Coconut milk is a very tasty, versatile ingredient. I use it a lot in my cooking as it adds much creaminess and flavor to both sweet and savory recipes.
It’s also very nutritious; rich in MCT’s, -healthy fatty acids-, minerals such as manganese, selenium and copper, vitamins and protein.
You can use coconut milk in many kinds of desserts, soups, baked goods, curries, cold and hot drinks etc.
It’s also great for your skin and hair.
When I’m in a hurry I usually use canned coconut milk. I always make sure to buy natural brands with pure ingredients sold in BPA-free cans.
But did you know it’s very easy to do it yourself? Today I will explain how to make your own coconut milk from fresh coconut.
I’m a big fan of homemade because it gives you a very fresh, pure product. You know exactly what you put in there and it’s made on the spot.
Aside from being healthier, it’s much more sustainable because you save packaging and distribution resources.
The taste is also incomparable!
How to make your own coconut milk from fresh coconut
You’ll need mature, brown coconut, which can be bought in most health-food stores, Asian markets and some supermarkets.
Test it by shaking it; you should hear the water inside sloshing around.
Use a screw driver to make a whole through one of the 3 eyes found in the bottom of the coconut.
Keep the water, we will use it in this recipe.
Just make sure that it hasn’t gone acidic. This can happen if the coconut has been lying around for a bit, especially if you live somewhere where coconuts don’t grow and need to be imported.
It should smell sweet and coconutty; if you detect any acidity, throw it out and use regular water instead.
Break the coconut open and remove the coconut meat.
The coconut meat should be white. Make sure it doesn’t have any yellow, dark or moldy spots.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the brown skin off.
Cut the coconut in small chunks and grate them. You can go old-school style and do it by hand or use a food processor to help you out.
Add hot water to the grated coconut. The high temperature helps extract the fat from the coconut and you want it to be very creamy.
If you’ll be using the coconut water (again, make sure it hasn’t gone acidic!) use less hot water instead.
You need about 2.5 cups of grated coconut for 4 cups of liquid.
To make thicker coconut milk, use less liquid.
If you have a strong blender, you can use it to puree the coconut, otherwise use a food processor.
Take a big bowl, cover it with a cheese cloth and pass the coconut mix through a fine sieve.
Press the mix with a wooden kitchen tool or with clean hands to get all the coconut milk out.
You can repeat the process another time. This batch will be a bit thinner, but still creamy and coconutty.
The remains of the coconut meat can be used to make your own coconut flour.
Dry it in the oven and grind it and you’ll have your own naturally gluten-free coconut flour that can be used for baking and cooking.
I’ll do a post with instructions for this soon.
How to make your own coconut milk when you don’t have fresh coconut?
You can also make coconut milk with unsweetened shredded coconut and it’s even faster.
Pour the shredded coconut in the blender, add hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes so the liquid can soak in. Then blend it and repeat the process as with the freshly grated coconut.
The coconut milk is best used right away, but you can also store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed bootle or container.
Some people like to add a bit of extra flavor to their coconut milk such as vanilla extract, Himalaya salt or Stevia liquid.
I like to keep mine natural so that I can use it for different things, but feel free to experiment with it!
I hope you enjoyed this article about how to make your own coconut milk from fresh coconut.
Here are some recipes that you can use your homemade coconut milk for: