We love making this coconut milk recipe, as it requires just a few simple steps and the flavor is far above anything we buy in the store. It's also a great recipe to keep on hand if you ever find yourself out of milk since dry coconut has become a staple in many of our pantries. Whether you are using it as a base for your morning smoothie or for your daily matcha latte, you can tailor this recipe to your liking.
GOOD FATS FOR FEELING GOOD
Shredded coconut is primarily fat. Specifically, it contains mostly medium-chain fatty acids. MCFAs have a long list of benefits such as increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol, encouraging satiety and improving metabolic function. MCFAs have an easier time forming ketones, meaning this type of fat is more accessible as a form of energy (normally our body prefers carbohydrates or glucose as energy). Our body doesn't have to use bile salts to utilize MCFAs, unlike most fats, making them easily digested and absorbed by the body. Lauric acid, one of the MCFAs found in coconut is also known for it's antimicrobial and antifungal properties, meaning it stops unwanted microorganisms from growing in our digestive system.
Since coconuts are typically seasonal and perishable, using unsweetened coconut flakes makes this recipe more accessible year round. Since there is quite a bit of pulp left over from the milk-making process, note that saving this pulp can come in handy in other recipes. You can dry the pulp and use it as flour, use it as a mild body scrub, or add the pulp to your smoothies for added nutrients and flavor.
GET THAT HYDRATION IN
We all know by now that hydration is important. As supplementation to your water intake, coconut milk (especially homemade) can be an excellent addition. Dehydration can lead to constipation, toxic build-up (especially manifesting as skin conditions), and decreased energy. Chronic dehydration is linked to weight gain and a slower metabolism. Our body does not accurately distinguish between hunger and thirst, so often dehydration can be mistaken for hunger and overeating can result.
Our muscle's ability to produce energy also significantly decreases as we become depleted of water. At just 3-percent dehydration (about the point many people feel thirst), our metabolism declines by about 2-percent. For the average, 2,000 calories-per-day individuals, this equates to about 40 calories per day. This could result in a 4-5 pound weight gain per year for most people, not to mention the effects of overeating from dehydration-caused hunger signals. So drink up!
2.5 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
4.5 cups filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Step 1: Get all ingredients together and add to blender.
Step 2: Blend on high for 90 seconds.
Step 3: Use a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer. pour coconut mixture into the strainer and use a wooden spoon or hands to gently push the liquid through the strainer into a pitcher or bowl.
Step 4: Keep remaining pulp to add to other recipes, and store liquid coconut milk in an airtight container. Coconut milk will keep for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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