Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe – Do It Yourself

Easy Homemade Coconut Milk

{UPDATE, 10/9/12:  This recipe has been updated to be better, but still super easy.  See Easiest Coconut Milk – Improved!}

Why make homemade coconut milk, you ask?  When it’s easy to just pick up a can at the grocery or health food store?

Well, you see, we love coconut milk.

We also love dried coconut, fresh coconut, coconut oil, coconut butter (check out my post on how to make your own coconut butter)-well, coconut in any of its forms.

We love coconut milk because it tastes great, but also because it is a great dairy free, lactose free milk alternative (my son has a life threatening dairy allergy and my husband is severely lactose intolerant.)

However, there are two things that I do not like about coconut milk.

  • One is its price. One of the biggest obstacles in transitioning to a more whole foods based diet can be cost.  As such, we need to try to trim those costs in any reasonable way possible.
  • And the second is that, if you aren’t careful, you might end up with a coconut milk that contains sodium metabisulfite, one of those icky preservatives. Who needs ‘em?  Better to have your own coconut milk fresh made right in your own kitchen!

Now, coconut milk, even at a good price, costs approximately $1.50 per 14 ounce can, while the organic version typically costs around $2.00 per can.  So being the kind of cost-conscious and environmentally conscious person that I am, I sought out to try to make homemade coconut milk myself.

I found that I could quickly

  • save a lot of money
  • control the ingredients, and, in the process,
  • help the environment by reducing excessive packaging.

One thing necessary for me to make something myself on an ongoing basis is that the process must save me money and not be too time-intensive.  For example, a one-time trial of making coconut milk from fresh coconut and then straining out the extra flesh might be a fun family activity or homeschool experiment, but I don’t have time to do it on an ongoing basis.

I will preface this recipe by saying that there is a more purist way of making homemade coconut milk from dried coconut.  I might just show you that in a future post, in addition to a way to make coconut flour, should you so desire.  But for now, this is an easy quick way to get the job done and save you lots of money.  And that is the kind of recipe that I like :-).

Update: A reader just asked if you can use this homemade coconut milk in my dairy free ice creams.  The answer – “Yes!”  That’s what I used.  More recipes will come, but for now, enjoy

I really love this milk when it is freshly made.  The froth on top is wonderfully creamy and I use it to top a warm mug of coffee substitute in the morning.  If you make more than you will use at once, just stir it prior to using to make it more uniform in consistency.  Canned coconut milk tends to separate as well, there are just a bit more coconut solids in this version.

It really is that simple.

How can you use coconut milk?

I keep mine in a large pitcher in the refrigerator and use it for:

  • smoothies,
  • baking, and
  • just drinking plain.
  • freeze it in ice cube trays and plop into warm coffee or tea when you need some “creamer.”
  • If you happen to be one of those lucky Vitamix owners, you can even put the coconut milk cubes into the Vitamix with some sweetener and fruit and make an amazing smoothie!

but it will only keep for about 4-5 days, tops.

Homemade coconut milk will only keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, so could make only 1 3/4 cups at a time, which is the amount in a typical 14 ounce can.  Just use 1/4 cup of dried coconut and fill your blender container with water to the 1 3/4 cup mark.  Blend as directed above.

Clearly, this recipe meets the “simple and reproducible” requirement.  Well, how about the money saving part?

Assuming you spend $4.50 per pound for your organic unsweetened coconut (a typical price), you would be able to make 14 ounces of organic coconut milk for only 22 cents, plus the cost of your water.  Now, that’s worth it for this bargain-hunting mom.  Let me know how it works for you!

Check out my post on how to make Coconut Butter for another super-frugal coconut treat.

Into Making Your Own Everything?  Check out my

What is your favorite way to use coconut milk?

Comments

    Speak Your Mind

    *

  1. I’m up in Canada.. and I found one litre coconut milk carton for $3.50 CAD, 100% preservative free, from a local asian market… I believe the brand it called Arroy? Or Aroy?

    • Bettina,
      This coconut milk has the sodium metabisulfite in it. As I mentioned in the post, I would much rather opt for a non preservative or organic coconut milk.

