4 Simple Ways To Prepare Coconut Milk At Home August 4, 2016

Do you want to add a dose of richness to your food? Want to make your meal more nutritious and wholesome? Then coconut milk is something you should try out!

But then, the coconut milk you get in the market isn’t pure or healthy. So what can you do? How about making coconut milk right at your home? Sounds great, right? Want to know how coconut milk is made at home? Then this post is a must-read for you!

Nutritional Highlights Of Coconut:

Coconuts have high nutrient content, and as well as fiber, vitamins and minerals.

They are a rich source of:

  • Vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6.
  • Minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.

Coconut contains unusually high amounts of healthy fatty acids like lauric acid, also found in breast milk, and caprylic acid, known for its potent antiviral and antifungal properties.

Manganese is essential for metabolism and collagen formation and helps keep the blood pressure normal. Copper plays a big role in immunity and bone health, and selenium is critical for thyroid function, as well as, healthy skin, nails, and hair.

Apart from this, coconut milk, unlike cow’s milk, is lactose- free. This makes it an excellent milk substitute, especially for vegans (people who shun milk and its products, apart from animal food) and those who are lactose intolerant.

If you select canned coconut milk, you may be exposing yourself to toxic BPA (Bisphenol-A), a known human endocrine disruptor and probable carcinogen, which is found in the lining of cans. This carcinogen can get into the coconut milk, making it unsafe.

Coconut milk in tetra packs comes with its own set of health risks. If not fresh, it can be bad for your gut health, and if fortified, it can cause allergies and digestive problems. It is also too thin and low in fat to be of much use for making curries. So, the best option remains the homemade coconut milk which is fresher, less processed and healthier and also friendlier for your wallet.

Homemade coconut milk made from dried coconuts is many times richer in vitamins, food enzymes and nutrients than canned coconut milk.

[ Read: Use Coconut Milk For Hair Growth ]

How To Make Coconut Milk At Home?

There are many ways to make coconut milk. However, in this post we are going to be talking about four common methods. You could also choose to ferment the coconut milk for making coconut yogurt. This way you will get even more proteins and nutrition along with a healthy dose of probiotics for better digestion.

1. Coconut Milk From Shredded Coconut:

Tools:
  • A good blender
  • Muslin cloth, fine cheese cloth or strainer bag
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 4 cups hot water
Directions:
  1. Add 2 cups of shredded coconut in a bowl of hot water.
  2. Soak for 1-2 hours.
  3. Pour the mixture in a blender. Blend for a minute to get a fine paste.
  4. Strain this paste using a muslin cloth or a fine cheesecloth. Make sure to press out all the juice.
  5. Remove the solid coconut shavings and use immediately or store the coconut milk for use in making curries.
  6. The milk should be good for 3-4 days if stored in the fridge. Shake the milk before using.
Additional Instructions:

Each cup of shredded coconut will translate into two cups of milk. Hence, be careful if you want smaller quantities. Measure out the coconut and pour in blender. 2 cups of coconut shreds need 4 cups of water for preparation.

[ Read: Health Benefits Of Coconut Milk Powder ]

2. Coconut Milk From Fresh, Dry Coconut:

Tools:
  • Blender
  • Cleaver or hammer to break the coconut shell
  • Fine muslin cloth or cheesecloth or strainer
Ingredients:
  • Fresh coconuts
  • Water
Directions:
  1. Take a fresh coconut. You would want to verify if it has water inside it before you buy. One way to find out that is to shake it to check for water. Do not buy if there is no liquid or if the coconut looks stale.
  2. Back at home, knock the coconut with the blunt side of the cleaver (you can use the hammer too). Do not try to break open the shell using the sharp side, or you can injure yourself.
  3. Once you crack open the nut, water will pour out. Use it for drinking. It is full of nutritional value like coconut milk.
  4. We are left with 2 pieces of coconut with flesh. The flesh of the coconut is what is used primarily to make coconut milk.
  5. Many people find it difficult to remove the flesh from the hard shell. The trick to do this (fast and without injuring yourself) is to take a sharp paring knife to dig out the flesh.
  6. Once you have accomplished this, take out your blender.
  7. Cut the flesh into small pieces.
  8. Pop these in the blender with 2 cups of water.
  9. Buzz till you get a paste with an even consistency.
  10. Next up, you would need a strainer and bowl.
  11. Pour the blended coconut mix into the strainer.
  12. You have the coconut milk in the bowl that is ready to use.
  13. Store or use as before.
Additional Instructions:

The best way is using hot water in this recipe for homemade coconut milk as it produces richer milk that’s higher in coconut oil. However, if you want to make unheated coconut milk, you can use cold water.

3. Coconut Milk From Freshly Grated Coconut:

This is a traditional method of making coconut milk and is used widely in India. This method also makes a thicker coconut milk which is ideal for making South Indian curries.

Tools:
  • Blender
  • Cleaver or hammer to break the coconut shell
  • Fine muslin cloth or cheesecloth or strainer
Ingredients:
  • Fresh coconut
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Soy milk
Directions:
  1. Grate the coconut into a bowl.
  2. Transfer the grated coconut flesh into blender.
  3. Add ¼ cup of water per coconut.
  4. Only blend for a few seconds and hold down firmly.
  5. Put the coconut paste through a strainer.
  6. Store the coconut milk for use.

4. Coconut Milk From Desiccated Coconut:

This is finer than shredded coconut. This dried form is also more commonly available in the US than in India.

Tools:
  • Blender
  • Cleaver or hammer to break the coconut shell
  • Fine muslin cloth or cheese cloth or strainer
Ingredients:
  • Fresh coconuts
  • Water
Directions:
  1. Add equal quantities of water/ milk and desiccated coconut into a pan and heat.
  2. You can substitute milk with soy milk, if you are a vegan or are dieting. Water also works just fine. Decide for yourself.
  3. Heat gently for 2-4 minutes on low heat. Keep frequently stirring and do not allow the mixture to boil.
  4. Strain through a strainer or a muslin or cheesecloth.
  5. Pour the milk into a bowl.
  6. Squeeze the coconut in the cheesecloth to twist out as much coconut milk as possible. You can use the solid coconut for baking or making stews.
  7. Use this milk to cook delicious dishes or even as a drink, a moisturizer for hair and a skin tonic. It works every time.
  8. Store the coconut milk, but make sure that you use it within 3 to 4 days.

Many traditional families in India still prefer the traditional way of making coconut milk. They crack open a coconut, scrape the skin off and then grate the coconut meat manually. They then squeeze this meat to extract the coconut milk. Simple and efficient!

Whatever the method used, coconut milk adds great taste and nutrients to the dishes it’s used for. The results each time are yummy. This may be the reason it has become a staple in tropical and sub-tropical cuisines like Indian and Thai.

Coconut milk is a wonderful dairy alternative and is used to make creamy soups, curries, puddings, and sweets. Truth be told, coconut milk is a fantastic ingredient that adds richness and luxury to everything it touches.

Now that you know how to make coconut milk at home, let us know if you’ll give it a try. Share your experiences with us. Comment in the box below!

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