A step by step guide to making coconut milk using a fresh coconut.
Coconut is such a staple in Caribbean cooking. Found in abundance, this one item can be made and used in so many different foods from sweet to savory. We are able to get so many uses from a coconut with coconut milk being one of the most common produce along with coconut oil.
Coconut milk has so many amazing benefits and it's quite easy to make.
I grew up seeing my mom make coconut milk from dry coconut whenever she needed it to cook. We had a coconut tree, so coconuts fell all the time. It was just about going out to the tree and grabbing a dry coconut and cutting it up to work on it.
The milk would be used in stew chicken or an stewed meat, or in fish in some coconut curry sauce.
But that isn't all the coconut is good for. We also use coconut milk and make coconut oil, and the husk (grated coconut) can be used to make coconut tart, coconut drops, used in sweet bread and coconut bake.
Why is the coconut so prevalent? Coconut in general has many benefits. It provides vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and has minerals ranging from iron and sodium to magnesium and phosphorous.
This milk which is not really a milk per se, is really the meat of an adult coconut blended up and the liquid produced becomes the milk.
When choosing the best dry coconut (which is really an adult coconut versus the ones we use to get coconut water) I suggest doing a little shake of the coconut to hear if there is water in there. We want it to have water. As a coconut matures, it loses its water for meat. So though we want more meat then water, we don't want all meat. Most times if there is all meat the coconut is rotten.
Had enough of the coconut lesson?
Here's the step by step process of taking a dry coconut into coconut milk.
Use a hammer, of if you have heavy chopper.
I like to give the coconut a few taps before I give it the heavier hits. It helps to loosen the meat from the shell
If there is still meat attached to shell, use a not too pointy rounded knife and separate the meat. Be careful with your fingers.
Then cut the meat up into small pieces. Small enough to blend in whatever you are going to use. (blender, food processor)
Add meat to blender, and put in enough water that to about same level of the coconut
Blend on high until coconut is finely chopped, and pour int either strainer or cheese cloth lined strainer
Let all the liquid strain out. Then either start squeezing the coconut husk in batches and putting to the side until all is done or use the cheese cloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid
Once you think you have removed all the liquid possible, strain milk into a bottle
Now don't get me wrong. I am an avid user of coconut milk in the tin. It's convenient and surely less work, but after making your own coconut milk you would definitely taste the difference of this fresh version. Tin milks obviously have preservatives for shelf life, some more than others which is a strike against it. Natural coconut milk does not last half as long as one from the tin.
This would easily replace wherever you use coconut milk. In your stews, in your curries. In your coffee?
See how easy it is? Really doesn't take that much work, especially if you have a good blender.
Get some fresh coconut milk into your life!! You won't regret it.
And remember I said we use all of the coconut!!
Homemade Coconut Milk
Prep Time: 00:40
Keywords: blender condiment coconut Caribbean fall spring winter summer
Ingredients (Approx 2 cups)
- 2 dry coconuts
Crack coconut open with the hammer or Chinese chopper. (The smaller the pieces the better)
Using knife, remove any shells that may still be attached to the "meat" of the coconut.
Once all the shell is removed, wash coconut to get rid of any remnants shell or debris that may be hanging around
Cut the meat into small enough pieces to work well in the blender. Doesn't have to be extremely small but not too big.
Add enough water to fall just below the level of the coconut meat. (this is to ensure the water isn't too water.
Blend on high until coconut is minced to grains
Stop and blend again
In a large bowl place strainer and if using cheese cloth, place cloth in strainer
Pour coconut mixture into strainer and work as much liquid out of the coconut as possible.
Once that is done you can now use your hands to continue squeezing liquid of the coconut in batches, placing the squeeze coconut husk to the side.
Continue squeezing until all the husk is moved to another bowl.
If using cheese cloth, just squeeze husk in cloth until all liquid is removed.
Strain milk one more time into an air tight bottle
Store in fridge if not using right away
Want to see what other condiments I make for myself?
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