I really think everyone should try out different diets from time to time. From vegan to Paleo and Indian to 100-Mile, you will always learn about new foods and cooking styles when you try something different. We’ve been vegetarian (or mostly so) for a while so we’re pretty used to meat substitutes like tofu, TVP and tempeh, but when I decided to try veganism last year we discovered a whole new world of dairy and egg substitutes that we had never dreamed of. There are some amazingly creative and dedicated vegan chefs, and an entire world full of mouth-watering recipes full of flavour and goodness (one of our favourites is Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows).
On another culinary adventure in Singapore several years ago, I picked up this lovely habit of putting sweetened condensed milk in my coffee. Although it may not be the healthiest habit, I’m afraid it’s stuck with me. Sometimes I offer it to company along with cream and sugar in coffee, and of course my Southeast Asian friends will understand, but everyone else gives me a bit of a funny look. It doesn’t take long for them to convert though!
Of course condensed milk is wonderful for other things too – like spreading on toast, drizzling over berries and creating many more desserts than I can list here. As a vegan, I asked: if you can make condensed cow’s milk, why not condensed coconut milk?
The result, as it turns out, is delectable.
Though it takes some time, there is very little hands-on involvement needed and the recipe itself is incredibly simple. Start with canned coconut milk (not the beverage) and add it to a pot with sugar, then boil it down to the proper consistency just like regular condensed milk. The whole process takes an hour or two and yields about 1/2 cup of creamy and lightly sweet condensed coconut milk which is just perfect with fresh strawberries.
Best enjoyed with smiles and sunshine.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Combine coconut milk and granulated sugar in a medium pot (make sure there is space for it to boil). Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down to medium-high heat and boil for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of thick cream. You may have to experiment to find the right temperature, and watch carefully (especially at first) to make sure it doesn't boil over.
- Remove from heat when the mixture is thick and syrupy; it will thicken a little more as it cools.
- Cool for about 20 minutes, then pour it into a glass jar and cool completely. Store condensed coconut milk in the fridge for up to a month.