Homemade Coconut Milk

Making your own coconut milk is SO EASY. I had no idea. Dried coconut + water + blender. Boom. You’re a minute away from fragrant, creamy homemade coconut milk.

I try to avoid cans for the most part, because of the icky plastic stuff they use to line them (BPA) that leaches into the food inside. I can my own tomatoes every summer, and use mostly dried beans rather than canned (meal planning makes this possible!)

But coconut milk is one tinned cupboard staple that I reach for regularly. Now, I will never buy it again.

I’ve made it now with both shredded and ribboned coconut. I found the latter more flavourful (but it might have been because it was organic, and the shredded wasn’t).

I’ve read that desiccated (the super finely grated coconut) is too dry. Whichever you use, make sure it’s fresh – don’t try this with an opened bag you have kicking around your pantry from those 7-layer bars you made that time who knows when.

I discovered the absolute best flavour results by starting with boiling water poured over the coconut and letting it infuse for an hour. But it’s optional. It still tasted great with cold water and no soak.

If you plan to use the milk as a beverage, you may choose to strain it. However I did, just to see the difference, and I found it totally unnecessary for something like a curry or a soup. The pulp is fine enough that you would never notice it, and it boosts the fibre.

That said, I used my (brand new, yay!) Vitamix – a not-so-brawny blender would probably yield less smooth results. The decision to strain or not is yours!

After I took these pictures, I scraped the pulp right back into the milk and whisked it up.

Use it to make Coconut Curried Lentils,Creamy Greens & Coconut Linguine, Curried Coconut Turkey Chowder with Corn & Squash, Thai Coconut-Peanut Sweet Potato Soup or Coconut Curried Yam & Chickpea Soup!


  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut (shredded or in ribbons)
  • 2 cups boiling water


  1. Pour boiling water over coconut in blender container; let stand 1 hour for maximum flavour, or at least until cool. Blend at high speed for about a minute.

  2. (Optional) Position a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and gradually pour the coconut milk through; press on the solids with a spoon to force out every drop of milk.

Last Updated on March 15, 2014 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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