Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk and Coconut Flour
I looked up a couple different recipes for homemade coconut milk. They seemed simple enough so I thought I would give my hand at it. I was surprised to find it was actually simpler then I had originally thought. I think we often get taken back by things that don't have obvious ways to open, like a lid or using a knife to just peel. But with a little modern technology and thinking like a "cavegirl", this was so simple to break into and can be used as a stress reliever (watch out for your fingers :) )
Here is what you'll need:
1 coconut and it's water
2 cups gently warmed water
1 Tablespoon vanilla of choice
2 teaspoons local raw honey
blender and food processor
The top of your coconut should have a face or 3 eyes. I used my wine opener (not just for opening wine bottles). Best to have one with the handles on each side. This make it easier to pull a little of the coconut out so it can drain. If your coconut isn't steady or more odd shaped on the bottom, grab yourself an extra pair of hands for this part. Just like opening a bottle of wine, place screw into one of the eyes and begin twisting until wine screw handles are all the way up then pull down. A small piece of coconut will be intertwined around the cork screw, don't worry, it comes off easily. On a second "eye", repeat the same process. This allows you to drain the water faster with better flow. Like when you opened cans of juices back in the day.
Now, grab a glass and place coconut upside down to drain (you will want to keep the coconut water) .
Now, for the fun part :)
I wrapped my coconut in a thick dish towel and took it outside and placed on a concrete step. You could do this on your kitchen counter I guess but I had to many glass bottles that I didn't want to jar off the counter and break. With the side of a hammer, yes you read that right, a hammer. I gave a good pound to loosen the shell and then another to crack completely open. TaDa!! We have coconut!
I put back on my kitchen counter, wrapped it again and gave one more little pound to break the bigger pieces down. This made it easier for me to extract the coconut from it's shell.
To extract the coconut from it's shell, it will take one or both prying the coconut away from the shell and/or cutting the coconut between the meat and it's shell.
Total time it took from draining the water, to breaking coconut apart and extraction was 20 mins. Keeping in mind this was my first attempt.
While I was getting the coconut meat away from the shell, I measured and gently heated 2 cups of water (don't boil). I used spring water for this recipe.
Once all the meat was detached from it's shell, I placed on a plate to rinse any bits and pieces of hair or shell off the meat because that's not good eats.
Once rinsed, I placed the coconut in my blender, added the 2 cups of heated water, the coconut water from the coconut (I got about one cup of coconut water). If you get any little particles from the coconut shell in your water ,just strain it using a small strainer and a piece of cheesecloth. I added 1 Tablespoon of Madagascar vanilla powder and 2 teaspoons of raw local honey and blend. I blended my for a total of about 10 mins. using crush ice button and blend button (rotating back and forth) just so I got the most from the meat.
Then I placed a small strainer, lined with a piece of cheesecloth, over a measuring cup and slowly added the liquid from the blender. This allows the liquid to flow through, catching the pulp. I would squeeze out excess the liquid and place the pulp on a sheet pan (spread out) because you are going to dry this out to make coconut flour. YUM! This saves money on the flour and nothing goes to waste. I repeated in batches until done. Then I pour the coconut milk into a jug and placed in refridge for at least two hours to chill. Yield is 3 cups of milk.
Note: Milk and cream separate and will need to be shaken each time used. This milk last about 3 days due to it's clean ingredients. Clean meaning there are no stabilizers, binders, or emulsifiers added.
I'm not normally a big fan of coconut milk because I don't like the taste of store bought ones. This, this was amazing and so worth the effort that you will never go back to store bought again.
How To Make Coconut Flour with left over pulp. Real simple. Place the highly squeezed pulp onto a baking sheet, I lined mine with parchment paper. Spread out evenly and place in a 170 degree oven on top shelf for about 2 hours or until dry. Once dry, add to your food processor and pulse until you have a powder like flour. Store in a zip bag or airtight container up to a week. I got about a cup in a half of flour.