Work Wednesday – Homemade Coconut Milk (AIP Friendly)

Being a stay at home mom, I am afforded a lot of time to make things from scratch. But, if I ever tried to convince anyone to take the time and make something from scratch (other than….every recipe on my blog :P) it would be coconut milk. If you’re lucky enough to find an affordable canned coconut milk without bpa ined cans, and without gut irritant additives like guar gum, then great! On a healing diet like Paleo or the AIP, we try to avoid these additives, but I think it’s great for anyone to try to keep extra chemicals out of their food/beverages.

This recipe is originally from Mickey Trescott from Autoimmune-Paleo. I love her recipes and her unique style of cooking. I reviewed one of her recipes before, but have made several others that I thoroughly enjoy.

Not only can you find organic coconut flake that is unsweetened and free from additives; you can make it into coconut milk and save the pulp for coconut butter! To kick off a little bit different style of recipe blog…Let’s see some pictures of the process! (Be sure to let me know if you like this format. :))

Tools needed for coconut milk

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 Cups of Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flake (I buy Wild Oats Organic from Wal-Mart. It’s very affordable!)
  • 6 Cups of Water

I try to make this in a large quantity because I use it in cooking and treats so often.

Boil the Water

Start by boiling 6 cups of water in a large pot. I set my blender on the counter next to the stove, and another container to add the water and coconut mixture to. You want to do this in batches so that the boiling hot liquid doesn’t come flying out of the blender…Trust me….I know from experience!

Coconut in the Blender

Add 1 cup of coconut at a time to the blender. When the water comes to a boil, turn it off but let it remain on the same burner to keep it warm (it’s ok if you have a gas stove…this just helped me on a glass top stove). Measure 2 cups of water and add to the blender with the coconut. Blend for a few minutes and then pour into a large container. It may be helpful to use something that has a handle.

Straining the Pulp.Milk

Now…I’m learning a lot more as the days go by about not using plastic with hot foods. As you can see in the pictures I’m using plastic containers…but by all means, if you have glass, use glass. Or store it in a glass container.

When all of the batches are done, let the hot coconut/water mixture sit for 15 minutes until it cools enough to handle. I have done the next stage a few ways. You can use a nut milk bag, several pieces of cheesecloth, an impeccably clean wash cloth, or a fine mesh sieve. You can see that I have the fine mesh sieve but I’ve used an impeccably clean wash cloth just fine. This sieve is from Oneida and was $5 at my local Wal-Mart.

Coconut Pulp

Add the coconut in small batches to the sieve. Press down firmly with a tablespoon to press theuid out. If you’re using a cloth, carefully let strain and then squeeze the pulp till it quits dripping. Save the pulp! Use it for coconut butter! Don’t just throw it out. After doing this about five million times (or maybe I’m exaggerating and it’s about 7 to 10 times depending on the batch size) then you will have your milk! Doing the sieve version and this exact recipe amount, I was able to get 1 quart of coconut milk.

Coconut Milk

Now that you’re done, let everything cool before refrigerating. In complete irony, this milk is actually plenty sweet for someone like me who isn’t use to sugary beverages. It would work well for cooking and it does get a thin layer of coconut cream on top. If you want to blend it back in, you can add it to a sauce pot and warm it up, stirring well to incorporate.

I’m so excited to share this handy method! I know that not everyone has access to ordering online (or isn’t technologically inclined, such as myself) can’t find additive free in their local stores, or can’t drive forever to the nearest Whole Foods. Most cans of organic coconut milk I’ve found around here are nearly $3 before tax. I can buy 1 package of the Wild Oats Organic Coconut Flakes for under $2 at Wal-Mart and get double use from it. The package is also the perfect 3 cups that you need for this recipe!

Go ahead! Try this out and let me know how it goes below. I know there are many busy mom’s out there. Once you get the hang of it, it really isnt’ that labor intensive and saves some money while helping heal the body.

I hope you enjoyed this “Work Wednesday” recipe! Sometimes it really does pay off to do things from scratch. Come back next time and see what I can work up next time.

-Ami M. Lee, Hippie, Scratch Cooking, Common Sense Cook

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