I’m always looking for natural alternatives to cow’s milk, which can cause acne and breakouts. I love almond milk in smoothies and on my granola in the morning, but coconut milk is another great alternative. I make a lot of Thai and Indian curries, which often call for coconut milk, and it works well as a substitute in baking too.
I normally get it in a can, but the prices vary loads (in Tesco, they range from 50p to £1.99 per can!) and that has got me wondering what is in the cheaper cans. I’ve heard some contain harmful additives and preservatives, so I thought, why don’t I see how hard it is to make myself? At least then I know exactly what’s gone in there.
I could not believe how easy it was to make coconut milk at home! Not to mention how much cheaper it is than buying the canned version. You can whip it up in 15 minutes with no prior preparation, and at 99p for 300g of coconut, it costs about 25p per batch. I made it using desiccated coconut, but you can make it with an actual coconut, but this is a little more labour intensive, and I don’t tend to have coconuts lying around (I do, however, have desiccated coconut in my kitchen cupboards).
You will need:
1 cup or 75g organic unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 cups or 475ml water
A cheese cloth/muslin cloth/nut bag
1. Bring the two cups of water to the boil, then allow to cool slightly.
2. Combine the water and desiccated coconut in a blender, and blend for a few minutes until it’s well combined.
3. Strain the water and coconut through a sieve lined with your muslin cloth. If the mixture is still hot, leave it to cool a bit before squeezing the excess liquid from the cloth.
4. If you are not using it immediately, allow to cool fully, then put the coconut milk into a sealed jar and refrigerate.
This makes approx 2 cups/500ml of coconut milk. According to various sources, it should keep for 4-5 days maximum in the fridge, so you don’t want to make too much at a time.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I can’t wait to use this recipe to make dairy-free ice cream! Has anyone else used homemade coconut milk to make ice cream?