Leche de Coco Fresca is a Puerto Rician recipe for Fresh Coconut Milk. This recipe can be made with sweetened shredded coconut. If you use a real coconut you will get the sweet coconut water out of the middle of the coconut to serve as your sweetener. A good rule of thumb to remember is that 1 coconut will make 2 cups of Fresh Coconut Milk.
The Versatile World of the Coconut
Coconut Water is the sweet nectar that comes inside every coconut. Typically it is extracted from young coconuts about 6–7 months of age, though it’s also found in mature fruit. A young coconut will yield about 1 cup of coconut water and a mature coconut will only provide about 1/4 cup. However, on a young coconut, the meat is much thinner and is not as sweet. In contrast, mature coconuts are sweeter and have more coconut meat.
Coconut Milk is made from the grated coconut meat and coconut water of mature coconuts. It is milky in color and sweet and can be store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days after making.
Cream of Coconut, not to be confused with Coconut Cream, is made from Coconut Milk. Instead of keeping the coconut milk mixed, it is allowed to sit in the refrigerator for 12 hours to separate. The water settles to the bottom and the cream floats to the top. The cream is then scooped out and the water disposed of.
Coconut Cream, not to be confused with Cream of Coconut, is made with grated coconut meat, coconut water, and heavy cream or whole milk. Basically, you add a dairy product to the coconut milk you just made, mix well and it makes Coconut Cream.
Leche de Coco Fresca ~ Fresh Coconut Milk
- 1 fresh coconut or 3½ cups of sweet shredded coconut
- 1½ cups water
- Cover a large, deep bowl with thick gauze, cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
- Open the coconuts. Pour the water into a container and set it aside. Separate the peel from the pulp. Cut the pulp into small pieces and place it in a blender along with the coconut water and a little of the water.
- At high speed, mash the coconut. Add the rest of the water. The idea is to get a liquid mixture that you can strain.
- Pour the coconut water mixture over the cheesecloth-covered container. Pick up the edges of the cheesecloth and begin to squeeze the mixture to get as much milk as possible. Squeeze vigorously until the coconut residue is almost dry.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days after making for the best flavor and texture.
- Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the “cream” of the coconut milk may separate to the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.
Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment about this recipe if you can. Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and coman bien mis amigos (eat well my friends).
Recipe Roundup Weekly Newsletter
Signup to receive our new recipes every week. Every Monday we send out last week’s newly published recipes. Never miss a recipe from Hispanic Food Network.