  2. Hi,Adrienne,
    I liked your post as I love coconut and use it all the time as well. I am curious about the coconut milk recipe you posted. It seems like there is not a lot of dried coconut used. Is it thick enough? Also I find that any coconut milk I make will harden and separate in the frig. How does your recipe fare in the refrigerator? Thanks! Jill

    • Hi Jill,
      In fact, these quantities yield a quite thick coconut milk. You could go down to 4 cups of water if you like. In fact, I have made a much thinner version for a long time using just 1/2 cup coconut shavings and it has worked just fine for most recipes and is much lighter, of course. Yes, any coconut milk that I have made hardens and separates in the fridge. It’s just something that I am willing to deal with. I will try the other more complex method at another time and will post about how it turns out. Try the recipe I posted and let me know it turns out for you!

    • Hi Jill,

      I had another thought for you. You could also run the coconut milk through a cheesecloth after making it as I directed. A fine sieve (like a yogurt maker) might work as well. This will remove the solids from the coconut milk and I don’t think it will solidify on you in the fridge any longer. I just haven’t taken that extra step since I don’t mind so much and I am cutting corners (notice my avoidance of the negative term “lazy” :-)!

  3. Adrienne,
    Actually, that is how I make it now, with a few extra steps. I boil the water and put the shredded coconut in to soften — then using a stick blender, I blend for a couple of minutes. Then I strain it through coarse, then a fine strainer – pressing out the milk. It is a lot of work and that is why I am going to try your method…I also make a lot at a time so the whole process take over a n hour… then I freeze the extra. It always separates. That is the sign of coconut milk that has not had any gums added.

  4. Wow. One hour. Are you needing to be on top of it the whole time or what takes the longest? I typically make 5 cups at a time and we go through it pretty quickly but I have frozen it in the past as well without issues.

  5. The aroy-d in the terra pak does not list any preservatives. The only ingredient listed is coconut milk.

    • Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad it doesn’t have the preservatives like the canned version. I would rather save money and not use packaging and get organic coconut milk in the process, but yours sounds better than the alternative with preservatives!

    • can probably has bpa though :(

  6. This is great. It looks so easy. It is just how we make Coconut Horchata drink but with out the sugar.

    Thanks for sharing at the Simple Lives Thursday hop.

    Mely

    • Is it exactly the same recipe? I used to have Horchata in the Chicago suburbs and we love ethnic foods. If you are willing to share the recipe I would love it!

  7. I am going to have to try this. Do you think it would work in a food processor? My blender died and I haven’t replaced it since I have an immersion blender and a food processor. I love the idea of making it “lighter” since texture isn’t really an issue in most of the recipes where I see it called for. Bonus, this would mean one less thing to try to remember to keep on hand since I usually have coconut on hand for baking.

    • I would try the food processor and see how it goes. I really love my Vitamix as it makes clean up sooooo easy and the processing part for things of this nature soooo quick. Also, the resulting texture is superior in smoothness. For example, I made my Saint Patrick’s Day Fudge in it this past week and it was incredibly smooth.

      I agree with you on the point of having a lighter version option and saving money and effort by not having to remember to buy one more (in this case, expensive!!) item. I am trying to simplify as much as I can this way.

  8. Wow!!! I am so amazed. Yay! I never knew you could do this so easily. I love to use coconut milk in cooking, smoothies, ice cream, etc. so this is gonna really help us. Thank you so much Adrienne :) love,Karyn

  9. Oh my! you’re a genius!!
    and hahahaha on your reply yesterday…
    BLessings!
    LIB

  10. This is a great tip. I want to add coconut milk to our smoothies and maybe make some ice cream.

    Thanks for linking up to Kitchen Economics. I hope to see you this Wednesday.

