Skip to main content

Coconut, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Butter


Awhile ago I read that coconut is good for thyroid health. There seems to be some disagreement about that. But even if that is not true, coconut oil does have a saturated fat called lauric acid which increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels. It is high in protein and potassium as well as other vitamins. In addition to these purported health benefits, it tastes good! You can read more about coconut here.




I found that I can buy tins of coconut milk here and I have bought some and have been using it, but the list of added ingredients is kind of scary. So I was excited to find a recipe for making your own coconut milk. The instructions are here. Since we can get raw coconut here I decided to try making it from a raw coconut instead of dried coconut like the recipe describes.


First I had to crack the shell, drain the water, and get the pieces out of the shell. A few good whacks on the coconut with a hammer is a good way to release some frustrations! As you can see, the pieces of coconut are a bit dirty from the coconut shell, but that is easily remedied by a quick rinse with water. I also saved the coconut water to use as part of the water to make the milk. I had to strain the dirt out of that, too. At last I was ready to shred it in my food processor. Then I put the shredded coconut in the blender and added the hot water as described. But that was too much for my blender, so I discovered I had to do half the amount at a time. The next step is to drain it through a "nut bag". I don't have a nut bag, so I used a clean linen dish towel. The liquid that comes out as you squeeze the bag or towel, is your coconut milk. It's a nice drink and only two ingredients: coconut and water! I know there are no nasty additives in this drink. The blogger does say you can freeze the milk, which I did. She warns that it will separate, which it did. She also says that when you shake it, it will blend back together, which it doesn't. So the frozen coconut milk looks kind of curdled, but it's not and it tastes fine in spite of its appearance. I don't think I'll freeze it again, though.

Another web site explained how to make your own coconut butter which I was excited to try. The recipe for that is here. The only ingredient it lists is dried coconut. So, I thought since fresh worked for the milk, why not for making butter. I grated it up in my food processor and then blended, blended, blended, blended, blended as the recipe says. I could never get it to reduce down any further than the fourth picture she shows. Reading through the comments on her blog I see the coconut has to be dried, so maybe I should try it again but dry the coconut first. Let's just say the way I did it didn't work.


So then I had all of this mushed up coconut, half way between grated and butter. What to do with it? I could throw it out....I mean each coconut was the equivalent of $1.00 so no big loss. But in a country where most people don't have enough to eat, that just seems really wasteful to me. So I found a cookie recipe for coconut cookies and used it in those cookies. They were super simple cookies and tasted delicious. Best of all, nothing was wasted!


By the way, the cookie recipe was in this gem of a cookbook I picked up on a missionary sale table some time. Apparently Meryle (whoever she was!) cooked for the hungry masses! There are old notes that she left in the cookbook, too. I like the book because it is from the 1960's and uses very basic ingredients.


Have you made coconut milk or coconut butter? Any tricks you can teach me about how to do it?

Comments

Georgene G. said…
Good for you! No, I haven't made the milk or butter myself. I buy coconut milk, cream of coconut and coconut butter. I made ice cream, candy and muffins from it. I no longer can tolerate dairy.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  




I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  



The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 



The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  



February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.



In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…