DIY Homemade Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk >> Guinea Pigging Green

It’s no secret that here on Guinea Pigging Green we adore DIY things. We’ve talked about how to make your own deodorant (weird, but it works!), how to make some beauty products at home, and more recently how to start your own podcast! We love to DIY because it’s fun, it’s usually healthier and more natural, and it’s often cheaper.

Take this DIY homemade coconut milk, for example. I’m living in Ecuador now, where coconuts abound. My boyfriend’s uncle actually has a farm with a bunch of coconut trees (insert stunned-face emoji here) so for us, the coconuts were actually free. You might not be so lucky with the prices in Canada (sorry, Laura) but if you can get your hands on some I can promise the results are so worth it.

We’ve made this milk twice so far, and it has always been absolutely delicious. It’s creamy, it’s so delicious and it’s so fresh and healthy. It takes a lot of work, but that’s half the fun!

Coconut Milk >> Guinea Pigging Green

We used this recipe from Always Order Dessert for making coconut milk from fresh coconuts. I have a natural hemp nut milk bag similar to this one (I bought mine at Goodness Me in Burlington, Ontario) that we use to make milks like this one silky smooth. We used the leftover coconut pulp to make a delicious toasted coconut almond granola – recipe coming soon!

The first step is to split open your coconuts. This was accomplished by my boyfriend, a large kitchen knife and an old rolling pin. First, slice off the top part of the coconut (the knobbly bit). Then, you cut a triangle into the top of the coconut until you get inside the inner shell, and then drain the liquid into another container. Use the rolling pin to kind of hammer the knife through the coconut shell until it splits open. This takes a whole lot of trial and error, but there are also great videos you can watch to help you out.

Coconut Milk >> Guinea Pigging Green

Then, use a butter knife to pry the white meat away from the shell. I find it easiest to kind of go around the whole perimeter of the coconut using the knife to dig in between the shell and the meat, and often if the coconut is pretty fresh it will pop out whole.

Coconut Milk >> Guinea Pigging Green

Next, wash off your coconut. Boil 2 cups of water for every coconut you have (successfully) opened. Cut the coconut meat into small bite-size pieces – eat a couple of them! Into your blender go the coconut meat, the reserved coconut water, and the boiling water. Blend on high for at least 5 minutes and don’t be alarmed if your blender gets really hot. We need the heat in there to emulsify the fat from the coconut meat.

Coconut Milk >> Guinea Pigging Green

Then pour your mixture into your nut milk bag and squeeze the heck out of it! Alternatively you could use a very fine sieve. The resulting milk will be warm and delicious so just try to stop yourself from having a glass of it right away. Save the (relatively) dry coconut pulp to use in granola, cookies, or myriad other delicious things!

We usually freeze about half the coconut milk into ice cubes and then store in a plastic bag in the freezer for smoothies! The milk only stays good for a few days in the fridge, so drink it in a timely manner. I’m currently eating a sad, dry bowl of granola because we drank all our coconut milk… So enjoy it while it lasts! It’s awesome.

-Steph

The Ridiculously Easy Trick to Removing Labels

The Easiest Way To Remove Labels

By the end of this page, you will be a label-removal WIZARD.

I’m about to share with you the easiest method to get those labels off without having to resort to scrubbing off wet sticky bits of paper!

I love re-purposing jars. I use them for storing things like hemp, goji berries, cacao, and lentils — or I use them to carry around leftovers and green smoothies.

The Easiest Way To Remove Labels

What you’ll need

  • a jar!
  • boiled water (enough to fill the jar above the label)
  • baking soda
  • white vinegar

Step 1: Carefully pour the boiling water into your jar, making sure to keep the label dry. Make sure to fill your jar above the label and wait a few seconds for the water to melt the adhesive from the inside.

The Easiest Way To Remove Labels

Step 2: Holding on to a corner of the label, peel the label off your jar. It should peel right off!

