Make Your Own Delicious and Nutritious Coconut Milk
If you have never tried coconut milk, you’re in for a treat. Although it is high in nutritional value and packed with health benefits, rich, creamy coconut milk tastes like something that should be bad for you. In fact, along with coconut water and coconut oil, coconut milk is one of the best foods you can put in your body.
Coconut milk is not really a “milk,” as we think of milk. It is the liquid that occurs naturally inside mature coconuts, where it is stored within the flesh, or “meat,” of the coconut. If you crack open a fresh coconut, a milky white substance comes out. That is the natural coconut water. Coconut milk is made by blending the coconut meat and straining it for a thicker liquid.
As a coconut matures, the water inside is replaced with coconut meat. Young coconuts, between five and seven months into the growth process, are best for obtaining coconut water, which is higher is sugar and electrolytes. Coconut milk has more healthy saturated fats (from the oil) and is also higher in calories.
Coconuts are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and high in fiber. Coconut milk is a great antioxidant. It lowers cholesterol, supports good digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, regulates hormones, and is anti-viral.
Here is an easy recipe for making your own coconut milk:
2 cups of fresh or vacuum packed coconut
4 cups of warm water
Vanilla extract and honey (optional)
Combine the ingredients and blend thoroughly. Strain the resulting liquid through a mesh strainer, then through cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
This coconut milk will keep in the refrigerator up to four days. Don’t worry if an oil crust forms on the surface. Shake the milk well before using.
You can use coconut milk in a variety of sweet and savory dishes, from smoothies and homemade ice cream to soups and stews.