  11. Hi Adrienne,
    During my search for ‘homemade coconut milk’ recipes (pretty much for the same reasons as everyone else), I stumbled upon your website and am SO glad that I did. Before coming across your version of coconut milk, I had seen the video where the boiling water is poured into a blender with the measured out dry coconut and then blended, then stained/squeezed through cheesecloth into a bowl. Then repeated. This method seemed so messy to me. Hence loving YOUR version all the more. :) I want to start making the coconut milk asap and plan to use it in my smoothies (I make a breakfast smoothie almost every morning). My question for you is, since I’ve been using rice milk for my liquid in my smoothies (1 c.), would you recommend I replace only half of the rice milk with the coconut milk or can I actually substitute the entire 1 cup? I guess my real question is, can one have too much coconut milk? Coconut milk vs. rice milk in regards to health? Thanks so much! :)

    • Dana,
      I was thrilled to figure out this simple recipe as well. Sure, I’d love to have perfectly blended coconut milk too, but I just don’t have time for the extras. Regarding health, of course, I am not a doctor, right? Not even a nurse. And being pre-med in college doesn’t qualify me for much of anything medically. I will say that coconut has been getting a lot of good press in the health circles, e.g. a lot of people recommending that one eats more coconut oil, etc. So in that sense I think it is a good idea. Rice milk made from brown rice can be a good thing, but white rice milk is a high glycemic food, so I would steer clear from that for that reason. Also, brown rice milk has a pretty high glycemic index as well, so take that into account in making your decisions.

      Finally, however, coconut has been getting a bit of attention in the allergy field regarding it being a more allergenic food. I haven’t done any research on this. It is not a tree nut, but there are some musings in food allergy circles about classifying it as a fairly common food allergen. I just think it always makes sense to vary one’s diet as much as possible. I don’t do it as much as I would like, but I do it more than we used to when we were eating wheat at almost every meal. — Hope that helps!

  12. Don’t forget the Frugal Tuesday Tip! Thanks for linking up this week. Never tried coconut milk!

    http://learningthefrugallife.blogspot.com/2011/05/frugal-tuesday-tip-week-17.html

  13. What a great post full of helpful, healthy information about homemade coconut milk, which I just love and hate to pay for in the stores (and in cans). Now following you so that I don’t miss any of your great posts!

  14. Did you know you can add dolomite powder to your coconut milk to add in necessary calcium? I got that idea from Eat Fat, Lose Fat. I will try your recipe once my So Delicious carton is gone, and maybe just rinse it out and reuse it for my homemade stuff. The kids don’t like to drink it or in cereal, but they never notice it in other stuff I bake/cook.

  15. Do you use “brown” or “young” coconut from an actual coconut or are you using pre “shredded” coconut?

    I really like the price difference between canned and homemade (especially since I can get it for a lot less)…but am a little confused on which form you are using.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

      I just added a few more words to the “Ingredient” section to clarify. I use unsweetened, dried, medium-shredded coconut. You could use the larger shreds (like those found in nut and dried fruit mixes) but you would have to grind them in a coffee grinder or blender first. Hope that helps!

  16. Cool! Have you tried using this for making ice cream? I’ve been wanting to try coconut milk ice cream (as we LOVE the store bought stuff) but now I’m wondering if this would work for the coconut milk called for in the recipe. Hm….

    • I am sure that this would work. I just pulled out my ice cream maker the other day thinking I would give it a whirl. I had a wonderful no sugar added coconut milk ice cream, mint chocolate chip flavor. I am going to try it with my Homemade Chocolate Chips. You may wish to add a gum of some kind, but just to soften it up a bit. :-)

  17. Have you ever used your coconut milk to make coconut yogurt? If so, I was wondering how that turned out. I’m looking for a dairy free yogurt for my daughter and the store version is cost prohibitive at this time.

    • I have seen recipes on the web but haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s a bit rough for us since my oldest has a dairy allergy too. I hope to get to it and post about it. I don’t think this milk would work any less than than the canned would! Let me know! I have heard Dr. Ohhira’s probiotic can be used as a culture.

  18. Sounds so good, I may have to give it a try in my food processor. My son loves coconut milk. A vitamix has been on my want list for a while… I would love to know how ice cream turns out. (and the recipe you use too…)

    ~JamieS@ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

    • Ice cream w/ frozen fruit as a base works GREAT! Take a look at the Vitamix website. I will post my banana based one soon I hope. And other recipes too. Stay tuned! I also have a free shipping option through my site when you are ready. Stay in touch!

  19. Wow! That really is simple! This is a must-do this weekend. The kids are going to love this. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Where do you get your coconut from?

