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I’ve always wanted to try coconut milk, but I never wanted to buy it because most store bought coconut milk is sold in cans, contains sugar and has other unnecessary additives. Up until recently, I missed out on this healthy delicious drink because I didn’t know how to make coconut milk and that making coconut milk was so simple!
Why You Should Learn How to Make Coconut Milk Yourself
I’m always concerned about buying anything in a can due to the harmful BPA that cans contain and can be released into the foods inside of the can. BPA in cans is considered toxic and has been linked to many health concerns including hormone disruption, reduced fertility, increased risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, birth defects, and miscarriages.
Not only is coconut milk only currently sold in cans, but most coconut milk being sold also contains added ingredients. One popular organic brand I found listed guar gum as an additive. Guar gum hasn’t been linked to harmful effects, but it can be hard to digest, especially for those with gut issues like leaky gut, so for those people, it may be best to avoid it.
Benefits of coconut milk
Coconut milk is made from the flesh/meat of a coconut. It is a consistency very similar to regular store bought milk. It doesn’t contain any dairy, which makes it a great alternative for those who are dairy free.
Here are some of the many other benefits:
- Good source of healthy fats
- Aids in digestion – supports healing and repairing of intestines
- Contains lauric acid- which is beneficial as it is antiviral, antibacterial
- Good source of selenium
- Hydrating drink with a good source of nutrients and vitamins
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels and prevent spikes
- Heart healthy benefits and decreases risk of heart disease
- Immune system booster due to the lauric acid and capric acid benefits
What to Use Coconut Milk For:
Coconut milk can be used in place of regular milk. I sometimes drink it straight from a cup and it makes a delicious energizing drink due to the beneficial fats.
Even though I don’t eat cereal, you could use it in cereal or with oatmeal to replace regular milk. I’ve been wanting to try it with some paleo cereal recipes I’ve found!
There are also many recipes that call for coconut milk, such as baked goods, pudding, and soup. I’ve also seen some delicious looking coconut milk popsicles with fresh fruit! Yum!
How to Make Coconut Milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups of coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- 3 cups of water
- A nut-milk or cheesecloth bag
Directions: (see pictures of steps below!)
1. Take 1 and 1/2 cups of coconut flakes or shredded coconut (either will work the same) and pour them into your blender.
2. Add 3 cups of water to the blender. I use lukewarm water.
3. Blend for about 3 to 5 minutes to make sure there are no remaining chunks and it comes to a smooth creamy consistency.
4. Take a bowl and cover it with your cheesecloth or nut-milk bag. I folded my cheesecloth bag, so that it would strain out the larger pieces.
5. Pour the mixture in the blender on top of the cheesecloth and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
6. Grab all of the sides of the cheesecloth with the milk that hasn’t strained through, into a ball and twist the top to secure it.
7. Next, squeeze the cheesecloth containing the coconut milk/pulp to release more coconut milk into the bowl.
The coconut milk remaining in the bowl is ready to drink!
Step 1-2: adding ingredients to blender
Step 5: pouring mixture into bowl covered with cheesecloth
Step 6-7: squeezing out remaining milk
How to Store Coconut Milk
I keep my coconut milk in the refrigerator in a glass mason jar or Le Parfait jar (in my picture above).
When you store it in the fridge, the cold temperature causes the coconut milk to separate. So, when you’re ready to drink the coconut milk, it is best to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time and stir it.
How long is Coconut Milk Good For?
If you keep the coconut milk in your fridge, it should last about 4 to 5 days.