How To Make Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a liquid compound harvested by grating the inner flesh of a ripen coconut pulp. It contains a high level of oil (which is mostly saturated fats) that contributes to its thick texture and richness in taste. Coco milk is abundant and commonly harvested in tropical areas like the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia. And especially in South Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, coconut or clapper milk is a traditional ingredient in most of their dishes.
We may also confuse coconut milk with coconut water—the two are different products. Coconut milk or clapper has a denser texture and a milk-like appearance. On the other hand, coconut water has a clearer appearance and can be obtained just by cracking the coconut shells.
Traditional Coconut Milk Production
Coconut milk also known as clapper milk is made by grating the inner flesh of a coconut shell then adding small amounts of water to lessen its fat contents. It’s grated either through machinery or manually.
Saturated fat would depend on the amount of fat content present in the coconut flesh and water mixed in the grating process. However, on average, fat levels of a coconut pulp contains about twenty-four percent. Clapper milk’s texture is classified into two grades—thinness and thickness. For example, coconut milk with a thin density has an average of five to seven percent saturated fats. While coco or clapper milk with a thick density has an average of twenty to twenty-two percent saturated fats.
Preparing these two grades of coconut milk also varies; thick coconut or clapper milk is usually produced by grating the pulp directly and using cheesecloth. For thin coconut or clapper milk, it’s prepared by soaking the grated coconut flesh in water then squeezed to produce a thin and more liquefied form. Thick coconut or clapper milk is ideal for dry sauces and desserts. Since thin coconut or clapper milk doesn’t contain solid soluble, it’s primarily used in common cooking. In western worlds like the United States, Australia, and most of Europe, the distinction between the two grades of coco milk is not normally made because such product is uncommon to these regions. People living in these areas usually buy coco milk in cans or cartons without being conscious of the density.
When coconut or clapper milk is refrigerated and left in there for a long period of time, the coco cream will separate from the substance and start to surface. This is a common problem in commercialized coco milk products and to avoid the milk cream from surfacing, a stabilizer and/or emulsifier have to be mixed in the product.
How to Make Coconut Milk
Coco milk is often sold in groceries in canned or carton package, but do you know that you can make one at home? As mentioned earlier, coco milk only has two basic ingredients which are water and grated coconut pulps. You could either buy a whole coconut fruit and grate it manually or buy shredded coconut flesh which you can buy in most supermarkets.
1½ cup of lukewarm water and grated coconut flesh.
- Place the 1½ of grated coconut flesh in a bowl.
- Pour the 1½ of lukewarm water. Then leave it for about five to seven minutes. Also, be sure that the water isn’t boiling hot.
- After five to seven minutes, put the mixture in a blender. Blend until the mixture maintains a smooth and lump-free texture.
- Use a sieve or cheesecloth to filter the mixture.
- Press the remaining compounds on top of the cheesecloth to effectively discard all of its liquid compounds.
- Put finished product in a refrigerator and keep it in there for two to three days before use.
Since there are no preservatives added, coconut cream may float on top. Be sure to shake it first before you use it or use emulsifier and/or stabilizing compounds.
- If you prefer less thick coconut or clapper milk, you may add more water to achieve a thinner texture.
- Coconut milk frozen for a long time tends to maintain its rich taste.
- Some of its popular use is in preparing one of the following: smoothies, curry, desserts, milkshake, and candies. Southeast Asian cuisines also include it on their stew and seafood dishes.
A serving of 100 grams of coconut milk contains about 200 kilocalories. It’s composed of 68% water, 6% carbohydrates, 24% saturated fats, and 2% protein. Half of the saturated fat content of coconut milk is lauric acid.
Coconut milk is also abundant in manganese which provides 44% of the daily value. It also contains a fair enough amount of magnesium, phosphorus, and iron providing about 10 to 19% of the daily value.
Benefits of Coconut Milk
In tropical areas of the planet, the coconut tree is sometimes described as the “tree of life” because of its many uses. Not only that the pulp is used for food consumption, but various parts of the tree can also be used for other home purposes as well. In the Philippines, for example, its leaves are weaved together and produce a bag or the coconut shells can become a kind of floor scrubber.
Coconut milk has many health benefits and gained popularity among the health communities. Some health experts even suggested coco milk as a healthier alternative to dairy milk. Here are few of its health benefits:
Enhance the immune system
Coconuts contain a compound called lauric acid. Lauric acid is a type of lipid that strengthens the immune system. Studies also suggest that this nut fruit also contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They also observed that it’s lauric acid content hinders the development of bacteria like Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Streptococcus pneumonia.
Lower cholesterol level
Some individuals may not even consider coco or clapper milk because of its saturated fats content. However, its health impact may depend on its source. The saturated fat content of coco milk is known to improve good cholesterol levels. In fact, one study observed that the intake of coco oil decreases bad cholesterol levels and increases the release of good cholesterol in the bloodstream. HDL or good cholesterols prevent any cardiovascular-related disorders.
Promotes weight loss
Coco milk also contains medium-chain triglycerides, a compound that aids weight loss. According to studies, MCT activates a bodily mechanism called thermogenesis—a process by which fats are used for energy consumption. The study also suggests that it works either on reducing fats accumulated in the abdomen or body weight.