Homemade Coconut Milk

May 21, 2019

This homemade coconut milk recipe is rich and creamy, and has the consistency of conventional canned coconut milk but contains a lot more nutrition.

Homemade Coconut Milk

This homemade coconut milk is rich and creamy, and has the consistency of conventional canned coconut milk but contains a lot more nutrition. This coconut milk recipe is raw, vegan, paleo-friendly, and nut-free.

Canned coconut milk is fantastic for adding a creamy element or rich coconut flavor in smoothies, drinks, soups, stews, curries, and desserts. But, most canned coconut milk contains stabilizers and thickeners. Native Forest makes a great full-fat product, but it does contain guar gum. Golden Star makes a fabulous conventional coconut milk made with just coconut and water.

But, for drinking, for smoothies and drinks, and for use in raw recipes, and to gain full advantage of all of the health properties of raw coconut meat and water, making your own homemade coconut milk is the way to go.

How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk

The easiest way to make homemade coconut milk is the blend unsweetened dried coconut flakes with coconut water or filtered water. If you want a rich coconut flavor, use toasted coconut flakes and add some coconut flavor. But, this method yields a milk that is gritty and requires straining which wastes a lot of the goodness of the coconut.

I prefer to make homemade coconut milk by blending raw coconut meat and coconut water from a fresh young thai coconut. Adjust the amount of coconut water to achieve your preferred consistency.

For a rich thick milk similar to canned coconut cream, chill the milk in the fridge for a few hours to thicken.

I like to sweeten fresh coconut milk with dates so it is a well combined recipe. To make sugar-free coconut milk use birch xylitol and stevia or monk fruit and erythritol. See the notes on the recipe card for the sugar-free version.

I boost the coconut flavor of the milk with virgin coconut oil. But, omit that if you want to reduce the fat content.

The homemade coconut milk will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.

The Health Benefits of Coconut

Coconut is a health-promoting superstar.

Yes, coconut is high fat. But, the fats are health-promoting saturated fats that are mainly medium-chain triglycerides that break down easily and convert to energy. So, contrary to popular misconception, coconut fats are not stored as fat.

These healthy fats in coconut meat can boost the function of the endocrine system (particularly the thyroid) to help rev up metabolism. Plant-based saturated fats can also enhance the secretion of insulin to regulate blood sugar, too, reducing stress on the pancreas, liver, kidneys, gall bladder, and adrenals.

Coconut also dials up detox, aiding the absorption of alkaline buffer minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It is also one of the ultimate immunity aids, loaded with lauric, caprylic, capric, stearic, and myristic acids that combat viruses, bacteria, yeast, and fungi.

Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Often called, “Nature’s Gatorade”, fresh, raw, unpasteurized coconut water is a natural isotonic energy drink that is chock-full of enzymes and hydrating potassium electrolytes that boost the cleansing functions of the liver, thyroid, kidneys, and gall bladder.

Low in calories and carbs, coconut water is almost completely fat-free, too.

I use coconut water from young Thai coconuts. As the coconut matures, the sugar content increases and the ascorbic acid content decreases. So, young thai coconut water has the best flavor.

Crack Open Young Thai Coconuts!

Cracking open young Thai coconuts can be scary and daunting. I used to use a meat cleaver. But, no matter how many times I cracked open coconuts, I was always scared I would chop off my hand!

Until I found the Coco Jack tool. which is, hands down, the easiest, safest, and quickest way to crack open a coconut and empty the water and scrape out the meat.

Raw water and meat only keeps in the fridge for 3 days, before it starts to ferment. I freeze remaining water and meat for later use.

Freeze Coconut Meat and Coconut Water for Use Later

To freeze coconut water, place it in a container, and leave about 1 inch (2.5cm) at the top of the container to allow for expansion.

To freeze coconut meat, cut off any bits of husk, and then freeze in sealed containers or freezer bags.

Coconut water and coconut meat will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.

Buy Organic Coconuts.

Buy organic coconuts whenever possible. Many conventional coconuts are dipped in toxic preservatives to prevent mold, and are then bleached before wrapping, both of which contaminate the water.

For Convenience…

If you don’t want to crack open young Thai coconuts, you can use commercial coconut water and purchase coconut meat.

When purchasing commercially packed coconut water, look for organic, raw, and unpasteurized brands without additives or preservatives. Harmless Harvest coconut water is widely sold in the United States. It’s the best commercial option currently available, but it has been high-pressure pasteurized (HPP).

Long-life shelf-stable coconut water packed in cartons and bottles is basically sugar water devoid of any nutrients.

You can find frozen raw coconut meat from Earth Coco in the freezer section of health food stores and some mainstream grocery stores.

Other Plant-Based Milk Recipes

Almond Milk Recipe
Cashew Milk Recipe
Macadamia Milk Recipe
Hemp Milk Recipe
Brown Rice Milk Recipe

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

Your feedback is really important to me, and it helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.


Homemade Coconut Milk

This homemade coconut milk recipe is rich and creamy, and has the consistency of conventional canned coconut milk but contains a lot more nutrition.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author Tess Masters



  1. Crack open the young thai coconuts. (I use a Coco-Jack tool, which is the best way to crack coconuts. This tool opens them with one easy move.)

  2. Empty the coconut water and strain it using a fine mesh strainer. Scoop out the coconut meat from the coconuts, and cut the brown husk off the meat to clean it. Set aside 1 cup of coconut meat and 3 cups of coconut water. (You can freeze any remaining coconut water and coconut meat in separate containers for use later.)
  3. Throw the coconut meat, coconut water, salt, coconut oil, vanilla, and sweetener into your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

  4. Transfer the milk to a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 hours to thicken. (Thickened, it will have a consistency similar to full-fat canned coconut milk.) The milk will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

Recipe Notes

For sugar-free coconut milk: Omit the dates, and substitute 2 teaspoons powdered birch xylitol + 1/8 teaspoon alcohol-free liquid stevia.

Learn more about making homemade milks
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak


Leave a Reply

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