How to Make Coconut Milk

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Learning how to make coconut milk is a great way to save money and control the ingredients in your non-dairy milk. You can save over $200 a year! (gluten-free, vegan)

Learning how to make coconut milk is a great way to save money and control the ingredients in your non-dairy milk. You can save over $200 a year with this easy recipe!

I’ve wanted a high-powered blender for years. The reasons were many, but at the top of the list was homemade coconut milk.

I’ve been dealing with a dairy sensitivity for several years, and all the non-dairy milks I’ve found at the store have long lists of ingredients that I don’t want to be drinking.

Once I finally got a good blender and learned how to make coconut milk the easy way, my dairy-free life became much easier. I can now enjoy non-dairy milk without all the additives, and the savings are amazing.

Homemade coconut milk is easy to make from fresh coconut, and the result is so rich and creamy!

With my high-powered blender, I can make smooth, flavorful coconut milk in just a few minutes using dried shredded or flaked coconut. It takes a little longer using fresh coconut, but the results are so creamy and fabulous that I recommend trying the whole coconut version once in a while.

Homemade Coconut Milk Price Breakdown

Store-bought coconut milk costs up to 10 times more than the homemade version. Ten times!

Homemade coconut milk is so creamy and delicious! Great easy recipe.

Prices are always changing, but this will give you a sense of the cost of homemade  versus store-bought. I’m currently using this Bob’s Red Mill shredded unsweetened coconut, which typically costs $.28 per ounce. I use ¾ cup of this coconut in a batch of homemade milk, or about 2 ounces. So the total price is $.56 for 4 cups of homemade coconut milk using shredded coconut. When using a whole fresh coconut, the cost is $.25 per cup (with a 2 lb. coconut costing $1.50).

By comparison, the canned version typically costs $2.00 or more per can, or about $1.14 per cup. And you get something extra with the canned version: preservatives and thickeners trying to replicate the real thing.

If I go through 4 cups of this milk a week, I’ll save over $200 a year by making it myself.

By making homemade coconut milk, you can save over $200 a year! This is such an easy recipe.

My husband compares the shredded coconut version to skim milk and the fresh coconut version to whole milk. They’re both delicious in my opinion. If cracking open a whole coconut is more effort than you want to invest, try the shredded coconut version first.

How to Make Coconut Milk

Two ways to make homemade coconut milk
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time:10 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut OR a 2 lb. fresh coconut
  • 4 cups to 5 1/2 water


  • To use the shredded coconut, place 1 1/2 cups of water in a high-powered blender along with the shredded coconut. Blend on medium-high for 45 seconds. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water and blend for another three minutes. Scrape down the sides if needed during this process.
  • To use the fresh coconut, break open the coconut and remove the hard outer shell. The thin brown skin doesn’t need to be removed. (Don’t discard the coconut water! It’s full of nutrients. Drink it plain or add it to a smoothie.) Chop the coconut meat into pieces. Place 2 3/4 cups of water in the blender, followed by half the coconut meat. Puree it for 2 minutes. Start blending on a lower setting, and gradually make your way up to high during the first 30 seconds. Pour this mixture into a container and repeat the process with the rest of the coconut meat.
  • Regardless of which form of coconut you used, strain the mixture in a fine mesh sieve lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth. I love this butter muslin because it’s woven more finely than cheesecloth, and it’s machine washable. I use it over and over for nut milks, homemade yogurt, and homemade ricotta.
  • Leave the mixture in the strainer for a few minutes, and then lift the muslin out of the strainer. Gather the edges of the cloth together to make a ball. Squeeze out any extra coconut milk by compressing the ball over the bowl with the rest of the coconut milk. If you’re in the market for coconut flour, you can dehydrate the strained coconut and use it in a baking recipe.
  • Transfer the coconut milk to a container and refrigerate for up to four days. If you won’t use it all in that time, freeze the remainder in an ice cube tray. These small portions are great for smoothies.


Adapted from this recipe from Whole New Mom

Approximate Nutrition Info

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 4
Calories: 115kcal
Cost: $.14 to $.25 per cup

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For other non-dairy milk options, try my homemade oat milk and almond milk recipes.


    1. Coconut cream is what’s skimmed off the top of canned coconut milk. The solids that you strain out of this recipe aren’t the same thing.

  1. I want to make ice cream with homemade coconut milk. I only have the bagged shredded coconut and the recipe calls for full fat. It sounded like what you described that the shredded would be like skim milk. So, for the ice cream do you think it would work to add heavy whipping cream instead of water and make it similar to full fat coconut milk?

  2. 5 stars
    I had never thought of trying to make coconut milk from a fresh coconut! Do you have a post on how to prepare the fresh coconut for this? Are you buying brown coconuts rather than the green ones? How do you remove the skin?

    One issue I run into with making my own coconut milk is the fat solidifying in the fridge. I have started adding a half tablespoon or so of sunflower lecithin to emulsify the fat and it works well.

    1. Monica, I buy brown coconuts to make fresh coconut milk. My husband cracks open the shell with a mallet, and then we break the meat apart into pieces. You don’t need to peel the thin brown skin off. It will get strained out when you strain the finished coconut milk. Good luck!

  3. 5 stars
    I used the coconut water along with regular water, used my ninja it worked great! I also scraped the inside of the cup after I finished, it was really good coconut butter.

    1. Great question! If you use coconut water, it will probably give the milk a much stronger coconut flavor. I’ve never tried it, but let me know if you do.

  4. I really couldn’t open a coconut. I can make a hole at the top, but without a machete, I didn’t have the strength to cut into it without injuring my hand. It was a waste of money. Here in San Diego, coconuts are 3.50 at Sprouts market. It was a young Thai coconut with almost no meat in it. Was not worth the injury at all. Very important which coconuts you choose. Should not be a young Thai coconut.

  5. I can’t wait to try this! Now I just need to get a fine mesh sieve and some cheesecloth. Is the coconut flavor very strong?

    1. It definitely tastes like coconut, Keara. But I wouldn’t say it’s especially strong. (I do love coconut, though, so I may not be the best judge!)

    1. The coconut solids are very finely ground, so they would work well in a facial scrub. You can also dehydrate them in the oven to make coconut flour.

  6. Love making homemade coconut milk! So much better than the stuff in cans! This looks so creamy and delicious 🙂

  7. This was such a helpful post! I’ve never made my own coconut milk- I’ve just been buying it from the cans. Would love to try this! I have to admit that I *do* love full fat coconut milk… but will definitely be giving this a try!

    1. Thanks, Genevieve! I’m a big fan of full-fat coconut milk too. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

      1. Yeah, yeah, I know this was from a few years ago, and I haven’t read your other posts, so I don’t know if you’ve began using the ‘coconut meat’ after you’ve shredded it.

        You can dry out the coconut meat after you’ve made the milk and then use it to make coconut flour (it runs about $6.00 at my local grocery store) if you like coconut rice you can save and store the water used in making the milk to cook the rice. If you decided you could also leave the milk to set overnight and allow the oil (creamy white) to separate from the water you can make your own coconut oil, to be used in sunscreens and cooking, as massage oils and such.

        Lots you can do with coconut

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