branding

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk


The Second Opinion Thyroid Summit

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk // deliciousobsessions.com #dairyfree #coconutmilk Follow Me on Pinterest

I cannot believe the price of coconut milk lately!

For quite some time, I have purchased Native Forest Coconut Milk, because it was the only brand of coconut milk that I knew was BPA-free. Another choice for BPA-free and additive-free (gums, stabilizers, whiteners, etc.), I recommend Natural Value canned coconut milks. I used to get mine through the Amazon.com Subscribe and Save program (which is awesome, BTW). At the time, I was getting a case of 12 cans (13.5oz) of coconut milk for $21.00, coming out to $1.75 per can or $0.13 an ounce. That was still about $0.25 cheaper than at my local health food store. Well, a couple months ago, I realized I was out, so I went to Amazon.com to place my order. I was shocked at the price — $2.50 per can or $0.19 an ounce! I thought to myself, “Well, it’s time to start making my own, I guess“. Just out of curiosity, I just checked Amazon.com at the time I was writing this post and the price has gone up even more. We’re up to $3.67 per can or $0.27 an ounce. Sheesh!!!

So, I began making my own. And I will never return to canned coconut milk again.

Saving $$$ By Making My Own

I roughly calculated the cost per ounce for my homemade coconut milk.

A 1 gallon bucket of shredded coconut from my affiliate partner, Tropical Traditions, is $17.50. One gallon of shredded coconut will give me roughly 16 cups of shreds. From that, I can get a minimum of 48 cups of coconut milk, which is 384 ounces. So, $17.50 divided by 384 ounces is $0.05 an ounce! What a substantial savings! Plus, if you shop during one of Tropical Traditions’ free shipping deals, then you don’t have to figure in shipping costs (which I did not do for this rough calculation).

Let me tell you, I was skeptical about making my own coconut milk. Frankly, I didn’t know how it would taste and I was afraid it would be weak and have no flavor. The first time I made it, I was pleasantly surprised at the richness and depth of flavor that I got from the homemade milk. Now, I much prefer the taste of homemade coconut milk over canned. Plus, it’s pure coconut milk, free of fillers and additives, so that makes me happy! :)

How To Make Your Own Coconut Milk At Home

There are many tutorials out there on how to make your own coconut milk. Just a simple Google search will yield thousands of results. So, I am not reinventing the wheel here. However, after watching a bunch of videos, I found two that I liked and then really have done a combination of the two.

Both of these tutorials used dried coconut. You can also make homemade coconut out of fresh coconut, but living in CO, it’s rare that I have access to good quality coconuts. The last few that I’ve purchased have all been moldy, so I’m done with that. You can also find frozen coconut meat at Asian markets. I have a bunch of Asian markets to choose from here in Denver, but I have yet to find frozen coconut that tastes OK. I’ve tried several different brands, from different stores, and they have all had a really strange taste. I can’t quite place it, but it was not pleasant. So, I’ll still to my dried shredded coconut (affiliate link).

First up, we have Amanda Rose’s tutorial from Traditional Foods. The second video is Tropical Traditions’ tutorial.

LinkedTube
 

LinkedTube
 

Now, I use a combination of these videos. Here are my notes.

1. I soak the dried coconut in the hot water, like Amanda recommends. I use a 1:1 ratio. I usually make really big batches and freeze it, so I will make 8 or 10 cups at a time. I let mine soak for an hour or two and then I add it to the blender in batches. I get three batches of coconut milk out of one recipe. The third batch is weaker than the first, but, I mostly use it for smoothies, so that’s OK. Some people stop with two batches per recipe.

2. Since I don’t have a chinois set like Amanda (though, I want one!), I sometimes use my fine mesh strainer and a spatula to mush the coconut around. I have also used my food mill, with the super fine grate. My favorite way is the cheesecloth, like my affiliate partner, Tropical Traditions recommends, but I rarely seem to have cheesecloth on hand for some reason. If you use the cheesecloth method, make sure your coconut milk is cool enough to handle. I learned that the hard way! Ouch!

