Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

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homemade coconut milk
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I’ve been using coconut products for years and now you can find everything from coconut cream to coconut flour in your grocery store baking aisle. Coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to pasteurized cow’s milk or to rice, almond, soy, or other plant-based milk, and you can find this at most stores as well.

Unfortunately, canned coconut milk at the store usually contains BPA in the can lining. New refrigerated carton varieties are somewhat better but can be expensive and have added sweeteners or preservatives. Not to mention the cost and packaging generated for what is — let’s face it — mostly water!

Fortunately, making coconut milk at home is very simple and inexpensive! From my calculations, homemade coconut milk costs less than $1 per batch. We use it in smoothies, curries, ice cream, or just to drink by itself. It can also be flavored with natural vanilla, strawberries, or cocoa powder. (Yum!)

How to Make Coconut Milk From Scratch

Coconut is packed with medium-chain fatty acids and lauric acid with a host of health benefits — one of the reasons coconut oil has become so popular. My kids can’t get enough of it and I love that it is full of the healthy fats that are especially good for growing bodies.

Best of all, you only need two ingredients to make coconut milk and one of them is self-stable! Grab some unsweetened shredded dried coconut from the pantry, add some hot water and a blender, and voila — fresh coconut milk!

Another bonus: this recipe takes minimal prep time and clean-up. You don’t have to have a nut milk bag for a strainer, either (although it is nice if you make coconut or almond milk from scratch often). I have used a towel or some cheesecloth in a pinch.

I’m experimenting with creative ways to use the coconut pulp when I’m done… let me know in the comments if you’ve found a favorite way to use it!

Coconut Milk Recipes to Try

Coconut milk works great for vegan, dairy-free, or paleo diets. Here are some recipes to try with your freshly made creation!

Try this inexpensive way to make coconut milk:

homemade coconut milk

Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

Homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut for a healthy and inexpensive milk alternative.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Calories 390kcal
Author Katie Wells





  • Heat water until hot, but not boiling.
  • Put shredded coconut in blender or Vitamix and add the hot water. If all the water will not fit, this can be done in batches. See instructions below.
  • Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
  • Pour through a mesh strainer to remove most of the coconut solids.
  • Squeeze the strained liquid through a towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to remove remaining pieces of coconut.
  • If you had to split the water into batches put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the remaining water, and repeat.
  • Drink immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the "cream" of the coconut milk may separate to the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 34g213%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 30mg1%
Potassium 321mg9%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Try adding different flavor options after all coconut has been strained out!
  • Vanilla coconut milk: ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Strawberry coconut milk: ½ cup pureed fresh or frozen strawberries
  • Chocolate coconut milk: 2 tsp cocoa powder + ½ tsp vanilla extract

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Ever made coconut milk before? Planning to try sometime? Offer your favorite tips below!

Make your own homemade coconut milk with only shredded coconut and water for a simple, inexpensive and healthy drink.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


402 responses to “Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe”

  1. joann guenette Avatar
    joann guenette

    just a few questions. So I made the milk and it separated. I use the milk for my coffee as recommended by my nutritionist. the hard oil on top, is that the same as buying coconut oil in the stores? Does anyone know the calorie content of just the milk? (oil taken off) I have to keep a food log and I can use up to 1 tbsp of milk as one count for my oil intake. should I separated the thick band of oil? and just use the milk for my coffee and the oil for cooking?

  2. Lauren Avatar

    5 stars
    Forgot to rate the recipe, (5) *****, if I could I would give it more!

  3. Lauren Avatar

    I had been searching for coconut milk without harmful additives. I was elated to try your recipe. Have been making it for at least 2 or 3 months now and enjoy it immensely. I have tried several of your other recipes, elderberry syrup and cough drops, body butters and magnesium oil are just a few. Thanks for all the information and recipes!

  4. Marco P. Molina Avatar
    Marco P. Molina

    Coconut milk is so yummy!
    I’ve made coconut milk using young coconut (w/gelatin meat) water (sweet) & it taste way better than using filtered water.

  5. Lisabeth Morche Avatar
    Lisabeth Morche

    Can you freeze coconut milk? I’m sorry if that question was already asked, I couldn’t read through the 100+ comments!

