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DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners

February 3, 2015

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
I started making coconut milk years ago during our first year of having a raw milk share. Our milk share decreases in supply from January until May during the winter months. At first I was disappointed as we were really enjoying our raw milk. However, if there is one thing I learned from having and healing gut disorder, it would be that it is wise to take a break from certain foods during their “off season”. The practice of eating with the seasons gives the gut a break and allows for different foods to be used for nourishment.

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
We ended up really becoming accustomed to the coconut milk in the winter months, and it makes enjoying our fresh raw milk in the spring just that much sweeter! My girls have quite an affinity toward coconut milk and will gladly drink glass after glass just plain, in smoothies, or poured over oatmeal. It is very creamy and indulgent!

There are only 1 or 2 brands of canned coconut milk without BPA packaging, and without questionable gums and fillers. And those 1 or 2 brands are so pricy for my budget. Especially when making your own coconut milk is just so simple and cost effective!

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
Coconut milk subs equally for whole milk in most recipes, and I use it in my cooking in the winter when our meager raw milk supply dwindles at the end of the week. I also prefer to use coconut milk when cooking certain cuisines like Thai or if I need to give a soup a creamy texture with a slightly sweet taste.

This recipe makes a quart and a half of coconut milk. I purchase coconut shreds from the bulk refrigerated section at our local health food store and they come in bags that equal about 7 cups – where ever you end up getting your shreds from just use a 1:1 ratio of shreds to water and you will be good to go!  Also! I don’t have a high powered blender so don’t worry if you don’t have one. The only blender I have is a Magic Bullet and it works just fine for the blending part! I have to do the blending in batches but it works just as well!

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand should I use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

DIY Coconut Milk :: No Gums, Fillers, Or Sweeteners
  • 7 cups unsweetened coconut shreds (shreds work better than flakes in my experience)
  • 7 cups water, brought to a boil
  • Optional splashes of vanilla or almond extract to flavor
  1. Put the coconut in a large mixing bowl, and pour the boiling water over the coconut shreds.
  2. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it steep 2-3 hours.
  3. Pour the water/coconut shred mixture into a blender and blend about a minute.
  4. Pour the blended coconut/water mixture into a cheesecloth or tea towel over a bowl and squeeze out the milk.
  5. Store the milk in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for months. Shake the coconut milk before serving –the cream will separate.
  6. Save the leftover coconut shreds to use in your baking (granola bars, energy bars, etc), your smoothies, your oatmeal, or dehydrate and grind into coconut flour.

Let me know how the coconut milk making goes!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday!

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  • Reply Bombshell February 3, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I love all things coconut…jelly, milk, water lol!! I use the Nutribullet to make mine then pass it through my juicer!! I was surprised how much milk I got from one nut! I wish I could drink it all the time!! Seems your kids love the stuff! I was wondering how fattening it is since I’m trying to lose weight!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 4, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Coconut milk is an excellent source of “friendly fats” – meaning your body NEEDS them. You will never lose weight effectively by cutting out fats that your body needs. Your body goes into starvation mode and will hold onto fat if you cut fat! Read more here ::

    • Reply Lynda March 27, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Hello, bombshell,

      Just read your comment, and I’m wondering what you do? Do you use a whole coconut, and add the meat and some water to your Nutribullet? When you said you put that mixture through the juicer next, do you think that’s an easier way to squeeze and separate the pulp from the coconut milk, than using cheesecloth?


      • Reply Renee Kohley March 28, 2015 at 2:01 pm

        Hi Lynda, I blend the steeped coconut/water mixture and then strain it through the cheesecloth. There really isn’t another way to strain out the coconut bits from the milk other than that. It goes pretty fast!

  • Reply Bombshell February 3, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I was wondering if using hot water makes a difference?

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 4, 2015 at 9:44 am

      You need the hot water to “steep” the coconut – just like you steep tea 🙂

  • Reply Mary February 4, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I’ve never tried this! And it sounds so easy and cost effective!!! Thanks so much for sharing. I always buy the green cans 🙂 But they cost so much. I mostly only use them for making ice cream once in a while. I will for sure have to try this. I had shredded coconut on my list for my next trip to HH 🙂

    I just wish my kids liked the taste of coconut milk. At least it’s great to use in baked goods, etc.

    This is also good to know in case J can’t do dairy for a long time yet.

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 4, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Oh great Mary! I think you will like the taste even better too – I like this but not a fan of the taste/texture of canned. Yeah our budget just doesn’t allow the cans either. Keep me posted how you like it!

  • Reply linda spiker February 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Yummy. I use coconut oil a lot but only use coconut milk when cooking for my dairy free daughter. So good know how to make it myself!

  • Reply Megan Stevens February 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Delicious! Thank you for this perfect version of the process. Simple and so nutritious. 🙂

  • Reply Krystal February 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Nice post Renee! I love making my own milks. Such a simple and enriching process.

  • Reply Jessica February 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I bought some flakes to make my own! 🙂

  • Reply Anna @Green Talk February 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Is this full fat since many recipes call for full fat coconut. This is so much easier than drilling into a coconut!

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish February 5, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    This is great! And so easy to make! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe … it’s so simple and has no filers like all of the other coconut milks on the market.

  • Reply Rachel @ day2dayjoys February 6, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Wow, never knew it was so easy, just waiting a few hours.

  • Reply Chloe @ How We Flourish February 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for the tutorial! It’s so easy to make coconut milk, and often a much better option than what you can find in the store.

  • Reply Bombshell February 8, 2015 at 6:16 am


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  • Reply Athelene August 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Thank you for this post! I would love to make my own coconut milk. But when I do the math, it seems expensive. Can you help me figure out where I’m going wrong? Your affiliate link shows the coconut is roughly $25 for 12 cups of coconut, making each cup just over $2. Thus, your recipe calls for a little over $14 of coconut. It makes 1.5 qts, or 6 cups. I think each can I buy has about 2 cups. So the recipe is about 3 cans worth of milk. I pay about $2.89 per can, or about $8.67. While I’m sure yours is much healthier and tastes great, I’m struggling with the cost. Am I miscalculating somehow? Please know that I’m not trying to be critical. I really appreciate the time and effort it takes to blog. Thank you!

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  • Reply Kathleen March 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    If you are using the coconut shreds again after they have steeped, are they still nutritious and worth using? I love the idea of putting them in our granola bars but don’t want to lose all their good stuff! 🙂

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 17, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Hi Kathleen! Some of the fat is taken into the milk but the fiber and nutrients in the shreds are still there which is great for adding to a smoothie, granola, or granola bars! It helps save money too!

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