This is no big revelation, but if you are buying your coconut milk from a carton, you are getting more than just pure coconut milk. Looking at the list of ingredients, it is safe to say there are items listed that you haven't the slightest clue as to what they are. If that is something that concerns you, but you want to include coconut milk in your diet, than I have some encouraging news for you. It is easy to make at home!
When I first learned how to make my own coconut milk, I honestly didn't think it would be easy to keep up with supply and demand. But I was wrong. Once you grasp the concept and method, the process is quick and painless.
There are a few items you need to get yourself started. First, you need a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. If you don't have one yet and can't quite justify the high price tag, trust me, it is well worth every cent! There are so many uses for it. We use ours at least twice a day on a slow day, but often times more than that. Another thing you need is a nut bag. Then you need a large bowl and a container to store your milk in. And of course, you need some unsweetened shredded coconut.
Just to be clear, I mainly use this homemade almond milk for making smoothies, using it for granola, mixing it in with some oatmeal, making chia pudding, some cooking recipes, and for a few baking needs when a tablespoon or two of milk is required. However, it is not quite as creamy and thick as the canned coconut milk so for most of my baking needs, I still use the canned coconut milk. Also, the homemade coconut milk doesn't work well for making coconut whipped cream or ice cream, so keep that in mind when deciding what to use.
4 cups filtered water
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1. Warm the water in a saucepan until it's hot, not boiling though.
2. Place the coconut and hot water in your high speed blender and blend for several minutes until completely smooth.
3. Place your nut bag over a large bowl and pour the contents of your high speed blender into the nut bag over the bowl.
4. You will then gently squeeze the bag so that the milk is strained out of the bag. This step will take a couple of minutes to ensure that you have squeezed all of the milk out. Also, I should mention that the bag is quite warm as you are using hot water so you will need to use caution when squeezing the bag. You could wear some clean kitchen gloves if your hands can't tolerate the warmth.
5. Once all of the milk is in the bowl, transfer the milk into a container with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. The milk will stay fresh for 4-5 days. Separation will also occur so just give it a good shake before each use.
6. You may wonder what to do with the left over coconut pulp. Did you know that you can turn this pulp into coconut flour? It's easy. Here's what to do. Spread the pulp out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat your oven to 250°. Bake the pulp for 1 hour, stir, turn oven off, and let it sit in the oven for several hours or overnight. Your coconut should be dry by that point. Then place it in your food processor and process on high for 1-2 minutes, or until it is finely ground into flour. Pretty neat!