Canned coconut milk can also be used in recipes but is probably nutritionally void of all the vitamins and minerals found in freshly made milk. For an exhaustive list of all the health benefits, go to http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/.
This is my method for extracting coconut milk from a “dry coconut” (when my husband is not available to do all the work).
1 dry coconut
2 cups boiling water
*****When buying coconuts, choose those that feel heavy and have liquid inside***
[Mr.Coconut, appearing soon in the next Steven King movie...really, don't be scared, it's harmless.....]
If you would like, you can first drain the water out of the coconut. Using a pointed utensil bore a hole in each eye of the coconut. (The coconut has a face on the pointy end, the two closest together form the "eyes" the third is the "mouth" represented by 3 black spots.)
[I felt like a criminal poking a hole in it's eye...the things I do for food....I am guilty your honor]
Crack open with a hammer on a hard surface. To minimize mess, place in a tough plastic bag or wrap with a towel before cracking with a hammer.
[Notice the knife stuck to the coconut..couldn't get it out...cause I'm a doofus ..the sharp object above wasn't really working..and the knife wasn't working...(note to self--use screw driver next time) where is my husband when I need him?]
To remove the flesh from the coconut use a dull table knife or spoon and progressively pry the flesh away from the shell.
This step can be expedited, simplified and made less dangerous by first baking the pieces of coconut at 250 degrees for 15 minutes or freezing the small pieces of coconut for 30 minutes. This really works!!
[Only took me 20 years to figure this out…. ]
[Really...where the heck is my husband..he always does this for me....]