  6. Gabriel Avatar

    5 stars
    How long does it last like expiry date, try to find an explicit information but it wasn’t clear 🙂

    Spreading love wellness

  7. Anne Marie Avatar
    Anne Marie

    5 stars
    After a few hours in the fridge, my homemade coconut milk separated (as I expected it to do) but the layer on top is solid and about 3/4″ thick – shaking it did nothing (and I did vigorously shake the glass jar), I then took a knife to chunk up this layer and again shook the jar, but this did nothing to dissipate the solid cream, it just increased the number the number of pieces. My question is: do I let the jar sit out at room temperature before I shake the milk (prior to drinking or using in a recipe) or is it safe to gently warm the milk, just to diminish this layer? I assume this solid layer contributes to the overall taste and texture of the coconut milk? Thank you so much for your time!

    1. Sam Avatar

      U can do both, as thats the oil, very nutritious too thats hardened. Dont remove it as others i read do.

  8. Colleen Cubberley Avatar
    Colleen Cubberley

    Any uses for the coconut “pulp” from the coconut milk??

    1. Sam Avatar

      colleen, i read long ago it can be used for some patties, tho u have to check proportions to mix with ur recipes. also we use them in cookies and macaroons.

  9. Colleen Avatar

    Sorry. I tried skimming through the numerous comments. I did see sow one asked my same question but didn’t see an answer or if I did-isn’t understand it. Can I use young coconut meat instead of shredded dry coconut? I know some mentioned brown coconuts-are those the hairy hard coconuts you have to break open with a hammer? Thanks!!

    1. Sam Avatar

      Young coconut meat cannot give much milk when you try to extract. I grew up in a tropical country and know even some of the brown ‘nuts’ u have to break, when not mature enough, does not give that rich milk esp used for cooking other dishes. Anyway, i havent read many of the posts, Urs just got my attention, but hope this was helpful.

  10. Hélène Avatar

    I dont use heated water either, but I think letting the coconut sit for a couple hours in the water helps make it thicker. So it doesnt get heated by me but the place they shred and dry it prob heats it, organic label or not. There is no way Im shredding a raw coconut tho, the dried is as homemade as Im getting lol
    Even using it for a curry or fish soup I dont think you’d have to strain it either.
    Are ppl rly drinking this stuff straight like milk? I can’t imagine that, its way too rich for one. I dilute it 1:1 even in my smoothie.

  11. TZ Avatar

    I have made coconut milk about 6 times so far…four times from fresh (brown) coconuts, once from organic dried shredded coconut, and once from frozen shredded coconut. The first time I made it, i did not use heated water…i just soaked the fresh coconut in some filtered water and used it, the soak water, and the coconut water from to make the milk in my Nutribullet. The mixture does get some heat when blending (isn’t that true for Ninja and Vitamix/high speed blenders too). The milk from this first experience was creamy, yummy, and did not separate (well a tiny bit…but after a few vigourous shakes the first night in the fridge it was fine). All the recipes say to heat so the next few times I did…not only is the separating a pain to deal with (let it sit out or run the container under warm water and shake, or reblend…everytime you want some…ugh), but the olelic (spelling?) acid that naturally occurs got stronger…kind of stinging my tongue. I like the first batch better…but I decided to save another finger slicing, and try dried coconut. If you want coconut cream then THIS method is the ticket!!!! I heated some water, put the coconut in let it re heat to steaming (i am against boiling/killing the nutrients…lol), and then soak covered for about 3 hours. I ran it a 2-3 minutes in batches, and did my normal strain and squeeze….put it in a container in the fridge. I did taste it and the acid is still noticeable…i can even smell it. A few hours later I went to see how it was and shake it. It would not shake…at all!! LMBO – It is a tall narrow container, so I had to stick a knife in the bottle to break up the like four+ inches of firm cream, which was just like the yummy, new, BPA canned version I just discovered…but Fresher/BETTER! Definitely, the next regular step in my coconut milk manufacturing. Anyway, i decided to try the frozen coconut this last time, and this time, WITHOUT heating the water. It came out like the first experience…it does not have that stinging acid sensation when tasting it, and not the acidy smell either!!! It is creamy, and yummy, and the best part…when I checked this morning…NO MORE SEPARATION!!! The other aspect is it is NOT BOILED…so nutrients are more intact! This is the method I am sticking with, unless I want the coconut cream!!! I will be trying that boiling method with the frozen coconut though! My next coconut milk experiment…using a Thai coconut. I found already shelled/peeled fresh ones at PCC…an organic/natural market here in WA state.

