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How to Make Coconut Milk from Scratch

Learn How To Make Coconut Milk from Scratch for a Fresh Drink every time. This Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe is a great Addition to Breakfast or an Ingredient for your Keto Baking.

glass and a jar of coconut milk inside a basket.
Homemade Coconut Milk

Use it for your granola, chia pudding, or delicious smooth coconut ice cream. Blend in with our hot chocolate mix or keto eggnog for that great winter drink we all need.

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How to recipes from scratch

Not sure if you enjoy making recipes from scratch, but I love it.

It allows me to make ingredients for my cooking that do not contain anything else except what I choose.

I also love it because many ingredients are not available freely in the shops.

But the main reason I see in making recipes from scratch is the price.

Why would I pay so much money for, let us say, a sugar-free chocolate bar or white chocolate chips when I can make my own in just a few minutes and much cheaper?

The same goes for farmers cheese needed for the best keto bread. It is so difficult to find in stores, but you can make it quickly and, from one recipe, get an additionally perfect natural whey protein drink as well.

And so it goes on and on.

What is coconut milk?

Coconut milk is a liquid made from extracted shredded coconut blended with water. Regularly used in Asian, African, and Indian cuisine because of the regions’ wide availability of fresh coconuts.

Using Coconut milk or cream in your dishes adds a creamy, flavorful texture and slightly thickens your sauces, soups, or stews without additional carbs.

Is coconut milk healthy?

As coconut milk is made directly from fresh coconuts, it has many great health benefits.

For those avoiding dairy or lactose intolerance, this milk is an excellent replacement for regular milk.

The coconut milk made from a coconut at home is the richest in vitamins, nutrition, and food enzymes.

Coconut milk in a glass inside basket
Fresh coconut milk

Is coconut milk dairy free?

Even though the name milk might confuse you, coconut milk is entirely dairy-free. Because it is made from fresh coconut meat, it is also plant-based.

It also is lactose-free, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free. It is a part of the milk varieties we can use in our lifestyle.

Coconut milk nutrition

Filled with magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, it offers you a significant amount of nutrition like no others.

With their low carb content and healthy fat, coconuts and products made from coconuts are a great addition to our lifestyle. 

It is high in calories, primarily because of the fat it contains.

How to make coconut milk from scratch?

The easiest and cheapest way to make homemade coconut milk is from desiccated coconuts.

All you have to do is mix coconut and water.

You will be left with additional shredded coconut you can use for breakfast, plus beautiful coconut cups to serve food into.

We all love coconut milk. I never buy coconut milk because to make my own coconut milk takes only a few minutes, and the milk tastes much better.

What type of coconuts to use?

In this recipe instructions, I have gone with desiccated coconuts. The reason is that living in Europe, we do not have palm trees available around the house.

All I can get is coconuts from the shop. And the choices are those desiccated coconuts with lots of coconut meat from inside. If you love coconut water, shake the coconut you are buying to check the amount.

The second choice is to use fresh coconuts, which have hardly any meat layers, but lots of coconut water to drink.

To make coconut milk from a fresh coconuts, I would need about 50 pieces to make a cup.

I once tried to make coconut milk recipe using fresh coconuts but gave up halfway.

Coconut Milk in a jar
How to make plant milk

How expensive is it to make coconut milk at home?

Another reason for making your milk at home is the price.

Any ready-made coconut products are not the cheapest option. But buying an actual coconut is one of the best and most affordable.

In the vegetable market here in Vienna, I buy a coconut for 1 Euro. You need 2 pieces to make one liter of perfectly fresh milk. And you would still be left with coconut pulp to make, for example, shredded coconut or flour out of it.

From only 2 coconuts, you can get:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • Shreds and coconut chips for breakfast
  • Bowls or coconut cups for serving

What is coconut pulp?

Coconut pulp is the coconut meat residue you leave after straining your homemade milk.

Leftover coconut pulp can be used for various recipes. If I have coconut that is left from making milk, I usually place them straight onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and dry it on low for perfect crispiness.

That allows me to have ready-made shredded coconut, which I can store in my pantry for a long.

I’ve been using coconut for our recipe to make sprinkles or add them to our no-bake base of blueberry cheesecake.