  21. Boricua Nena says:

    Wasup wasup! Can Finely Shredded Coconut Unsweetened be used with the instructions
    that you provided? My local stores doesn’t sell
    Medium Shredded Coconut Unsweetened.

    • You for sure can. You probably won’t need as much since there is more coconut packed into the same space. Maybe cut it 1/5? Or just use the whole amount and it’ll still be fine.

  22. Boricua Nena says:

    Thanks so much… it taste great with my bowl of cereal. The coconut milk separated this evening and I used a strainer to separate the cream from the liquid and the milk taste great. Thanks once again.

    • You are so welcome! I just stir the coconut milk up before I use it. No waste :-). Technically, that solid part can be dried and makes coconut flour, but I haven’t had the patience yet to do that :-).

  23. I just got a Vitamix and am searching for more ways to use it. This looks great. I will definitely be trying it soon.

  24. Hi,
    this sounds great! just wondering…does this coconut milk have a strong coconut flavor? i was surprised when i bought a can of coconut milk for smoothies that it didn’t really taste like coconut, so i was curious to see if the homemade version did or not. Thanks!

  25. Thank you very much for this recipe. We drink coconut milk and I really like the idea of saving all that money each year by making it myself!

  26. I am going to try this, but I wonder why you don’t use coconut milk in the dairy section (or even shelf stable) as it is a LOT cheaper than the canned stuff. We really like Silk and So Delicious.

    • Hi Sherrie. Thanks for coming by and I hope you like the coconut milk! In answer to your question, I typically buy nothing packaged at all, basically because I get a “kick” out of being able to make things as inexpensively as possible and I also feel great about having a minimal impact on the environment. It also helps me save money buy only buying one thing. For example, I purchase only dried coconut and from that I make Coconut Milk and Coconut Butter. :-). I am sure the brands you mention taste great, but can they probably can’t hold a candle to the “do it yourself” price :-). Take care!

  27. Lady Bugs with Zoi says:

    Please join us for our first Thursday linky party at http://www.ladybugswithzoi.blogspot.com
    Also I have a blog you might really like that is healthy like yours.
    http://www.feedingnineonadime.blogspot.com

  28. Will this work in your coconut milk ice cream recipe?

  29. Cheeryshirley says:

    I just made this recipe because my go-to recipe has almonds and with the price of almonds…yikes! But, this was very thin and not so much flavor…put honey & sea salt in to improve, but no-go. Me thinks I got too much water?? Maybe it is the transition from rich almond/coconut milk to this ultra easy one is all that is wrong. Any suggestions? Its got great possibilities!!! Will try again tomorrow using less water. I very much want to try millet, oats, etc next. We are absolutely non-animal products. My wonderful Vita-Mix whips this up in no time at all! BTW, I made my sweet-lovin’ hubby your black bean fudge last night…yummy! Thanks so much for your kitchen-testing efforts! :) Cheeryshirley

  30. This is brilliant! I love that money saving part. I’d love for you to share this at our brand new blog hop starting tomorrow. Hope to see you there! http://www.realfoodallergyfree.com/2012/01/a-big-announcement/

  31. the recipe aounda fantastic sometimes I dont find coconut milk and a lot of recipes have it!!
    I will try, thanks so much!

  32. Do you know how this compares between the canned stuff you would use in a Thai food dish and the refrigerated stuff in cartons in the health food section? I read somewhere that these 2 kinds of coconut milk are different (in some way.) But I can’t figure out the difference. That canned stuff is certainly expensive! And I have a few Thai recipes I want to try that require coconut milk, wondering if this would work. Thanks!

    • Hi Casey – I personally use this in every recipe calling for coconut milk. But I am not a “gourmand” – in the sense that there may be some slight differences, but I don’t wish to spend the money or waste the packaging that’s involved in purchasing canned and aseptic boxed products if not necessary. I think the main thing to watch out for is to make the full fat version when called for and the lite version when called for, Hope it works out for you!

