Homemade Coconut Milk
So many recipes and so little time, not true for this simple and fast recipe for homemade coconut milk! Seriously, this is about as simple as it gets it should take you maybe 5 minutes. Why would anybody want to make their own coconut milk? Good question. And I have a one word answer, carrageenan.
If you happen to have a box of coconut milk around or almond, hemp heck any boxed milk flip it over and read the ingredients. You might be very surprised at what you find. So why am I so disturbed by carrageenan?
Let’s get to the bottom of it:
“At first blush, carrageenan sounds seemingly harmless – it’s derived from red seaweed and is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and/or emulsifier in many dairy (sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, etc), dairy alternatives (non-dairy milk, non-dairy cheese, etc), and deli meat products. As it turns out, research links carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, and even colon cancer in animals. Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or other gastrointestinal disorders are cautioned to avoid this ingredient as it can make symptoms – and inflammation – even worse. As someone who has suffered from IBS for many years, I was shocked to find this information out. This was the first I had heard of it.
For a long and detailed list of carrageenan in many dairy and non-dairy food products (and safe products as well), please see this Cornucopia shopping guide – it’s extremely helpful. You might be surprised at many of the brands that contain this ingredient.”
Dr. Tobacman said that her research has shown that exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. She explained that all forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation. This is bad news. We know that chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and cancer.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil who based his research on Dr. Tobacaman’s work, recommends avoiding carrageenan all together. He highlights that “Joanne K. Tobacman, M.D., A prominent researcher in the field and now associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, conducted studies linking undegraded carrageenan – the type that is widely used in foods – with malignancies and other stomach problems. (Degraded and undegraded carrageenan differ by molecular weight with undegraded carrageenan having the higher weight.)
Over the years Dr. Tobacman has published 18 peer-reviewed studies that address the biological effects of carrageenan and is convinced that it is harmful to human health. In April 2012, she addressed the National Organic Standards Board on this issue and urged reconsideration of the use of carrageenan in organic foods.
Dr. Tobacman also told the board that in the past, drug investigators actually used carrageenan to cause inflammation in tissues in order to test the anti-inflammatory properties of new drugs. And she reported further that when laboratory mice are exposed to low concentrations of carrageenan for 18 days, they develop “profound” glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action, both of which can lead to diabetes.
She maintains that both types of carrageenan are harmful and notes that “degraded carrageenan inevitably arises from higher molecular weight (food grade) carrageenan.” Research suggests that acid digestion, heating, bacterial action and mechanical processing can all accelerate degradation of food-grade carrageenan. (2)”
So now that you know are you going to start making your own homemade coconut milk?
- 1/2 cup organic shredded unsweetened dried coconut
- 4 cups hot water
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the stove and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
- Put shredded coconut and 1/2 cup of hot water into a blender or food processor.
- Pulse the coconut and water for about 30 seconds. Let it rest a minute and then repeat the process 5 more times.
- Using a cheese cloth or fine mesh sieve strain the liquid from the pulp into a glass container. Be sure to press down or squeeze the pulp to get all of the liquid.
- Repeat steps 1-3 three more times, reusing the shredded coconut.
- It's good for up to 5 or so days, if kept tightly covered and refrigerated.
- (Original Recipe derived from various pinterest posts and recipes around the internet but primarily from Crunchy Betty)
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