Homemade coconut milk recipe

In this post, you will learn how easy it is to make your own coconut milk instead of store-bought, you have been craving for a long time.

No more boxes from the supermarket. You have no idea what is inside. You have no idea when it was made. And most of the nutrition is almost gone forever.

Make the milk in seconds.

Coconut Milk beeing poured into a glass
Nut milk from scratch

How to make coconut milk?

With our recipe for coconut milk, tips, and instructions, you can have the freshest milk you can imagine.

You will learn how it is quick to make the coconut milk entirely from scratch using desiccated coconuts.

For 2 cups of coconut milk, you need 1 desiccated coconut.

Kitchen gadgets needed:

  • Hand Grater
  • Stand Mixer
  • Water
  • Mesh strainer
  • Muslin cloth

Ingredients needed:

  • Desiccated Coconuts
  • Water

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK RECIPE

First step: Break the coconuts

Using a hammer or heavy meat tenderizer, hit heavily through the imaginary line in the middle of the coconut. Keep turning the coconut slowly until the coconut starts cracking. You can also hold the coconut with a kitchen towel to prevent broken pieces from flying. If you want to use the coconut shells later as a coconut cup for serving, try to make it precisely in the middle.

If you want an easy option and do not care about the coconut cups, bowls or shelves, just hit the coconut on a few spots until it starts cracking.

Crack open the coconut and drain the liquid out of the coconut.

Some people poke holes into the eyes of the coconut to drain the water first.

Breaking the desiccated coconut
Breaking coconut

Second step: Cut the meat

With a sharp knife, cut through the coconut meat diagonally and vertically to help with removing the meat from the coconut shelves.

Cutting the coconut meat with a knife
Cutting meat from coconuts

Third step: Peel out the meat

Remove the coconut meat. With the help of a knife, try to release the coconut meat first from the side of the cups, pulling outwards. The most difficult is the first part, and then the rest is pretty easy to pull.

Removing coconut meat out of coconut shells
Peeling coconut meat

Fourth step: Clean the meat

Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, clean the brown layer of the coconut meat thoroughly. Wash the coconut if needed, leaving you with beautiful white-only coconut pieces.

Cleaning outer layer of coconut meat
Cleaning meat

Fifth step: Grate the coconut

With a hand grater, grate the coconut into shreds. You will get the perfect shreds for milk using the smaller holes.

Shredding coconut pieces
Grating coconuts

If you want to make a huge batch of shredded coconut from more coconuts, you can grate the meat in a magic bullet, Vitamix, or blender for easier handling. Place the coconut in a blender and pour water over the coconut. Blend on high until the coconut is puréed.

Coconut shreds in a Coconut bowl
Shredding coconuts

Sixth step: Make homemade milk

If you want to make milk with store-bought coconut flakes or shreds, skip the previous steps and start here.

Add 2 cups of shredded coconut and 1 litre (4 cups) of room temperature water into a stand mixer or blender.

Using 2 cups of coconuts, you will get perfectly creamy coconut milk, which could be used for ice cream or as a breakfast with your morning granola. If you want a much thinner consistency, 1 cup coconut shreds will be ok for light coconut milk.

Pouring water into blender with coconut shreds
Making nut milk

Seventh step: Strain the milk

Pour the coconut milk and strain it through a muslin cloth, milk bag, or cheesecloth, squeezing as much of the milk as possible. Strain the milk in batches and place the pulp left aside.

Pouring coconut milk through the strainer
Straining milk

Tips for making coconut milk

  • Ways – you can make milk from dried coconut shreds or coconut butter.
  • Pulp – do not throw the leftover pulp. It can be used in other recipes.
  • No milk bag – use strainer covered with cheese cloth.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How do I use coconut milk?

As milk is naturally sweet, you can use it to make coconut desserts everyone will love.

Our milk can be added to granola, fresh coconut ice cream or rainbow chia pudding, eggnog, or hot chocolate mix.

Nut milk is a perfect addition to meals such as this Lamb Curry With Coconut Milk.

What to do with leftover shredded coconut?

The leftover pulp can be dried in your oven to use later. Use shredded coconut to make sprinkles or granola.