  33. I started using coconut milk when we were trying dairy free. I love it in smoothies and such. I used the So Delicious brand. When I tried yours, the taste was great and it worked fine in recipes. However, even with my Vitamix, I can’t get it to mix well enough to be smooth. It seems like it makes smoothies “gritty”. I don’t mind it separating in the fridge later, but I’d like it to taste smooth in smoothies. Am I doing something wrong or is this just a byproduct of it not being processed like the refrigerated kind?

    • Jennifer,
      I wouldn’t have called my coconut milk “gritty” after the Vitamix, especially in a smoothie, but I’m thinking two things. First of all – are you mixing it enough. Second, maybe the type of coconut has something to do w/ it. That being said, it of course isn’t as smooth as the store bought kind and I looked on the internet and found a few comments about that. I’m thinking there is probably some sort of heat processing and / or gums they are using (I know they use them in rice milks, etc often) and that it’s just something you have to deal with. It’s like not being able to make extruded processed cereal because we just don’t have the equipment. I hope you can make it work for you. Maybe if you’re not using the canned for awhile it won’t matter as much. Hope that helps.

    • Hi Jennifer – I just made some coconut milk this morning and ran it in the Vitamix for 3 minutes. I thought it came out pretty smooth. Wondering is you had a chance to try it.

  34. Heather Brandt says:

    Don’t you have lots of shredded pieces left in it when you don’t take the step to use the nut milk bag/cheesecloth? I have used vitamix but hadn’t been able to get it smooth.

    • Hi Heather. Have you run it for the full 3 minutes? I think it’s really smooth that way. A reader commented that hers was “gritty” with running it for 2 so I changed the directions to 3 after working on it a bit and she said it was great without straining. Let me know!

  35. Do you have to use the filtered water? I don’t have filtered water or reverse osmosis whatever….just curious!?

  36. First of all, LOVE the photo you used at the beginning of your post – super cute and very clever :) I can’t wait to try this coconut milk recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  37. Heather Brandt says:

    I have tried using Edward & Son’s shredded coconut in my vitamix for 3 minutes like you say but it is still having particles in it. I just had chunks of particles form over the top of the milk when I had it in fridge for our toddler. I don’t understand how this works for you but not for me. I had so hoped I could do it without the nut milk bag (which I detest using) but it just isn’t mixed consistently and won’t work for our toddler with big chunks of shredded coconut forming in it. I had to scoop out chunks to try to get milk ready for her just now :(

    • Adrienne says:

      Heather – I am sorry you aren’t getting good results. Did you see Jennifer’s comments above? She later emailed to say it’s working for her. My kids have never had processed coconut milk – maybe you could reply to Jennifer’s comment to interact w/ her about this? What forms on top of my milk, when it does, isn’t shreds of coconut. But more like fat or what you would use to make coconut flour. I still haven’t sorted the mystery out yet.

  38. Michelle says:

    I tried the coconut milk last night and found that I had to strain it (all I got was maybe a few TBSP of coconut flour, which I was kinda excited about!). It worked really well!!! My kids loved it and so did the hubby! Thank you!!

  39. Coconut milk (the box form) also has some “thickener” in it that irritates IBS. I found this out when I was trying to switch my milk around (I’m lactose intolerant, also). I couldn’t figure out why coconut milk was hurting my gut. That’s why. It’s the “thickener” in the boxed coconut milk that makes my stomach HURT. Just FYI, if anybody else has tried coconut milk, liked it, but it hurt their stomach – try making it the way this post says – cuz it probably won’t hurt your stomach that way! :) It didn’t hurt my stomach! And I’m pretty sure it was because there wasn’t “thickener” added to it. Much luck and love to all! :)

  40. I can’t wait to give this a try. I do not own a Vitamix and I have little faith in my blender. Do you think my food processor would work?

    • I don’t think a food processor will do it, but it’s worth a shot! Maybe if you strain the solids after mixing it. If you decide to look into a Vitamix, please feel free to ask whatever questions you’d like. I waffled for so long on getting one and it has saved us a TON of money. Take care!

  41. In reading through the comments, it seems that a lot of peeps aren’t getting their milk smooth. I have been making great Almond Milk recently and perhaps some of those step will help to smoothen out their Coconut Milk.

