Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I can beg until the cows come home... my body won't digest dairy. {coconut milk recipe + bonus: coconut flour recipe}

Whew! That's one doozy of a title! Anywho...

I didn't "go paleo" and then discover I had several rather sever food allergies / intolerances / sensitivities... I first went paleo because I was tired of typing "gluten free dairy free recipe for XXX". I knew that if I stuck to paleo recipes, I would be safe from my two biggest irritants.

Later on, as I discovered more and more about the philosophy and science behind the paleo lifestyle, I adhered to the plan more and more - and no longer just for the recipes!

But, still, I do love the food we get to eat while following this lifestyle! And while I was sad to say goodbye to my beloved cows milk... I was more than happy to say hello to coconut milk! I had never really bothered to use coconut milk before, thinking it was just for Asian curries. When I actually tasted it and started using it, I knew I had been missing out.

Not only is coconut milk a great source of healthy saturated fat, but it also provides many vitamins and minerals! Also, being naturally lactose free, it's perfect for peeps like me!

There are two things I don't like about coconut milk though: the price and the can.

The cheapest I've found coconut milk to be is just under 1€ per can. Now, some of you might be thinking to yourselves, "That's a great price!" Maybe it is. But I can sometimes drink up to a can a day, if I'm on an iced coffee kick - and 1€ a day adds up pretty quickly! {Not quite as quickly as my old Starbucks Coffees at $3.50+ per day, but still, faster than I'd like.}

As for the can... the ingredient list is clean for the brand I buy {coconut + water} but I'm more worried about the BPAs the can itself may be hiding. BPAs are not my strong point, but many studies have shown they may be the cause of many problems, including cancer. I'd rather avoid this little chemical if at all possible...

The coconut has soaked and it ready
to blend into delicious coconut milk!
But don't despair, for I have a simple solution for these two problems: homemade coconut milk.

It's simple. All you have to do is heat water and blend.

It's cost effective. I can get coconut flakes for around 10€ a kilo. I've never really measured it out completely, because I never use all the coconut flakes I buy for milk making, but I'll guess I can get at least 30 cans worth from a kilo. Plus, I get coconut flour in return. Less than a kilo, yes, but still, worth it.

It's delicious. And I can flavor it any way I like, should I choose to do so. I can also choose the fat content - I use less coconut to make it stretch even further, or more coconut if I want some really creamy goodness.

And yes, the fat does separate and float to the top, just like the canned stuff. I'm telling you, there is no good reason to not make your own coconut milk. {Just so you know, this is great for making quiche, pudding, pastry cream, shakes, pancakes, caul-o-meal or adding to your coffee!}

So, without further ado, here is the recipe - and, as a bonus, I'll also tell you what do to with the leftover pulp!

Homemade Coconut Milk (makes about 1 standard can)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2-1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, depending on desired creaminess/fat content
  • 2 cups water
Method:
  1. Heat water until just boiling and allow to cool slightly (so there are no more bubbles).
  2. Measure out one cup of very hot water into a high-power blender, add the desired amount of coconut, then top it off with one cup of very hot water.
  3. Allow the coconut to soak for a couple minutes, or until it begins to sink to the bottom of the blender.
  4. Blend on high for about 3-4 minutes. Strain well. Store milk in fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.



Homemade Coconut Flour

Ingredients:
  • leftover coconut pulp (from milk making)
Method:
  1. Spread the coconut pulp out on a baking tray and bake at 150°C for 20 minutes, or 25 minutes if you'd like toasted coconut flour.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then grind in a coffee grinder or high power blender to create a fine coconut flour.
  3. Store in a cool, dry place.


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