I was feeling a tad bit parched today, but I wanted to venture out and not consume my usual water or iced tea. So I thought, Hey! Why don’t I make something different and unique that I can add as part of my learning project! So away I went. Researching some possible fancy drink creations. I first resorted to the lovely and organized Smitten Kitchen blog. I browsed through the drink category, when it caught my eye: Frozen coconut limeade. How delicious and exotic. Yet, not to suitable for the current weather conditions, but oh well!
Before I started to assemble my ingredients I wanted to make sure I knew everything there is to know about handling the ingredients used within this recipe. Coconut milk is something that I am not familiar with at all! I know that it comes from coconuts, but how do you make coconut milk? Is there a proper way to handle this dairy product? Needless to say, I do not know the answer to either of these questions so I went online to learn some coco-nutty facts.
I was actually surprised at how easy it is to make coconut milk! Unfortunately, living in Saskatchewan, one of the coldest places in the world, we do not have access to coconuts unless purchased in a grocery store, and even then the supply is limited, so making homemade coconut milk would be a little difficult that way. Nevertheless, the recipes and videos that I did find online seem very helpful to those that want to try and attempt to make homemade coconut milk. It is actually very simple to make coconut milk! Four steps really. This video is for you visual learners like myself; this website includes a handwritten recipe for those that need to visually read the directions and proportions. Another thing that I did not know is the health benefits that actually come from consuming coconuts. I always thought that coconuts were full of saturated fats and therefore were not that good for you. On the contrary, I learned that coconuts are actually an excellent source of nutrition and have healthful meat, juice and oil. As well, coconuts have antibacterial and antifungal properties. That is pretty neat. So does that mean this drink is healthy for you? Probably not, but if you want to learn more about the health benefits of coconuts read this! I found it to be very interesting.
Working with limes is another ingredient that I am not familiar with. My main question is what is the proper way to cut a lime, and what is the most effective way to squeeze all the juice out? Unfortunately, we do not own one of those citrus juicer things, so I needed to inquire on what the best approach was. This particular site I found to be visually appealing, both through the descriptions and photos. Who knew that juicing a lime could be so complex yet simple? Not me. However, with my new way of holding a kitchen knife I felt pretty confident that I could cut these limes with no problem.
Once I felt that I learned all I needed to know about this recipe I made sure that I had all the ingredients! Cooking rule #1: make sure you have all the ingredients prior to cooking; I didn’t want to be making the same mistake as last time! Thankfully we had everything I needed. Therefore, I organized all the ingredients out on the counter. As well, to save some time, I portioned and measured out all the ingredients ahead of time so that I could combine everything all at once. When I got to the limes I realized that yes I had that ingredient, but the limes were way to small (as you will saw in the photo above), so I could not use that juicing method effectively. I attempted and almost cut my fingers off. So I went to Plan B: use limejuice from a bottle. It worked just as good, it was just not as fresh as it would be from an actual lime.
The recipe and directions that follow are very simple and not really that complex, considering there is really only one direction.
2 ½ cups of crushed or small ice cubes
1 cup of coconut milk, well-shaken if from a can
3 tablespoons of sugar
Lime slices for garnish
Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and garnish with a lime.
Wow. What a refreshing drink! It was such a nice change from my traditional iced tea. However, it was very coco-nutty and too creamy. I may have added too much coconut milk. That being said, I went back to the recipe to make sure I put the right amount in. Well…I made a huge error. I was supposed to put 1-cup of coconut milk in the blender, what did I do? I read 1-cup as 1 can! Ooops. That is why I tasted so much coconut and hardly any lime. Cooking rule #2: always read the proportions and directions carefully (more than once). I thought about this for a minute and asked what could I do to balance out that flavor and then it came to me: add more limejuice. I tasted it again and to me it tasted perfect! Than again I love the taste of coconut. I got the rest of my family to taste it. My mom really enjoyed it, however, both my sisters did not have a preference for it as I found out afterward that they both do not like the flavor of coconut and thought that it was too much.
Even thought this recipe was relatively simple, I still learned some valuable information that I will probably have to carry out in some future recipes. For instance, knowing how to squeeze the juice out of citrus is very important. Most of the recipes that I am inquiring into have freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Even though, I was not able to effectively juice the limes in this recipe since they were too small, I still learnt how and I even bookmarked that page on my computer so I can refresh my memory for next time.
Overall, I think I did a pretty good job. Yes, it was simpler than what I made previously, but it was also something different. As well, and I am just saying, this drink would be awesome with some rum!
Stay tuned for next time where I attempt to actually read all the directions and proportions correctly.