This labor day weekend has found me in the kitchen cooking up a storm and in the yoga studio getting my @$$ kicked while completing the pre-req hours for a yoga teacher training that I’m hoping to begin in January. So I’ve been sore and well-fed. 🙂
I recently placed an order from Amazon for a Nut Milk Bag and it arrived on Saturday! This morning, after a brutal ZGYM workout, I made coconut milk from scratch and it came out amazing!! If you’re like me and have been shelling out too much money on Silk or So-Delicious coconut milk, filled with preservatives and often cane sugar, give this a try. With a Vitamix or high-powered blender it takes less than 10 minutes and is a perfect consistency.
- 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flake
- 1.5 cups Warm Water (not hot, warm from the tap or filtered that’s warmed up is fine)
- Optional: 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
- Optional: 1/2 tsp. Honey, or sweetener of your choice
- Add 1 cup of the warm water to the coconut flake and blend in a Vitamix or high-powered blender and blend on HIGH for 2-3 minutes.
- Over a pitcher or bowl pour the contents into a nut milk bag and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Note: the milk will be HOT after being blended that long, I squeezed with a towel over my hand.
- Add remaining pulp back into blender and add the last 1/2 cup of warn water. Blend on HIGH another 1-2 minutes.
- Once again, pour the contents through the nut milk bag and squeeze the milk out into your pitcher or bowl.
- If you want to sweeten or flavor the milk, put the milk back into the blender, add the vanilla and honey (or whatever flavors and sweeteners you’d like) and blend on 8 for ~20-30 seconds.
- Yeilds ~3 cups. Recipe can easily be doubled.
Just like with the almond milk, I was impressed by how easy this is and how great the results are. I also greatly appreciate the control I get over the final product. I like to use a slightly sweetened vanilla milk in my morning smoothies, but I’ve found it’s impossible to find a vanilla coconut milk at the grocery store that doesn’t either contain cane sugar (which I’m allergic to) or artificial sweeteners. Also, even when I purchase unsweetened coconut milk it has stabilizers and preservatives. This way I get the freshest product possible catered to my own tastes.
Now, what to do with the remaining coconut pulp? 😉
Since coming back from the Lomilomi retreat, I’ve been trying to cook more vegetarian meals for dinner. My goal is eating vegetarian 3-4 times per week. This is challenging since I really enjoy getting a lot of protein and don’t enjoy the gassiness from most legumes but I’m giving it a go. Since I’m also dairy-free, most of my veg meals are vegan, though I do use ghee or eggs in some of my dishes. It is not my intent to become vegetarian or vegan, both due to how my system does well with meat and that I have access to local meats from small farms that I trust. BUT, the American diet has definitely become a meat-fest and I think I’ll both be healthier and will eat more sustainably for our planet if don’t eat meat in every meal and eat it in smaller portions when I do.
Last night I was particularly pleased with the concoction I made up. I bought some great organic veggies at Sweet Pea in Waitsfield, VT, which included tomatillos, a veggie I’ve had in Mexican dishes but hadn’t really cooked with. I decided to see if they worked in a Coconut Curry, and holy crap I think tomatillos might be a perfect pairing for Indian food. I can’t wait to try them in my bhindi masala once my okra is ready to pick! This is an easy recipe with a lot of warmth and a good mix of tart and sweet.
Tomatillo Coconut Curry
- 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
- 2 Tbsp. flax seeds
- 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5-7 sliced baby bella mushrooms (or 3 portobello mushrooms)
- 6-7 tomatillos, sliced thin
- 1 handful of snap peas
- 3/4 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1.5 tsp. garam masala
- 1 Tbsp. red curry powder
- 1 tsp. tumeric
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- dash of cardamom powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: toasted coconut flake (throw some coconut flake under the broiler or in the toaster oven for just a few minutes, watch it, it burns fast!)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the flax and mustard seeds, once they are starting to pop add the chopped onion and cook for just a minute or two.
- Before the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms (this is if you like your mushrooms well done, like I do, otherwise wait until the onions are translucent).
- Cook mushrooms to desired doneness, then add tomatillos, garlic and all spices. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tomatillos have softened and there’s some juice in the pan.
- Add snap peas and broccoli, cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add coconut milk and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring, then reduce heat to low. Adjust spices as desired. Simmer covered on low 5-7 minutes or until veggies have softened a bit but snap peas still have some crunch to them.
- Serve over rice or quinoa, optionally top with coconut flake. Enjoy!
This morning I finally tried making almond milk from scratch. It was not only incredibly creamy and delicious, but it was also SUPER easy!
- 1-1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked 8-12 hours and rinsed (optional: remove skins by pinching then after they’ve soaked*)
- 6 cups filtered water
- Optional: 1 tsp. vanilla
- Optional: 1 Tbsp. honey (or sweetener of your choice, or 3-4 large dates)
- Toss all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender. Blend on high for two-minutes (if you’re not using a Vitamix you may need to blend longer and also may need to strain the final result for optimum creaminess).
Now, wasn’t that easy? Why have I been buying pre-made almond milk with preservatives and cane sugar?! Well, now I know. 😉 I also have to brag and say that I’ve found many store-bought brands are watery and either too sweet or flavorless. This was a nice mild nuttiness, very rich and creamy, and for me it was just the right sweetness.
Next up, making my own coconut milk! Now that I know how easy it is, the sky’s the limit!