Is there anything to be done about lumpy coconut milk besides vigorous shaking, pre-opening? I'm pretty robust, and I think I shake the cans pretty dang hard, but sometimes miss a few lumps here and there.
I tried the blender with some water, but then there's a ton of clean up.
The best cocnut milk I've ever had, texture-wise, was the Roland brand in cans. But that stuff is definitely not organic, and has tons of industrial thickeners and stablilizers in it.
the fat in coconut milk (coconut oil) melts around 76 degrees. so if you let yr can sit in some hot water for a bit and then shake it - it mixes up better. i sometimes pour it in a pan and heat it up.
additionally, look for brands that have the highest calories per serving; "coconut milk" is just coconut meat + varying amounts of water. i figure the less water, the less mixing.. unless it has stabilizers/emulsifiers, as you mentioned. yuk.
if i want it really creamy i'll open it without shaking and dump the watery stuff and only use the 'lumps'.
My coffee frother works wonders for emulsifying the fats. They're uber-cheap, too, but that little motor in it works hard. Most of them are ~10$ or less. :)
And as far as mess and clean up goes, you can stick the little guy straight into the can and all you need is a quick rinse afterward. (Erm, I realize that sounds terribly crude. Sorry about that. >.> Clearly, eloquent descriptions are not my forte.)
Before I buy a can, I shake it pretty hard. If I don't hear any sloshing, that sucker goes back on the shelf for the non-shakers to get shafted with. Sometimes I go through a dozen cans to find 2 that pass the test, and yes, I look like an idiot doing this. This way, I'm sure I'll always have nice, creamy coconut milk to use once I open the can. If I don't use it all and toss it in the fridge, sometimes I melt it in a saucepan before adding it to whatever needs it. Recently, I've tried using up most of the chunky stuff after I first open the can so that once I take it out of the fridge later, there's hardly any chunks at all since the cold condenses some of the creamy milk anyway.
I have a gas stove, so I just put the whole can on one of the heating elements turned on low. I heat each end a bit and shake well. THEN I open it, stir all the lumps out of it, and put the whole thing into the fridge to thicken more consistently throughout.
Add frozen blueberries and you've got an amazing paleo treat.
The day I plan on using it (I eat it like ice cream for a light dinner) I throw it in the fridge for a couple of hours of freezer for around half an hour. The 'meat' solidifies while the 'water' collects on the bottom. I just scoop the cream out and discard the water (or you can save it, I don't).