Coconut milk is a delicious, nutritious, dairy-free base for creamy protein shakes and is so easy to make at home.
Like, super easy.
But why bother?
Well, store-bought coconut milk may come in a chemically lined can or carton, can be a little expensive over time if you use it regularly, and contain additives like carrageenan, guar gum, and other stabilizers that have been traced to digestive upset.
It’s worth making your own coconut milk, and all you need is a bag of unsweetened shredded coconut, water, a blender, and nut milk bag (or cheesecloth).
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 cups hot water (almost boiling)
Place the coconut and hot water into your blender, letting the ingredients sit for a few minutes to give the coconut time to soften.
Blend on high for about 2 minutes, or until the coconut is pureed and the mixture looks milky. There may still be some small pieces of coconut.
Open your cheesecloth or nut milk bag and arrange it inside a medium-sized bowl or pitcher with the edges folded over the rim, like a trash bag lining a wastebasket. Pour in the mixture.
Tie or knot the cheesecloth or nut bag closed, then hold it in both hands and squeeze over your container. Keep squeezing and wringing out the cloth or bag until you’ve gotten out as much of the coconut milk as possible.
Ta-da! Homemade coconut milk! 🙂
*Makes 4 cups
Full disclosure: Without commercial machines and additives, the texture won’t as thick and creamy as store bought coconut milk. But the purity, taste, and cost-effectiveness of homemade can’t be beat.
Double disclosure: In moments of extreme laziness, I have skipped the cheesecloth step and just left in the coconut residue. 😉
P.S. Flavored coconut milk is as easy as 1, 2, 3, by adding these extra ingredients to the blender:
Vanilla Coconut Milk: 1 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberry Coconut Milk: ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Chocolate Coconut Milk: 1 tbs cacao or cocoa powder + 1 tsp vanilla extract
Sweetened Coconut Milk: Add stevia or honey to taste or 4 pitted dates (let dates sit in the hot water too)
Spiced Coconut Milk: Try cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg allspice, hazelnut, and/or almond extract to taste.
Get creative, it’s fun!
Bonus: Homemade coconut (especially flavored) milk is delicious in your morning coffee.
Double bonus: The leftover coconut pulp in the cloth or bag can be dried out in a dehydrator or oven to use as coconut flour.
Storing the coconut milk: Pour into an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to approximately four days. Although I’ve used mine for a week.
The coconut milk may separate when stored in the fridge, so simply shake or stir before use. You can also freeze your homemade coconut milk in ice cube trays.