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A Healthy Valentine Treat- Coconut Milk Hot Cocoa

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VDHotcocoa

I enjoy making Valentines Day special for my girls. This year was no different except we are all sick with coughs, sore throats and congestion. I still wanted a couple special treats so I made scones slightly sweetened with cranberries and a huge pot of coconut milk hot cocoa.

Before starting on the day we gathered together to enjoy our special treats. They were excited for the treats since sugar has been banned he past few days.When we were done they bundled up and headed out to give their friends and the staff at our boarding school the Valentines they had made the night before.

Once they headed out I settled outside for a little reading and another cup of cocoa. 😉

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Coconut Milk Hot Cocoa

I love how little sweeter is needed when you use coconut milk. It naturally has a light sweetness and creaminess that makes it prefect in hot cocoa. As an added bonus for our house, it doesn’t create phlegm to dairy! Feel free to substitute raw milk or almond milk for an equally delicious treat.

1 quart homemade coconut milk
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
4 TBS raw honey
1 TBS vanilla extract

1. In a sauce pot gently heat the milk until just hot.

2. In a small cup or dish make a paste of the cocoa powder, honey and vanilla extract.

3. Wisk the cocoa paste into the coconut milk and serve.

Top with homemade marshmallows or coconut whipped cream if desired.

 

Happy Valentines Day! 

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How to Make Coconut Milk, The Easy Way

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CoconutLeche

Rich creamy coconut milk. It’s something you find me using at my house few times a week. It’s the base for my currys, hot cocoa and smoothies. For those that are dairy free or just like to mix things up a bit it is a wonderful substitute for dairy milk. It is so good for you! Coconut milk is rich in magnesium and calcium, anti-bactririal and can boost your immune system.

 

For years I bought full fat coconut milk by the case to keep up with the demand. I had seen different posts on various blogs on how to make your own so I finally bit the bullet and gave it a try. Since then I have been hooked!

 

Coconut milk made from coconut flakes is not as hard as you would think. It is so much easier than cracking open a coconut yourself and grating it to make milk. It is not quite as thick as full fat coconut milk from a can. The secret to thicker coconut milk is a longer soaking time. I’ve read of people suggesting soaking your flakes in hot water from 30 minutes to 4 hours. By mistake one time I left my coconut flakes soaking for 6 hours. The result was the thickest, most delicious coconut milk I had ever made!

 

Now that I make my own it is hard to go back to using canned coconut milk. The canned version has a slight metallic taste that I didn’t notice before.

How to Make Coconut Milk, the Easy Way

 2 cups coconut flakes (unsweetened)
4 cup boiling water

1. Place the coconut flakes in a glass bowl or ½ gallon canning jar. Pour the boiling water over the flakes. Cover with a plate or canning lid. Leave on the counter for 6 hour.

2. Pour the contents of the jar a blender. You may have to do this in two batches if your blender is smaller. Blend on high for about 2 minutes or until you have a smooth mixture.

3. Strain the contents of the blender through a fine sieve gently pushing on it with a spoon to remove all the liquid. Or pour through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag, allowing the coconut milk to collect in the jar. Twist the cheesecloth or nut milk bag to be sure to get all the liquid out.

This should keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The fat from the coconut will rise to the top, so be sure to shake well before using. (You may need to let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes to bring it to room temperature if it is too thick.)

You will be left with coconut pulp, don’t throw it out. You can freeze it and add it to smoothies, baked good or ice cream. Or dry it and save to use in muffins and other baked goods.

 

This post is part of  Get Real Frugal Friday, Homestead Blog Hop

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Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream w/ Chocolate Magic Shell

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ChocoCocoIC
What is better on a hot summer’s evening that a bowl of ice cream? As many of you know by now I use coconut milk quite frequently in my cooking. It is delicious, versatile, healthy and filling. Many of us love ice cream but avoid the diary kind because of allergies, lack of raw cream or out of personal choice. Rest assured that thanks to coconut milk you can still enjoy that delightful treat. While I’ve made chocolate ice cream with dairy before I actually enjoy the coconut milk one better. I hope you do as well.
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
2 cans full fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen)
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup honey or palm sugar paste
1 TBS vanilla
Blend everything together for a minute or until all the ingredients are combined. Pour into your ice cream canister and follow the directions on your ice cream maker. It should take about 20 minutes. For soft serve eat directly following the churning. If you prefer a firmer ice cream put in the freezer for one hour before serving. Be aware though that if you leave the ice cream in the freezer for a longer period of time it will be VERY hard. Simply take it out of the freezer 20 minutes before you want to eat it. Then you will have a nice, scoopable ice cream.
If you want to make your ice cream an extra special treat why not make a homemade magic chocolate shell? I ‘m sure you like me when I was little loved getting those chocolate dipped cones or Dilly Bars from dairy Queen. I cringe now when I think about how horrible they are for you, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils….eww. Here is a quick and easy substitute that is so much better for you! Plus it’s so fast and easy to make! The key to the”magic” is the coconut oil, it hardens at about 76 degrees F.
Homemade Magic Chocolate Shell
1 cup coconut oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 TBS honey or palm sugar paste

Heat the coconut oil over low heat until just melted.  Stir in your choice of sweetener until dissolved. Gently whisk in the cocoa powder. Pour over your ice cream and watch it “magically” freeze making a delightful treat!

