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In Episode 5 of the The 4 Blades podcast, Bec and Joe get into some experimenting and make coconut milk and coconut flour for the first time.
One of the reasons that we haven’t trialled this before is that we didn’t have a muslin cloth. But, after a suggestion from The Vegan Thermomix on Facebook, we trialled making it with a new Chux cloth and a kitchen sieve. Our super spatula came in handy once again as it allowed us to push down to get the liquid out without burning our fingers – hot stuff! Check out our YouTube video if you would like to see how it looks. Apologies for the chipmunk voice!
We trialled two recipes, one from Super Kitchen Machine and one from the Recipe Community.
We then did a blind taste test, comparing these with the usual brand we buy, Woolworths Select. The ingredients list: 99.5% coconut extract, Stabiliser 415, Stabiliser 466, Emulsifier 473. We paid $1.79 for 270mL.
Compared to the store bought coconut milk, the TM-made milks were much more like the liquid from an actual coconut – both in taste and consistency.
It was also great to make our own from a cost comparison – the yield from 99c of desiccated coconut using the Super Kitchen Machine recipe was about 4 cans of store bought coconut milk, with a by-product of coconut ‘mulch’.
The coconut mulch can be dried out on a tray in the oven, then turned into coconut flour in the Thermomix. We followed the instructions from this page on The Mindful Foodie blog. We found we had to leave it in the oven with the door held slightly ajar (use a bunched tea towel or pot holder ), 120 deg celcius for 2 hours to truly dry it out to a level where it wasn’t chunking together due to the fat content. We mixed it around with our super spatula intermittently.
In our post-experiment calculations, the cost-per-kilo of the Thermomix-made coconut flour was not as good as what you can buy from a shop, and the texture of the finished product was a little more coarse. BUT, the mulch is really just a by-product of your milk AND (at least in our experience) coconut flour isn’t readily available in supermarkets, so if you do this each time you make coconut milk, you’ll soon have a good collection of coconut flour. We have a gas oven, which makes it less expensive having the oven on for 2 hours – if you have an electric oven it may be something to factor in to your equation. PS. We keep our coconut flour in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Because of the fat content, you may find it going rancid if left in your cupboard.
The verdict: We use a lot of coconut milk in the Winston household and, as such, it is cost effective for us make our own coconut milk and keep it on hand in the fridge. However, we will probably keep a few cans on hand still (even though it doesn’t taste as good!) for the occasions that we need some coconut milk pronto, and don’t want to go through the whole procedure.
We also recently ventured out to Paniyiri ( The Greek festival) here in Brisbane. Feeling inspired we looked for some recipes to try at home. Remembering that one of our beloved listeners Erica Noble had a bunch of recipes on the recipe community that we were keen to try. One that peaked our interest and fit right in with our recent adventures was the baklava muffins. These are SO creative and delicious! We highly recommend giving them a try… Definitely a ‘sometimes’ food though!