3. I portion my coconut milk up in pint jars and then freeze. That way, I always have some on hand (the trick is remembering to pull it out of the freezer in advance!). I use pint glass Mason jars. I know some people are afraid to freeze in glass, but in all the years that I’ve been doing it, I’ve only lost a couple of jars. The trick is to only fill it about 3/4 full and don’t put the lid on it until it’s completely frozen. Then, defrost slowly in the fridge. But, if you don’t want to use glass, just find containers that work for your needs.

4. I use the shredded coconut (affiliate link) remains for a whole variety of things. I typically portion it up in little containers and freeze it. Then, I will add it to smoothies or baked goods later. If you want, you can dehydrate the leftover coconut meat and then either use it as you would dried coconut shreds, or you an whiz it up in your food processor and make coconut flour (affiliate link). We’re talking zero waste! April Patel, one of my affiliate partners, and author of “Don’t Compost it, Cook it!” would be so proud! ;)

So, tell me. Do you make your own coconut milk? Do you prefer homemade or canned better? If you’ve never made coconut milk before, have I inspired you to try? Leave me a comment below!

*Advertisements from my trusted affiliate partners*

Subscribe-Footer

You May Also Like These Related Posts:

Discussion

42 comments

  1. I was getting Native Forest through Amazon as well but they’ve dropped them from the Subscribe & Save and it sounds like the price has gone up even more so that option is no longer available :( When I got the notification about the Subscribe & Save change I thought the same thing as you, guess I’ll have to start making my own. I’ve done it a few times but was never pleased with how after some time in the fridge the oil separated off from the liquid, not just cream like with Native Forest but much more oily. Do you not have that problem when you freeze it then thaw in the fridge? Or do you just deal with it? :)

    reply 

    Rachel
    Posted 05/24/12

    • Hi Rachel – It does separate in the freezer and fridge, but that’s because there are no stabilizers in there, like canned coconut milk. I just deal with it. I typically use coconut milk for beverages, smoothies, and soups, so I just shake it to combine it again and it’s fine. Hope that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 05/25/12

      • Okay, I guess I just need to try it again. It’s been a few years and I seem to remember it not mixing very well again unless warmed up, which kind of defeats the purpose at times.

        reply 

        Rachel
        Posted 05/25/12

        • I tried it with dried coconut and the flavor was amazing, the texture just right, but the next day as I took it out of the fridge, the separation was really bad. I expected some separation, but not to that extent and it wasn’t a matter of shaking it up or mixing it. I had to warm it. I wouldn’t mind making this in a pinch for milk or for immediate use, but not for storage.

          reply 

          Deanna
          Posted 01/23/13

          • Deanna – Yes, that is one thing that annoys me too. I mostly use the homemade for smoothies or for hot beverages, but there have been times where I wanted a glass of cold coconut milk and that doesn’t work so well. Other than that, I love, love, love the homemade! :)

            reply 

            Jessica
            Posted 01/24/13

  2. I have been thinking about making my own of late, because I do use it somewhat regularly for various purposes. As with everything else though, it’s finding the time to actually DO it that’s getting in my way.

    reply 

    Soli
    Posted 05/24/12

  3. This has inspired me to give this process a go! I was wondering what the nutritional content would be like. Lots of the nut milks in shops have calcium added… So does this mean I’ll be short on calcium? I’m new to veganism so I’m spending a lot of time rsearching to ensure I don’t get deficient in essential minerals. Are there any other sources of Calcium you can recommend, Angela?

    reply 

    Cate
    Posted 05/25/12

    • CATE: Add one teaspoon dolomite powder to a quart of of your mixture and it will have the same amount of calcium as a quart of milk. Dolomite powder is inexpensive and is an easily absorbable form of calcium.

      reply 

      LaRee Morris
      Posted 06/16/12

  4. I am very inspired to make coconut milk! Thanks for the tutorial!! This looks like it would taste amazing. I love coconut water, but I think I’d really love the milk.

