Homemade coconut milk

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I can’t really tell why did it happen again, but I couldn’t pass by hairy brown ball and we got a coconut. Again. I’m not even that much into coconuts, Nathan is not that much into opening them, but this is what happened. Coconut has been sitting on a counter for 3 days. I knew what I wanted to do, didn’t know what for though.
I like coconut water, not like I’m obsessed but I will probably grab one if I see a good one  (raw harmless harvest is simply the best). I use coconut milk occasionally (think curry, or coconut milk whipped cream was my latest try out). I try not to run out of shredded or flaked coconut, just because it brings some tropical flavour to pretty much any desert. I use coconut oil a lot in cooking.
So to sum the things up, coconut-y stuff takes a certain place in my cooking life, but at the same time it is pretty unnoticeable.

I really wanted to make coconut milk. I tried making almond, cashew and oat milk, so why not to make a coconut one? It doesn’t require any soaking it’s all about turning a coconut into a silky milk in..less than an hour? Time will depend on your coconut opening skills and separating the meat from the “skin”.

It wasn’t the first coconut Nathan had to open, so he had his own technique nailed and it took him just a couple of minutes. We poured the water out first. We were surprised  we ended up with 3 cups of fresh flavourful coconut water.

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The next step is the most annoying. The easiest way is to run not a sharp knife between the shell and meat, so the meat will pop right out. It might not come out all at once, I ended up with quite a few pieces, but it is still faster, easier and less messy than breaking coconut shell into pieces.

Now the meat should be separated from the brown skin. Vegetable peeler does magic.

Here comes the fun part.

Put all the meat pieces into a high speed blender along with water (3-4 cups) and blend on high for a few minutes until desired consistency is reached and no more chunks are left.

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Using a nylon bag (or a nut bag) strain the milk.

IMG_8405At this point sweeteners or flavourings might be added (dates, honey, maple syrup, chocolate, vanilla…). If you decide to add some, pour the strained milk back into a blender and blend with the add-ins. Spread the pulp on the baking sheet (or a dehydrator tray) and bake on the lowest temperature overnight. You will end up with shredded coconut, which can be blended into coconut flour or kept as a shredded coconut.

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So, 1 coconut ($2.49 at the Whole Foods Market) makes:

3 cups of coconut water
1 liter of milk
1.5-2 cups of coconut flour.
Pretty good deal I’d say.