Making Coconut Milk

Here are tips for selecting, opening, and creating basic milk from the coconut. This coconut milk has numerous purposes and can be used in the recipe for Roasted Stuffed Papaya.

  • Selection

Choose a coconut with a chestnut-brown hull, that is smooth with no apparent holes or mold. Shake and listen for a water sound. If it still contains water, it will be moist and tasty.

  • Opening the Nut

Bore two holes in the eyes using an ice pick or sharp knife. The eyes are the dark brown spots at either end of the coconut. Pour the coconut water into a bowl. You can drink the coconut water, add it to your bath or beauty recipes, or save it for magickal or ritual uses. If you choose to save the coconut water, you will need to refrigerate or freeze it depending on how long you wish to keep it.

Now that the water has been drained from the coconut, hit the hull on a hard surface sharply a few times – it should crack open. You can also hit the nut with a mallet or hammer. This will be easier to do if the nut is wrapped with a dish towel to keep it stabilized.

Once cracked open, scoop out the flesh, which is called coconut meat. The coconut meat that comes out of the hard shell may have a thin brown skin that will need to be peeled off. This is most easily done with a potato peeler.

  • Making Coconut Milk

Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a kettle on medium high heat. While it’s heating up, grate the coconut flesh and put it in a sieve over a large bowl. Just before the water comes to a boil, slowly pour it over the grated coconut in the sieve. Press the coconut meat with the back of a wooden spoon until all the water has been pressed out.

Pour this liquid into a Pyrex measuring cup with a pouring spout. Now pour the collected coconut milk once again into the sieve full of coconut meat and press it once again with the back of the wooden spoon and into the bowl.

Repeat 3 to 4 times. This makes about 1 1/4 cups rich coconut milk.

  • Coconut Cream

To make coconut cream, bring `1 1/2 cups full-fat milk almost to a boil. Go through the steps above (making of coconut milk). Coconut cream is a bit denser, with a full-bodied, sweeter taste, just right for deserts and drinks.

  • Toasted Coconut

Remove coconut from the hull with a sharp knife. With a potato peeler, peel off any remaining dark skin. Shred the coconut. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a cast iron skillet. Add a pinch of sea salt if desired. Toss until medium brown.

Toasted coconut is a great low-carb snack. I like to toast almonds and sunflower seeds with it and use this as a snack food when watching movies. You can also use toasted coconut as a topping for fruit salads, yogurt, or cereal.

From: Four Seasons of Mojo

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