It’s officially baking season. The weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are falling off of the trees. It’s time to get baking. Cookie, muffins, pies, custards… you name it, I love it. I adore the smell of sweet, warm spicy treats pouring out of the oven. And I love to see the happy faces of the ones I love enjoying the goodies that I make. I’ve been on a custard and flan kick lately. Many recipes call for condensed milk, but I would rather not use the canned stuff that is loaded with questionable ingredients. Today I am sharing with you a simple dairy-free alternative to commercial sweetened condensed milk: Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against dairy, as long as it’s from an organic, grass fed source. And as long as it’s RAW. The gallon of RAW milk that I get every week is too precious to cook down into dessert ingredient. Fresh, RAW milk is like gold. Full of vital nutrients and enzymes, it feeds and nourishes us to the core, especially my Little One. I find that using a can of full fat coconut milk is a much better alternative when I want to have a creamy base for my pies, puddings, or custards. And once you taste this creamy, delicious nectar, I think that you will have to agree.
Before I share this simple recipe, let’s take a look at what is really in the commercial condensed milks out on the market. This is what I saw on the label of one of the popular brands out there:
Sugar, Skimmed Milk, Milk Fat, Modified Starch (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk), Corn Starch (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk), Sodium Phosphate (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk), Soy Lecithin (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Carrageenan (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk), Agar (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk), Salt (Ingredient Not in Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk).
Yeah, pretty incredible. Right? But don’t worry. You can easily make your own sweetened condensed coconut milk with only a can of good quality, full fat coconut milk and some RAW honey. I have also made this with maple syrup. Both are delicious. I wish I knew who to give credit to for this recipe. I learned to make this at a yoga retreat I went to years ago, and it just became part of my baking repertoire.
This wonderfully simple mixture can be used for pies, pudding, custards, as a decadent coffee or tea creamer, on porridges, and for anything else that requires a creamy base. Basically, it makes everything creamier, richer, and deliciously sweet. Enjoy! And happy baking.
- In a small sauce pan, bring coconut milk to a gentle boil. Whisk in honey (or sweetener of choice.)
- Allow to actively simmer (never boil) on medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring OFTEN. Mixture will thicken slightly, reduce by about a ⅓, and darken just a titch.
- Allow to cool completely then store in glass container for up to 5-7 days.