Sunday, February 17, 2013

Make Your Own Coconut Milk

I regret to inform you of yet another food additive to try to avoid.  Carrageenan. It is, unfortunately, found in many products like dairy, nut or soy milk, and kefir. From what I've read it seems carrageenan causes inflammation in the body and is also a carcinogen. Here are a few links for information...
This is a link to a shopping list for organic products both with and without carrageenan...

Frustrating, isn't it?!  I know.  Sometimes it makes one rather weary. I realize it's impossible to avoid everything that is potentially harmful, but I do try to at least minimize exposure wherever it is possible.

Around here, we typically use coconut milk for things like smoothies.  Most of the coconut milk, like So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, contains carrageenan. What to do????  Make your own, of course!  I found a recipe on Food Babe's Blog for making your own coconut milk out of either a fresh coconut or dried, shredded coconut. (Food Babe's blog is awesome! So much info!) Since good, fresh coconuts are difficult to come by in Montana, I used the shredded variety.  This is a crazy easy thing to do.  I'll show you in a few pictures. (I took the pics, not Kyra...sorry.  A photographer, I am not.)

In a bowl, mix 3 cups of very warm water and 2 cups of shredded coconut (not sweetened!).  Let it sit for a few minutes. I don't know how long I left it there, but it was long enough for me to fold a load of laundry. That is how I tell tasks. :)
Next I put it in my Vitamix and blended it...ummmm....for a while. Maybe a minute or so. 

After it had blended, I put it through a sieve and then put it in a piece of fabric to squeeze out the remaining liquid.

I tried to get as much of the liquid out as possible, then put the milk in a Mason jar and stuck it in the fridge. I am keeping the coconut remains, but am not certain what I shall do with it.  I suppose I shall have to give it a Google. :-)

There you are...homemade coconut milk with no additives. This was so easy!  


  1. On June 11th, 2008, Dr. Joanne Tobacman petitioned the FDA to revoke the current regulations permitting use of carrageenan as a food additive.
    On June 11th, 2012 the FDA denied her petition, categorically addressing and ultimately dismissing all of her claims; their rebuttal supported by the results of several in-depth, scientific studies.
    If you would like to read the full petition and FDA response, they can be accessed at!searchResults;rpp=25;po=0;s=FDA-2008-P-0347

    1. Thanks for giving your opinion, Debbie. I see online that you work for a company that sells carrageenan, so I understand why you are posting.
      I always test things out on myself and have found that avoiding the carrageenan has eliminated some stomach troubles I was having, so to me that is all that matters.
      I was unable to find the petition/FDA response that you were referencing, but did find some information.
      We try to avoid as many additives, etc, in our food as possible, and make the best effort we can to eat simple, whole foods that have been minimally processed. Since this has made a huge difference in my family's health and well being, we will continue to do so.
      The FDA approves many, many substances that are toxic to humans and animals, pollute our environment, and bring on diseases and ill health. Examples of this are GMO crops, aspartame and other chemical sweeteners, pesticides, chemical food coloring...the list goes on and on.

    2. I also noticed that this defense of carrageenan is from Dr. Harris Bixler, who is a director of Marinalg International, the trade lobby group for the corporations that manufacture carrageenan.

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  3. Response from the Cornucopia Institute, found on another blog...

    "The long comment titled “So much for the myths” was initially composed by Dr. Harris Bixler, a director of the international trade association for carrageenan manufacturers, which includes multibillion dollar chemical corporations like FMC Corporation and DuPont. Dr. Bixler was at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in May 2012, to lobby for the continued use of carrageenan in organic foods. He has for years attempted to discredit the work of publicly funded scientists like Dr. Tobacman. This response has been posted to nearly all blogs that address carrageenan, so I wanted you to know where this information is coming from.

    Thanks for writing about this, and helping educate others about the harmful effects of this common food additive."

    Charlotte Vallaeys
    Director, Farm and Food Policy
    The Cornucopia Institute