Make Your Own: Coconut Milk

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We go through coconut milk in this house probably more than we go through soy milk. We can't get enough of the rich, creamy stuff -- whether we use it to make curry sauces or smoothies, substitute for "regular" milk in baked goods, etc. And we may start using it more. I read an article the other day about soy . . . and no matter you opinion on how much is too much, I think the two of us are both consuming a bit over the limit. So, coconut milk it is!

A can of coconut milk costs about $3.50 at our grocery store. This coconut? $2.99. The yield was pretty much the same amount. The taste? Fresh coconut equals fresher milk. And the process is so incredibly easy, we just couldn't wait to share it with all of you.

Please note: The cats, as always, were of no use to us in this process. They didn't lift a paw or even feign interest.

STEP 1: Crack open the coconut. The instructions on the coconut (we purchased one from Amy's Organic, which was in the produce section at our local Wegmans) said to cut off the diamond-shaped tip. I'm not sure if that meant the entire top, but that's what we did. Stephen used a hammer to gently guide our knife and crack it. I suggest you place the coconut in a shallow bowl or other container because the coconut water will spill out at bit and you want to collect as much of it as possible.

STEP 2: Enjoy your accomplishment. That first step is the most difficult in the entire process. And I had never broken into a real coconut before. (As opposed to a FAKE one? I don't know what I'm talking about). But what's inside is, for lack of better words, cool! Enjoy it!

STEP 3: Scrape away. First make sure you collect all the coconut water in bowl. Then, take a regular spoon and scrape all that fatty white flesh that's inside. That's what you'll blend with the coconut water to create the milk. You'll notice some brown stuff sticking to the white . . . just gently peel that away. If you don't get all of it, no worries. We didn't either, but hardly noticed it in the end product.

STEP 4: Blend. Just combine all the coconut water and flesh in your blender and pulse on high until fully combined. The texture will be frothy. And the milk will taste fantastic.

Now you have coconut milk. Pretty amazing, right? Use it in your favorite recipes. We'll be giving you one later today for our favorite red curry tofu dish. Until then, tell us -- how do you use coconut milk? Have any tips on opening the thing without using a hammer? Leave us a comment or email us at

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