61~Coconut Milk/Paste

-1 whole coconut  –  water and meat (approx. 4 cups roughly chopped); 1 cup of water

Made 1 L/4 cups

Colour is white

I may be incorrect to call this, or my first coconut milk, a milk. The intention this time is to use it as an ingredient in smoothies.  I think last time I thought I may drink it as-is…but it is not so sweet. This would be easy to remedy with a few medjool dates I bet. But i’m after that coconutty goodness to be in every smoothie, not a coconut milk.
I happily began without adding any water other than the coconuts…forgetting that this is not what I did the first time. I used the blender on #4 speed as it was gradually getting the chunks down. (high speed just whips everything at the bottom up and the upper stuff doesn’t get sucked down when the contents are really thick) I furiously used the tamper for at least 10 seconds to push the chunks down. Moving the tamper in an anti-clockwise motion at the edge of the container. I ended up with a lovely pristine-white paste. It was warm though. So I was probably using the blender for almost a minute.
I let it sit for 5 minutes to cool down and took a taste. That coconut pulp and even the milder taste, always reminds me of when I was a boy climbing up on the kitchen counter-top to raid my Mom’s baking goods. Opening that bag of coconut and digging in. Yum. LOL!
I looked at the previous recipe I got from the Vita-Mix book and reduced the 2 cups of water to 1 cup. I just wanted to blend it more thoroughly, so I didn’t need a lot of liquid. So this whole adventure would have gone quicker if i’d added it in the first place. I ran the blender for at least another 30 seconds. It was on high, and still quite thick. But I waited a few seconds and could see that Vita-Mix pattern of sucking everything down from the top so I knew it was all getting blended. So now I have a thick paste…just not as pulpy as before I added the water. It does pour…and it still has a lot of pulp. I can’t believe how bright and white it is. Beautiful.
So it would be more correct to call this a paste. For its consistency and intended use. But i’ll leave it as a milk…just…because.  😐
(June 15 entry: No! I just can’t do it. It is a paste. Not a milk. I have edited posts to call it a paste. It looked more milky initially…but like last time…it solidified later on. Lets not mess around kids. Call it what it is.) 🙂

I’ll also add the cracking adventure. Pulled out my cleaver and used the back edge of the blade to hit the seam of the coconuts endocarp. The first hit was so loud…and so useless…that I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. But a bit of courage and a few repetitive hits and I could hear the sound change. A tell-tale sign that one has breached the outer shell. (oh…the drama) Remembering I had to have it over a bowl to catch the water, I noticed a bit of a crack and wedged the dull edge of the cleaver into it and twisted it sideways a bit. My other hand was holding the coconut and undesirable bits of the outer shell were falling in to the bowl as the water poured out. So I strained the water afterwards with a small sieve I have. I put the water in the blender container.
The coconut was still whole. I held it over the sink and turned it towards the part of the seam that had not been broken to crack it open. You don’t have to hit it really hard. Just repeatedly. Hard…but not crazy hard. (and the back of a french knife should do as well…although some of these are so thin and cheap in construction that they may not work)
Something I did not notice last time, was a tiny egg-shaped piece in the sink after breaking. I put it in my mouth and bit down to taste it. No real taste…but figured it was a seed and thought “bonus!”…extra goodness…and dropped it in the blender with the water. Also a bit of slimy stuff that this seed may have been wrapped in. Another bonus. In to the blender it went.
So I was left with two large halves and thought I should really break them further to make it easier to get the meat out. I took one half and tried smacking it with the cleaver again but it just began to break the outer nut into small pieces. And I didn’t want to later have to sift out all those small pieces. I can’t recall exactly what I did now…but I ended up with about 3 large and 2 small pieces. Like last time, I started with the flexible steak knife (this is a cheap and small serrated knife for eating purposes…that I kept as a paring knife as it would never need to be sharpened) but realized quickly that it was not a good idea. The risk of it slipping was too great. I needed something stronger to get inbetween the endocarp and testa. I used one of my table knives. Not a very sharp blade…and the tip is squared off. But it is a thicker metal knife that was still thin enough to get under the endocarp, but strong enough to not slip as well as strong enough to twist and leverage the meat out. So I slipped it inbetween the endocarp and testa and pushed it as far in as I could (1/4 inch – 1 inch) then twisted it horizontally. Twisting it vertically would work…but pops the meat out and into the air…and on the floor. So holding the piece really firmly makes it look like you are using a lot of strength, but that is just to hold it still while you use the twisting motion to gently separate the meat/testa from the endocarp shell. This worked really well. I got 2 inch large pieces off the shell instead of a bunch of tiny pieces.
Then I used my twenty-year old peeler to shave off the testa. It isn’t very sharp when peeling away from me…so I use it in reverse, pulling it towards me. Taking small pieces off at a time. It is tedious, and may take 5-10 minutes. I don’t like wasting…so I shave it as close as I can.
There were a few tiny pieces from the endocarp to brush off. And a little bit of tesla on the surface is not important enough to worry about taking off.

The whole act is akin to a spiritual experience and act, …imho.  🙂
There’s an art to it. And there’s an amazing reward. Much cooler than climbing the countertop to get the bagged stuff. lol

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