If not cow milk, what? Many of you asked this pertinent question when I recently published the article, ‘Why No Milk for Us, Unraveling The truth One Disease at a Time.’
Dairy has been such an integral part of our culinary traditions as well as palette that it’s hard to think of delicious food (and nutrition) without the use of cow milk and its products.
But, the truth is, there are some amazing milk alternatives that are not only exquisite but also nutritious to the core.
Hence, I thought why not start sharing some dairy-free milk alternatives, and the process behind making those.
One of my favorites is coconut milk. Being in Goa, where coconuts trees can be seen as far as your eyes lead you, it also makes ecological and economical sense to make coconut milk a staple.
So, here’s the tutorial. It’s easy peasy. And, once you get your hands on it, it’ll become part of your daily (or weekly) kitchen chores.
The process is simple.
- Cut out chunks from 2-3 coconuts (I prefer to use local organic coconuts)
- Put them into your mixer grinder (I have national panasonic) or Nutri Bullet or Vita Mix, with some water
- Process it to a fine paste
- You may add warm water for better extraction. (I avoid).
- Then, squeeze out that finely blended coconut through a muslin (malmal) or cotton cloth (handloom is better). Squeeze it to the last drop.
- Collect it in a glass bottle or a steel jar and use it fresh or store it in refrigerator.
- You can extract another round of milk from the left-over coconut paste, and mix the first press and second press or choose to store *separate. (*see note below about first press vs second press)
- It is useable for upto 3 days (depends on the weather/temperature).
If you’re the visual types, here’s the step-by-step process in pictures :-)
I usually cut chunks and throw them into the grinder. But, you can scrape too (using a scraper).
An organic muslin cloth (or a clean cotton or khadi cloth) is the best choice to extract the milk out.
The fibre that you collected from the first press can go through a second processing. Repeat the process. You may store the second press separate from the first, or not.
And, hey – the fibre after second pressing can be sun-dried or dehydrated and grinded to a flour-like consistency to use for making rotis (flatbread), or in baking. It’s an amazing gluten-free option rich in protein.
The first press is usually thick (like full fat milk), subtle sweet and oozing with flavour. I use it to make ice-creams, shakes, rich creamy sauces (white sauce in pasta).
Second press is thinner and you can use when making soups and curries.
For anything savoury (like Rajasthani Kadhi, Dahi Aaloo), I squeeze a few drops of lemon juice to it to get the sour-ish curd-like taste. We also love the Goan Sol Kadhi using kokam.
There are no strawberries out here these days. The picture above is from the winters (Feb 2017).
You can make practically any kind of milk-shake just as you would with cow milk. Chocolate, banana+vanilla, avocado, berries to just name a few.
I can vouch for the taste.
And, look at the nutrition profile:
Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.
According to “Ceylon Medical Journal,” coconut fats do not contain trans-fatty acids. The fats that are present in coconuts are less likely to clog arteries, which makes coconut milk a healthy alternative to cow’s milk when it comes to preserving your heart’s health. Coconut meat contains monoglycerides, which the body absorbs and uses as energy shortly after it is consumed. Because the body does not store coconut fats, there is less chance that your arteries or blood vessels will clog, which lowers your risk of heart disease.
Coconut Milk deserve its own place in your kitchen, your heart and your culinary experiments!
I need help sustaining this blog…
Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning; to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth. In our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.
I spend hours writing an article – and often write and rewrite many times before it rings true to me and sounds worthy of your time to read.
The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.
Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
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