This homemade version of sweetened condensed milk is vegan and uses no refined sugar. Coconut milk and coconut sugar make a dairy free, naturally sweetened treat.
I am walking on tiptoes, while on the inside I could scream with excitement. It is 8.30 in the morning and Olivia is still sleeping!!
I believe this is the first morning, since we are in Asia, that I not up because I was woken by her. And it feels sooo gooood.
Somewhere around 5am I vaguely remember her being awake in bed next to me. She found the remote for the A/C and was happily playing with it for who knows how long. But eventually she fell back asleep on her own accord and still is.
I am absolutely indulging in these moments of peace first thing in the morning.
Keeping Olivia safe in our new apartment has turned out more difficult than anticipated. There is absolutely no way to lock off or child-prove any of the lower kitchen cabinets. So for now we have kept them empty.
Everything is a littler lower than it used to be in out place in Calgary. Without slowly growing into it, Olivia can suddenly climbed on our bed, the couch, the coffee table and even the dining chairs! Unfortunately, this sudden climbing ability comes without the awareness of the associated danger of falling.
My poor baby has rolled off the bed a couple of times and even fell off the couch once. Luckily, not from great heights. Still, I have suffered what feels like a thousand heart attacks from the uncountable near-falls.
And probably worst of all, Olivia can also reach onto the kitchen counters – as those are a lot lower too now. For the life of me, I can’t seem to remember to always put the knives, cutting board and even ingredients faaar from the edge.
Most of the time I do remember. But when I am busy cooking away, it occasionally slips my mind. That time when Olivia pulled the full egg carton off the counter was harmless, just a BIG mess to clean up.
When she got a hold of the big kitchen knife, that could have ended badly – I was there quickly enough to intervene, however.
Which brings me to the time when I made homemade, dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. Once I finished simmering it to thick and sweet perfection, I let the saucepan cool on the counter and started washing up the dishes.
You may already see where this is going. Standing at the sink, I see out of the corner of my eye a little hand reaching up, trying to grab the handle of the saucepan. Which contents a hot, hot, HOT naturally sweetened condensed coconut milk!
I leapt to the stove as fast as I could and in literally the last second I prevented Olivia from pouring the hot liquid all over herself. Phew… that took a few years off my life span, I am sure!
Don’t let my experience deter you. Please, absolutely make this amazing naturally sweetened condensed milk! Just be sure to keep the hot stuff far away from little hands.
I used coconut milk and coconut sugar for my homemade sweetened condensed milk. Here in Asia, coconut sugar (or palm sugar) comes in paste or solid form – unlike the granulated coconut sugar in North America. I used coconut sugar paste, which has a similar consistency as creamy honey.
Coconut sugar is also the reason for the golden caramel colour of this dairy free sweetened condensed milk. Any natural, unrefined sweetener will result in a color that’s not white.
This vegan condensed milk is absolutely amazing in Vietnamese style iced coffee.
- In a small saucepan combine coconut milk and sweetener and bring to a simmer on medium-low.
- Keep simmering, while stirring regularly, until the mixture thickens and reduces to about 1 cup. This takes between 30-40 minutes. The sweetened condensed milk will thicken more as it cools.
- I keep a measuring cup next to the stove to check how much the mixture has reduced. If it's still more than 1 cup, I return it back to the saucepan and continue simmering.
- Other milk alternatives and different natural sweeteners may work as well.