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays, Melt Your Mouth Mondays, Simple Lives Thursday, Friday Potluck, Hearth and Soul, Fat Tuesday

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How To Use Almond and Coconut Pulp

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So you’ve made your coconut or almond milk. You love the milk but now you are left with pulp. You may wonder, “What in the world am I going to do with this stuff?”

What are you going to do? I can tell you what I do, the possibilities are almost endless!

Almond/Coconut pulps can be used wet but I prefer to dehydrate them to use for later. You don’t have a dehydrator? No problem! You can easily dry them in the oven. Side note I do prefer my Excalibur dehydrator over any other model.

I  took pictures of the process using almond pulp, treat coconut pulp the same way.

How to Dehydrate Almond/Coconut Pulp

1. You start with your wet pulp

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2. Spread evenly across your dehydrator tray or baking sheet.

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3. Place in your dehydrator or oven at 110 or the lowest setting possible for your oven. Check after four hours. The pulp should be dry, if not continue to dry, checking every hour. Or as often as you remember, which is what generally happens in my case….

4. Once dry remove the tray(s) from the dehydrator/oven. Your pulp with look like this. Pretty much the same as it did, going in. Only now the moisture has been removed.

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5. As you can see my pulp has some larger pieces. You can use it as is but I prefer to put it back in the blender for a smoother texture.

6. Store in a container of your choice, I use a glass jar. It will stay fresh in the cupboard for up to 6 months. You can also store your pulp in the freezer or refrigerator.

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Now comes the fun part, using your almond/coconut pulp! In my experience, despite what you may read you can not use almond and coconut pulps and equal substitutes for almond flour and coconut flour. Almond pulp as a consistency more similar to almond meal, with the exception that none of the oils have been removed from the meal as it is in the process of making milk.

Ideas Using Wet Coconut and Almond Pulp

  • Muffins, add 1/2 a cup of pulp to muffins for added flavor, texture and protein
  • Smoothie, why not add a little coconut pulp to a smoothie
  • Ice Cream, blend coconut and almond pulp with chocolate ice cream for almond joy kind of taste!
  • Rosemary Almond Pulp Crackers

Recipes and Ideas for Dried Coconut and Almond Pulp

Have you used almond or coconut pulp in recipes? What is your favorite thing to make with them?

 

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday,

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Homemade Almond Milk

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Homemade Almond Milk-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Almond milk. It’s smooth, creamy, lightly sweet and delicious. What’s not to like?

 

Sticking with our DIY Theme this month here is another item you might buy at the store but could easily make yourself.  Making your own almond milk is much easier than you would think. Once you make your own you won’t want to go back to the store variety.  

 


The process is almost the same as making your own coconut milk. I enjoy using both my homemade coconut and almond milks. While coconut milk is great for curries it’s not something I want to use in a substitute for dairy milk or cream in most soups, where as the subtitle flavor almond milk makes it perfect for just that. One of my girls’ favorite ways to enjoy almond milk is in a cup of tea.

However you use it, this recipe is sure to please. Right now I’m sipping a cup of hot cocoa made from almond milk I made this morning.

Note: I prefer to use raw organic almonds. I prefer to buy mine from the awesome co-op Azure Standard, which may have a drop-point in your area.

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DIY Homemade Almond Milk
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1 tsp real salt
  • warm water
  • 8 cups water*
  • Optional Add Ins:
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 dates
  • 4 TBS raw honey
  • *You can use more water to for a milk more similar to skim milk, it is also more frugal.
Instructions
  1. Soak the almonds with salt and warm water for at least twelve hours. Strain and rinse once the soaking is complete.
  2. Add the almonds and water to a blender. You may have to do this in two batches if your blender is smaller. Blend on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the contents of the blender through a fine sieve gently pushing on it with a spoon to remove all the liquid. You may need to remove some of the almond pulp so that the milk can strain out. Or pour through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag, allowing the almond milk to collect in the jar. Twist the cheesecloth or nut milk bag to be sure to get all the precious liquid out.
  4. This should keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

 

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Don’t throw out the almond pulp away, learn how to dry your almond and coconut pulp and how to use them! 

 

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday,

 

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