Nonrecipes: Homemade Coconut Milk

Why the title? ‘Cause, this isn’t really a recipe. I’m gonna’ lay out proportions and techniques, and you can decide what works best for you.

Also, I should say up front that you need cheesecloth or a nut milk bag for this.

So, I have this giant bin of shredded coconut in my pantry:

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This is because we like coconut in this house – specifically coconut milk.

I also (after a couple years with regular blender) have a high powered blender:

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Yes, that was a recycled shot from a previous post. Don’t hate on the lazy. 0.o

This helps (having a decent blender), but is absolutely not necessary for good coconut milk. The difference is in the technique. With a high powered blender you can just toss your shredded coconut and water into the pitcher and call it good. With a regular blender, you will want to either:

A. Pour hot water over your shredded coconut, and let that sit for an hour or so,

or:

B. Pour your water over the coconut and let it sit overnight.

The goal here is to soften the dried coconut for easier blending and richer tasting product.

Now, the ratios of water to shredded coconut can vary, based on what your goals are. In my opinion, 1 part coconut to 3 parts water makes an excellent (and economical!) dairy substitute. However, I’ve seen others who prefer 1 part coconut to 1 part water – this is great for curries and sauces (anything you want super creamy, really). Basically, you decide what tastes best to you.

Bonus: Toasted Coconut Milk! This brilliant person (persons? Don’t know much about that blog!) decided to toast the coconut flakes before blending them. I’ve tried this, and it is AMAZING.

Anyways, so you have your shredded coconut and your water. You may or may not have toasted your coconut before either soaking or not soaking it. Now, you blend it. If you are me, you just press the 90 second button and walk away. If you have a normal blender you may want to run your machine for like a minute, twice. (That’s what I used to do with my previous blenders).

Either way, it all goes through a nut milk bag, or a cheesecloth. Hopefully, if you used the hot water technique, you allowed time for the mixture to cool before blending it. If not, I’ve stood where you stood. I’ve walked the path that you are currently treading and I can say with absolute certainty that it’s not worth burning your hands, dude, it’s really not. Let that thing cool, seriously! But, I would let it cool outside of the blender – ’cause plastic and hot water don’t mix well.

Okay, now that we’ve diffused that situation, it’s time to strain! Pour your shredded coconut water through a nut milk bag (or cheesecloth) into a bowl or something, and squeeze all the goodness out of the flakes you’ve captured.

Boom! Coconut milk. Store it in the fridge, and use it within like 3 days or so.

Also, do not be surprised when the coconut milk separates in the fridge – or when the fat hardens on top. You can warm it slightly to reincorporate, or just toss it back in the blender for colder applications.

Have you ever made coconut milk? What’s your favorite ratio?

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