While I really love to use coconut milk in my cooking, I don’t always love the additives I find when reading the back of the can labels. I’ve been known to compare and contrast all the various cans while at the market in order to find the rare version that does not contain any gums or other things I can’t pronounce. Straight coconut milk is surprisingly difficult to find, so I usually just opt for the can with the least amount of added extras.
This was why it was a real game changer when I was tipped off to the fact that I could easily make my own coconut milk at home. Now I know exactly what’s going into my coconut milk. There’s no comparing of labels and no sneaky extras.
4 cups of water
1.5-2 cups of shredded/ cut coconut pieces
Heat water, but don’t boil. It should be hot, but not scalding.
Put coconut in blender or Vitamix and add water. (If all water won’t fit, you can add the water in two batches.)
Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
Pour through a mesh colander first to get most of the coconut out, and then squeeze through a cloth (same used for Pap) to get remaining pieces of coconut out.
If you have to split the water, put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the remaining water, and repeat.
Flavor options- add in after all coconut has been strained out: ½ tsp vanilla extract, ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 2 tsp cocoa powder + ½ tsp vanilla.
Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Should be used in 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the “cream” of the coconut milk may separate on the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.