Homemade Coconut Milk from Shredded Coconut

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How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Our Search For a Tummy-Friendly Milk

Hello again.

So, as you may or may not know, we found out when our oldest child was just a baby that he couldn’t tolerate dairy milk, even if I was nursing him and I ate or drank any dairy. Then children #2, 3, and 4 came along, and the exact same issue played out each time. Fussiness, gas, colic, eczema would ensue each and every time I ate any dairy – even supposed nondairy items like conventional coffee creamer.

We subsisted on boxed rice milk for a few years, which I am sorry to say, was not a healthy option and was more like the equivalent of sugar water. If you know anything about allergies and autoimmune disorders, you understand that these problems arise from a gut that is out of balance. (Surprisingly, my children all started that way from the get-go.) So, in effect, adding sugar water to their (and my) diet was one of the worst things I could be doing for our situation.

Along came the boxed version of a coconut milk beverage, found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. What a blessing this was to our family!

We immediately began consuming copious amounts of this presumed healthy beverage. Cereal, oatmeal, wheat farina, as a base for soups and to make mashed potatoes, you get the idea. As our family and children grew, so did our consumption.

Carrageenan

Until one day, recently. I started coming across this food additive called carrageenan. Supposedly, it came from seaweed and was touted as a healthy addition to coconut milk, used as an emulsifier and thickener. Then the bad news came.

It had been linked with inflammation . . . intestinal lesions . . . ulcerations . . . even a word no mother wants to hear: malignant, cancerous tumors. (source)

Sigh. And this stuff is in our organic coconut milk beverage? What’s a mom to do?

Why do I even trust food manufacturers anymore?

I bet you can guess why I’m starting to make more and more of our own food at home.

My goal in this case was to replace half of the milk we were consuming from the store with my homemade version. I have to be honest – like most of you, I am busy pretty much every hour I am awake. I have to squeeze new activities in gradually so I won’t get overwhelmed, and so I’ll stick with them. Eventually, my goal would be to make all of our own coconut milk.

Do I freak out if I can’t make some and have to buy it from the store? No way. Because I know that any change is a good change. We are drinking significantly less of the commercial stuff than we were before, and that for me is cause for celebration and encouragement. We strive to eat healthy 80% of the time, and the rest goes into our 20% allowance.

You kind of have to do this to keep sane. If you can’t keep sane, food has become your god and is ruling you – and uh, it’s a terrible, unrelenting despot. Don’t let food be your god. (freebie) 🙂

Anywho, I immediately set out to find a way to make our own coconut milk. I tried using canned coconut milk, but I wanted to get away from the canned aspect. Finally, I found a way to use shredded coconut and my beloved high-speed blender to make us a version of coconut milk we all love. It’s simple, of course, or I wouldn’t do it. It’s inexpensive, and by golly, it’s healthy too.

I’ll show you how we roll with our coconut milk today. Let’s get started!

Homemade Coconut Milk

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Ingredients

Equipment

Instructions

First, you’ll need to place the coconut in your blender. Add 4 cups filtered water.

Leave this setup for a few hours to let the coconut soften. I usually start this soaking during breakfast and come back after our morning school session to continue. Don’t leave it overnight though – I’ve done this, and it doesn’t get as milky as it would otherwise.

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Now that these shreds have softened for a few hours, all you have to do is blend. In my high-speed blender, I blend on high (remember to start slowly and work your way to the highest setting) for about one minute. Conventional blenders will need to blend for about three minutes.

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Now set up your large mixing bowl, your strainer, and your straining bag like I have here.

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Pour the blended coconut and water into the bag, into the strainer like so. It will take a few seconds to stop draining.

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Now you have to pick up the slack! With clean hands, squeeze that bag of coconut shreds until you can’t get much more out. (Don’t squeeze too roughly or you might tear the bag.)

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Now, empty the coconut back into the blender.

Add 4 more cups of water, and repeat the same blending, straining, and squeezing process all over again.

Congratulations! You now have your very own homemade coconut milk. Pour into a half-gallon pitcher and keep refrigerated. Use within a week for optimum freshness.

Notes

You will notice that after several hours in the fridge, the coconut and water will separate a little. No worries! Simply shake to redistribute.

Also, the coconut cream will rise to the top, and since it’s refrigerated, will form a hard thin layer. I simply remove it (gently) with a spoon and keep in in a bag in the freezer to add to smoothies. Or, you can just shake it more thoroughly before you pour, but don’t be surprised when the chunks pour out of your pitcher. 😉 They’re yummy, so that’s a plus.

Additions

If you like doctoring things up like I do, you can add any of the following:

How to make your own coconut milk from shredded coconut

Blenders make things so simple. Enjoy your healthy, fresh, frugal, homemade coconut milk. Hey – what are you going to do with your leftover coconut pulp? Make homemade coconut flour, of course!

Peace, love, and of course, homemade coconut milk,

Danielle

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How to make your own homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut!

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38 thoughts on “Homemade Coconut Milk from Shredded Coconut”

  1. Hi! We live in Panama whatever coconuts growing all over, we eat them often. I never tried making milk from it. But did today! I’m excited to use the “cream” as a butter substitute and the leftover fiber for flour. Thanks for posting this. I missed the step about letting it soak. Do you think that will effect fresh coconut? I’m excited to follow the directions next batch! Blenders are a gift of the food gods!

    Have a beautiful day!
    D

    Reply
    • Hi Dashaina! I actually don’t think it will affect it at all if you don’t soak – the soaking is to rehydrate dried coconut, but yours is fresh! Score! 😀 You have a great day! <3

      Reply
  2. Thanks for this information. I made my first batch of coconut milk this afternoon. I had a few sips … mmmm … and then used it to make a fresh (actually almost overripe) papya smoothie mix. Drying the pulp for flour now. Glad I could still access this post. Oh, I forgot to mention – I live in Panama so I used fresh shredded coconut that I got from a coconut yesterday so I didn't soak it more than an hour and a half..

    Reply
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  5. I have seen articles just like this. Here is a tip all the pulp from juicing or milking you can dehydrate and it does not take long since most of the liquid is out, once dry grind it in a grinder or put in a blender, till a powder, use in place of flour. I mix coconut, beets and celery to give me delicious home made yogurt naan.

    Reply
  6. HI Danielle,
    I normally do coconut milk slightly differently especially the start process, to soften the shredded coconut we pour boiled water over the shredded coconut and let it stand for 15-30 minutes then straight to blending etc. would this have any effect on the flour making.
    My second question is can the shredded coconut be turned into flour directly without extracting the milk but rather just drying the shredded coconut and once dry make the flour, I am sure it would be a tastier flour. Is this doable.

    Reply
    • Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. I’ve not tried boiling the coconut milk so I can’t say for sure if it has any effect. I do think browning shredded coconut would be quite tasty but I think it would work better after the milk (namely, the oil) has been extracted. Hope that helps.

      Reply

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