Homemade coconut milk consists of 2 ingredients, coconut and water. It’s that easy! I think a lot of people shy away from homemade coconut milk because canned or powdered coconut milk is so easily and readily available on any grocery store shelf. But my friends, I’m here to inspire you to make your homemade coconut milk and store it in your freezer for when you need it.
Homemade coconut milk is fresh, it doesn’t contain any strange ingredients and best of all, it elevates your dishes in a way that the canned or powdered versions cannot. Don’t get me wrong, if you peek into my pantry, you’ll probably find a few cans of coconut milk so I’m guilt too. But, if I could find fresh coconuts readily available in my local grocery store then I would be making it homemade every time. So whenever I see those brown shells staring back at me from the far corner of the grocery store, I have to make my way over, say a greeting and pick up a few of them.
Coconut has gotten a bad rap over the years because it’s high in saturated fat, however, don’t let that fool you, coconut is highly nutritious. The coconut meat not only has protein but it also provides a ton of essential minerals such as manganese, copper, and iron to name a few.
What to look for when buying coconuts
Cracks: The first thing to look out for are cracks, you don’t want a coconut that has cracks. Inspect it carefully for any signs of cracking or any visible cracks. If you see a wet spot on the coconut, it’s probably starting to crack. It should also be a healthy brown color.
Fullness: You want a coconut that’s brown, heavy and has a decent amount of coconut water. So shake it and listen for the coconut water splashing around inside.
Look into it’s eyes: Yes, you read that right. At the very top of the coconut there are 3 visible “eyes”, inspect them for wetness. They should be a dark brown color.
Other than these inspections in the store, there’s not much else you can do you until you’ve purchased your coconut and taken it home to crack it open.
Once opened: Your coconut should have a hard, white flesh and should be free of any yellow or grey discoloration. The coconut water that you drain from the inside, should be clear and sweet. That’s a sign that that the flesh is good.
To crack open the coconut, tap it firmly with a heavy object like a hammer, meat mallet or a heavy knife. If your first tap is firm enough the water will start draining out. Drain out all the water and continue tapping until the coconut is broken in half or into a few pieces.
Be careful removing the flesh of the coconut from the shell. You want to use a small thin knife, insert it in between the flesh and the shell. Then start lifting up. Keep inserting and lifting until the flesh is removed. Now you’re ready to make coconut milk.
Homemade Coconut Milk
- Hammer or meat mallet
- Fine strainer, nut bag or cheese cloth
- 1 Whole Coconut in shell
- 2-3 cups Water
- Hold coconut in hand and firmly tap with hammer or meat mallet until it cracks open. Continue to tap until you have a few pieces.
- Use a small thin knife to remove the flesh from the shell.
- Cut flesh in smaller pieces and add to blender with 2-3 cups of water.
- Blend until the pieces are about grain size.
- Strain into a bowl or large jar.
- Store in the fridge for use within 4 days or store in freezer for about a month.