Coconut milk is in many ethnic dishes. It's tasty and creamy, healthy and non-dairy. What a winning combination for those of us who may have a low to no tolerance for dairy products.
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of "Coconut Oil Cures" Coconut has a lot more to offer than a rich cholesterol laden addition to a meal. It actually has many medicinal properties that the body can use to not only boost the immune system, but also lose weight. Lotta surprises on that one! Apparently, cultures thatíve used the oil for their cooking needs [exclusively] have lower incidents of heart disease as well as a lot of the other ailments the modern world residents face. With that in mind, it would be a good thing to know how to produce your own coconut milk.
The first time I tasted coconut milk in a product, I fell in love with the slightly sweet richness of it. It was soothing and satiating all at the same time without the heaviness associated with eating a high fat meal. I enjoyed it, but was later told, incorrectly, that coconut was the worst thing I could eat, because of all the "cholesterol" it contained; and that it contributed to heart disease. I stayed far away from it. In the past few years, in my older age, I decided to take another look at it. I'd been hearing a lot of great things about it, so I wanted to find out for myself what all the sudden interest was. WOW! I discovered so many studies on it and benefits along with its commercial name 'MCT' or Medium Chain Triglycerides, which by the way, I'd sold in times past while working in one of the more popular supplements stores. I only wish I'd known then what I know now about it.
How to make coconut milk
Here's what you're going to need, before starting, and what you're going to do.
- Coconut meat [Either get fresh coconut chunks -best option - or dried shredded coconut],
- a good blender [we use the VitaMix],
- a strainer bag [the nylon fine mesh are the best] and
- a bowl.
Take your coconut, about 1 cup; place it in your blender with water, about 1 1/2 cups.
Cover and blend on high for 3 - 5 minutes [depending on the strength and speed of your blender - VitaMixes will take less time to complete the task],
Pour into your strainer bag that's been placed in your bowl, strain and squeeze the milk from it.
You can do the process over again with 1/2 as much water if you want thinner milk and want to get as much out of the coconut pulp left from the first straining. Totally up to you.
Youíre now ready to use it in whatever you would've used the canned milk i, minus the preservatives, thickeners and potential stabilizers, that some of the canned coconut milks have in them. Not bad for a more flavorful, natural and inexpensive approach to making your own coconut milk.
Use it in your curries, soups and stews, it's great for breads, desserts, sauces, etc. and it's healthy. There's usually sensible work-a-round for the items we gather from the store, that are less than healthy, that happens to be less expensive even.
As always, it's my pleasure sharing with you these concepts and techniques. Until next time...