(*Note: Find my updated Coconut Milk recipe here.)
Even when I went through my raw vegan phase, I never made my own nut milk.
I bought pre-made almond milk, and then coconut milk when it became fashionable, in cartons. That was before I knew about the deleterious effects of carrageenan.
I kept drinking those tetra packs of watery milk-substitute throughout my first year of paleo. It wasn’t until I did my first autoimmune protocol (AIP) last July that I stopped needing something white in my coffee or tea.
But it turns out (I love irony!) that on the verge of my second AIP, I am reintroducing coconut milk.
Making coconut milk is easy.
And the result is divinely better than the stuff in cartons. And you get to make stuff with the leftover coconut.
I got the recipe for Coconut Milk from Phoenix Helix, but here’s my version:
Homemade Coconut Milk
- 2 cups raw (dehydrated) coconut*
- 2½ cups hot (not boiling) water
Buzz the coconut chips in a blender until you have about 1 cup of fine coconut meal.
Add 1½ cups of hot water and buzz on high for 3 minutes (I used the hot chocolate setting on my Blentec twice, scraping down the sides in between).
Pour the resultant slurry into a nut milk bag & squeeze the liquid into a bowl.
Return the coconut meal to the blender, add 1 cup of hot water & buzz again for another minute & a half.
Squeeze the milk a 2nd time.
Double the recipe as required.
*I used Wilderness Family Naturals brand Coconut Chips
The anticlimactic 1st batch
On my first attempt I used a sieve, but it obviously wasn’t fine enough, because I was able to push all the coconut through, so all I had was a bowl of well-sieved coconut.
So I went out & bought a nut milk bag.
The exhilarating 2nd batch (plus hot chocolate & pizza crust!)
The nut milk bag worked perfectly.
I made a marvellous AIP Hot Chocolate by whirling the still-hot coconut milk with a massively heaping tablespoon of raw cocoa powder, a little pinch clove & big pinch cinnamon in the blender. Heavenly.
Then I had a bagful of soggy coconut meal.
I popped it in a wee bowl, added eggs & salt, pressed it into a greased glass baking dish & baked a Pizza Crust.
It was totally plausible & ridiculously easy, but not AIP because of the egg.
The thrilling 3rd batch: the elastic band innovation
It was tricky to get the last of the coconut slurry out of the blender into the bag while the scalding hot coconut milk ran unsystematically out the bottom & onto the counter.
I solved that problem on my 3rd batch by securing the bag to the blender with an elastic band, so I could gently shake the coconut into the bag while keeping the milk (mostly) elegantly streaming into the bowl.
Then I used the elastic to cinch the bag at the top & hang it from a cupboard knob above the bowl so I could squeeze the remaining hot liquid out with my hands (like milking a cow) without burning my hands overmuch.
With my 3rd batch, I didn’t combine the 1st press (cream) with the 2nd press (milk). I refrigerated the so-called cream for 24 hours to see if I could skim the top off to make whipped coconut cream, but sadly, no.
Instead I used this batch of coconut milk in a Pumpkin Cocoa Coconut Parsely Smoothie, which was a little hardcore, even for me.
With the damp coconut meal I made a Currant Tea Cake, which was fantastic:
- The meal from one batch of coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of nutmeg
- a capful of vanilla
- 1/5 of cup of currants (just a little less than ¼ cup!)
Press into a greased baking dish & baked until browned.
The gripping 4th batch: an attempt at an AIP Tea Cake
This time I tried to make an egg-free tea cake, using applesauce, which was marginally successful.
Next time I’ll try plantain.
Q: Why the #%^&* would I want to make my own coconut milk?
A: Because I’m starting an Autoimmune Protocol tomorrow!