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I love everything coconut! But even though I love coconut, I am extremely picky about the coconut or coconut product – it has to be absolutely fresh smelling. And unfortunately not a lot of products pass my ‘smell test’. Even most organic Coconut milk brands have a slightly rancid smell that fresh homemade coconut milk does not have. For making coconut milk, using fresh coconut is the best. However, since in the US we don’t see fresh coconuts regularly in the grocers, I find ‘fresh frozen coconut’ – either grated or sliced as the next best alternative. And that is what I use for all my traditional southern Indian recipes (Kerala ) recipes. You could also use dried shredded coconut for making coconut milk however you will need to blend it with hot water and for a longer period of time. I blend the frozen coconut (after thawing) and strain through a strainer or a nut milk bag to get fresh coconut milk.
Nowadays, having been avoiding dairy completely, I use coconut milk even for other things like making myself a hot beverage like matcha coconut latte or chicory coconut latte and also for making my smoothies and ice creams! (Check out my instagram page for all these recipes). Since I need to have coconut milk handy for such purposes, I make a small batch of fresh coconut milk every week and store it in the fridge.
I used to always use a large fine mesh strainer (That I had bought from india) for straining the coconut milk. However, recently I have started using this nut milk bag and I am loving it for two reasons. First reason – It is very large so I can add the entire quantity of coconut milk mixture into it at once. When I use a strainer, I have to do it in two batches since the strainer is small. The second reason I like it is that its texture is very fine and so even the tiniest of coconut meat particles/shreds do not pass thru to the milk. Plus, the bag is fairly easy to clean by hand. The seams of the bag have been thoughtfully placed on the outside so that it is easy to clean! Really neat! So do check this nut milk bag out and if you decide to purchase it, use the coupon code ‘cook2nourish’ for a 10% off of your entire order. (In addition to their nut milk bag, Elli’s Best have a lot of wonderfully healthful and wholesome products that you will definitely love!)
Now as I have started using coconut flour for some of my snack recipes like the apricot coconut balls, I started making coconut flour at home too. And if you make coconut milk at home, it makes total sense to make coconut flour too since that is made from the leftover coconut after extracting the milk.
And most recently, I have started making coconut yoghurt also using coconut milk. Check out all 3 recipes below. It is really quite easy to make all three together every week – it takes me about 30 mins really…that’s all! And the quality of all the products especially the coconut milk makes it just worth your time and effort! And as a bonus, you will save a few dollars too 🙂
- 2 cups fresh or fresh frozen coconut (grated or sliced) or dried shredded coconut
- 2½ cups warm water (not boiling)
- 2 tsp tapioca starch mixed in 1 tbsp water
- 2 capsules of any probiotic supplement (ideally having 50 Billion or above of probiotic bacteria)
- If using frozen coconut, thaw it first at either room temperature or in the microwave for about 30 secs.
- Blend the coconut with half of the the warm water(about 1 and ½ cups) in a food processor or blender.(If using dried shredded coconut, blend for longer time)
- Place a large fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Strain the coconut mixture through this to get coconut milk in the bowl. You can use your hands to squeeze the coconut meat.
- Put the squeezed coconut meat back into the blender along with the rest of the warm water (1 cup) and again blend for another 30 secs or so.
- Once again pass this mixture through strainer. You will get about 3 cups of coconut milk. Pour half of the extracted coconut milk in a bottle or jar and place in fridge. Keep the rest aside.
- Pre heat oven to 170 deg F (or lowest setting)
- Place the strained coconut meat on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread it to form a thin layer.
- Place this tray in the oven for around 2 hours or until the coconut meat is completely dry.
- Place the dried coconut meat in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until you get a coarse flour.
- Pour half of the extracted coconut milk (about 1 cup) into a small cooking pot and heat on low.
- Mix the tapioca starch and water to form a thick slurry and add this paste to the warmed coconut milk. Stir continuously until the coconut milk turns thick. Turn heat off. Let the coconut milk cool down to about lukewarm (meaning when you put your finger in it, it should not be too hot).
- Now open the probiotic capsules and add the contents into the lukewarm coconut milk. (do not add the outer shell of the capsule).
- Stir well using a spoon to help dissolve the probiotic contents well with the coconut milk.
- Pour this mixture into a glass jar and cover with a lid. Place jar in a warm place like the inside of an oven or at room temperature (if room temperature is above 70 deg F) for about 24 hours for the yoghurt to set.
Step wise pictures: