Coconut milk is the liquid gotten from the grating or blending of fresh ripe coconut meat/flesh. When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate out from the milk.
In Nigeria it is used to make the popular and fragrant Nigerian coconut rice, and in other regions like South East Asia, it is used in making drinks,smoothies,soups,desserts, and sauces. I suggest making your own coconut milk at home rather than using canned coconut milk (I admit that I use it sometimes, particularly in winter, when it is hard to find coconuts here in Montreal,but I’ll take home-made over processed food any day:)
Two of my favorite meals have coconut milk as a major ingredient: Thai red curry sauce and Indian butter chicken. I will be making these recipes in the future and will let you know how they turn out.
Here are some recipes on the site which have coconut milk as an ingredient.
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Please click this link to see the many benefits of coconut milk (15 benefits of coconut milk)
HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK RECIPE
WATCH THE VIDEO RECIPE AS WELL
- 1 medium mature coconut (yields about 300 – 340grams coconut flesh)
- 3- 4 cups hot water (For concentrated, thick and creamy coconut milk use half the amount of water; I use lighter coconut milk for rice, porridge and drink recipes; and concentrated creamier milk for desserts and curry sauces)
- Coconut water (gotten from the fresh coconut), optional
- A very strong & strurdy blender or food processor
- Cheesecloth or (Akamu sifting cloth)
- Break the coconut-(See this link on different ways to remove a coconut shell), pour the water into a bowl and set aside (You will use this in making the milk).
- Remove the coconut flesh place in a bowl and break/chop into small pieces. Using a potato peeler, peel off the hard brown outer skin of the coconut. (This step isn’t necessary, I do it because sometimes I want my milk as pure white as possible, but not all the time)
- In the blender or food processor, combine the coconut flesh, coconut water, and hot water (I used hot water for the blending process because it has a stronger capacity to draw out all the milk, cream, and oil from the coconut flesh).Blend or process on high speed for at least 5 minutes, maximum 10 minutes
- Line your sieve/Sift with cheesecloth and drain the thick coconut milk using a sieve; leaving the chaff behind. If you used a cheesecloth or Sift cloth like u did, then after the milk has freely passed through the Sift on its own, there will still be excess milk in the chaff.At this point, you will need to tie up the cloth and use your hands and all your strength. …lol ….to squeeze out the rest of the milk.(I wasn’t ready to let my milk go to waste. …so I squeezed the life out of it….lol…literally,until I was satisfied there wasn’t anything squeezable left in there.
- At this stage you can actually add some more hot water to the chaff and then repeat steps 3 and 4. (It’s optional so you really don’t have to do this again)
- The first coconut milk liquid that you extract from the coconut flesh is thicker because it has more cream; the second liquid that you extract from the flesh is thinner and has less cream.
- Use both coconut liquids as you desire.I have used my homemade coconut milk to make a number of recipes on the blog such as Nigerian Coconut Rice, Coconut Pineapple Smoothie, Carrot Soup etc.
THINGS TO NOTE:
You could also use a grater to extract coconut milk; by grating the coconut meat and then pouring warm water, then separate the milk from the chaff by using a sieve.
You can store the milk in the fridge up to 3 days, and don’t be worried if you notice that the liquid separates after a while.It is normal for the heavier cream to rise to the top and the water remain at the bottom.When you are ready to use it just blend it again or simply mix to combine with a spoon.
Don’t throw away the coconut chaff, instead dry it and then you can use it in other recipes particularly baked goods.