Homemade Coconut Milk from Fresh Coconut

May 8, 2017 (Last Updated: April 8, 2020)

Nothing quite compares to the taste of coconut milk made from fresh coconut! Whether for drinking or using it in a recipe, you will quickly realize how much better homemade coconut milk is than store bought versions in cost, flavor and consistency!

Homemade Coconut Milk from Fresh Coconut - straining coconut milk through the strainer using bare hands

Nothing quite compares to the taste of homemade coconut milk made from fresh coconuts! Whether you are drinking it or using it in a recipe you will quickly realize how much homemade coconut milk is than store bought coconut milk both in both in cost, flavor and consistency. I know making coconut milk from scratch (and when I say from scratch I mean from actual coconuts, not from dried or dessicated coconuts flakes) seems like a daunting task, but the truth is, it is quite easy and only take a few more minutes than opening a can of coconut milk. You only need a few tools and mature brown coconuts and you are set!

To make coconut milk from fresh coconut, you will need:

A mature coconut: When selecting a mature coconut, shake it to make sure there is water inside of it and it is not leaking. You do not want an “empty” coconut. Also examine the coconut to make sure there are is no mold on it, especially on the eyes (the three dark sunken spots on the top of the coconut).

6 cups of water

A blender

A nut bag/ cheesecloth or strainer

A hammer/ a heavy cleaver: Necessary for cracking the hard coconut shell. Actually If you’re feeling somewhat ratchet like I feel sometimes, smashing the coconut on the floor works just as well, but I’m trying to keep it fancy here.

A simple butter knife: Useful for prying the coconut flesh from the shell. I use a butter knife because it’s sturdier and unlikely to snap off. Also less dangerous!

The easiest way to break a coconut

Using a hammer or the blunt side of a cleaver, hit the coconut in the middle (between the eyes and the pointy tip) over a bowl preferably (to save the sweetwater). Rotate the coconut making sure you are still hitting the middle until it cracks into two halves.

If you are lucky, you might be able to simply pry the flesh of the coconut off the hard shell with a butter knife. If this is somewhat difficult to do, simply place the coconuts in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes, and the shell should come off easily with a butter knife once it is out of the oven.

Straining the coconut milk

Dice the coconut meat into 1 cm cubes.

Blend the coconut pieces; 1 cup of coconut to 4 cups of water.

diced coconuts in a blender
freshly blended diced coconuts in blender.

Once the coconut is blended, pour the blended coconut into a nut bag or over a cheese cloth to separate the husk from the milk.

bowl with cheesecloth to strain the coconut milk.
Pouring blended coconut mixture through strainer.

Squeeze the nut bag or the cheesecloth to get as much milk out as possible.

squeezing coconut milk through the strainer using bare hands
straining coconut milk through the cheesecloth

There you have it, some fresh coconut milk ready for storage!

Now that you’ve got some fresh coconut milk available, why don’t you try it out in a couple of recipes? Check out my crazy delicious coconut caramel cake recipe, my coconut seafood fried rice or even my nutella inspired vegan chocolate nut milk recipe for just a couple of great suggestions where you’ll love the difference!

How to Make Coconut Milk from Fresh Coconut

Nothing quite compares to the taste of coconut milk made from fresh coconut! Whether for drinking or using it in a recipe, you will quickly realize how much better homemade coconut milk is than store bought versions in cost, flavor and consistency!
Cuisine: Tropical
Author: Yummy Medley

Ingredients

  • 1 mature coconut
  • Water

Instructions

  • Using a hammer or the blunt side of a cleaver, hit the coconut in the middle (between the eyes and the pointy tip) over a bowl preferably (to save the sweet water). Rotate the coconut making sure you are still hitting the middle until it cracks into two halves.
  • If you are lucky, you might be able to simply pry the flesh of the coconut off the hard shell with a butter knife. If this is somewhat difficult to do, simply place the coconuts in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes, and the shell should come off easily with a butter knife once it is out of the oven.
  • Dice the coconut meat into 1 cm cubes.
  • Blend the coconut pieces; 1 cup of coconut to 4 cups of water.
  • Once the coconut is blended, pour the blended coconut into a nut bag or over a cheese cloth to separate the husk from the milk.
  • Squeeze the nut bag or the cheese clothe to get as much milk out as possible.

Notes

As with canned coconut milk, the cream of the milk will  rise to the top of the milk leaving the water to settle at the bottom if left to sit for a while. When you want to use it, simply shake to get a homogenized milk.

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