I've started making my own coconut milk - and I wanted to share my recipe with you. It is unbelievably easy and perfect for cereal, smoothies, hot drinks, baking and more!
I don't get on well eating too many nuts, so tend to avoid regular use of nut milks for this reason. I also prefer to avoid milks with added emulsifiers, gums and thickeners, as well as grain-based milks which can be very starchy and irritate my digestive system. So what's a fuss pot like me to do when it's time for a hot chocolate?
In the past I've watered down tinned coconut milk, but while I love tinned coconut milk in curries, I've always found it a bit too sickly and rich for making drinks and desserts. I sometimes make my own hemp milk, which is also a great option, but the taste can be a little too distinctive for some drinks and dishes. I've also discovered a lovely, light unprocessed coconut milk at my favourite refill shop here in Devon - Earth, Food, Love in Totnes. But I can't always get there, and so I figured I could probably do something similar for a fraction of the price if I put my mind to it.
So I'm thrilled to discover that I actually can make my own mild, creamy yet light, dairy free milk from home and save a packet in the process. Really, it's so easy, creates minimal mess and it's incredibly cost effective, and by leaning away from buying packaged products repeatedly, we can help lighten our footprint on the planet too - a huge win win!
I also love knowing that coconut milk is nutrient dense and rich in anti-inflammatory lauric acid, which converts to monolaurin in the body and delivers anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
All you need is a decent blender, some desiccated coconut, some warm water, a fine-mesh sieve - that's it! Here's how...
1 cup desiccated coconut (go for sulphite free)
3 cups warm water
You can, of course, adjust the ratio of desiccated coconut to water if you want a creamier or thinner milk.
Place the desiccated coconut in your blender (make sure the container is big enough to handle this quantity of liquid, otherwise scale down the ingredients) and blend on high for around 30 seconds. Turn it off and give the motor a rest for a few minutes. Then repeat the blending for around 30 seconds.
Pour the milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a large jug or container, pressing down on the desiccated coconut leftovers that collect in the sieve with the back of a spoon to get extra milk.
Store in sealed glass bottle or container in the fridge - lasts for several days - shake up before each use.
And don't throw away the leftover coconut remnants - they can be used to add fibre to your porridge, baking or just mushed up with some warm milk, sliced banana, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, raisins and viola - a comforting grain free breakfast or pudding.