    Thanks!

    reply 

    Kimberly Rhoden
    Posted 11/04/12

    • I hope you enjoy Kimberly! I think it tastes amazing! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/13

  5. Thanks for this information. Canned coconut milk is really expensive and there’ too much crap in it for that price ;-) I appreciate your help with this. Also appreciate your reader’s advice on the dolomite.

    reply 

    BiggSis
    Posted 01/05/13

    • I am so happy it was helpful! I hope you enjoy! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/13

  6. I wanted to make my own will give it a try. I am wary of anything that comes packaged. I like to prepare everything I can myself so I know what is going into it. I get a coconut for about 2.50 so I will see how much milk it will produce. Thanks for the great directions!

    reply 

    David Setser
    Posted 01/20/13

    • Hi David – I hope you enjoy! I think it tastes delicious! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/20/13

      • IT IS AMAZING! I took a small glass from the first run through, added stevia extract and felt like I was drinking dessert. The rest will be used in my granola. I use a splatter screen to pour my pulp through and squeezed it by hand. No way will I buy this stuff in a can ever again. For 2.50 a coconut, I can get 6-8 cans from this. Well done!

        reply 

        David Setser
        Posted 01/21/13

        • Hi David – Thanks for stopping by! It is SO good! I often heat some up with some vanilla and stevia and a sprinkle of cinnamon …. yum … :) :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 01/21/13

          • I froze one jar… used the other up… unfroze the jar and used it up too. Just shake it up and it is all good, everyone else must be doing it wrong. I like the fact I turned a coconut into a such delicious treat. I use the pulp in my granola and no bake cookies.

            reply 

            Dave
            Posted 01/25/13

            • Yum!!! I give the pulp to my dogs too and they LOVE it! :)

              reply 

              Jessica
              Posted 01/25/13

  7. I was wondering what do you do with the coconut water that’s inside the coconut? Add it to the blender of coconut meat before extracting milk from it? Just curious… and what do you do with coconut water if you do use it? Thanks for the info!

    reply 

    Carrie
    Posted 02/02/13

  8. Can’t wait to make this! Thanks for the outline! Any reason why *not* to get the shredded coconut in the bag that is 2.2 lbs for $8.50 vs. the gallon bucket (3.5 lbs for $17.50)? Any reason to not use the flakes or chips that are even cheaper? Sorry for the trivial questions…just wanted to order a lot and make a lot and don’t want to regret my purchase because of not following directions. :-)

    Thanks again!!!

    reply 

    Lydia H
    Posted 02/19/13

    • Hi Lydia – You can use whatever coconut you’d like. If you’re buying from Tropical Traditions and use the flakes or chips, you might need to add a tad more than the recipe calls for. I like the shredded for this b/c they are already so small that they blend up nicely. It’s been awhile since I crunched the numbers, but definitely use whatever you’d like! Have fun and let me know if you have any questions! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/19/13

  9. I’m inspired to make some, I’m quite new to making my own beauty products and food, but have always known about coconut benefits, just never had the initiative or time. I’m a stay at home mum of 1 now so although I’m busy with my ratbag, I’d like to give her the best chance in life. No flouride, or harmful vaccinations. We are careful what she eats and uses on her hair and skin…. With the exception of candy now and again! I’m deff gonna try this, we live in Florida so coconuts are rampant…… For now! Be back soon to tell of my trials! Lol. Thank you so much for this information. Love and light.xx

    reply 

    Jojo
    Posted 03/11/13

    • Hi Jojo – Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to hearing your feedback on it! Have fun! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/12/13

  10. Probably a silly question, but when you let it sit in hot water for two hours is it covered or uncovered?

    reply 

    Galit Friedmann
    Posted 03/11/13

    • Hi Galit – There are no silly questions! I always cover mine, mainly because we have dogs, and I feel like any time there is food out on the counter, dog hair magically finds its way to it. It doesn’t really matter if it’s covered or not though! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/12/13

  11. I have a few questions. What changes would need to be made to make the milk from fresh coconut instead of dry shredded coconut? How long will it keep frozen? How long will it keep thawed and/or freshly made? Thanks for the information.

