A few weeks ago, I decided to try my hand again at making my own nut milk. I used to make almond milk on occasion when we lived in our old house but I haven’t really gotten around to making it in the two years living in our new house with all the renovation projects going on. Since we moved, I’ve had an airtight container of dried shredded coconut moving from cabinet to cabinet every time I rearranged the kitchen. Finally, it dawned on me to use it up making my own coconut milk.
After several successful batches using cheesecloth, I decided I didn’t like the idea of throwing it away every time and having to rebuy more as I made more milk. So, I looked to the internet and bought a nut milk bag that had great reviews on Amazon, and I’ve not been disappointed.
The best thing about the Ellie’s Best Bigger Better Nut Milk Bag is that it came with some recipes and a link to a free e-book for a few more ideas to use the bag. Usually, I just toss those card in the garbage, but I decided to take a look anyway to see if there were any other ideas for how to use the bag aside from basic nut milk. I was surprised to find a whole different way of making nut milk than I had ever tried before, one that works far better with coconut milk I must say.
The recipe is super simple:
1 cup of shredded coconut (mine was dried)
2 cups of distilled hot water (I just use tap, but might try distilled in the future)
Then you can add in some dates or vanilla like I did for a soft and sweeter taste.
The big change for me was using hot water for the coconut. I usually use cold water, but the hot water made it turn out much thicker and definitely brought out more of the coconut fat.
I used hot water from my Keurig, then I put the coconut into the hot water to sit on the counter for awhile. Vitamix warns not to put boiling or hot liquids inside, so while my very first hot batch I made straight away without issue, the following weeks I let the coconut, water, date, and vanilla mixture cool for a half hour on the counter before blending.
I use the smoothie setting on the Vitamix, then let it work its magic. The coconut milk comes out so much creamier from letting it sit in the hot water for awhile and the dates break down more, too.
Next, I use the nut milk bag to strain it out over a cup. I usually let the milk cool in the fridge for a little while before squeezing out if it’s still hot. Otherwise, you’ll burn your hands like I did the first time, whoops!
Once it’s strained, I either set aside the coconut meat for smoothies or toss in the compost. Then, the bag cleans up so simply with a drop of soap and dries quickly to be put away for another day.
I store the coconut milk in a glass container, picked up at IKEA because of the nice rubber lid.
At times, if I haven’t used it in a day or so, it may separate. That’s when I just shake it up a little more and then it’s good to go. I’ve also noticed that at times there are mini clumps of coconut fat in the milk. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I just drink those up anyway. They melt in your mouth and taste delicious!
I’m almost out of the dried coconut that’s moved around my kitchen and between three homes in the past three years. It feels good to use it up, and then I am going to test out cashew milk with the same process, though letting the nuts soak overnight and following the Vitamix recipe for them.
I personally love nut milk. It’s a nice alternative to cow’s milk, for which gives me some problems when I have too much. I also like that it’s creamier, more flavorful, and just as easy to use in recipes that may call for a sweeter or thicker flavor.
How do you use nut milk?
Have you made nut milk before?