Every day, throughout the internet, I keep finding articles, social media posts or tips on using coconut milk. Yes, it’s a great substitute for cow’s milk if you want to keep your carbs low. Also, if you are lactose intolerant or you have problems with casein digestion.
But then, people usually buy canned coconut milk. Some of these products carry the label “Organic”, “Natural” or even “Eco”. When seeing these labels, a typical 21-century human immediately thinks: -Wow, yes this is good for me!
Canned industrial coconut milk controversy
Is industrial canned version a good choice? No! And let me say, NO – again. To put it in a simple form, I will create a list of all the reasons why you should never opt for an industrial version of any nut milk. Why am I so passionately against canned industrial coconut milk?
- If it’s canned, it has been overprocessed before and after the can was sealed
- If its expiration date is more than 1 week (usually, it is) what is making this organic milk last so long?
- The ingredients! Other than coconut milk, it usually contains carrageenan, guar gum, xantham gum or even gum arabica to keep it smooth and creamy. These things are quite unhealthy food additives.
- Sometimes it contains added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Why? Coconut contains 6 g of its natural sugar in 100 g. Why would you need more?
- The product is transported and imported in a liquid form. It is stored in different temperatures and environmental conditions. Who knows how long it was standing on the shelf or in the storage before you bought it.
- The linings of the cans possibly contain petroleum-based carcinogenic compounds
- The golden rule of Greekgoesketo.com “If it has a barcode, it most probably is overprocessed and unhealthy”!
So, what do we do?
As with everything, we make it at home. I might be a bit unflexible on this subject. But, there is no way any industrial coconut milk can end up being better or safer than the homemade version. If you are lucky to have fresh coconuts, then the process of homemade preparation is even healthier. You will prepare it without boiling or exposing it to high temperatures.
All you need to do is soak some fresh coconut in cold water, leave it for an hour and then blend it well. After that, you simply drain it. Adding a pinch of salt due to the imbalance of sodium and potassium is a good idea. Raw coconut has 356mg potassium and only 15-20g sodium. By adding a little bit of salt, you will also improve the taste. This way you will not have to add stevia or any other sweetener. Coconut is really sweet on its own!
Dry coconut flakes method
If fresh coconut is difficult to find in your location, dried coconut flakes will do just fine. You have to make sure that these flakes are organic and packed with no preservatives or additives. Sometimes organic and additive-free is expensive, but you want only the best for yourself. Here’s the simplest recipe…
All the benefits of making coconut milk at home
250g (8.8 oz) coconut flakes
2 litres (67 fl. oz) water
- Place the coconut flakes into a deep pot and cover with water.
- When it starts boiling it, remove it from heat.
- Wait 10 minutes and then blend it on high speed in doses.
- Use a thick strainer or cheesecloth to drain the mixture.
- Store the coconut milk in a glass jar.
- Wait until cools down and refrigerate.
- After several hours the coconut milk will create coconut cream on the top. If you would like to separate the cream from milk, place the liquid in a wide pot and leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. You will then be able to pick the cream from the top and use it for coffee (as seen in the photo below) or for healthy desserts.
- If you want to keep your milk full fat, don’t remove the cream. Before using it, keep it at room temperature for an hour. Then stir or shake well.
- Glass jars or bottles are the best choices for storing. I would recommend using the milk within 3-4 days. Remember, this milk has zero additives. Even if you keep it in the refrigerator, it’s normal and natural for it to go sour after 4 or 5 days. But I can promise you will always use it within 3 days. It tastes amazing and can serve for preparing good keto-friendly dishes.