I grew up greatly disliking anything coconut. I hated the smell and taste of everything associated with it. At the time, I didn’t consider myself a picky eater and would eat almost everything… except coconut.
All that changed about 10 years ago when I had my first coconut honey macaroon at a local health food store. It was the first time I had eaten real coconut (compared to the overly sweetened coconut sold at most grocery stores), and I fell in love with it! Now I keep coconut on hand for things like homemade granola bars, to sprinkle on oatmeal, and to make homemade coconut milk.
Speaking of coconut milk… I recently made homemade coconut milk for the very first time and was so surprised at how simple it was to make! In fact, it was so easy that I’ll never have to buy it again! And like most homemade items, it’s healthier than store-bought versions, and it also saves money.
Today, I’d like to share some reasons why I think you should make homemade coconut milk and then show you how to make it as well.
5 Reasons Why You Should Make Homemade Coconut Milk
1. A Great Dairy Alternative
Coconut milk is a great alternative for those that are sensitive to dairy or who simply want to consume less of it in their diets. You can make ice cream, fudgesicles, put it in your herbal tea, and more. There are a lot of ways to use coconut milk in your diet!
2. Supports Cardiovascular Health
Coconut milk has been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy blood pressure thanks to the lauric acid it contains (Axe, 2015; Ekanayaka, 2013).
3. Supports Weight Loss
It is thought to support healthy weight loss in overweight individuals due to its concentration of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Coconut milk is high in medium-chain triglycerides which increase energy and fat oxidation in overweight persons (St‐Onge, 2003). This makes coconut milk a fat burning food!
4. No Additives or Chemicals
It only contains two ingredients and has no additives like many store-bought coconut milk versions. Carrageenan is a common additive in store-bought dairy-free milk (it’s used as a thickener), but studies show mixed results on its safety (Kresser, 2013). Guar gum is also added to several varieties of store-bought coconut milk and can cause digestive upset in some people. Not only that but canned foods and carton foods contain chemicals (such as BPA) in their liners that have been linked with health problems (Kresser, 2011).
5. Saves Money
Making your own homemade coconut milk can save you money. On Amazon, this can of coconut milk costs $4.08 ($.30/oz) and a carton of coconut milk costs $5.49 ($.16/oz). Compare that to $7.11 for a 24-ounce bag of shredded coconut which will give you around 8 cups of homemade coconut milk costing you $.11/oz. And, if you shop around and buy coconut shreds in bulk, you’ll save even more money!
How To Make Homemade Coconut Milk
Making coconut milk is so simple you won’t believe it!
- Place coconut in a blender and pour hot water over the coconut. You don’t want this water to be boiling, but only hot, so that you get all the nutrition out of the coconut that you can possibly get.
- Blend the shredded coconut and water on high for a few minutes until it is thick and creamy.
- Strain the coconut pieces out of the liquid. It’s a good idea to line a strainer with paper towels or layers of cheesecloth so you can get all of the coconut pieces out.
You now have coconut milk! Isn’t that so simple?![yumprint-recipe id=’31’]
As I’ve already said, coconut milk is a great alternative in recipes to make them healthier and dairy-free! Here are a few recipes to help you get started using your own homemade coconut milk.
10 Coconut Milk Recipes
- Coconut Lime Rice @ All Recipes
- The Best Thai Coconut Soup @ All Recipes
- Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass @ The Kitchn
- Coconut Whipped Cream @ Minimalist Baker
- Coconut Chocolate Pudding @ 101 Cookbooks
- Coconut Macaroon Pancakes @ 101 Cookbooks
- Vegan Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream @ Food52
- 30 Minute Coconut Curry @ Minimalist Baker
- Coconut Milk Baked Chicken @ She Wears Many Hats
- Curried Pork Bowls @ Whole Fork
So now that you know how incredibly simple it is to make your own homemade coconut milk, you can start adding this healthy food to your recipes!
Have you ever made coconut milk? What are your favorite ways to use it in your kitchen?
- Axe, J. (2015). 9 Coconut Milk Nutritional Benefits Recipes – Dr. Axe. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from https://draxe.com/coconut-milk-nutrition/
- Ekanayaka, R. A., Ekanayaka, N. K., Perera, B., & P. G. S. M. De Silva. (2013, October 24). Impact of a Traditional Dietary Supplement with Coconut Milk and Soya Milk on the Lipid Profile in Normal Free Living Subjects. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824402/
- Kresser, C. (2011, June 09). 3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from http://chriskresser.com/3-reasons-why-coconut-milk-may-not-be-your-friend/
- Kresser, C. (2013, November 15). Harmful or Harmless: Carrageenan. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from http://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-carrageenan/
- St‐Onge, M. P., Ross, R., Parsons, W. D., & Jones, P. J. (2003). Medium‐chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obesity research, 11(3), 395-402.