How to Make Coconut Milk at Home

by Sarah Drinks and Tonics, Other, Recipes, Snacks and Sweets, VideosComments: 64

Last week, I visited an Asian Supermarket and showed you via video the primary items that I buy there.    If you recall, two of the items I purchased were raw, frozen coconut meat and young coconuts.  I mentioned in that video that these items were ideal to make coconut milk.

High quality coconut milk is a must have in the kitchen of any Traditional Cook who seeks to serve nutrient dense meals for her family.   One of the most highly desirable nutrients in whole coconut milk is lauric acid, a medium chain saturated fat that is quickly used by the body for energy and is also highly anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Remember that lauric acid is produced by the mammary gland and is one of the reasons breastmilk keeps infants so healthy!

Unfortunately, coconut milk is typically found in cans or aseptic packages which can potentially result in undesirable toxins such as BPA or nanites leeching into the milk. There is one brand of coconut milk, Native Forest, that is marketed as BPA free, but if it’s possible to make fresh coconut milk that maintains all its rawness and nutrition for basically the same amount of money as the canned version, wouldn’t this be the best way to go?

Most homemade coconut milk recipes I’ve seen utilize boiling hot water. While this is certainly fine particularly if you are going to cook with the coconut milk once you’ve made it, I personally prefer to make coconut milk in a manner that maintains all the rawness in order to preserve all the enzymes and nutrition.

In this 2 part video series, I show you how to make coconut milk that is both raw and fresh and uses only coconut meat and coconut water.. no plain water added.   Making coconut milk this way costs little more than the much less tasty and nutritious canned versions so why not make a lot at once and freeze it for convenient use later?

In the second part of  the video, I show you a very simple method for using this whole, raw coconut milk while still preserving all enzymes and nutrition.

Click here for additional information on how to make coconut flour.  Click here for a video how-to for making coconut milk kefir.

How to Make Coconut Milk (Video How-To)

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

Why Coconut Milk from the Store Should Be Avoided

The Best Milk Substitutes

How to Make Fermented Homemade Almond Milk

Comments (64)

  • Julie

    Thank you again for another great video. If we ever get dug out of the snow here in New Hampshire I am heading over to the Asian grocer to find the young coconuts and the frozen coconut meat. By the way, this morning my husband and I had the beet, carrot,apple juice from one of your posts. We really enjoyed the addition of the beet and have enough energy to go out and shovel snow all day long!!

    February 2nd, 2011 11:55 am Reply
  • Linda E.

    Does the homemade coconut milk taste like coconut? I buy SO Delicious brand(not in the can) and it doesn’t taste like coconut. I really dislike the taste of coconut. That’s why I’m asking.


    February 2nd, 2011 12:00 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Linda, the fresh coconut milk has a very mild coconut flavor.

      February 2nd, 2011 1:47 pm Reply
  • andrea

    if you use only the shredded coconut, where do you get the liquid ?

    February 2nd, 2011 12:15 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Have you watched the video? I use the fresh coconut water from the young coconuts.

      February 2nd, 2011 1:45 pm Reply
  • Kelly

    If you did not have access to the young coconuts, but only the raw shredded meat, could you simply use filtered water to blend it up?

    February 2nd, 2011 2:13 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Kelly, yes you can do that but you might want to buy unflavored, additive free coconut water from the store and use that instead.

      February 2nd, 2011 2:30 pm Reply
  • Amy Love@Real Food Whole Health

    Hey Sarah- GREAT video! Thanks so much for sharing it! I never thought about using the frozen raw coconut meat- excellent idea. I’ve been sticking with Native Forest, but I’m inspired to make my own now. I would love to share a little recipe I make that uses my coconut milk. It’s SO easy and I came up with it while traveling when I needed something fast in a pinch. Take one can of coconut milk, or about 12 oz of fresh, and put it in a mason jar or blender. Add two-three pastured egg yolks. (more would be ok too!) Add a drizzle of raw honey or Grade B maple syrup. Screw the lid on tight and shake, shake, shake! That’s it! If you were at home and had access to a splash of vanilla extract, and a pinch of nutmeg, those would be excellent additions. It served 4 people a good size amount to keep them full and energetic for quite some time.

    February 2nd, 2011 2:31 pm Reply
  • Dorothea


    Could this be done using a Vita Mix? The Vita Mix doesn’t not extract the pulp but pulverizes everything. I guess instead of Coconut milk, I’d have a coconut smoothie?

    February 2nd, 2011 2:32 pm Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Dorothea, sure you could use a Vita-mix. Sieving out the pulp is only a requirement if you want smooth coconut milk.

    February 2nd, 2011 2:36 pm Reply
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  • Barb

    I’m very excited to try this- thanks fo rthe video!
    As for extracting the coconut water, might I suggest making an additional hole on top, opposite from the one you made. I’d bet the water would come out much more quickly.

