to try it one day.
Feel free to leave any comments. If you have any questions I’ll be more than happy to answer them.
Go coco-nuts! 😉