    - Gitana the Creative Diva

    reply 

    Gitana the Creative Diva
    Posted 03/11/13

    • Hi Gitana – I have only made it from fresh coconuts a couple of times (it does taste amazing), b/c fresh coconuts are so hard to find. When I have made it, I used the same ratio of coconut to water. I used the coconut water from the coconut and then added plain water for the rest. I rarely have any in the freezer for more than a couple months, because we go through it so fast, but it would keep much longer than that. In the fridge, I recommend drinking within a week or so, though, I have had some go for 10 days and it didn’t go bad. It just tastes best the quicker you use it. Thanks for stopping by!! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/12/13

  12. Any idea how many calories per unit in this milk? Thanks!

    reply 

    Kristin
    Posted 04/26/13

    • Hi Kristin – I am not sure since I don’t calculate the calories for my recipes. You could probably figure it out by calculating the amount of coconut that you use. I would think it would have less calories than canned coconut milk, since it’s not as rich. Hope that helps!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 04/26/13

  13. thank you…my husband and I are moving away from canned goods and was wondering if there was a way to make my own coconut milk and you’ve just solved that for me. Cheers

    reply 

    anina
    Posted 05/22/13

    • Hi Anina! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 05/22/13

  14. A great way to stain the coconut mixture and get all the liquid out is us a ricer. The coconut comes out so dry it barely has to go into the dehydrator (if I’m not using right away). You can find stainless steel ricer fairly reasonably- just look for one with the smallest holes.

    reply 

    Christine
    Posted 08/02/13

    • I have one, but the holes are too big, so I never use it. I’ll keep my eye out for one with smaller holes. Great tip! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 08/02/13

  15. I have been using a recipe for “coconut water” which was basically the same a your recipe for “coconut milk”. I do the two extractions but then I combine the batches so that they have the same concentration of solids. Sometimes when the coconut cream rises to the top, I take it out and save it for uses in other recipes. I guess this would then make the coconut “milk”, coconut “water”.
    In the video where the cheesecloth is used, I don’t really understand the use of the collander. I just drape the cheesecloth (which I use the stronger “butter” cheesecloth that can be purchased where cheesemaking supplies are sold)over a glass measuring cup and squeeze the liquid out. I use a measuring cup so that it is easier to pour the liquid into the Mason jars for storage.

    Thank you for your website that broadcasts this great information about real food to the public at a time when it is urgently needed!

    reply 

    Carol
    Posted 12/04/13

    • Hi Carol – Thanks for stopping by and the kind words! The colander can help if the coconut milk is too hot to handle. Typically, you would squeeze the coconut milk out of the cheesecloth right into a container, but if it’s still really hot, you’ll burn your fingers, so the colander can help hold it until it cools off a bit. Don’t ask me how I know that. ;) Have a great day!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 12/04/13

      • I see what you are saying. You can set it down without submerging it into the liquid.
        I pour hot water over the coconut but let it cool to lukewarm before I blend it and squeeze it out. So, no need for the colander and no burnt hands.
        thx.

        reply 

        Carol
        Posted 12/04/13

        • Sure thing! :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 12/04/13

  16. Funny I ran across this after I tried my hand at this today using coconut manna so we will see how that turns out. I ran out and the closest whole foods is on Denver three hours away. If this works I’m sold since the last three cans I opened have been solid and I didn’t know what was wrong so I threw them out

    reply 

    Kristal
    Posted 01/09/14

    • Hi Kristal – Welcome! Glad you found me and I hope you enjoy the coconut. On a side note, there was most likely nothing wrong with your cans of coconut milk. During the cooler months, the coconut milk will solidify more than during warmer months. When I do buy coconut milk (Natural Value brand) in the winter, it is sometimes set up very firm and I have to scrape it all out. Just FYI — maybe save you some money in the future! :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/09/14

      • Well the custard turned out fine just a little grainier but still delicious. Thanks for the info on the can milk. None of the people we know eat the different foods we do so it makes it hard to know if something is ok are not. Just curious how do you get the milk to liquify again?

        reply 

        Kristal
        Posted 01/09/14

        • Hi Kristal – For this recipe, I just let it sit out for a little bit, or if I’m in a hurry, I just place the jar in some warm water and it liquefies fast. :) I am working on a new recipe right now that does not seem to solidify as much. Will be posting that in the near future!

          reply 

          Jessica Espinoza
          Posted 01/11/14

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>