    February 2nd, 2011 3:51 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I tried that but you can’t punch another hole .. there is only one soft spot that I could find.

      February 2nd, 2011 4:58 pm Reply
      • Elaine Gagne

        It’s true. I poked 3 holes in my coconut. It’s true – you can’t always find a soft spot, but I force it anyway! Sarah, thank you SO much for posting this!!! For whatever reason, I’ve been CRAVING all things coconut lately (No, I’m not pregnant. I’ll be 50 in a few days!).

        I can’t wait to try this! Thank you!!!

        February 3rd, 2014 2:18 pm Reply
  • sara

    That looks so yummy. I’m happy that my work unblocked YouTube, hahaha. I have that same juicer at my office and i’ll definitely be trying that!

    February 2nd, 2011 5:11 pm Reply
  • Gabriela

    May I ask what Juicer you use? It looks like a nice one. Thanks for the video!

    February 2nd, 2011 6:11 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Gabriela, its a Jack La Lanne basic model. Does a good job .. really dry pulp so it gets the most out of your investment in organic vegetables. Easy to clean too. Here’s what it looks like although mine is a bit different as it is a few years old:

      February 2nd, 2011 6:24 pm Reply
  • Tyler Simmons

    Hi Sarah,

    I have been wondering how to do this recently, this will be fun to try.

    I just put up a summary of the things I like about your site here:

    check it out if you get a chance.


    February 2nd, 2011 8:13 pm Reply
  • beth

    Question for you. You were talking about how the methods with boiling water make the milk not truly raw. What do you think about blanching almonds? They are in the boiling water for only a minute and then put in cold water. (When I blanch my own, I mean.) Does that make the almonds no longer raw? Thanks!

    February 3rd, 2011 9:37 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Not really sure about that one, Beth. I suspect at least some of the rawness is lost, but probably not all.

      February 3rd, 2011 10:15 am Reply
  • Terri

    I am so excited to milk this. I actually went to the Asian market near my home (that I always just drive past) and found the frozen shredded coconut and the fresh young coconuts. I did notice that you really need to read the frozen shredded coconut though, as I found some had added sugar in them.

    I am anxious to see your next post or video on how you use the coconut milk.

    February 8th, 2011 4:05 pm Reply
  • Terri

    LOL, I meant to say I am excited to MAKE this…..guess I had milk on the brain….

    February 8th, 2011 4:06 pm Reply
  • de

    Sarah, I just recently found your website and am very interested in your videos, however I am unable to find the link for making the coconut milk I missing something on this page? Can you provide it please? thanks

    February 23rd, 2011 3:22 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi de .. the video is there now. I’m not quite sure how the youtube video disappeared from the post but it’s back now! :)

      February 23rd, 2011 3:37 pm Reply
  • Lauren

    Hi Sarah,
    All I was able to find in my area were green coconuts, not white. The one I opened had LOTS of water in it, but no edible meat.. It only had this jelly-like coconut goo in it. I dug into the meat with a spoon, and it was very hard and not sweet at all. Is this just too immature? Should I wait on opening the others to let them ripen, or are they just different than the white ones in your video?


    February 26th, 2011 6:17 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      You can use the water out of the green coconuts. You will need to get mature coconut meat in the frozen section as I show in the video as you will get very little if any meat in young coconuts.

      February 26th, 2011 7:23 pm Reply
      • Nicola

        I was wondering about this myself. So are young coconuts only good for their water then?

        December 16th, 2011 2:39 pm Reply
        • Mimi

          Nicola — the meat in young coconuts is edible and delicious. Don’t throw it away! It can be eaten straight out of the coconut. Just scrape it out with a spoon, and avoid getting rough bits of husk in your mouth (although no harm in it of course, you can always spit that part out). This stuff is a prized ingredient for pies, fruit salads and as a plain ol’ nutritious snack where I come from.

          February 22nd, 2012 7:56 am Reply
  • Lucy

    Sarah, I’m a real newbie… and on a very limited budget. Thanks for being such an encouragement!

    I’m curious how long the fresh coconut milk will keep in the fridge. Thanks, Lucy

    March 3rd, 2011 2:04 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Lucy, it lasts about a week. Freeze what you will not use in that time.

      March 3rd, 2011 2:09 pm Reply
  • Rob

    What do you do with the coconut pulp from the blender? I hate to waste it.

    March 3rd, 2011 5:07 pm Reply
  • Rob

    Oops, just saw your new post about how to make coconut flour. Great timing as I have been wondering how to do just that. You are awesome!!

    March 3rd, 2011 5:11 pm Reply
  • Lauren

    Hi! So, I opened up 3 of the coconuts I bought, and went ahead and got the water out so they would go bad. I put all the water in a tupperware container in the freezer, and when I lookd today, there is a purple slime on the top and bottom of the water. Do you think it’s still OK to use? Should I scrape off the purple and use that? I wasn’t sure if it was just oxidation or what. Thanks!!