    1) put the shredded coconut into the blender with only 1 cup or so of water and blend…the key here is the turn that shredded coconut into a paste of sorts.

    1a) add a pinch of salt and 3-4 dates in with the shredded coconut to slightly sweeten and continue blending.

    2) add additional water until desired thickness / thinness is acheived. Note: the more water added, the less creamy and less flavorful your milk will be.

    3) strain through a cheese cloth and or simple mesh strainer (I use both). This will remove all of the fine bits and will leave you with a smooth creamy drink.

    4) place discarded solids onto a baking sheet and place into a 250 degree oven. Bake (and occasionally stir) until pretty dry. Sift flour through a flour sift and you will have yourself Coconut Flour.

    5) Repeat process with Coconut or any nut for a variety of flavorful milks.

    6) Enjoy and know that you have achieved greatness and are among an elite class

  42. Just wondering, does this version have the fat from the coconut that is in canned coconut milk? I love coconut milk. I am on a dairy free diet and coconut is my favorite replacement. We live in a small town in rural Georgia and no stores around here carry coconut milk. Walmart has it occasionally. This will we a great alternative.

    Paige

  43. I have just learned recently to make “whipped cream” out of coconut milk for my friends that can’t do dairy. It’s fabulous and some of my family has even said they like it better than regular whipped cream. Do you think it can be made from your homemade coconut milk? Since I use the solids from chilled (canned) milk, I didn’t know if the small particles in the homemade would keep it from whipping up…

    • Kathy, do you mean from the solids on the top? I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve been meaning too. Why don’t we both try and check in w/ each other to see how it goes? There is one difference – I think it is that the coconut water isn’t in the dried coconut so that will change something and I think I’ve heard it might not work. Let me know and I’ll try too.

  44. Yes… After chilling the can of milk overnight, I take the solids from the top to whip. After I start whipping it up, I add a bit of the coconut water in at a time until I get it to the texture / lightness I want. I also flavor with a bit of vanilla and you can add a touch of your favorite sweetening agent, if desired. I don’t have a Vitamix, but after reading your blogs for the last couple of hours, I think I may have to get one! :)

    • I’ll have to try it. I don’t have coconut water. I’m assuming you can use other water, right? Yes, I wouldn’t be w/o my Vitamix. I just couldn’t go as fast in the kitchen without it. I’m sure you’ll be really pleased. Make sure you at least get the free shipping deal through my blog if you decide to go through with it :-).

  45. Thanks Adrienne for all the wonderful money saving tips! I, along with 2 friends, go through cases of young coconuts each week. We make coconut water kefir and also ferment the meat to make a “pudding”. I was wondering if you have used your coconut milk to make a kefir.

    • You’re so welcome!!! I have never made kefir, sadly. I started kombucha awhile ago and got off track when I was reacting to fermented foods – but I am hoping to start again and have water grains in my fridge right now. I am sure it would work though!

  46. Can you froth coconut milk in the vitamix for a latte? If yes, can you tell me how? Thanks

    • Can you explain more of what you are asking? I have never personally frothed mild for anything –but when I make the coconut milk there is a ton of frothiness on top. Does that help?

  47. I tried this and used unsweetened dried coconut. The brand is Eileen’s that I get from an employee owned grocery store that is local here in Aurora, IL. I don’t have a Vitamix, my sister does and raves about it. So, I did make some modifications that worked excellent for me. I have a coffee grinder/spice grinder and I put 1 cup in there and ground it on fine. I ground it until it became almost a fine flour.

    Then I put it in my food processor with the whisk attachment and added one cup of water and mixed. But mine is too small so I transferred it to my blender with 2 full cups of water and blended it for 3 minutes. It looks just like the SoDelicious Coconut Milk that is sold next to SoySilk and Almond Breeze. I didn’t add any sugar or anything. This worked excellent for me.

    It could be possible that those who have Vitamix can blend the shreds dry first to chop them up and create a fine powder and then add the water afterwards and this could potentially work. Those who have problems with it being gritty it could possibly be because of how the coconut shreds you selected were treated and dried. This can have a huge impact. The less preservatives and additives the better, these are just my suggestions and I hope they help. I sent the link to this page to my sister. I think she is going to LOVE this recipe.

