Batch Up Meals Breakfast Ideas Condiments Drinks Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches

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.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

DIY Coconut Milk

Making your own coconut milk isn't hard at all, and you'll love having control over the ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut milk recipe, homemade coconut milk, how to make coconut milk
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee -


  • 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


  • Put the coconut in a large mixing bowl, and pour the boiling water over the coconut shreds.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and let it steep 2-3 hours.
  • Pour the water/coconut shred mixture into a blender and blend about a minute.
  • Pour the blended coconut/water mixture into a cheesecloth or tea towel over a bowl and squeeze out the milk.
  • 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.
  • 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!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Thai Peanut Sauce :: MSG, Starch, Filler, & Sugar Free - Raising Generation Nourished February 3, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    […] cup coconut milk (Either homemade or THIS is a safe brand in a BPA free […]

  • 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


  • Reply Nourishing Picky Eaters - We Got Real February 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    […] The friendly fat can be anything from butter or coconut oil on the veggies, to whole raw milk/coconut milk, yogurt, raw cheese, avocados, olive or avocado oils in salad dressings. There is usually eggs or […]

  • Reply Simple Cinnamon Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free - Raising Generation Nourished February 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    […] kids will love the little bits of apple and raisin – it is perfect drenched in raw milk or coconut milk, or used as a topper or mix-in to whole […]

  • Reply Real Food Mac N Cheese :: Compare to Kraft Mac N Cheese In Convenience & Kid Friendly Taste! - Raising Generation Nourished February 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    […] ¼ cup raw milk, sour cream, or coconut milk […]

  • Reply Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - Raising Generation Nourished March 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    […] 3 cups quality cream (Preferably raw or low pasteurized. Not ultrapasturized if possible. You can do a combo raw milk and cream to equal 3 cups. If you are dairy free you can use whole coconut milk.) […]

  • Reply Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free Option - Raising Generation Nourished May 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    […] 2 cups organic whole cream (Preferably raw. Or preferably not ultra pasteurized. If you are dairy free you can use whole coconut milk.) […]

  • Reply Summer breakfast smoothie May 20, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    […] ½ cup whole plain yogurt (If you are dairy free use coconut yogurt or coconut milk) […]

  • Reply Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free Option - Raising Generation Nourished June 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    […] 3 cups whole cream (Preferably raw. At least not ultra-pasteurized. If you are dairy free use coconut milk.) […]

  • Reply Strawberry Quinoa Granola - Raising Generation Nourished July 4, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    […] If you can’t or don’t have access to raw milk for pouring or whole yogurt, you can use coconut milk or coconut […]

  • 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!

  • Reply Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids! - Raising Generation Nourished November 13, 2015 at 1:01 am

    […] 1½ cups whole raw milk, kefir, yogurt, or coconut milk […]

  • Reply Avoiding The "O's" :: 5 Real Food Finger Foods To Teach Self Feeding While Nourishing Your Baby - Raising Generation Nourished December 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    […] times in the morning I’ll put a few pieces on the tray along with a few chunks in some raw milk or safe coconut milk for her to fish […]

  • Reply 15 Minute Asian Noodles :: Lo Mein Copycat! - Raising Generation Nourished January 18, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    […] DIY Coconut Milk […]

  • Reply Easy Spring Vegetable Mini Quiche - Live Simply March 14, 2016 at 10:36 am

    […] ½ TB whole milk or coconut milk if you are dairy […]

  • 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!

  • Reply Paleo Butternut Squash Pancakes - Raising Generation Nourished November 5, 2016 at 10:02 am

    […] tend to serve our pancakes with fried eggs on the side and raw milk or coconut milk to drink to round it all […]

  • Reply 10 Minute Homemade Alfredo Sauce :: Dairy and Dairy Free Options! - Raising Generation Nourished January 20, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    […] garlic. We tolerate raw dairy in our house well, however I find myself making Alfredo sauce with coconut milk more than our raw milk. Our raw milk share is lower during the winter months when the cows […]

  • Reply No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich! - Raising Generation Nourished March 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    […] a splash of coconut milk (either homemade, or this is my favorite brand that is gum and junk free that I buy all the time since myself and […]

  • Reply Rebecca March 28, 2017 at 9:50 am

    This is wonderful! It’s so frustrating to search the stores for gum-free coconut milk.

    After refrigerating, my milk had about half an inch of solid fat? cream? that doesn’t want to break up when shaken. Any suggestions for how to deal with this?

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 28, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Hi Rebecca! Great! Yes that is coconut cream! I leave the jar out on the counter to come to room temp and it softens, or I warm it up in a sauce pan if I need to use it quick!

  • Reply Homemade Paleo Mayonnaise :: Free from common allergens! {Egg, Dairy, Soy, & Gluten Free!} - Raising Generation Nourished April 9, 2017 at 8:31 am

    […] milk that doesn’t have gums or preservatives, and keep it on hand in the pantry. You can also make your own coconut milk.) If you tolerate dairy, raw milk/cream works […]

  • Reply Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free Option - Raising Generation Nourished April 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    […] 2 cups whole milk (Grass-fed raw preferable. Recommended avoid ultra-pasteurized. If you are dairy free use coconut milk!) […]

  • Reply Kelly August 22, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I’m curious to know how this is cost effective as you say. You can purchase coconut milk for 3-4 dollars per half gallon at most stores. I’m not doubting you I’m just wanting some clarification before I try. Very tight budget here lol.

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 23, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      Hi Kelly! That is a pretty good price – it is double that where I live. Making it makes it about $3.50 for a half gallon for me here. So it may not be as big of a savings for you! I also like to avoid the gums and fillers so that is something to think about if those in your store bought coconut milk. I hope that helps!

  • Reply April November 1, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    5 stars
    how do u wash your cheesecloth…….. I’m new at this! =P

    • Reply Renee Kohley November 5, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Hi April! I just rinse it in the sink!

  • Reply Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option - Raising Generation Nourished January 15, 2019 at 8:53 am

    […] a bowl like cereal with a splash of raw milk or coconut milk and a hard boiled […]

  • Reply Cream Cheese Ice Cream - Raising Generation Nourished January 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    […] your coconut yogurt might work to swap for the regular cream cheese in the recipe. And you can use coconut milk instead of the regular cream just like any ice cream swap for making it dairy free – let me […]

  • Reply Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola - Raising Generation Nourished January 19, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    […] little kids can chew – my 18 month old will eat it in yogurt or with a little raw milk or coconut milk soaked into […]

  • Reply Homemade DIY Coconut Yogurt :: 3 Ingredients, No Cooking, & A Great Probiotic Rich Dairy Free Alternative! - Raising Generation Nourished January 19, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    […] doesn’t tolerate dairy. Even though my girls tolerate raw dairy just fine, I do introduce the coconut milk and coconut yogurt as babies so they get used to the taste. And as the kids get older they will […]

  • Reply Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free - Raising Generation Nourished June 2, 2021 at 9:12 am

    […] Thai Kitchen coconut milk are very budget friendly, and work well for ice cream making. If you have homemade coconut milk, or just plain coconut milk without any thing added in, that will still work too! And of course the […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.