I saw a video on Tropical Traditions website and then saw a blog post on Elana's pantry blog site about making your own coconut milk. I had purchased a very large bag of shredded coconut and needed to find a use for it. So I figured what did I have to lose. It looked easy enough. So here's what I did.
1 - Blender - I used a Blendtec (purchased a demo unit on eBay for under $300)
1 - Cheese cloth - (Bed Bath & Beyond )
1 - 1/2 gallon mason jar with lid
1 - Funnel for a wide mouth jar.
8 - cups filtered water
6 - cups shredded coconut
Heat up water to a very warm temp. I did my blending / straining in several smaller batches - about 2 cups at a time to 3 cups of water so my water amount is an estimate. There isn't a right or wrong way just try to keep about 2 parts coconut to 1 part water.
- Place the water and coconut in the blender and blend until very smooth.
- Place the mixture in the cheese cloth and twist the top of the cloth and squeeze the liquid out of it.
- Put the pulp back in the blender jar with another 1 - 1/2 cups of very warm water, blend and squeeze out the liquid. After this round discard the pulp.
- Repeat the steps above with more fresh coconut and water.
I added a little vanilla and sweetener to my coconut milk (to taste)
The milk is great to drink immediately but you will probably want to put it over ice. I put the jar in the refrigerator and the next morning it had separated - there was a large layer of coconut cream. This thrilled me because I love this part the best in the canned coconut. I put it on top of warm oatmeal.
To get it back to the milk return it to the blender and lightly blend. Don't blend too long or it will whip up like whipped cream and become very thick.