Homemade Coconut Milk

Jessica PennerDrink, Recipes, Tutorial23 Comments

Homemade Coconut Milk

I absolutely love cooking with coconut milk. Some of my all-time favourite dishes are Thai, Vietnamese, or Indian inspired curries, stir-fries, or soups with a coconut milk base. The coconut helps to mellow out the spices and lends a warm, tropical feel to the recipe. My pantry is usually stocked with several cans of the stuff. 

As much as possible I try to use fresh foods or make things myself when it makes sense. It had never occurred to me before that I could make my own coconut milk but the thought struck me the other day so I did a Google and sure enough, homemade coconut milk is a thing. Thank you, Google, for showing me the way!

For a silky smooth coconut milk, you’ll need to filter out the sediment. If you’re making this coconut milk to drink, you’ll definitely want to filter it. Unless you’re the type of person who drinks the extra-pulp orange juice! Maybe you’d like your coconut milk a little on the “pulpy” side. The best and easiest way to filter it is to use a nut milk bag. You could use cheesecloth but a nut milk bag is reusable and therefore a) cheaper in the long run and b) better for the environment! Amazon has a wide selection available but I don’t think you can go wrong with this one. It’s rated 4.9 stars from over 2100 reviewers. The price is also  fantastic. 

Why It’s A Smart Choice

  • I did the calculations and based on an average price of $1.50 for a 398 ml can and $0.50/100g for shredded coconut, the homemade version is 5.4x CHEAPER than the canned! Hallelujah! 
  • Nutritionally, the calorie/ml ratio is very similar. However, with the homemade version, if you don’t filter out the sediment, your coconut milk will contain 2.24g fibre in every 100ml. Canned = 0g fibre. 
  • Homemade version: BPA free. Most canned foods contain BPA epoxy resins in the lining to keep the can from oxidizing. The jury is still out on how much BPA exposure causes problems in the human body. If you primarily eat a whole foods diet and use canned items here and there in your cooking your exposure level is probably pretty minimal. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to reduce it even more! 
Save money by making your own coconut milk

 

TAKE A LOOK  The 93 cent Pumpkin Spice Latte!

If you want to save time and buy coconut milk but are concerned about the BPA, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. You can buy this BPA-free coconut milk .

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.  

Homemade Coconut Milk
Save money by making your own coconut milk!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (90g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  2. 2 cups hot water
Instructions
  1. Place the coconut and water in a high powered blender.
  2. Turn on low then up to high speed.
  3. Blend for 3 minutes.
  4. If you are using in a soup or a curry, I recommend using as is. If you plan on using it as a beverage, then filter through a fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag. You can keep the sediment to add to smoothies or dry it out at a low oven temp and use as coconut flour.
  5. Store in the fridge.
Notes
  1. Makes 660 ml (2 and 2/3 cup)
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23 Comments on “Homemade Coconut Milk”

  1. Tiana

    better yet-bust open a brown coconut and use fresh meat. store bought grated has already had the milk squeezed out. my mama used to do this-even when we lived in england!

    1. Jessica Penner

      Oooh! That sounds good too! I thoroughly enjoyed cracking open freshly fallen coconuts when I was in Belize!
      I don’t think I can get fresh coconut at my grocery store though 🙁

    1. Jessica Penner

      Regular hot water canning requires that the food to be at a certain level of acidity. I don’t think the coconut milk would be acidic enough! It might work to pressure can this but I am not certain. Please check with a canning safety expert!

  2. cee

    Sadly coconut is saturated in sulphites sulphites. This is both the dessicated and the supposedly fresh coconuts used as a glass for cocktails. Such a shame that coconuts are so dangerous. It would be different if you could pick it at the source.

  3. helenbeee

    Hi
    another alternative is adding a few drops of coconut essence/extract to skim milk/nutmilk or plain yogurt. With experimentation you can control the strength of coconut flavor you want in your dish I have used this in curries, rice dishes, desserts and baking. Try to get a natural coconut essence like Uncle Roys. This is an old weightwatchers trick that really works. 🙂

  4. Angela

    But… the result is like a normal vegetable milk with coconut flavor, isn’t it? Or you get also the fat from the coconut? When you buy coconut milk you always have in the upper part a fat layer. I am planning to start to do my own coconut milk but I am not sure if the result will have fat enough to use it for panna-coco or coconut yogurts…

    1. Jessica Penner

      Thank you for the question. The fat from the coconuts is in the beverage but I haven’t allowed it to sit for long enough to separate. So I’m not sure if you would end up with a thick cream on top in the same way that you would from the canned coconut milk. I would recommend sticking to the cans for something like a panna-coco. This recipe is great for drinking, in smoothies, or for cooking.

  5. Del

    Oh em gee! It’s like I bought it from the store, but better. Who would’ve thought it could be that easy. I’m so inspired. Thank you for making it all so simple.

  6. FRANK HOANG

    Hi Jessica:
    I’m totally agreed with your article. As a coconut lover since 1999 I can vow on this. The healthy benefits of coconut water and oil.
    I start drinking fresh coconut water, straight out the Nut since November 1999. At that time, it hard to buy fresh coconut from US grocery, since I’m from VN, I shop at the Asain Market in Little Saigon, Westminster, CA.
    It was difficult to open daily the Nut. Then through time I had to come up with idea on how to open safe and EZ the fresh young coconut.
    After some many years, I finally come up with the idea. And now I file my patent to protect my idea.
    Please Google The Realraw Coconut to see my video.
    This video we have kid to open The RealRaw Coconut using Fork, Key, a scissor. But I the best tool I recommend is the butter knife.
    You can see this on Youtube as how to open The RealRaw Coconut. A small demonstration we did at Roots in Temecula, CA.
    We are planning to restart our production again within early next year. With another EZ Open, we call Tap Coconut.
    If you need additional info on my The RealRaw and Tap Coconut, please call or email me.

  7. Karleigh

    To answer the question about the cream, it works! I just use a 1:1 water to coconut ratio when making it. If it seems a bit to thick, or I just want it to go farther (my son looooooves this stuff), I add a bit more water. I jar it up, put it in the fridge overnight, then scoop out the cream! It’s delicious. I use it as a thickener in dairy-free white sauce, coconut frosting, or in coffee. Currently I have several jars in the fridge. Tomorrow I’ll scoop out the cream, condense the milk so they take up less jars, put the cream and whatever milk I won’t use right away in the freezer. I love doing big batches so I only have to do it about once a week. Sorry this became so long winded, but I’ve found so many good uses I wanted to share (:

    1. Jessica Penner

      I haven’t tried it but I think it would work. Just remember that the drink will be quite sweet. And you probably wouldn’t want to use it in curries or other dinner dishes!

  8. Faith

    Hi
    I use the real flesh of a coconut and do the same procedure then warm the milk and add cardamom and zaffron
    It tastes amazing

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