After a friend of mine shared an article on homemade coconut milk, I began playing around with my coconut. And then I bought another one, and another one. I started experimenting and researching.
I decided I wanted to make three things with coconuts: Coconut Milk, Coconut Flour, and Coconut oil. All of which can be very expensive and as my regular readers know, expensive ain't my thing!
One thing I discovered however, was that no website, blog article or Youtube video (that I was able to find) showed how to process coconuts in all three ways, simultaneously. So here you go! I will post the links to the pages and videos that I saw at the end of this article. I am not an expert on coconuts, but I am something of an expert on cheap!
Here, I bought five coconuts. They were 1.38$ each, and I picked up the largest ones out of the bin.
My yields from these 5 coconuts are thus:
1.5 cups of coconut oil
220 oz. of coconut milk
8 cups of coconut flour
All for less than 7$.
It's important here to note that had I chosen either the coconut milk OR the coconut oil, I would have gotten quite a lot more of each. But because I wanted both, the totals for each were less.
So let's get started!
Shopping for coconuts, you want to pick heavy ones. Shake them to see if they have plenty of liquid inside. Low liquid content likely means there is a hole or a crack and the coconut inside has been compromised.
Hold the coconut over a bowl and whack it hard with the back edge of a heavy knife. It splits in half magically! Sometimes the first blow does it, sometimes you need to hit it a few times.
You can save the liquid and strain it as it likely has bits of the hull floating around in it.
Some people add a bit of sugar to this and drink it up. I just processed it back into the coconut milk.
When you take them out, you will find that they are a lot easier to remove from their shells, as heating them causes them to pull away a little from the outer hulls.
I had a bowlful of large chunks of meat.
I chopped them up into pieces that my blender could handle.
Coconut shells make excellent mulch, they can be composted or burned. Because they are highly flammable, they are terrific fire starters for your summertime bar-b-q or weenie roast. You can also crunch them up and use them in your fish tank filter, water filter or other application instead of activated charcoal. Ground to dust, they are very absorbent and a great way to handle those pesky oil stains in your driveway. You can even use the dust as a facial exfoliant. So keep them!
Before adding liquid, use the crush setting and get the pieces as small as you can.
Obviously, this is not five coconuts. Only blend about a half a coconut at a time, unless your blender is a mean machine and can handle more.
I was using a cheap Sunbeam blender that I bought at a thrift store without a lid.
Blend, blend, blend.
Because I was making flour with the solids, I took care to get my pieces as miniscule as possible. If I had a Blendtec, this would have been an easy thing. But my cheap little Sunbeam just went and went.
Bandanas can be used for so many things! I always have plenty lying around.
Dampen the bandana and place it (or strainer, or cheesecloths over the mouth of a pitcher and scoop one or two cupfuls of the pulp into it.
If you're only making coconut milk, good job, you all done! This is, as I said, very concentrated so you would want to dilute it quite a bit.
If you want to make the coconut oil and flour, read on.
After getting as much liquid out of the pulp as possible, dump the coconut grounds out onto a cookie sheet.
I had to use two of them.
Spread it out as evenly as you can, then place it in a 200F oven for a few hours to dry out.
If I was only making coconut oil, I would have wanted to put my milk into a bowl or some container that would allow me to scoop the cream out easily. But making the milk as well, I didn't want to remove all of the cream.
I ladled approximately
1/2 to 2/3's of the cream into a heavy bottomed pot.
After a while, you will see the oil begin to come to the top.
Continue to cook until you are unable to get any more oil out of the sludge. I would estimate that this took me about an hour.
I can't say that it was a blast to make all of this, as you can see it was a ton of work! Was it worth it? Oh yes! Especially the coconut milk. And as I said in the beginning of this post, all of these products are fair bit pricey, and making your own makes them affordable for just about anyone. In fact, going to a regular grocery store and purchasing cooking oil (corn, canola, vegetable) plus a sack of wheat flour, plus two gallons of cow milk would cost you at least double what I spent here for much, MUCH healthier products.
Stay tuned to this blog for recipes using coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut flour, as I can see this being something that I do on a regular basis!
Hybrid Rasta Mama; 333 Uses for Coconut Oil
WikiHow; 8 Ways to Open a Coconut
Homemade Desert Recipes; How to Open a Coconut
Wellness Mama; Homemade Coconut Milk
Whole New Mom; Easiest Coconut Milk Recipe - Improved!
Youtube: Raw Pleasure Australia; How to make coconut milk. (obnoxious music, but good video).
Ehow; How To Make Homemade Coconut Oil
Youtube: Christopher Silverton-Thong; Coconut Oil - Homemade
Trini Style; Homemade Coconut Oil
*********** Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other Festival of Food participants. The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants are all in different time zones.
- Gone are the days where dairy-free, gluten-free deserts mean a fruit platter! This "raw" cheesecake from Luschka at Diary of a First Child is a wonderful introduction to raw food, and is pretty simple to make too! You can also find Luschka on Facebook.
- Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares Tropical Twist Kale Chips, a recipe guaranteed to take your taste buds to the tropics! Kid love these tangy treats too! You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.
- Sarah at Why Food Works discusses the importance of fat and enzymes - and offers up a recipe for a raw, 5-minute blender gazpacho that's perfect for warmer weather. You can also find Sarah on Facebook.
- Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares tips for introducing Raw First Foods based on her experiences following baby-led weaning with her older son. You can also find Farmer's Daughter on Facebook.
- Destany at They Are All of Me shows to how she made coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut flour in her own kitchen, using whole coconuts. You can also fine They Are All of Me on Facebook.
Stay connected! Be sure to "Like" the Festival of Food Carnival Facebook page.