    Sorry for my long post on this, but I had all these questions and no answers to them…and not much reponse when I did post/ask. So for those that want some details…I hope my experience with it can help! Enjoy!

  12. Hélène Avatar

    The only thing I use c. milk for is smoothies and hot drinks. So I dont strain at all sometimes and others just thru the mesh strainer. It all gets blended up in the recipe when I use it!

  13. Christa Avatar

    Why is it necessary to heat the water first? I’ve seen homemade coconut milk recipes on other blogs and some just have you directly pouring room temperature water into a blender with the coconut. Any idea for the difference in methods? Thanks!

    1. TZ Avatar

      Read my new post after it gets moderated…I have done both, and I like just using not heated filtered tap water. My nutribullet does heat the mixture a bit when mixing though. High speed blender generally do that…i think. I provide details I do not want to type twice (lol) in the comment I just posted. It may be up later today! If you have any questions…just ask…i WILL respond in no more than a few days.

  14. neisha Avatar

    I am from Jamaica. We use coconut milk all the time but I don’t think we’ve ever thought of using it that way. Must try. We have a snack called coconut drops and all you do is dice the coconut meat in small squares and then boil it down in some brown cane sugar or molasses and add a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Then you simple spoon it out in desired size and let it harden. Its really good.

    The way you talk of doing the coconut milk we do blend it with water but we use the milk in rice and peas, or stewed peas or in baking not for drinking though. So I am going to try your recipe. Xoxo

  15. Tami Avatar

    I used a fresh coconut and filtered water…but I did not heat it. I soaked the coconut to get the brown skin off more easily and then used that filtered water along with the water in the coconut ( and add’l water to make a – 2 to 1 – ratio by volume of grated fresh coconut) in my Nutribullet. It was creamy and yummy! One coconut gave me 1 full quart of coconut milk. It did not separate in the fridge…which I was glad off. I wanted to use it straight from the fridge. My husband…who is PICKY loved it in his coffee!!! Why would you want to add hot water, and deal with the seperation, when filtered tap water provides creamy YUMMY coconut milk without seperation issues! Unless, you are going to extract the oil anyway! Sorry, but Am I missing something? It is still good for me the way I made it…

  16. Mellany Avatar

    5 stars
    It amazes me how many are are asking the same questions, when they have been answered several times in the comments. Read the comments from the beginning at the end of the recipe, the answers are there.

    1. Carol L Avatar

      5 stars
      If you soak your nuts first, then most of the phytic acid is removed, making it a healthy option. You should ALWAYS soak all nuts and seeds first before consuming.

  17. Esther Avatar

    What if i do not have fresh coconut, can i use the dry shreded one and how?

  18. Marilee Avatar

    This is the tastiest milk next to fresh, raw cow’s. I thought coconut milk tasted bland because I had only tried the Silk brand and it’s very fair, nothing special. I made this for the Coconut shampoo recipe and tasted it warm after straining. It is incredibly creamy, naturally sweet (for organic unsweetened coconut) and the 6 year old and I love it in place of hot chocolate. It’s kind of like a hot vanilla. I’m completely satisfied having it warm in place of a dessert. Sometimes i put a little vanilla, honey, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and a touch of cayenne powder. I’m sure it would be great to make in a custard or in other desserts. It’s by far the easiest to make for something so tasty: take it from me a “keep it simple silly” professional!

  19. jane Avatar

    Does anyone know if you can freeze this type of coconut milk if you cannot use it within 3-5 days?… and what the results are like after removing it from the freezer…taste, texture, can it then be used in any recipe – like soups, for drinking plain, for smoothies, etc.?
    Thanks so much! Great information!

4.48 from 172 votes (90 ratings without comment)

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