Homemade Coconut Milk 101

Madeline Nutrition — Homemade Coconut Milk 101

Sometimes I miss the days of my youth when I thought a bowl of 2% milk and Cinnamon Toast Crunch made up a balanced breakfast. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. While I'm not here to condemn cow's milk (I actually love certain raw dairy products and recommend them to some clients), I wanted to give a shout out to all of you who are avoiding dairy, and still craving a smooth, white, chilled beverage.

Many non-dairy milk substitutes (soy, almond, coconut or hemp milk) have gone mainstream and are now being processed with preservatives, additives (for increased shelf life), and thickeners (carrageenan). While none of this will kill you, it's not real food. And it's in no way pure or nourishing. There will always be some controversy over soy milk (more on that in a later post), and depending on how the almond milk is made, it can be high in a mineral-blocking acid called phytate. Ergo, I am loving coconut milk a lot lately. Coconut milk is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which the body processes differently than other saturated fats, so they have been shown to actually promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels.

Also, coconut milk reminds me of tropical islands. Easy choice.

But unless you have a coconut palm tree in your backyard and a hearty grater, PURE coconut milk is hard to come by. Buying processed coconut milk in cartons may not be your friend either (click here to read more). It typically includes carrageenan (a red-flagged additive), synthetically made vitamins your body won't enjoy and cane syrup (added sugar).

Super easy solution!

Most cans of coconut milk/cream include only one other ingredient besides coconut: guar gum, which is a natural part of the guar bean plant. Unless you have a sensitivity to beans and legumes, there is no reason why consuming guar gum should be avoided. As long as the can is BPA-free, you're golden!

Add one can of organic coconut milk/cream and two cups of filtered water (more to thin) in a blender and blend for 10 seconds.

Favorite BPA-free canned brands include Let's Do Organic, Artisana and Native Forest.