MAKES 1 quart (950 ml) (4 servings)

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

COOK TIME: —

Sometimes a grocery store has a sale on fresh coconuts where you can purchase four coconuts for the price of 1 quart (950 ml) of store-bought coconut milk. Watch for that type of deal and buy as many fresh coconuts as you can! What do you do with all those coconuts? I remove the meat and freeze it for later use, or I make a couple of batches of milk and freeze the milk. Reserve the coconut water for smoothies or replace some of the plain water in the recipes in this chapter with coconut water.

If purchasing a fresh coconut has you concerned about how to open it, many grocery stores offer fresh coconut flesh already cut up and ready to go. Or just follow the directions in the how-to sidebar, opposite.

See “About the optional add-ins” in the Cashew Milk recipe on here for milk-making strategies regarding the optional add-ins.

10 ounces (285 g) fresh coconut flesh (from 1 whole coconut, about 1¾ pounds/800 g)

4 cups (950 ml) water

¼ cup (25 g) unflavored MCT oil powder (optional)

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

  1. Place the coconut and water in a blender or food processor. Blend or pulse on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until the coconut pieces are completely pulverized.
  2. To strain the milk, set a fine-mesh strainer in or drape a piece of cheesecloth over a bowl that holds at least 48 ounces (1.4 L). Slowly pour the coconut mixture through the strainer or cheesecloth, allowing the milk to drip into the bowl. If you’re using a strainer, press on the pulverized coconut flesh with a spoon to release the excess liquid. If you’re using cheesecloth, pick up the sides of the cloth and wring out the excess liquid.
  3. If you do not wish to include the optional add-ins, skip to Step 4. If using the optional add-ins, pour the strained coconut milk back into the blender or food processor, then add the MCT oil powder and/or vanilla and blend or pulse on low for 10 seconds, just until incorporated.
  4. Transfer the milk to a 1-quart (950-ml) airtight container.

STORE IT: Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

THAW IT: Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw on the counter until at least 50% defrosted, then place in the fridge until ready to use.

Per 1-cup/240-ml serving, without MCT oil powder:

calories: 46 | calories from fat: 40 | total fat: 4.5 g | saturated fat: 4 g | cholesterol: 0 mg

sodium: 23 mg | carbs: 1.2 g | dietary fiber: 0 g | net carbs: 1.2 g | sugars: 0.4 g | protein: 0.2 g

FAT : 88%
CARBS : 10%
PROTEIN : 2%

HOW TO REMOVE THE FLESH FROM A COCONUT

There are three holes at the top of a coconut, and one hole will be weaker than the other two. Poke each one with the tip of a sharp knife. When the knife slides easily into a hole, you’ve found the weakest link! Pierce the coconut hole with your knife.

Flip the coconut over onto a cup or bowl and allow it to drain. Reserve the coconut water for later use. (I recommend that you whip up a batch of electrolyte-filled lemonade using 1 cup (240 ml) coconut water, 1 cup (240 ml) filtered water, ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon finely ground Himalayan salt, and a drop of liquid stevia.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the drained coconut on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until you see a crack develop either from the hole or on the side. Remove the coconut from the oven and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Then wrap it in a tea towel and throw it into a clean, sturdy garbage bag. (The black ones meant for yard work are perfect.)

Now it’s time to smash the life out of your coconut: Go outside to your front steps or a concrete area. Lift the coconut over your head and bash it into the concrete. Do this a couple of times until you feel the pieces break, or until you feel your stress wash away. It’s a therapeutic experience. If there are observers, open the bag to reveal the coconut pieces before you go back inside. This will prevent awkward conversations with the neighbors later.

Separate the shell from your dear coconut: Wedge a knife in between the flesh and the hard shell to separate the shell from the meat. You’ll be left with white meat covered in a light brown fiber. Peel away the fiber with a vegetable peeler, as you would the skin of a potato. You’ve now successfully opened your coconut.

Per serving, with MCT oil powder:

calories: 63 | calories from fat: 55 | total fat: 6.3g | saturated fat: 5.8g | cholesterol: 0mg

sodium: 23mg | carbs: 1.7g | dietary fiber: 0.5g | net carbs: 1.2g | sugars: 0.4g | protein: 0.4g

FAT : 90%
CARBS : 7%
PROTEIN : 3%