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Home Ec: Make your own coconut milk

Coconut milk (that super creamy stuff so essential in Thai cooking and many other recipes) is one of those foods that I love but try not to buy in cans. That’s because cans leach BPA (and the BPA-free ones leach other bisphenols) into what’s inside. The most vulnerable foods, that leach the most of that hormone bender? Fatty foods (like coconut milk) and acidic foods (like tomato sauce). For a long time, I just despaired and still bought the cans. Then, I discovered that making coconut milk is actually VERY easy and quick. Of course, making it yourself from fresh coconuts also ensure you have the maximum nutrients available, and the best quality fats. See below for more details.

Recipe for fresh coconut milk

  • Find a ripe coconut that still has lots of liquid in it (listen for the sloshing when you shake it)
  • Use a knife to cut through the tip of the coconut and pour out the milk into a bowl.
  • Now, you  have to get the rest of the coconut split open. In Guatemala that involves using a machete, but here I just throw it hard on the floor.
  • Then, cut out the coconut meat from the husk (the ideal tool is an oyster shucker), but use what you can find as I have no graceful advice.
  • Put the coconut flesh, milk, and 1 to 2 cups warm water in a blender.
  • Filter it through a muslin (I often skip this step, especially if I am cooking with it, but the end result is smoother and creamier if you do it).BTW, I’ve also made my own coconut milk using a high quality dried, organic coconut (not sweetened, not preserved!) and warm water and blending. The nutrient profile isn’t as good as that of fresh coconut but it is another relatively affordable way to get coconut milk without the preservative and bisphenol of the canned variety.

Nutrient Profile of fresh coconut milk

Fresh coconut milk provides a great source of healthy fats. Here’s it’s digits.

  • Calories – 230
  • Proteins – 2.3g
  • Fat – 23.8g
  • Carbohydrates – 5.5g
  • Dietary fiber – 2.3g
  • Sugar – 3.35g
  • Vitamin C – 2.8 mg
  • Vitamin E – 0.15 mg
  • Vitamin B1 – 0.026 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.033 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) – 0.183 mg
  • Folate – 16 mcg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – 0.76 mg
  • Iron – 1.64 mg
  • Selenium – 6.2 mcg
  • Sodium – 15 mg
  • Calcium – 16 mg
  • Magnesium – 37 mg
  • Phosphorus – 100 mg
  • Potassium – 260 mg