Food should be nourishing and delicious. It sounds simple, right? With sweets especially, it can be so hard to find treats that are as good to eat as they are for you. My friend Laurel, the baker behind the grain-free, dairy free, and refined-sugar-free (and sometimes vegan) goodness known as Sweet Laurel Bakery, has shared some of her simplest and most satisfying recipes with me. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they’re always made with whole ingredients, no funny stuff or filler, so even the biggest sweet-tooth loves them.
Four ingredients and the most delicious non-dairy milk you can make at home! The dates add a hint of sweetness, the vanilla a lovely round flavor, and the salt cuts through everything. This coconut milk is delicious on it own or in coffee, or you could even use it with dark rum to make a cozy cocktail. So much has been said for the nutritional benefits of coconut meat and milk, but honestly, I just love how delicious it is. Enjoy!
1 coconut, meat extracted and water reserved (about 1 cup of coconut water and 1 cup coconut meat)
1 vanilla bean, seeds extracted
pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt)
To extract the coconut meat, use a coconut meat removal knife (you can find one here) or if the coconut is quite young, a spoon, to scoop the meat from the inside of the coconut hull. This is best done when the coconut is room temp or a little warmer. You can also purchase fresh coconut meat and supplement with coconut water.
Soak coconut meat in 8 cups of plain water in refrigerator for at least 5 hours (overnight is fine too). Drain off water and place coconut in blender. Add coconut water, dates, vanilla bean seeds and salt. Blend on high speed for about 2 minutes until very well blended. Pour mixture through a doubled cheesecloth or nut milk bag and squeeze milk into a bowl. Pour into a lidded container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.