    March 28th, 2011 10:28 am Reply
  • Christine Kaiser

    I was wondering how you get the kefir grains back out of the coconut milk when it is done fermenting?

    April 1st, 2011 5:31 pm Reply
  • Annette

    Thanks for this video! I am going to try this. About the young coconuts; do they come out that way? How come the coconuts in the grocery store have brown on the outside?
    I have a Vita Mix; just pulverize it.
    And, where is the follow up video?

    December 19th, 2011 2:56 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    Sarah, I was wondering about the frozen coconut meat you bought. I went to my asian market and found what appears to be the exact same brand of coconut meat you purchases at your market. On the top of the bag it says ‘Cook before serving.’ Is there a reason for this? I want raw coconut milk and yours is the only reasonable recipe I’ve found for it. Is there a reason my coconut milk would be unsafe to eat raw? Thank you for the recipe!

    February 22nd, 2012 10:20 am Reply
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  • Angel

    Sarah, could you please make a video about how to make coconut oil please? I have seen several methods over the internet: one is heating the coconut milk and the other is with a juicer, I am not really buying any of them, if you have time and the knowledge I would really appreciate you sharing it in a video. Thank you.

    June 2nd, 2012 5:35 pm Reply
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  • Natalia

    Maybe I did something wrong, but my coconut milk separated only just after a few minutes. I have use the store bought coconut milk before to make kefir before and it was delicious, but the one from homemade milk didn’t come out right because the milk kept on separating. Any ideas how to prevent this?

    August 27th, 2012 11:38 am Reply
  • judy

    can i drink this coconut juice?

    September 2nd, 2012 4:40 pm Reply
  • Stacey DAmico

    Hi Sarah,
    About 4:40 into the video when you add some coconut meat from a glass measuring cup – you refered to it as dried shredded coconut. I thought that earlier you had said that we shouldn’t use dried shredded coconut because it needs to be reconstituted with boiling water. I’m wondering if maybe you were really using the frozen coconut meat but mistakenly called it dried shredded coconut meat?
    Thanks Stacey

    October 8th, 2012 1:41 pm Reply
  • Steve

    Per Tropical Traditions, coconut oil does not contain enzymes, which is why it is stable for so long. I presume that is also true for the coconut meat, but I am not sure of that. If so, you shouldn’t need to worry about heating it when making your milk.

    November 6th, 2012 4:17 am Reply
  • Shawn

    Hi, just noticed you using a juicer to separate your coconut mixture. Great idea except your using a centrifugal style juicer which happens to introduce a lot of oxygen to whatever your juicing causing an ‘oxidative’ effect. Rather try using a press, a slow spinning juicer, such as the omega 8006 or similar, or use the chess cloth method.
    Thanks for the videos and keep up the good work!

    December 30th, 2012 8:04 pm Reply
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  • Telma

    Love your videos.
    Have one question.
    I live in Hawaii. Do you know where to find live kefir over here.
    Hawaii does not allow to commercialize raw milk unfortunately. Where is the alternative milk again.
    Thank you so much

    March 10th, 2013 9:11 pm Reply
    • Tina


      On maui, you can buy raw milk if its “pet food”. So, farmers here are selling raw milk that way. Ask around or get to know organic farmers. They won’t advertise it, you have to find out by word of mouth. It is I agree though, very hard to find, and much more demand than supply I’m afraid.

      March 11th, 2013 5:13 am Reply
  • Telma

    One more question.
    I do make the coconut milk the old way with some warm water. I use fresh coconut since I live in Hawaii.
    What is the difference between this and the one you showed on the video with coconut water?

    March 10th, 2013 9:14 pm Reply
  • Tina

    Thank you for the video.
    I recently ditched the tetra-paks and I’m glad I did.
    I have been making coconut milk with fresh young coconut meat & coconut water.
    I love using a nut milk bag to strain the milk, and clean up is a breeze.

    My only problem with coconut milk made this way is the taste. My 4 yr old does not like the tanginess of coconut water, and he refuses to drink the fresh raw coconut milk since it has a much earthier, tangier taste than coconut milk made by rehydrating coconut flakes. (I’ve been making it that way for a few years).

    Sadly, it is also very expensive (and I live in Hawaii). I end up using about 6 coconuts to make about 6 cups of milk (coconuts here are about $4 a piece at the farmers market). Sad that real raw food has to cost so much. Its just not affordable.

