I have tried to like homemade coconut or almond milk, but just can't give up my store bought milks. They are creamy and seem thicker than homemade versions. I imagine if you add dates to sweeten your milk, they may make it thicker, but I don't want that much sugar added to my milk.
The ingredient that is responsible for the creaminess in the box varieties is carrageenan or sometimes guar gum. Carrageenan is from red seaweed that acts is a thickener or emulsifier. It's what gives many ice creams a good mouth feel. You'd think that seaweed would be safe or even beneficial, but studies show it may be hard on the gastrointestinal tract. It may be fine for some of you, but my thought is that if possible, remove it from my diet. There is more and more talk about the dangers of it, enough to make food manufacturers remove it. Califia (my favorite brand found in the refrigerate section in a plastic bottle) and So Delicious are in the process of removing carrageenan. In the meantime, I have found a way to make a creamy homemade version!
Th secret ingredient, kelp noodles!! Kelp is a brown seaweed full of nutrients! Some people take kelp for it's iodine content. Many of you have probably had these noodles in stir fry, as pasta or in a salad. Most natural grocery stores sell them or you can find them on Amazon, but they are much less expensive at your local store. They are usually found in the refrigerator section, often times near fermented foods or vegetarian cheeses and tofu (don't be buying any of these). I rinse the noodles well and store it in an airtight container. I promise you would never taste or even know the noodles are in the milk!!
Recipe: Homemade Creamy Coconut Milk
- 1/2 cup kelp noodles (loose, don't pack them)*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of sea salt
- sweetener (optional, I use liquid stevia or Swerve for no sugar option)
- Blend the coconut and water on high until smooth. Pour through a Nut Milk Bag or cheesecloth into a pitcher, drain all of the liquid out of the bag
- Pour the mixture back into the blender and add the kelp noodles, vanilla, salt and sweetener. Blend on high until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
*Make sure you rinse and drain the noodles before you use them.
Add kelp noodles to any homemade nut milk to make it creamier. Increase the amount of noodles if you prefer thicker milk.