As a Gluten and Casein Free family we have decided that we need to save a bit of money by making coconut milk at home. At first I was a little intimidated, but it is so easy! If you use a lot of dairy free milk you know how expensive it is, give it a try.
Put 4 cups water into a 2 qt saucepan and bring to a boil.
When the water boils, turn off the heat add the coconut flakes, cover and let sit for 4-12 hours. If you let it sit 4 hours you will get a nice thin consistency, like a "Lite" version. The longer you let it sit the creamier it will be.
After sitting, if the mixture has gotten cold turn the stove on low just to warm it up- you want to be sure the coconut oil is liquid.
Pour half of the mixture into a blender and blend on "liquify" for about 2 minutes.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and pour the mixture through the strainer into a bowl. Then pick up the corners of the cheese cloth and twist and squeeze to get all the rest of the liquid and fat.
Then repeat with the 2nd half. - Sometimes when I start the 2nd half I find there is not enough liquid to blend nicely, no problem just pour a little of the milk from the first half back in.
Using a funnel pour your milk into a jug with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate. The milk will stay good for about 3-5 days. A layer of coconut fat will harden on the top, just shake it real good every time you pour.
I dump the leftover coconut scraps onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, spread it flat and place it in the oven at 170 F with the door left open a bit overnight. In the morning I have nicely desiccated coconut flakes and I just grind them up in a coffee grinder and store them for my gluten free baked goods.