Arsy's Beautycounter

Homemade Coconut Milk … The Easy Way!

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We try to limit our use of canned foods as much as possible, as they often have BPA and other chemicals that can leach into the contents. We particularly avoid canned tomatoes, since the acidity makes it easier for dangerous chemicals to leach into the sauce.

In the case of coconut milk, there are often additives and gums in the canned versions that I’d prefer to avoid. Plus, it is surprisingly easy and more nutritious to make your own. I actually never buy coconut milk anymore, since it takes less than 5 minutes to make it myself!


You can obviously make coconut milk from fresh coconut, which I have done several times, but this method is actually quite a bit of work. Another alternative is using shredded coconut to make homemade coconut milk. This is my favorite way to do it, since I always have shredded coconut in my pantry.

This recipe is slightly different than the version in my cookbook and the version that I have shared with you before. I still love those versions, but I have been experimenting with using a little more water lately. This is really just to get more bang for my buck. I wanted to get more milk from each package of shredded coconut.

Like most DIY things, it is also cheaper to make your own! I buy a case of 12- 8 ounce packages of shredded coconut from Amazon for $34, approximately $2.80 per a pack. Each pack makes 4 cups of coconut milk, costing about 70 cents per a cup. A 14 ounce can of coconut milk at my local market costs around $3, costing more than $1.50 per cup.

So, there you have it … homemade coconut milk is healthier, cheaper and more delicious!

The version I have shared with you before does produce more cream though. So, depending on what you are using it for, you may want to decide which version to use.


How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk from Dessicated Coconut


8 ounces package of finely shredded coconut (I use this one)
4 cups of boiling water (UPDATE: I now use very hot water, not quite boiling to preserve more of the nutrients in the coconut milk.)
Nut milk bag (UPDATE: I started using a nut-milk bag, instead of cheesecloth and I prefer it. It is less messy and I get more milk! I use this one).

  1. Place coconut and boiling water in blender for about 45 seconds
  2. Line a strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth (or use a nut milk bag)
  3. Pour the contents of the blender through the strainer or through the nut milk bag and into a large bowl
  4. Pull the edges of the cheesecloth together or nut milk bag and squeeze the remainder of the coconut milk out
  5. Refrigerate the coconut milk and use within 1-2 days




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  1. says

    This is the best looking homemade milk I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait to try it! I was inspired by your podcast with the Paleo View to eliminate what few gums & canned goods were left in my diet, mainly coconut milk!

    • admin says

      That’s awesome, Kate! It has made a big difference for me, but I am pretty sensitive!

  2. Sarah says

    I’ve made it this way and it turns out wonderfully. You can also take the pulp that’s leftover in your cheese cloth ( I actually used one of those cups you put loose tea in to get the milk and pulp separate, and liked that way much better) you can lay the pulp out on a cookie sheet and dry in the oven at I believe 200 degrees for 45 min our until dry stirring occasional ( time and temp may be off, I can’t quite.remember exactly) but it will make coconut flour. That way it saves you even more!

  3. says

    What a genius idea. I’ve been obsessed with cashew milk because it’s so easy to make, but always cringed at the coconut milk process. Trying this next week, thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Great idea, especially since I bought bulk dessicated organic coconut. I wonder if there is some way of extracting the milk without destroying the enzymes with boiling water.

    • admin says

      Jim – This is a fantastic question. I honestly hadn’t thought of that! I should have…but, I just got so excited about how easy the process was. I am going to start experimenting with other methods that don’t require boiled water. I will keep you all posted on what I figure out.

  5. Liese says

    Which of the previous ways gave you the Cream after chilling for Whipped Toppings?

    • admin says

      Hi Liese – They all give you cream, but if you use less water, you will get more cream! I think for cream, I used only 3 cups of water.

  6. Michelle G. says

    Whoa! Be careful with boiling water in a blender! Fill it any more than about 1/3 full and it EXPLODES! I ended up getting hot asparagus soup to the face that way – and I only had the blender 1/2 full! This sounds pretty easy, but I’m with Jim… wonder how many of the natural enzymes get destroyed with boiling water.

    • admin says

      Hi Michelle – Good to know! I do this all the time and I have never had an issue with an explosion.

  7. says

    Is shredded coconut the same as dessicated coconut?I am in the UK and I think some of our products have different names


  8. says

    Love this! I make coconut milk in my Thermomix, I think the quantities are a little different – but I get 1 cup of coocnut cream and 3 cups of coconut milk. I think it tastes fresher than the canned stuff too. BUt it does take a little longer than your method – except the thermomix cooks and times itself so it’s not like it’s any hardship anyway. I’m as dairy-free as possible these days and the hosto coconut milk is just the ticket for a chilly down-under morning

    • admin says

      I have never heard of Thermomix! I am so curious now. I will have to look into this!

  9. says

    This awesome! I buy shredded coconut all the time for my kids to eat, but keep putting off some super yummy Indian recipes because they call for coconut milk, and I don’t like the sound of ingredients. I don’t want to make a yummy, healthy from scratch dinner and add weird ingredients through the coconut milk. I just found a recipe I really want to make and thought I’d google ‘how to make coconut milk’ just in case it was possible, and found you!! I’m so excited!