This morning my dad showed my boys how to husk and open a coconut. With the finesse and ease I remember from my childhood, he wielded his hatchet, cut away the husk, cracked open the shell and captured the precious coconut water. As we all (dogs included) sat in the yard snacking on chunks of coconut flesh, inspiration hit. I ran to the kitchen to try my hand at making coconut milk. The finished product was divine! Fresh, creamy and rich.
To make fresh coconut milk at home you'll need two things; a high-powered blender (like a Blendtec or VitaMix) and a coconut.
For those living far from the tropics, I have seen coconuts at Whole Foods and other specialty food stores. When selecting one, shake it. If you hear coconut water, you know it's good. If you don't there likely is a crack in the shell and the coconut may be rancid.
When cracking open the shell of the coconut, try your best to capture the coconut water. Coconut water is the purest liquid second only to water itself. It is loaded with electrolytes, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Use this liquid in place of some of the water for blending.
Fresh Coconut Milk
Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free (coconuts are regarded as a fruit) | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan | Raw
Makes: About 4 cups
Prep Time: 10-30 minutes
WATER (and/or COCONUT WATER)
1. If not already husked, carefully husk coconut using a hatchet. Check for husked coconuts at Whole Foods and other specialty food stores—it'll save you some work.
2. On a very hard surface (like concrete), tap around the perimeter of the coconut shell until it breaks in half. If possible, catch the coconut water. The water should smell clean and fresh. If there is no water or if the water is smelly, you'll know it's rancid—don't use it.
3. With a paring knife, carefully cut/pry out the white flesh.
4. Transfer flesh to a high-powered blender (such as a Blendtec) and add an equal measure of filtered water (e.g. 3 cups coconut pieces + 3 cups water).
5. Blend on high for one minute or until fairly smooth.
7. Enjoy plain or add a splash of vanilla, sweetener of choice and a pinch of salt. This milk is creamy and divine and made the tastiest latte when I added a packet of Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee!
Pick out a brown coconut. The one pictured is a younger coconut and not the coconut I used for making this batch of coconut milk. This coconut yielded softer flesh and would produce a milder tasting coconut milk.
Remove the flesh from the coconut and add to a high-powered blender along with an equal measure of water. Blend and strain milk using a nut bag or other fine-mesh bag.
Another Way to Make Coconut Milk
Elana over at Elana's Pantry recently posted a coconut milk recipe using shredded coconut.