The Easiest Way To Remove Labels

Some labels will leave behind more glue than others. If your label leaves behind a residue, you’ll need to use your baking soda and vinegar.

Step 3: Holding the jar over the sink, sprinkle some baking soda on top and give it a squirt of vinegar. Having your vinegar in a spray bottle will make this really easy (you can even use it to clean the rest of your kitchen). Scrub everything off with a sponge or cloth that you wouldn’t mind getting a little gluey.

The Easiest Way To Remove Labels

Rinse off your jar aaaaand you’re done!

The Easiest Way To Remove Labels

Perfect right?

What are you going to use your new-found label wizardry for? Let us know here or on twitter @GreenGuineaPigs

–Laura

DIY Skin + Hair Care Tricks That Work.

When Steph and I first started Guinea Pigging Green, one of our most popular podcasts was our Green Beauty episode. While it’s amazing that we’re starting to vote-with-our-dollars for products that are better for us and for the planet, it can get expensive.

The Good News: Some of these purchases are entirely unnecessary.

Here are 4 DIY solutions that I use:

hey dad!
hey dad, you’re on the blog!

1. Make your own body scrub.

I got this tip from my long-lost hair dresser. All you do is mix half-and-half almond oil and white sugar. I’m sure that other oils would also work, but the almond oil smells nice and is a great moisturizer. You can play around with the ratio to make it rougher (more sugar — like a foot scrub) or lighter (more oil).

I like to make a batch and keep it in an air-tight tub in the bathroom. It’s customizable, inexpensive in bulk, eco-friendly, and only uses two ingredients!

Verdict: 5 stars

2. Shave your legs with coconut oil

Someone once told me that Rich Roll (an inspiring plant-based ultra-athlete) shaved his face with coconut oil. So, as a fan of both coconut oil and Rich Roll, I had to try it. I was immediately hooked and I will spend the rest of my life wondering why people spend any amount of money on shaving creams (“green” or otherwise).

A cheap, natural, environmentally friendly alternative that also moisturizes? Count me in. Just make sure you have a steady stream of water to wash out your razor.

Verdict: 5 stars

3. Rescue dry hair with a hair mask every month or two

My dirty-little-secret is that I only sometimes care to use conditioner… Whoops. That said, I will make my own hair masks so I think that evens it out. My favourite combination is equal parts olive oil and coconut oil with a spoonful of honey.

  1. Heat it in the microwave and mix well
  2. Dampen the ends of your hair
  3. Coat the ends of your hair with the mask and pull your hair into a bun (sometimes I use plastic wrap to hold it all in)
  4. Leave for at least half an hour
  5. Rinse well. Like, SUPER well.

It takes some practice to minimize the mess and it might take a few washes to get all of the oil out of your hair — I’m warning you — but once you do, I swear your hair will practically make woosh woosh sounds like you’re in a commercial.

Verdict: 4 stars

4. Wash your face with a mixture of olive oil and castor oil

I first talked about this discovery here, but essentially, the olive oil moisturizes and the castor oil pulls out impurities. I use a mix of 50/50, but you can use more olive oil for dry skin or more castor oil for oily skin.

For this one, you’ll need a washcloth handy. Wet your face and massage in the oil mixture. Soak your washcloth in hot water and let it rest on your face. You can re-wet the washcloth more than once if you want to give yourself a mini-spa treatment before using it to wipe off the oil.

For me and those I know who have tried this method, it seems common for your skin to get slightly worse before it gets better (although it does get better). Combined with the inconvenience of needing to remove it with a washcloth, I had to dock a few points.

Verdict: 3 stars

Side note regarding face-stuff: I also often use derma e (it has a whole line for different skin types) and when travelling I use Graydon’s All-Over-Soap on my face — it works as a body wash and shampoo too, so it’s perfect for packing light.

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So, have you tried any of these yourself? What are your DIY shortcuts that seem too good to be true? Let us know in the comments below or on twitter @GreenGuineaPigs!

Plus, we’re new to instagram so come say hi!

— Laura