Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Make Coconut Milk

I love the coconut flavor! Knowing how healthy the coconut is for my body I could eat it every day. And on most days I do; if not the raw flesh then at least the virgin oil,  the milk or the water from young coconuts. More often than not, the coconut milk comes pasteurized and I would rather have it unprocessed.

 Organic coconuts from the Ivory Coast

This morning I bought three organic coconuts from the Ivory Coast with the idea of making my own coconut milk from their flesh. This, of course is not as easy as it may sound. Coconuts are quite stubborn and do not easily give up their treasure.They have to be cracked open and cracking a coconut may became an adventure in its own right. 

Once a coconut has been cracked open, the process of milk making is rather easy and quite gratifying. All you need is shredded coconut flesh and water, but before you start there are a few steps you have to take to get ready. 

  • 1 cup shredded coconut flesh
  • 2 cups warm water 

  • Wash the coconuts under running water. You may want to use a vegetable brush to remove the dirt.
  • Crack open the coconut. The easiest way to do it is to first pierce the softest of the three "eyes." Find the softest of the three "eyes" and pierce it with the help of a sharp, long nail or a similar object and a hammer. Watch your fingers! 
  •  After you made the hole drain the coconut water. Discard it or save it for later use. The old coconuts do not contain as much coconut water as the young ones and the water has a less refreshing taste.
  • Once the soft "eye" is pierced, the inner tension lessens and it is much easier to crack the nut open. It took me a few minutes, but I finally managed. 

    Coconut cracked open with a hammer

    • Extract the flesh with a spoon. The extracted chunks of coconut flesh are covered with rather hard brown skin. Peel the skin off with a sharp knife and wash the coconut flesh. 

    Coconut flesh
    • Place the coconut chunks in a food processor and shred on a medium speed. 
    • Cover a sieve with a clean cheese cloth and place it over a wide rimmed pitcher.
    • Fill the sieve with shredded coconut.
    • Pour warm water through the sieve. You can use more or less water depending on how thick you  want your coconut  milk to be.
    • Pull the edges of the cloth together and squeeze the milk out using both hands. 
    • Allow the milk to settle in a pitcher for a moment. After a while you will see a thick layer forming on top. This is the coconut butter. Scoop it gently. The remaining liquid is the actual coconut milk.

    Homemade coconut milk

    Once your coconut milk is ready you can store it in a fridge for couple days. I prefer to use it right away as a base for a delicious smoothie. And I use both, the milk and the butter to obtain a nice creamy texture of my smoothies.

    Wishing you a great adventure with coconuts, in radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

    P.S. If you cannot obtain coconuts, buy raw coconut flakes and shred them if necessary. Follow all the other steps to make the milk.

    The higher the water temperature the better the extraction of milk from coconut flakes. However, if you are very particular about raw food being really "raw" do not use boiling water. Instead let it cool off. You can also use cold water if you put the coconut chunks into a blender. Simply add adequate amount of cold water and process until smooth. Use a sieve and cheese cloth to squeeze the milk out of the coconut water blend. This is not my preferred method, but some raw food writers suggest it. You may want to try both to see which one better suits you.

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