I am a coconut milk fanatic. Coconut or coconut milk sneaks its way into almost everything I make–from the savory to the sweet. It is just the most luxurious of foods. I try as much as possible to use the fresh hand made version, because I am always concerned about the BPA in canned foods. And it really is extremely simple to make.
Get a few dried coconuts. These are what they look like in their natural husks.
Take them out of their husks.
I always shake them to make sure they are full of water, which is a good sign that they are good and not dried out and spoiled. The coconut should feel “heavy” for its size and make lots of splashing sounds inside.
Hit it a few times around the center with a hammer. And allow the water to drain. You can use this water as it is drinkable and actually very nutritious. Then begin taking out the white flesh of the fruit.
You can use a vegetable peeler to take off the hard brown outer skin. However, I like it, as I think it gives a great color contrast and flavor.
Place it in a blender and boil enough water to cover the coconut.
Blend until all the coconut is finely ground. Then strain the pulpy mash through a fine sieve. This is REAL coconut milk. Tastes more flavorful than anything you will find in a can.
This should be placed in a clean glass container (I resist using plastic containers as storage because of the BPA in so many of them) and then into the refrigerator.
This is the left over grated coconut. This is flavor packed, so don’t toss it!
I freeze the left over mash, and use it in desserts or in my Crucian Coconut Rice. During Christmas time, I also use it in my Coquito Caramel Bread Pudding. Coquito is a holiday drink that came to the island with the migration of Puerto Rican laborers who traveled to St. Croix in the 1930’s-50’s to cut sugar cane on the island. Coquito is similar in taste to an eggnog, but it is infused with coconut milk, rum, and brandy instead of heavy cream. When its made with fresh coconut milk, the flavor is simply heavenly!