You can also use the left over coconut shreds to blend in your magic bullet and try to make coconut flour.

What if I do not have a nut milk bag?

As you see in the video, I did not have a milk bag either. Take a strainer and layer it with a muslin cloth. Gently pour the mixture and strain. Same thing.

Can you make coconut milk from store-bought shredded coconut?

You certainly can make coconut milk from dried, shredded coconut. For any brand of shredded coconuts from the shop, use boiling water for dried coconut flakes to soften. In that case, skip steps 1-5 and jump straight into step 6.

Coconut milk with shells and coconut meat
Nut milk

How do you make coconut cream out of milk?

Once you make fresh coconut milk, place the jar of milk in the fridge and leave it to rest overnight. The next day, you will see that the milk has separated and a coconut cream has formed on top of the pot. Using a spoon, gently scrap that cream and use it for your recipes.

If you are using canned coconut milk, place that in the fridge overnight and follow the exact instructions. Next day you have the perfect canned coconut cream. Full fat coconut milk will give you much more cream overnight.

To turn coconut cream into coconut milk, blend the leftover liquid for perfect milk.

What’s the best way to store fresh coconut milk?

Transfer the coconut milk into a glass container or a jug with a cover. Close tightly and place into your fridge.

How long does fresh coconut milk last?

Because homemade coconut milk does not contain any preservatives or additional ingredients, it would not stay fresh as long as store-bought coconut milk.

Keeping it in the refrigerator is perfect for up to 4 days. If you need more time to consume the milk within 3-4 days, I suggest freezing it.

Can you Freeze Coconut Milk?

As already mentioned, you can freeze homemade nut milk. It is, of course, best to only make amount enough you can consume within 3-4 days, but if you have more left, it is no problem placing it into the freezer.

Just remember that after unfreezing the milk, it might become a bit separated. You have to let the milk thaw and shake it before use, and you are ready to go.

Just place it into the mason jars and straight into the freezer to freeze it. Try to use it before 3 month time.

More how-to recipes

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How to make Coconut Milk from scratch pin image
Homemade plant Milk

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Yield: 4 cups

How To Make Coconut Milk Form Scratch

glass and a jar of coconut milk inside a basket.

Learn How To Make Coconut Milk from Scratch for a Fresh Drink every time. This Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe is a great Addition to Breakfast or an Ingredient for your Keto Baking.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Desiccated​ Coconuts
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Using a hammer or heavy meat tenderizer, hit heavily through the imaginary line in the middle of the coconut. Crack open the coconut and drain the liquid out of the coconut.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut through the coconut meat diagonally and vertically to help with removing the meat from the coconut shelves.
  3. Remove the coconut meat. With the help of a knife, try to release the coconut meat first from the side of the cups, pulling outwards.
  4. Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, clean the brown layer of the coconut meat thoroughly. Wash the coconut if needed, leaving you with beautiful white-only coconut pieces.
  5. With a hand grater, grate the coconut into shreds. You will get the perfect shreds for milk using the smaller holes.
  6. Add 2 cups of shredded coconut and 1 litre (4 cups) of room temperature water into a stand mixer or blender and blend.
  7. Pour the coconut milk and strain it through a muslin cloth, milk bag, or cheesecloth, squeezing as much of the milk as possible.

Notes

  • Ways - you can make coconut milk from dried coconut shreds or coconut butter.
  • Pulp - do not throw the leftover pulp. It can be used in other recipes.
  • No milk bag - use strainer covered with cheese cloth.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 52Total Fat 5gCarbohydrates 2gFiber 1g

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First Published: June 07, 2019
Last Updated: November 14, 2022

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Angela

Thursday 30th of June 2022

Hi I am excited to try your recipes. I have a question on step 6. When you add the shreds and the water to the blender or mixing bowl what do you do then how long should I blend or mix? Thank you

Zuzana

Friday 1st of July 2022

Each of the blender has got its own program or a various functions. I usually choose milk option and it takes 2 minutes for the coconuts fully blend into a smooth milky consistency. You can then let it sit on the counter a bit for the foam to settle down or you can run it through the sieve to get rid of any extra pieces.

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