Coconut milk is a staple item for most people from Islands around the world, as they say, it increases the taste of any dish. I say coconut has oodles of health benefits and the fact that it is also so yummy is a bonus.
If you wonder through your supermarket looking for a non-canned, food grade, coconut milk substitute, you may find coconut milk powder. This coconut milk is packaged as a powder and sealed in a mylar bag, which is necessary for food preservation as opposed to canning.
BUT wait a minute. Have you read the ingredients?
If not, here they are...
Fresh Coconut Cream 85.20%,
Glucose Syrup 11.80%,
Sodium Caseinate ( MILK PROTEIN) 2.00%,
Silicon Dioxide 0.50%,
Dipotassium Phosphate 0.50%
Many of the ingredients are not necessary for a Coconut Milk product; however, I want to focus on the MILK PROTEIN.
Why would they use dairy in coconut milk? “Approximately 82% of cows milk is a protein called casein and the remaining 18% is serum or whey protein. The casein family of protein consists of several types of caseins (α-s1, α-s2 , ß, and 6) and each has its own amino acid composition, genetic variations, and functional properties.” Please see http://www.milkfacts.info/Milk%20Composition/Protein.htm
Now for some information that will startle you.
Lactose-free is NOT dairy free! “People with lactose intolerance can eat foods that contain casein and whey, which are milk proteins, not sugars. Because a product is labeled lactose-free, does not necessarily mean it is dairy free. People who seek dairy free products may be vegan or have an allergy to dairy (usually the proteins, casein or whey)”
We were warned over 160 years ago by a Prophetess, the most prolific female author in the world to grow our foods, and now we can see why. In the local grocery store, nothing is what it seems and even not as it reads! The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has made a very clear statement "all ingredients do not have to be listed on food labels." Take a look at the FDA Food and Labeling Guide..
I suggest you start making your coconut milk. Herewith a recipe.
Pour all the water from the coconut into your blender
Scoop out the coconut flesh and add it to your blender
Add 1 cup of water
Process all ingredients on the highest speed for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure you blend it thoroughly, so you get the most out of your coconut flesh. As your blender is masticating the flesh, it will get looser and will spin more freely.
You want to see more liquid, less flesh!
Once your blender has mainly liquid, transfer the contents to a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.
Add the half cup of filtered water to your processor and give it a quick spin just to get every last bit that was left behind. Add that to the rest of the fragrant pile of coconut.
Now tightly squeeze out all the liquid of your coconut until you can’t get another drop.
You now have some fresh, tasty, dairy-free, preservative-free coconut milk. Place it in an airtight glass jar or container and enjoy! Keep it refrigerated and use within five days.
With the left over dry bits of coconut, you can use it in muffins, in your porridge or discard of it.