I started using coconut milk in a lot of my cooking over the winter, curried chicken being one of my favorite cold weather dishes. I usually purchase canned coconut milk for that because it's nice and creamy.
I was purchasing boxed coconut milk from the grocery store for smoothies and oatmeal, but when I looked at the ingredient list, I was a bit mortified. I then noticed that it wasn't even coconut milk, but rather a coconut beverage. That was the end of that!
To make the coconut milk:
8 oz (2 1/2 cups) unsweetened shredded coconut
4 cups hot (not boiling) water
Put these ingredients into a blender. Start off on the lowest setting and slowly move up to high. Blend for about a minute and then let the mixture sit until it cools a bit. Pour the coconut mixture into a nut milk bag (or fine mesh sieve or colander) over a bowl. Squeeze out the milk out and reserve the coconut pulp. This is the best coconut milk for a mango smoothie you can possibly imagine, but it can be used for just about anything!
I dried the left over coconut pulp in my food dehydrator to make coconut flour.
8 oz coconut milk
1 cup frozen organic mango chunks
1/2 banana (optional, but tasty)
1 T ground flax seed
1/4 cup chia seeds (soaked in water*)
2 T protein powder (optional)
Whir it all up in a blender and enjoy!!!
* I put 1/4 cup chia seeds in a cup or so of water in a glass jar, shake it occasionally for a half hour or so. The seeds puff up and get slimy, but this makes a handy way of using them in recipes, otherwise they can puff up in your teeth - the choice is yours... :) The seeds will last this way in the fridge for a week or so.
Here is a link to the original coconut milk recipe.
Click here for an interesting article entitled Why Coconut Milk May Not Be Your Friend, by Chris Kresser.