Have you ever decideD to bite the bullet and do things “the hard way” only to be blown away by how easy the hard way actually is? If you answered “yes!”, then you are certainly not alone! You see, now that little Miss P is a year old, she is no longer getting the majority of her nutrients from breast milk. She eats LOTS of solid foods and can actually drink “regular” milk when I’m not around to nurse. This means I have said sayonara to the pump and have started introducing breast milk alternatives into her diet.
If you’re unfamiliar with baby nutrition, it’s important to note that baby brains need fat, and lots of it. In fact, about 50% of calories consumed by children aged 12-24 months should be from fat. Meaning that it’s important for little ones, whose stomachs are still relatively small in size, to receive a concentrated amount of fat until they reach 2 years of age.
Of course, not all fatty foods are created equal, so that’s where my “hard way” journey begins. When Piper turned 1, I knew that I didn’t want to move her from breast milk to cow’s milk. Cow’s milk can be very inflammatory and after having visited the lush, green pastures of dairy farms in the UK, I just don’t quite trust the US dairy supply. Call me crazy, but I knew there had to be some comparable alternatives. After consulting P’s pediatricians both here in Franklin and in Orlando, I settled on trying goat’s milk first. Well, that didn’t go over so well and Piper pretty much turned her nose up at it every time I offered. Coming from a girl who will eat almost anything, I decided to try something else.
Enter: coconut milk. Again, after much research, I decided that this naturally fatty alternative to mammal milk was a winner. Coconut is high in vitamins, minerals, fat, and fatty acids. One in particular, lauric acid, is actually antiviral and antibacterial which is one of the properties that makes breast milk so beneficial and a huge reason as to why I’ve stuck it out this long in the first place.
To make a long story short, and to get to the DIY part of this post already, I found that I was pretty disappointed in the coconut milk options available commercially. Not only is coconut milk found in the grocery store expensive, all of the options I found contained synthetic vitamins and emulsifiers, and although neither are particularly harmful in small quantities, I knew there had to be a simpler form I could feed my little one without unnecessary ingredients. Thankfully, it only took referencing some tried and true resources to find my match!
Using the recipe provided by the Food Renegade, I set out to concoct homemade coconut milk. And, let me tell you, it is cheap, easy, and delicious! Seriously. It takes all of 5 minutes, from start to finish, to make a quart of the stuff and it is just SO good! The best part of all (even better than the fact that it ended up costing about a quarter of the price of the store-bought version) is that Piper loves it and I love giving it to her knowing that she’s getting lots of great nutrients without any gunk!
What You’ll Need::
- 5 Cups Filtered Water
- 2 Cups Organic, unsweetened dried coconut
- High powered blender. I recommend this Vitamix!
- Cheese cloth
- Air tight storage container
What To Do::
- Soak your coconut overnight in 1 cup filtered water to rehydrate. This step is optional, but will restore some of the coconuts nutritional density.
- Place coconut in bottom of blender.
- Heat remaining 4 cups of water to a simmer
- Pour water over coconut and blend on high for 2 minutes.
Nourish and Be Nourished::