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Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

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homemade coconut milk
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

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

Servings

6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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

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.

Notes

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.

Sources
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.

Comments

402 responses to “Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe”

  1. Cherylin Avatar
    Cherylin

    Has anyone tried using this homemade coconut milk to make coconut milk yogurt? If yes, what were the results?

  2. Saint Avatar

    I have posted here before and I’m just curious: can you just use the meat of the brown coconut and blend that with water to make coconut milk?

  3. Drew Griffiths Avatar
    Drew Griffiths

    5 stars
    Brilliant! I hate the expensive cartons with 2% coconut milk in them, and the tins that are full of E numbers.

  4. Jennifer Avatar
    Jennifer

    If I am making this coconut milk for your liquid shampoo recipe, do I use distilled water? Also can I use 4 cups of chamomile tea instead of the water?

  5. Jen Avatar

    I put 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut and 4 cups of water in the Vitamin and blended for 2 minutes. When I strained it, I was left with 2 cups of milk and a lot of creamy airy residue (several cups). Is this what I use to make coconut flour? It doesn’t look anything like flour..more like a whipped coconut. I don’t know what to do with this. Has anyone else experienced this?

  6. Judy Avatar

    Hi

    Can i use fresh coconut instead of atore bought shredded coconut?

  7. Serena Koleno Avatar
    Serena Koleno

    5 stars
    I can’t afford the organic coconut, but I used the kind from Aldi.’s with great results. Just put 1/2 cup in large mouth mason jar with wide mouth, added 1-1/2 cups water and used immersion blender. Poured into large mesh strainer over canning funnel back into another jar. I got enough milk for two days of my oatmeal, and I have the pulp on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven on it’s lowest setting, 170 degrees. Yes, this coconut has added sugar, but only 5 grams per serving, and preservitives/sulfites. But it is an affordable option for someone on a $20 a week grocery allowance. I get coconut oil, flour, whip cream, butter and shampoo all from an inexpensive bag of coconut!

    1. Linda Avatar

      If you put the pulp on the baking sheet in your oven for about 24/36 hours with the light turned on in the oven you won’t have to turn you oven on to dry out the pulp. A little way to save you some costs on your energy bill. Depending on how humid it is I can usually get the pulp dried out by the next day.

    2. Brunella Brunet Avatar
      Brunella Brunet

      Please tell me how to get coconut oil from the shredded coconut. I would love to do that. Thanks.

      1. Brunella Brunet Avatar
        Brunella Brunet

        never mind about the coconut oil. I answered my own question and I knew that just had a senior moment. Thanks anyway.

      2. Jenniferj Avatar
        Jenniferj

        Hi Brunella. I don’t think that was a strange question at all. In fact I want to know the answer. Is it the stuff left on top of the milk after it has cooled?

          1. Jennifer Avatar
            Jennifer

            Thanks for the reply Brunella. Do you know if, since the coconut milk is to be used for shampoo, we should be using distilled water? Also, I was thinking of using chamomile tea instead of water for highlights. What do you think?

  8. Lizzy Avatar

    Hello Wellness Mama,

    Thank you for this wonderful gifts of natural and healthy living. Please, what is the procedure in making my own Coconut Oil from scratch?

    Thanks
    Lizzy.

  9. Farzana Avatar

    Hi made this coconut milk today and it was great ( all the carton coconut milk in the shops have sugar and I am trying to avoid it). My question-
    How do we make the coconut milk that comes in the can, it’s a lot thicker.

    1. Carol Avatar

      4 stars
      I have been wondering this also!! I have not seen any replies on this yet. 🙁

      Carol

    2. Erin Avatar

      5 stars
      I’ve been making my own coconut milk for years off of this recipe and my guess is you’d have to use much more coconut to water ratio. A lot of the canned coconut milk includes guar gum to thicken it up, so it would probably be difficult to replicate the canned version at home.

  10. Erin Avatar

    Ideally I would like to have the time to always make this and have it fresh but with two under two, work and life not always possible. Which brands would recommend for coconut milk pre-made for when I need it? I use it in everything as we avoid cows milk and soy in our home. Also which brands of coconut oil would you recommend as well? We live in Canada so something I can either buy here or order online to ship to here please ? Thanks in advance, love your blog!

  11. Mary Avatar

    5 stars
    This was SOOOOOO good! But SOOOOOO time consuming!

    If anyone learned any tricks to more quickly separate the meat from shell please reply!

    Thanks!

  12. William Avatar

    If you let your finished coconut milk cool to room temperature on the countertop the cream will be liquid. Skim the cream and refrigerate and magically it will not harden. Don’t ask me why but it works every time. Also if you put the unskimmed whole milk into the freezer, remove and shake every 30 minutes until chilled, you’ll end up with “homogenized” milk.

  13. Abby Avatar

    I would love to try this! I just switched to a gut-healing diet and am becoming familiar with coconut milk for the first time. I started with the coconut milk from the carton and then tried it from the can (a BPA-free brand) and I couldn’t believe how much thicker and creamier it was from the can! How does this recipe turn out? It is thick and creamy or more watery?

  14. kat Avatar

    If you want a very affordable nut milk bag, go to your local hardware store and purchase a paint straining bag. It is of the same material and cuts down on the clean up. I have several, and I turn them inside out and rinse with soap and water. I then toss them into the dishwasher on one of the higher shelves and run them with the dishes to sterilize in the drying cycle. They are about 1/10th the price of the nut bags ordered on line. I learnt this online somewhere from a very smart sewing enthusiast.

  15. dianna Avatar

    Saw this awesome page on IG that demonstrated taking the flesh out the coconut (fresh of course) and blending it with water and then strain. For any who would like to see his name is Kingcookdaily he’s awesome!

  16. Carolyn Avatar

    The coconut oil can be used for sooooo many things. I actually use coconut oil or infused with essential oils as my lotion daily and when I wash my hair I use a small amount as a leave in conditioner. I’m actually using the coconut milk to make shampoo and body wash. Smells great!

4.48 from 172 votes (90 ratings without comment)

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