Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

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

What You Will Need

Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

This is the Easiest Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe around. No bags, no waste, and super frugal. For drinking, baking, and all your dairy-free needs.


  1. Blend on high speed for at least 2 3 minutes. (Note: I adjusted this time from 2 minutes due to a reader's comment that the previous 2 minutes left some flakes of coconut. This is much better. 3 minutes is sufficient for a high-powered blender like Vitamix. You will need additional time if using a regular blender. Simply blend until the contents are well mixed and frothy on top.)


4 reviews

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?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. If you have a Vitamix (or other high powered blender), is the consistency smooth even without straining or are there any bits? I have two highly sensitive kiddos and if the milk is bitty, they won’t like it. I have made coconut milk many times this way (with my old school blender) and I’ve always strained it. I’d love to skip this step, but I’d like to know more about the consistency first. Thanks!!

  2. Queen Yemayah says:

    I think this is a great alternative to those,who want a fresher coconut milk but dont have a lot of time :). I’m African n Hispanic and an Artisan, and the way i make my coconut milk if i dont buy organic is straight from the coconut. Just toss the meat in any good blender and it separates. Keep that full fat milk, combine with the coconut water, and an organic thickener of your choice, along with a little citric acid ( vitamin c powder), and boom you have coconut milk better than Silk or the So Delicious brands with a decent shelf life of around 14 days! Be well ??

  3. Hi! I was wondering where you get dried coconut for cheap, I just stumbled on this site and is planning to use this recipe for my milk tea store.

  4. I made this coconut milk as per recipe put it in the fridge in a glass milk bottle. Went to drink in the morning and a thick hard butter formed on the top no matter how hard I shook the bottle it just wouldn’t move so I ended up having to throw it away. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi there. We typically stir that back into the milk – it didn’t work for you?

    • Wanda Torruella says:

      Hi..just passing through and read your question..unless coconut was or tastes rancid do not throw away milk. What you’re speaking of is fat from coconut. Just place it in blender or microwave amount you will consume for a minute or so . Coconut fat will disolve…it’s normal for this to happen.

  5. I’m in Canada, but was brought up in India. Coconut is a daily part of life there.

    I just want to mention that using dried shredded coconut means that all the nutrients and oils have been squeezed out of it before it does for drying. This extract is the good part of the coconut. It contains all the healthy nutrients.

    The authentic Indian way to make coconut milk is to use fresh shredded coconut and blend it well. Squeeze out the milk with your hand. You can use a potato ricer if you want. This is the actual coconut milk that contains Omega 3 oils and other healthy nutrients.

  6. Hi, could someone please tell me how to mix up the coconut milk that has been stored in the fridge?
    My Coconunt milk turns out beautiful, I use the VitaMix and the nut bag to strain, however I have not figured out how to mix up what’s been stored in the fridge…. I tried reblending it but it ruins it. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • What happens when you blend it? We have basically stirred ours w/ a spatula and just deal with it. I’m surprised you are having issues after using a nut milk bag.

      • The nut bag results in a beautiful coconut milk. I tried to blend the levtovers that had been refrigerated and it basically did the same thing that whipping cream would do if you over blended it.
        When you use the coconut milk that has been refrigerated do you mix in the hard layer formed on top?
        If so do you just stir it in and deal with the consistency?
        Just seems that the hard layer contains all the good stuff….
        Thanks for replying 🙂

        • Hi there. I do just mix it in. It isn’t perfect but so much cheaper and I like that we aren’t “addicted” to the store bought texture that is often achieved by things like carrageenan and the like. Hope that helps!

  7. i have never tryed to make coconut milk jett but dosent it seems that when using o fresch coconut u know frech whit the wather inside, that it contan like vitamins and all wouldent it be better to use frech insted of dryed?

    • I would think it doesn’t matter as drying doesn’t remove the nutrients — just the water. Of course, if you are talking about the coconut water and not being able to drink it — sure. But I think the convenience much outweighs any nutritional benefit.

  8. Can I make coconut milk out of the oil? If so is the ratio the same ?

  9. Hi Adrienne! I just wanted to thank you for your website!! It is absolutely the best I have ever come across.

  10. Could this be made with raw coconut taken from a whole coconut you buy at the store? at a considerable cost of buying shredded coconut.
    I was able to remove 12 ounces of raw coconut today at the cost of $1.29 for the Coconut.
    I seen a video of someone using what looks like the entire contents of a coconut with 4 or 5 cups of water in their Vitamix.
    You recommend 1 cup of shredded coconut which weighs about 3 ounces with 4 cups of water. Are you stretching the coconut water ratio because a whole coconut seems excessive with only 4 cups of water.
    Just wondering as I have a VItamix 7500 and am looking for recipes.
    Thanks Bill

    • Yes, you could but keep in mind that the dried coconut has the water removed so you can’t compare the cost of dried to fresh coconut since the water is removed from the dried coconut. I have seen other recipes that call for 2 cups of dried coconut per 4 cups of water and am thinking about revising my recipe. Does that help?

      • Hi thanks for the followup I really appreciate it. I was wondering though since you use a measurement of volume rather then weight, would a 1/4 of fresh coconut still measure out the same in volume compared to dried? What I mean is if I shredded my fresh coconut wouldn’t a 1/4 cup have the same volume as the dry coconut but weigh considerably more from the water? I don’t know, I am am just opening up dialogue in hopes of getting a better grip on all this as, don’t mean to ask stupid questions if they are to you. I appreciate you call for dried coconut in your recipes, and maybe coconut shrinks when it dries, guess that is my ultimate question which I do not know and would make sense and alter the outcome of a recipe considerably. Have you ever tried making coconut milk using solid fresh coconut and if so do you have ratios of coconut and water?
        I am excited about introducing new foods in our diet. We just got our Vitamix last week and have been indulging in kale and spinach in ways I never thought possible and dropped over 5 lbs in the process. I always seek out those with more knowledge then I do when confronted with subjects I know little about and am learning about and appreciate any input.
        I am looking forward to making almond milk and coconut milk and not paying the high prices for processed store stuff loaded with ingredients I cannot pronounce.
        Thanks again for your insight.

        • Hi there and sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been swamped and am trying to catch up. I don’t know if that would work but I would think it would be close. I guess try it and see :). Hope you were able to make the milks in the meantime :)!

  11. Rose Martin says:

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

  12. 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!!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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?