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Coconut flesh is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. However, the coconut milk available to us in the UK is typically canned and potentially lacking in many of these valuable micronutrients.
Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose-free so it can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking
Nourishing the digestive lining with electrolytes and healthy fats, coconut milk is your digestive system’s best friend. Using coconut milk in place of refined sugar can also do a world of good for those suffering from inflammation, as sugar has been traced back to swelling and pain as a pro-inflammatory.
On top of that, it’s completely dairy-free, tell all your lactose-intolerant friends! With coconut milk, you get the creamy texture with no fear of the painful repercussions.
Gets Your Blood Pressure Down, So Your Heart Health Stays Up
We’ve mentioned that coconuts contain nutrients that help out circulation and blood flow? So not only do these nutrients strengthen the blood, but they control blood flow. When blood flow is controlled the pressure goes down and the vessels get flexible which means the likelihood of a clot goes down considerably.
How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk Yogurt
Makes about a quart
- 2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons agar flakes, or 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (see Recipe Notes)
- 4 probiotic capsules, or 4 tablespoons store-bought coconut yogurt
- Glass jars with lids, for storing the yogurt
- Measuring spoons
- Medium saucepan
- Thermometer, optional
- Warm the oven and sterilize the jars: Warm the oven for about 5 minutes, until it reaches about 100°F, then turn off the heat — leave the light on to help keep the oven warm. Fill the jar(s) you'll use for storing the yogurt with boiling water to sterilize them. Let stand a few minutes, then pour the water out. Alternatively, you can run the jars through the dishwasher.
- Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan: Shake the can of coconut milk, open it, and pour it into a medium pot. Whisk until the milk is smooth and uniform.
- Add the thickener: If you're using agar-agar, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of agar-agar flakes into the pot over the coconut milk — but don’t stir! If you're using tapioca starch, scoop out roughly 1/3 cup of the coconut milk and transfer to a bowl with the starch. Whisk this together until the starch is dissolved, then pour back into the pot.
- Warm the coconut milk: Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and warm until the coconut milk starts to simmer. (The agar-agar will also start to melt together.) Whisk the milk and turn down the heat to low. Continue cooking on low, whisking occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the agar-agar flakes are fully dissolved or the tapioca starch has thickened the mixture.
- Cool the milk: Cool the milk until it's just warm to the touch, about 100°F.
- Add the probiotics: Twist open the probiotic capsule and pour the powdery contents over the milk (discard the capsule’s casing). Whisk to combine. Alternatively, whisk in 4 tablespoons store-bought coconut yogurt.
- Add the sugar or maple syrup. Whisk together well.
- Pour into jar(s) and allow the yogurt to set for 12 to 24 hours: Pour the coconut milk into the sterilized jar(s) and screw on the lid(s). Place into the oven — turn the oven light on to keep the environment warm. Alternatively, use a yogurt maker or place into a dehydrator at 110°F. Leave for 12 to 24 hours without disturbing.
- Chill the yogurt: Place the set yogurt into the fridge and chill for at least 6 hours. The yogurt will become thicker as it chills. After this stage, you might find that the mixture has separated with a yellowish, translucent layer at the bottom and a thicker white layer on top. Stir to recombine or scoop off the top layer for thicker coconut yogurt.
- Keep coconut yogurt refrigerated and use within 2 weeks.
How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk
- 3/4 cup fresh shredded coconut or a 2 lb. fresh coconut
- 4 cups to 5 1/2 water
- A fine-mesh sieve
- Place 1 ½ cups of water in a high power blender + shredded coconut
- Blend on medium-high for 45 seconds
- Add another 2.12 cups of water
- Blend for 3 more minutes
You may need to scrape down the sides during the process.
- Break open the shell and remove the hard outer layer. This is the flesh. The brown skin does not need to be removed.
- Chop the meat into pieces
- Place 2 ¾ cups of water in the blender, and then add the coconut meat.
- Puree for 2 minutes.
- Start blending on a low setting and move up to high over the course of 30 seconds.
- Pour this mixture into another container and repeat the process with the rest of your meat.
- Line your sieve with cheesecloth.
- Pour your mixture into the strain.
- Leave it to strain for a few minutes and then lift out of the strainer.
- Gater the edges of the cloth and make a ball.
- Squeeze out any extra coconut milk.
The milk can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for longer-term use.
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.