In our house we use coconut milk a lot (especially when I don’t have access to raw cream). For those with low thyroid function that cannot tolerate dairy (lactase manufacturing is a direct result of thyroid function) coconut milk is about the only substitute I recommend due it its beautiful saturated fats and lack of PUFAs. It can be added to just about anything calling for dairy and is especially delicious in desserts and curries. It also makes a great coffee creamer.
Finding quality coconut milk in a can can be challenging. Though there are a few brands out there that contain nothing but coconut and water, the majority out there contain stabilizers including carageenan or guar gum, a seaweed derivative which adds a “creaminess”, thickness and/or flavor enhancement in everything from ice cream and UHT cream, infant formula and even, yes, coconut milk to beer, processed meats and even sodas. These stabilizers block liver detoxification inhibiting Cytochrome P450,the enzyme that drives Phase 1 detoxification (which is where estrogen is made more water soluble for phase 2 detoxification to make them more easily excreted) . It interacts with gut bacteria, can promote PMS symptoms and autoimmune disease, increases inflammation and toxic free radicals. More on carrageenan, guar gum and agar agar in a subsequent post.
Bear in mind, most cans also expose you to Bisphenol-A, of which low level exposure has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, liver enzyme abnormalities (read LIVER DETOX pathway issues), and even Type 2 Diabetes risk increases.
This recipe is incredibly easy. The most difficult part involves getting the meat out of the coconut and if you are adept with a knife or have a coconut “tool” this doesn’t need to take longer than 5 minutes.
I don’t peel the coconut and whether you grate the coconut or use your high speed blender, this is quick work. Once you make your own coconut milk you will never buy another can again!
- 3 Large coconuts (drained, cracked, meat removed and grated)
- 3 cups coconut water (or whatever is drained out of the coconut)
- 2 cups water
- Drain coconut water out of coconut. You can do this by punching two holes in the coconut and draining (find the weakest and second weakest eye with the tip of a knife, a corkscrew or screwdriver) OR do it the lazy way and carefully crack around the middle, a little like cracking an egg and draining in to a bowl.
- Carefully remove meat from shell. If you are brave with a knife you can peel the brown skin off the coconut but I find this unnecessary.
- Either hand grate coconut meat and add coconut water and water to grated coconut meat making a slurry OR, in a high speed blender or strong food processor pulverize coconut meat, adding in water and coconut water blending until fine.
- Either strain through a cheesecloth squeezing as much of the milk out of the solids as you can OR run through a masticating juicer like the Hurom or Omega Vert.
- I don't like a lot of cleanup so I don't run through the juicer any longer. I do use my high speed blender to pulverize the meat into pulp but it takes only 10 minutes to strain and squeeze through a cheesecloth. If you do use a juicer, it does a wonderful job of separating a lovely layer of cream but you have to occasionally stop and clean that cream out of the filter AND there is the cleanup involved in scrubbing the juicer. You do get slightly more milk out of the solids but I don't find it worth the hassle of cleaning the juicer.