    March 11th, 2013 5:08 am Reply
  • Viviana

    Hello, I have a question @ klabbering raw milk. I left @ a qt. of raw milk out on my kitchen counter for THREE Days! But, only some solidified and separated while most remained liquid. It certainly smelled sour but, when I tried to strain in cloth it went through so fast and was very milky not at all clear. Not even semi-clear. I scooped out the solids put in a jar and used the rest of the milk (?) not sure if that was whey….to soak my organic whole wheat flour for pancakes. I don’t know if I actually clabbered my milk and if using what rushed thru the cloth to soak my pancake flour was ok? PLEASE HELP!!!


    March 30th, 2013 8:10 pm Reply
  • JC

    Dah! to get the water out of the coconut FAST, poke 2 holes on opposite sides of the top. Let air in one hole while pouring the water out of the other. Works for me!

    April 25th, 2013 12:51 pm Reply
  • `Mandy

    Do you have any suggestions for what to do with the remaining coconut pulp? Can it be dehydrated or toasted for baked goods?

    July 7th, 2013 12:21 pm Reply
  • Santiago Sanchez

    How would this compare to the regular taste of drinking 2% or whole dairy milk? ive just recently gave up dairy and the hardest part to be without is the milk is it similar and taste and if not what would be the closest to dairy milk?

    July 22nd, 2013 9:42 pm Reply
  • CoconutLover

    Using the coconut water from a young coconut is a great idea. I have only ever used water to make my coconut milk and sometimes I find that it comes out more watery than I like.

    I actually had a happy accident last time I made coconut water using my food processor. I used cold water and after processing the coconut for a while I had coconut oil stuck all over the inside of my food processor. I got around 4 tablespoons of coconut oil with fine coconut shreds in it. It works great for sauteing vegetables or using as a butter replacement in cookies.

    If you are interested in recipes dedicated to the coconut and all its awesome forms (coconut milk, shredded coconut, coconut flour) please visit my site at !

    August 7th, 2013 11:09 am Reply
  • brad

    how long does it last in the fridge ?

    December 4th, 2013 1:55 am Reply
  • Stacey DAmico

    Hi Sarah,
    This is my second time asking. You never responded. About 4:40 into the video when you add some coconut meat from a glass measuring cup — you refered to it as dried shredded coconut. I thought that earlier you had said that we shouldn’t use dried shredded coconut because it needs to be reconstituted with boiling water. I’m wondering if maybe you were really using the frozen coconut meat but mistakenly called it dried shredded coconut meat?
    Thanks Stacey

    December 4th, 2013 11:52 am Reply
    • Lorna Morrison

      Stacey, I don’t know if you had gotten an answer to your question, but Sarah only used the frozen coconut meat & some fresh meat from a green coconut. She said it might look like the dessicated dried one but it wasn’t; it was wet to the touch. She made a mistake at the point you indicated when she said dry. Hope that helps.

      March 4th, 2014 1:27 pm Reply
      • Stacey D’Amico

        Thank you Lorna! And “No” I have never received an answer from Sarah. She doesn’t seem to answer questions here. VERY FRUSTRATING.

        March 4th, 2014 4:58 pm Reply
  • Lorna Morrison

    Hi Sarah, I enjoyed your post. I wanted to make a suggestion, if you don’t mind. I was born & live in Jamaica where we have a lot of coconuts and Jamaicans have been making coconut milk & oil for a very long time. I’ve only recently started making it myself but my relatives would make coconut milk every Sunday to cook rice & peas. Usually most people use the dry brown coconuts to make the milk. I have also used the more mature young coconuts with harder meat to make milk. The white coconut that you used is a young green coconut with the green skin chopped off (some commenters did not realize this). In Jamaica, we call the young coconut a jelly coconut & the meat is referred to as coconut jelly. I also use this kind of coconut, but I don’t usually process it at the same time as the dried one. I would mix or blend them together afterwards if a recipe calls for both. The young coconut meat can be used in a variety of desserts, but it can also be eaten straight out of the coconut, like the water. When blended it gives a creamy milk that does not need to be strained, whereas the mature coconut has to be strained of the fibrous pulp. Hope this was helpful.

    March 4th, 2014 1:57 pm Reply
    • Thomas


      I enjoy drinking young coconuts. But what to do with the waste?

      Cheers Th

      June 12th, 2014 8:21 am Reply
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  • Chana

    Sarah any suggestion of what to do with the coconut pulp from the blender ? Can I make cookies or something like that ? If yes …¿can You share The recipe ? Thanks

    February 22nd, 2015 9:52 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, check out my video on how to use it to make coconut flour :)

      February 22nd, 2015 12:19 pm Reply
  • Mjski

    Is Bob.s Red Mill Shredded Unsweetened Coconut raw? I am tired of chasing around for healthy ingredients since most that are recommended here are obscure in a less-than-urban area of 1 million people. I bought the above product at a local outlet of a national chain, paid a exorbitant price (in my opinion) and I cannot find out from any source if this is raw. Is it that important or is it the mantra of uninformed people?

    June 26th, 2015 5:29 pm Reply

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