I’m a bit of a fan of the ol’ coconut!
Even though coconut milk or products are not part of my genetic history (as far as I know!), the food seems to like me, and me it. There are many health benefits attributed to coconut as food. Many people still associate it negatively with high fat or cholesterol … and I still get surprised at this … and while I don’t view it as a ‘dangerously’ fattening food, we each have to eat what we feel is right for our individual bodies, as there is no one good thing for everyone.
I am especially fond of drinking young coconuts, the price of which I notice has sky-rocketed recently. I remember them being $2 each when I shopped around, now they’re coming to $3.50 and upwards each … And then there’s the issue of the carbon footprint of importing them … an issue for another post.
Coconut contains high fibre, hydrating qualities, anti fungal and anti-bacterial qualities, and is considered a ‘good’ fat, with the ability to stabilise blood sugars and act as a digestive aid. Just a few of the documented benefits.
Making coconut milk is simple. But have you ever looked at some of the ingredients of desiccated coconut?! Sometimes there are all kinds of weird things in there … I recently bought this brand of desiccated coconut at my local health grocer for $3! A perfect pantry staple, this is a fab price and I thought it a good idea to buy a few.
If like me, you prefer to eat more plant-based foods,
making coconut milk as an alternative to store-bought cows milk is inexpensive and super versatile, with a good quality desiccated coconut like this in your pantry – try to get one that lists just ‘coconut’ or ‘organic coconut’ under the ingredients statement, with no additives, and you can make as little or as much milk as you need and when you need! All you need is a high-speed blender, a nut milk bag or fine sieve, and some water!
If I have time, I like to soak it a little in the water to let some more flavour seep out, but you don’t have to – making it on the spot is the point, really. Other alternatives include flavouring the milk – adding some vanilla; a little salt; a little maple syrup or sweetener of choice, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice …. I find with the concentration of flavour in the desiccation process that it is VERY coconutty and flavouring is not necessary, just optional.
Here’s how I make it:
1 cup of desiccated coconut
2 cups (filtered) water
Blend in a high speed blender
Pass through a nut milk bag or fine sieve
Store in the fridge for about 3-4 days or until it smells a little off!
Reserve the pulp! I use mine by adding to smoothies, breakfast cereal, sprinkled on salad or added to veggie mash ups. You can also dehydrate it and use it as gf flour if you like.