  48. I was not able to get this to work in my Ninja stick blender. But I was inspired by your coconut butter recipe to make coconut butter in my food processor first and then put that and warm water (I did 3 cups) in the blender. Worked fantastic! I did strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve as I poured into the jar. Quite painless! (after a year and a half of squeezing nut milk through a bag, I can’t even bring myself to make it anymore, so I needed this to be easy) Then, from your suggestion somewhere, I dehydrated the strained parts and have coconut flour! (only 1 T, but hey!) This is all very exciting for me. I’m extremely grateful for your website. I’ve become emboldened! Thank you!!

    • Yea again! Now, can you explain what didn’t work – the milk? I have a revised option coming soon that will hopefully empower you more. What did you strain if the milk didn’t work – and were you adding water to the coconut to make the butter? Sorry – I’m confused :-).

  49. Sorry! :) The first time I made it, I just threw the medium shreds and water in my Ninja. It got frothy and well-mixed, but there were so many pieces in it, it was not only undrinkable, it would require straining through a bag, but I’m on strike. :)

    This time, I made the coconut butter in my food processor, just the coconut, no water. After the long process of doing that, I took 3/8 c. of the butter (still warm) and put it in the blender with warm water. It went for about 3 minutes and was just as you described yours being, very smooth with just the tiniest of little things in it. (this is the easy way, after all!) I would have been fine with it like that but knew my boys wouldn’t drink it, and there was so little of it, that I poured the milk through the fine strainer on it’s way into the jar. It gave me about 2-1/2T pulp, which dried into 1T, which sits prized in a jar in my cabinet. :)

    If something is still confusing, please ask. I’m trying to keep an eye on my tornado two year old as I write this. :)

  50. Adrienne – You are wonderful!!! I am learning so much from you. I’m going to go fire up my Vitamix and make coconut milk. Thank you for sharing, you are such an inspiration!!

  51. We are dairy free also and I have been thinking about making my own coconut milk. I’ve scraped out coconut from young coconut and it’s very creamy with a strong flavor. I’ve also try it with the brown coconuts and it’s too hard trying to remove the coconut flakes.
    So I’m going to try it again after reading your post.
    Question:
    (1) Where do you buy shredded coconuts without preservatives?
    I almost pick up shredded coconuts at Sprouts but had to put it back because it had some preservative to preserve the color.

    (2) What do you use to for calcium? Most store bought coconut milk has some calcium added.

    Thank you again for the post and the reminder that I need to try again.

    • Hi there.

      I buy my coconut from Country Life Natural Foods but Green Polka Dot Box has great pricing and you can get a membership cheaply. I wrote a post on them. If you are interested, let me know. I think they have a good deal on $50 back right now and I also could do another membership giveaway. CLNF is in the midwest.

      There is Ca in my current supplements. I need to revisit that as we might be changing our supps. You can buy Ca and just take it if that concerns you but I have read you need to be careful to take it w/ proper supplements like Mg or D3. :)

  52. Hi! I have 2 questions. (1) Can I use fresh coconut to make this or do I need to dry it first? (I buy fresh coconuts). (2)I’m new at this and have been putting the fresh coco in my Vitamix with hot water, then at #5-6 for 20-30 seconds. I pour it through a sieve, store the milk, then dry the leftover coconut to blend and make flour. Is this a good plan to get 2 things out of one coconut? By using the hot water am I drawing more out of the coco? Any input is appreciated as I live in Guatemala so can’t buy coconut flour, etc. THANKS! =]

    • What you are doing is the standard way to make coconut milk. I just did this as an easier way for those of us who don’t want to deal with hammering a coconut open :-).

  53. I just made this with the intention to make it into your delicious ice cream. Question: I do not own a vitamix, so my Ninja will have to do. There is a lot of solid in the bottom of the blender (shredded coconut, I used a fresh coconut). Do I include this in the milk to make sure that the ice cream will harden? Thanks in advance for your response!

