Homemade coconut milk and coconut flour recipes from scratch

So, I am not the biggest fan of coconut. I know most people love it, and it's all the rage at the moment (for a lot of good reasons), but I just... don't love coconut. At all.

However, I recently started a fun thing called the "AIP Diet", or Autoimmune Protocol. I have some fun health issues that have annoyed me for years, and I've finally gotten serious about tackling them - which means cutting out wheat and other grains, dairy, nightshades, legumes, sugar, alcohol, and a bunch of other things. Functionally, I can eat meat, veggies, fruit... and coconut. I find this to be darkly hilarious. 

Surprisingly enough, the recipes in the Autoimmune Protocol cookbooks I've been using have been consistently delicious! And the results are sooooo worth it. I'll go into that detail in another post. However, coconut flour and coconut milk aren't super cheap - and generally, but especially these days, many of us are on a SUPER TIGHT budget. As an example of costs, a pound of Bob's Red Mill coconut flour costs $6-$8, if you can find it. Coconut milk? $3/qt for shelf-stable. Coconut butter seems to be somewhere around $8/lb at the lowest. Finely shredded, unsweetened coconut, however, you can find for as low as $2/lb. If you use a lot of coconut, that's potentially a lot of savings! As an added bonus, there's no sugar, guar gum, preservatives, or anything else hiding in there - only what you choose to add!

Now, on to the good stuff...

The short version is that you use the shredded coconut to make coconut milk, and the leftovers from that get turned into flour. While the original recipe I used was in a cookbook, once I started researching what to do with the leftovers, I found this gem of an article discussing this very topic - so credit definitely goes to Tracy at "Oh The Things We'll Make!". She offers some additional details there on what you can and can't do easily with the homemade stuff, things to watch out for, and such. Definitely suggested reading. I will go ahead and include the basic recipes and instructions here, however, as I use them regularly and want to be able to provide you, dear reader, with as many easy-to-find resources as possible! So, without further ado.

Homemade Coconut Milk

This is best made in small batches and used within a couple days, as it doesn't have any preservatives - and it will separate! Coconut milk is a combination of coconut fat and water, which means that it will quickly become two layers. I recommend gently heating and shaking before use if you need to refrigerate it. An alternative is to freeze it in ice cube trays for future use. And don't toss the leftover pulp - that's what you'll use to make coconut flour!

Making Coconut Flour from Leftover Pulp

Waste not, want not! This one is super easy. Typically used in autoimmune protocol, paleo, GAPS, gluten-free, and low-FODMAP diets, it can be swapped for many other flours. The consistency is a bit different, so I recommend using tried-and-true recipes or adding some additional liquid.