Going coconuts: Coconut milk

Going coconuts: Coconut milk

A few weeks ago while out with a friend I asked if she knew where in Lagos I could purchase coconut flour, this was after a long conversation about healthy living while attending the opening of a new health food store in Lagos. In true Namaste Organics fashion, she quickly replied “make it yourself girl!”  This was so not the answer I was after, given it would require me to do extra work in the kitchen, which with the heat in Lagos at the time of our conversation, felt daunting. But, I decided to take her up on this challenge. In thinking about it more I realised how many great possibilities there were with this amazing nut – the coconut – and all the by-products that you can create from it for your cooking. So this is part one of a multi-part series about the awesome things you can do with coconuts.

What can I say about Coconut milk? Well it’s amazing, nutritious and with the abundance of coconuts in Nigeria readily available. However! Yes, coconut milk has one slightly not so great downside in that 1 cup of this stuff packs 552 calories, 479 of which come from fat. Can I hear a big sigh?! Yes, this is what I found from my research so I would consume this milk with caution. I love curries and coconut milk is the base for many Asian curries Thai, Indian, Malay – all of which I adore so this one is an eye opener for me. Thank goodness I eat them on occasion. Coconut milk is also used to make Nigerian (more like Ibibio and Efik)  coconut rice, which was one of the the first recipes I blogged about. 

Anyhoot, on a more positive note, coconut milk is packed with iron, contains 110 percent of the daily recommendation of manganese, is also high in essential minerals; magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, folate and along with vitamin C. It also contains vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, niacin, choline, pantothenic acid and calcium. In terms of health benefits, coconut milk may help blood cholesterol levels by raising the levels of HDL, the good cholesterol, while not affecting levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol. This change puts cholesterol levels into a better position for protecting heart health. (source: livestrong.com)
Coconut milk is made from the flesh. Crack the nuts, extract the flesh any which way you can and put it in a food processor with 2 cups of water and blend.
This is what your coconut should look like onces blended. Add more water if it is too thick. Let is soak for about 30 minutes then prepare to produce the milk.
A muslin cloth of mylke bag are great ways to strain the milk from your blended coconut flesh.
Strain the coconut into a pitcher and consume or bottler a you wish. Keep the pulp! We will use this to make coconut flour. Watch out for this in the next part of my coconut series.
I found this fancy bottle at a local grocery story and just had to buy it. At the time I had no clue what I was going to use it for. Five months later if found it’s purpose. Coconut milk, ready to drink or cook with. Just love this stuff!


  1. Aww very nice Affi!

  2. I remember watching my mom make coconut milk for her coconut rice when I was a kid. I didn’t realize it took this much effort. I have to thank her seriously for all the back breaking food prep she did back then lol

    • Madam Chef

      I know. And she probably didn’t use a food processor, so all the grating and sore fingers to go with. Totally appreciate the labour of love that goes into cooking Nigerian food.

  3. Brings back lots of childhood memories. Coconut milk adds flavor to many a dish.

  4. Coconut milk is used ALOT in East African food. Especially the swahili coast foods.

    I know we use it a lot with our curry dishes as well as our signature coconut rices.

    I’ve never had to make it from fresh though. Looks great! How long would you say it all took to make?

  5. Please this might be a little off topic but I would love to know the name and address of the health food store you talked about in this post.

  6. adaytee

    I love the fancy bottle…please where can I get the fancy bottles in Lagos? Thanks

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