  54. Thanks for your above response, Adrienne. I buy coconuts here where they’ve already hacked the shell off with a machete, so that’s nice! Sooo, is it necessary to heat the water then if it is fresh? And I’m still wondering if I should just blend it all up like you do or strain off the coconut after 30 seconds so I can make coconut flour from it also. Maybe it’s a question of if it’s ALL blended in it will be fattier and make better ice creams, etc. but for general use it would be fine the way I’m doing it?

  55. Can you buy the coconut already dried and shredded? Or do you have to shred it?

    • Of course. That’s how I buy it all the time.

      • Hmmm… is it just the cheapo bags of unsweetened shredded coconut found in the baking section at most grocery stores? Don’t those have preservatives? Or would it have to be found at a health food store? Any special words to look for on the label? “Raw” or something? I just want to make sure to get the most healthful option!

        • I personally just make sure there is no sodium metabisulfite in it….or other preservatives. And no sugar. I buy organic when I can. Raw is a personal preference. Truly raw dried coconut would have more of the enzymes intact. :).

  56. Delicious idea thanks! Couple of things I noticed. 1) Hot water does make a richer beverage, but blending the hot water can lead to a blender explosion not great with kids around 2) I don’t have a Vitamix but used my nutribullet so I’m sure the Ninja will do 3) Don’t strain the coconut, add pineapple, banana, goji berry, lime, green tea ice cubes, a little agave and salt and it makes a dreamy smoothie that’s surprisingly energizing.

  57. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your vitamix recipes and techniques for things like this-coconut milk, coconut butter,etc. Our Vitamix was a huge investment for us and although I know its a great machine I still am a bit hesitant about what it can do and dont want to push it too far. I’m excited to think how much I can save making mine own coconut milk! (I made the coconut butter recipe you shared and it was amazing!) Thank you!

  58. I was so excited to come across your recipe a couple days ago and gave it a shot tonight. I have an Oster Professional two speed blender and even on the high setting for three minutes the milk was way too chunky. But we all agreed it tasted really good…..better than the store bought stuff. If it was a little richer and was blended better it would be perfect.

  59. What model Vitamix do you have? Maybe it’s time to break down and spend the $$$.

    • 5200. Love it. I would love to try their new model though. If you are going to buy one there’s a free shipping offer through my site on the sidebar. :)

  60. I LOVE this recipe…I wish I would have thought to make my own coconut milk years ago! This is so much better than store bought too! I also love your condensed coconut milk, it goes great with my iced coffee!
    Have you ever tried, or do you know if anyone has ever made yogurt out of this milk successfully?
    Thank you so much!

  61. I tried this recipe to do exactly as you said: save money on buying the milk. For what I can buy in unsweetened coconut, it makes way more than store bought to be sure! I have a Cuisinart blender and when I make this, it kind of makes coconut butter on the top. I can’t put more than 2.5 – 3 cups in at a time per cup of shredded coconut because otherwise it makes a mess (even with the lid on). How can I get it to incorporate the actual coconut more?

  62. wondering if you ever attempted making the coconut whip cream as i saw mention you were going to try in an above comment? would love to know :) Thanks!

  63. I started making coconut milk because of the cost and the added ingredients. I love it even more now that I have a Vitamix. I do strain mine and then use the pulp to make coconut flour.

  64. Best coconut milk recipe ever! All the recipes call for way more coconut- usually in a 1:2 ratio, and besides the cost, I couldn’t bare to waste so much coconut. I used another recipe in which you ran a 1/2 cup through 1 cup of water 3-4 times, letting it steep for 5 minutes each time. This was extremely time consuming and it was more like coconut water than it was milk. Am so stoked to have found this!!! Hope others out there looking for an easier and more efficient way to make coconut milk find this!!

  65. Rose Martin says:

    Is this coconut milk recipe alright to give to a one year old?

    • I would ask your doctor of course. If it’s OK to give canned coconut milk then this is for sure OK. I personally recommend breastmilk for as long as possible though and can’t make medical recommendations :).

  66. I absolutely love this recipe!! Thank you! I have one question , what do you use the stuff at the top that separates from the milk for? I put it in a separate jar in the fridge and it hardened., any suggestions?

  67. Technically you are supposed to dehydrate it and it is coconut flour. I tend to just blend mine in w/ more water and use it :).