Howdy Folkies! How's your New Year so far? Hopefully, things are going great for you, but if not, take heart. You still have 356 days to turn things around!
I have an easy little recipe for you today. If you like coconut milk, this recipe can save you some time running to the grocery store and also save you some money. You can make your own coconut milk. Oh, I know you can crack open a coconut and get the milk. Maybe you live in Hawaii and happen to have an abundance of fresh coconuts lying around. I, however, do not. I also know you can stock up on canned coconut milk, and I generally keep a can or two around for certain dishes that need a thicker milk. But you have to watch the canned stuff -- they sometimes put weird, un-pronouncable things in there. And then, sometimes I run out of the canned stuff. In steps this handy little recipe.
You can use dried coconut. Now, I don't mean the sweetened stuff. I don't even buy that kind. I'm talking about the unsweetened dried coconut (sometimes called dessicated coconut.) You can get it at the health food store or online. This is the kind I usually buy:
Check the ingredients on your coconut. Oh, look. Mine says "organic coconut". Amazing.
I buy my coconut in bulk and store it in the freezer. It keeps probably forever that way. By keeping it in the freezer, I always have coconut on hand. And did you know coconut is good for your thyroid? Just saying....
Anyway, back to my little recipe. Buckle your seat belts and put your thinking caps on. We wouldn't want you to go into a brain freeze when you see how difficult this is. Not really. It's super easy.
How to Make Coconut Milk with Dried Coconut STEP 1: Put 1.5 cups unsweetened dried coconut and 1.5 cups hot (not boiling) filtered water in a blender.
STEP 2: Wait about 30 minutes. Go have yourself a cup of tea, or a bubble bath. Or go watch that episode of Gunsmoke you've been secretly wanting to watch. Go ahead -- I won't tell.
STEP 3: Add another cup of filtered water and turn your blender on. Blend your coconut and water mixture until it is all broken down -- about 3-5 minutes, depending on your blender.
STEP 4: Strain into a glass container using a couple layers of cheesecloth, a piece of muslin, or a nut-milk bag. Squeeze the pulp really well to get all the yumminess out. Squeeze it until it feels almost dry.
That's it. Cover your coconut milk and pop it into the refrigerator. It should keep for about 4 days to a week. It may separate as it sits. No worries. Just shake it up.
This won't be as thick as coconut milk in a can (that is supposed to be reconstituted anyway), but it is great for cooking, or in smoothies, or in your coffee and tea. You can flavor it or use it however you like. And now you're drinking coconut milk without all the weird additives.
**Oh, look, you get a bonus recipe.**
Coconut Flour If you want to make coconut flour with the leftover pulp, all you have to do is dry the pulp out in a dehydrator or a very low oven. Then whir it up in your food processor until it resembles flour. You can store this in the freezer until you need it.
Ta Da! Now aren't you the most handy little health nut that ever walked into 2013?