Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk

I know what you’re thinking. Why the heck would I make my own coconut milk when I could buy a carton (or can) of it from the store? I have several responses to that question….

  1. Please don’t ever buy coconut milk (or any other non dairy milk) from a carton. They are full of additives and preservatives like carrageenan (a derivative of a seaweed called Irish moss which is safe in it’s whole form but in it’s isolated form can be damaging to the gut lining) and a bunch of other things I can’t pronounce. In this article, the Healthy Home Economist goes into more detail about the dangers of several of the additives typically found in store bought non dairy milk.
  2. Even canned coconut milk can contain additives. It is hard to find a can of coconut milk that doesn’t contain guar gum or xanthan gum, even if it’s organic. Some people don’t have an issue with this but guar and xanthan gums can be irritating for some people’s systems. You just have to figure out what works for you. And don’t buy light coconut milk. All it is is full fat coconut milk mixed with water. Don’t pay for water please. Just buy full fat and add some water if you want it thinner.
  3. Making coconut milk at home is SUPER easy and takes almost no hands on time at all. And you have full control over what goes into it!

All you need is a blender and either a nut milk bag or some cheesecloth (and water and coconut of course). I use a nut milk bag because it makes life way easier and it’s fun to say 🙂 I use this one.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk
Prep time
Total time
21 DSD, gluten free, paleo, vegan, nut free, dairy free, egg free, AIP friendly
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups filtered water, divided
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • honey or maple syrup to taste (optional, leave out for 21DSD)
  1. Place coconut in a bowl with 1 cup warm (not hot) filtered water and let soak for 30 minutes
  2. Pour coconut and soaking water into a high speed blender along with additional cup of water
  3. Blend on high for about 1-2 minutes
  4. Place cheesecloth or nut milk bag over bowl or wide mouth jar and pour in coconut milk
  5. Squeeze the cheesecloth or nut milk bag until no more liquid comes out
  6. Store in refrigerator
  7. Makes about 2 cups

Despite the easy process, if you still don’t want to make your own coconut milk I understand. I get lazy sometimes and it’s hard to beat the convenience of popping open a can. So when I don’t want to make my own there are two brands I use, both of which can be found on Amazon: here and here. The first is 100% coconut and the second is just coconut and water and comes in a BPA free can. I will use other brands that can be found at regular grocery stores or Whole Foods in a pinch, but these two brands are my favorite.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Warning: homemade coconut milk does not last as long as the coconut milk you buy from the store (because of the lack of chemical preservatives) so you will need to use it up relatively quickly. Mine lasts about 3 days in the fridge. For this reason I usually only make a small batch at a time. You can freeze it though if you end up with some extra coconut milk. My favorite way to do this is to pour it into ice cube trays. That way you can just pop out a few cubes and defrost as needed or add to smoothies for an extra creamy drink.

I hope you enjoy this tasty beverage either on it’s own or for use in other recipes!


In vibrant health,


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