Homemade Coconut Milk

Who knew you could make your own coconut milk at home? It only requires 2 ingredients and the instructions are so simple.  Now you have no more excuses to buy the canned version!

I’ve chosen to make an effort to cut down on as much commercial canned food as possible so having the option of homemade coconut milk is great. One of main concerns of canned foods is BPA (bisphenol A.)  in the lining.

What’s the big deal about BPA?

“BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.” – Mayoclinic.org

The above explanation is very simple, but there is more to it than just that. I do encourage you to do a search on BPA to learn more about it’s harmful effects.

Some manufacturers are starting to take out BPA from canned food due to consumer demand. You would think that buying cans labeled as “BPA-Free” is a good thing, but that leaves the question of what are they using to replace BPA? Think of this similar to the case of certain foods being labeled as “Sugar-Free.”  The sugar has just been replaced with Aspartame, which is actually worse for our health than the actual sugar itself ever was. One of the best and easiest ways to cut down on your exposure to BPA and it’s replacement is by making an effort to eliminate or decrease the amount of canned foods you eat.

Another factor is that canned coconut milk tends to have unnecessary additives and thickeners (yeah, the creamy thickness of your canned coconut milk is not completely naturally occurring).

Here is the brand of coconut shreds that I like to use. It’s organic and unsweetened. They just shred the coconut meat and dehydrate it into flakes.

Today I’ve chosen to make this batch of coconut milk in bulk so that I can cut down on how often I need to make it. I just freeze it in individual portions and it’s ready for me when I need it. You can cut this recipe in half if you don’t need this much milk.  I used 2 bags of coconut shreds (each bag contains 4 cups if loosely packed). In the end it made a total of 8 cups of coconut milk.

One standard can of coconut milk contains 1.5 cups so keep that in mind when making your own milk.

You can reuse the shreds one more time for a second batch (just heat more water, blend, and squeeze out milk). The second batch will be a less creamy and not have as strong of a coconut taste, but it’s still a great way to make the most of your shreds.

After you squeeze the milk out from the coconut shreds, you will be left with coconut flakes.  Make sure to save these flakes to use for coconut chicken or shrimp. You can also add them to yogurt or oatmeal. I just store them in a freezer bag and use them as needed.

Before we get to the recipe, one tip I have is to use a nut milk bag. Cheesecloth will work good too, but the process is easier with a bag and you can wash and re-use it over and over again.

Homemade Coconut Milk


  • 8 cups Coconut Shreds, Unsweetened
  • 10 cups Water, Filtered


  1. Place your filtered water in a pot and heat on stove just until it's about to boil. You don't want boiling water, just hot.
  2. Meanwhile, place coconut shreds in a bowl large enough to hold both shreds & water.
  3. Once water is heated, pour it over coconut shreds.
  4. Let shred/water mix cool off for about 20-30 minutes. You want to let it cool down enough to be comfortable when handling it with your hands.
  5. Once mix is cooled enough, pour into blender and blend for 45-60 seconds (if making coconut milk in bulk, then you may need to blend it in batches).
  6. Pour blended mixture into a nut milk bag or into multi-layered unbleached cheesecloth.
  7. Use hands to squeeze out coconut milk from shreds over a bowl.

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