I’ve had quite the love affair with smoothies these past few months. It all started when we got a real high-speed blender (as opposed to the old, beat-up thrift-shop blender that smelled like burning and leaked whenever we used it). I started exploring green smoothies, and I hit upon my perfect blend (which I’ll share in another post). Suffice it to say it contains blueberries, ginger and coconut. Yum.
I’d been using coconut milk in a cardboard box. Organic, $2/quart. Pretty tasty stuff. One day, I found myself without a book at hand while sipping my smoothie (the girls were miraculously otherwise-engaged), and I read the list of ingredients. Wow. So many ingredients in one box of supposedly natural non-dairy “milk.” As the whole goal of a smoothie-filled breakfast was to get rid of overly-processed ingestibles (is that a word?), I started exploring my options. Which lead me to one of the easiest DIYs I have found yet – homemade coconut milk. I used many online recipes as jumping-off points (thanks, Wellness Mama and Crunchy Betty), and have made it about a quadrillion times in the last few weeks. This is how I did it.
1. Dump approximately 2 cups of UNSWEETENED shredded coconut into a container. I use my ginormously fabulous 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup – yay for thrift stores! (The coconut I use is Bob’s Red Mill – I find it in the bulk bin at Freddies).
2. Pour hot (not quite boiling, but HOT) water into the measuring cup, until the total is about 6 cups or so (this ain’t an exact science, which I love).
4. Using a high-speed blender, blend, blend, blend. I let it go for 2-3 minutes. Again, not an exact science.
5. Pour it off into a mesh strainer (or any strainer, but this puppy works very well, and it was super-cheap at Ikea) over your big-ass measuring cup (or other bowl). I use a mason jar bottom to squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible.
6. Pour into glass jars, refrigerate, and use for everything. I love it in my smoothies, in my iced coffee, and in a super-delicious panna cotta I made for the first time the other night. I’ll try to share that recipe, too, because it’s beyond tasty.
The best thing (in my opinion) about this coconut milk, other than the fact that it’s delicious and easy to make, is this creamy crust of coconut oil that forms on the top. I break it up with a spoon and make sure some follows the coconut milk into everything I make with it.