Easier, Tastier, and Cheaper…..
After a slight slump in creativity last week I am kicking this week off with a bang! My “test kitchen” has been going non-stop almost all day, except for a quick trip to the store between one recipe, and nap time. This week is going to be packed with yummy recipes that will entice, and excite you. One of the best things is that they are super simple, and most of them will save you money!
Today’s recipe is kind of more of a method/recipe. I’m sure that you’ve seen all types of non-dairy milk taking the internet by storm. While I have yet to meet a “milk” that I haven’t liked, I am more partial to some than others. Each have their strong points, and their downfalls. The main benefit of today’s recipe is that it is refined sugar free, and lactose free. So, for those who can’t handle dairy, this is your best bet as far as the best nutrition bang for your buck. While rice milk, and almond milk, are equally easy to make I believe that coconut milk is going to be the cheaper than almond milk, and healthier than rice milk.
I can’t get a straight answer on the nutrition for homemade coconut milk since you aren’t actually eating the pulp when you drink the milk. But I’ve seen people suggest that it is about 98 calories per cup. I have read a lot of people complaining about how once their milk chills they get a chunk of coconut oil on top that just won’t budge. I didn’t have this problem and I believe it was because I triple strained my coconut pulp. (But if you do have this issue just heat it slightly and stir it back in.) Another thing that a lot of people do is use cheese cloth. I just used a really fine plastic mesh strainer. (I’ve used cheese cloth, and kitchen towels on other recipes and find the fabric soaks up to much of the liquid.) And I can tell you that there was a ton of oil in the coconut I used because the blender, spatula, and strainer were just covered in it! That is why I’m sticking with the triple strain method. 😉
I generally don’t like the boxed coconut milk in the cooler section. It just kind of tastes, like nothing. While this doesn’t have the thickness of the canned coconut milk it has more of the flavor. I only paid $1 for the coconut I bought because I didn’t want to get all crazy and spend a ton if it didn’t work. (Plus, one of my main objectives is to SAVE money.) I only used about 1/3 of the bag, so you could get ½ gallon for about $1 compared to $3 or $4! Plus, you don’t have to mess with the nasty additives like carrageenan. And when you are done DO NOT throw the pulp away! We will be using that in a recipe later in the week. I put mine in a Ziploc bag and threw it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it. If you aren’t partial to coconut milk, you should still give it a whirl because it really doesn’t taste anything like it does from the store. I just used some in my chocolate protein shake and it tasted like a chocolate covered macaroon. 😉
You don’t really need any special equipment. I got a package of 5 mesh strainers, all in different sizes, at Walmart for $1.50. If you have a blender, high powered, or single serve will work, and a package of UNSWEETENED coconut. You ARE set! You might be surprised that you’ve found a new non-dairy milk that you are partial to. The process only takes about 15 minutes, and then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Do you ever drink non-dairy milk?
What is your favorite kind of non-dairy milk?
Vanilla Coconut Milk
By Angie Gouchenour
2 ½ cups unsweetened shredded dry coconut
5 cups of filtered, or boiled water (cooled)
1 -2 Tablespoon Sugar 2.0 (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Combine the coconut, water, and sweetener in a blender and blend on high for several minutes (about 3-5 minutes)
Poor the pulp, and milk, through a small mesh strainer over a bowl
Gently push the pulp down with a spoon, or spatula, until it stops dripping and the pulp looks almost like a cross between ricotta cheese, and sugar
Scrape the pulp into a bowl, or bag, and strain the milk two more times
Pour into a wide mouthed jar, add vanilla, and shake up
Cover with a lid and keep in the refrigerator
Use within 3-5 days