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Make your own: Coconut Milk

This homemade coconut milk is easy to prepare and adds a beautiful creaminess to soups, smoothies and curries.

Make your own: Coconut Milk

Making coconut milk couldn’t be easier. Unlike other homemade nut milks, which require you to soak nuts, coconut milk can be prepared in as little as 10 minutes.

It’s best to use homemade coconut milk fresh, but it can be refrigerated for up to three days.

Because it contains no emulsifiers, the creamy part will separate from the coconut water when chilled. Simply shake to combine.

The leftover coconut pulp can be added to baking. If doing so, you will need to reduce the liquid content by two tablespoons to compensate for the wet coconut.

Coconut Milk

Makes 2 cups

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut*

2 cups hot water

Place the shredded coconut into a blender or food processor. Add hot water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Blend for 1 minute until creamy.

Tip mixture into a nut milk bag or cheesecloth-lined colander. Gather into a ball and then twist and squeeze out coconut milk.

Use milk immediately, or pour into a jar and refrigerate for up to three days.

*Desiccated coconut can be used, but the end result will be less creamy.

Serving suggestions:

Add creaminess to Asian soups such as laksa, a Thai-flavoured pumpkin soup or curries.

• Use in breakfast smoothies or pour over muesli and fruit.

• Chilled coconut milk will separate into coconut water and thick coconut cream. Scoop off the coconut cream on the surface to use in raw cheesecakes and slices. The remaining coconut water can be added to smoothies.

Coconut milk can be frozen for up to 3 months. It will separate; heat gently to combine. Or, try blending frozen cubes into your next cocktail or smoothie.

Top tips

• To make coconut butter, place  3 cups shredded coconut and 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil into a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until a smooth and creamy paste is formed, stopping several times to wipe down the sides.

• To make desiccated coconut, spread the leftover coconut pulp (from making coconut milk) in a thin layer on a lined baking tray and dry in a 50°C oven for 3-6 hours. Store in an airtight container and use in baking where desiccated coconut is called for, or add to raw desserts.

• To make coconut flour, you can process the desiccated  coconut after it has dried in the oven. Place it in a food processor on high for 1-2 minutes until finely ground.

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