Homemade Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk is an amazing dairy-free milk, and perfect for those on a diary-free diet. I love making Coconut Milk from scratch. It’s super simple and delicious. All you need to make it is dried shredded coconut and water.

You can add sweetener to this Coconut Milk recipe if you like. I use stevia to keep this recipe low-carb and keto. If you’re not restricting carbs, feel free to use maple syrup or honey in place of the stevia. I also use vanilla in this incredible dairy-free milk, which gives it a wonderful flavor.

Homemade Coconut Milk

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Servings 4 cups



  • Soak coconut in water for 1-2 hours (do not discard water)
  • In a vitamix, combine coconut and water, along with vanilla and stevia
  • Process on high speed for 60 seconds
  • Strain liquid through a nut milk bag, discarding solids
  • Serve
Prep Time 5 mins
Soak Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 min
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

I first came upon the idea of making homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut when I was flipping through Sarma Melngailis’ book.

Coconut Milk is easier to make than some of my other homemade dairy-free milk recipes. With this Coconut Milk recipe there is no need to change out the soaking water. You simply blend it into the dried coconut. This is different than my Almond Milk recipe. Almonds contain phytic acid. Soaking the almonds releases their phytic acid into the water. I rinse the almonds thoroughly and discard their soaking water to get rid of the phytic acid because it’s an enzyme inhibitor that can interfere with digestion. That’s why some folks soak all of their nuts and nut products (I do not find it necessary to do so for myself and my family).

With this coconut milk, there is no need to discard the soaking water because, as far as I’ve been taught, coconut does not contain enzyme inhibitors. This recipe only takes a few minutes to make. It’s much easier than cracking open a fresh coconut and scooping out the coconut to make milk. Making fresh coconut milk also helps avoid canned products.

Here are some of my other incredible dairy-free milk recipes:


73 responses to “Homemade Coconut Milk”

  1. Question: Isn’t all coconut milk gluten free? Also, regarding the BPA’s: Are they used in canned foods? Tin cans? I thought it was just plastics. I had breast cancer three years ago & have to avoid all of these hormone mimickers, but I do buy some canned foods. I couldn’t find the specifics online. Just curious. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Too Timely!

    I woke up this morning with the desire to find out how to make coconut milk. Much to my delight I see you have posted a method for doing so!!!! Thank you….and thanks too for putting together a collection of your Paleo recipes. Can’t wait for it to be published.

  3. I tried to make my own coconut milk with shredded coconut before and I wasn’t so good at it. (I don’t remember soaking the coconut in water for a couple hours as Elana says, so I think I’ll try it again.) What I learned to do instead is to use coconut butter/manna and extra liquid in my cooked dishes that require coconut milk. To make ice cream I mix the coconut butter with water then put through a nut bag and it gets rid of the grittiness.

    At this point the only thing I need canned coconut milk for is to make whipped coconut cream or coconut custard. I will buy Native Forest coconut milk. However, I called them to find out what they use instead of BPA. It was a long chemical name. When I googled it all the results kept talking about BPA, so I’m not really sure they’re much of a safe option.

    I keep going onto the Thai Kitchen Facebook page and asking them to sell their coconut milk in glass. Perhaps others could make the same request. I also send emails to Trader Joe’s asking them the same thing (though they have more stuff in their coconut milk.)

    Does anyone know of a way to make coconut cream that you can actually whip? THAT would be a GREAT recipe. I tried doing it by adding guar gum and such to coconut milk I made out of coconut butter but it didn’t work out.

  4. What a BRILLIANT recipe!!!! So simple and cheap to make and I love the fact that it is preservative and additive free. Well done Elena!

  5. Love it- I’m going to try it today although I don’t want to waste the coconut- can I store it to reuse in another recipe? should I re-dry it or stick it in the fridge? I’ll search your sight for options on what to use it on

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe! It tastes so much better than the canned or the carton stuff, and I don’t have to worry about BPA or those weird extra ingredients.

    I don’t have the tools you use so I used a regular blender and cheesecloth, and it came out well.

    Hope you don’t mind but I posted about my experiences with this recipe here;
    Do let me know if posting the adapted recipe like that is ok, or if you want me to only have your link to this post up.

  7. In Indonesia (where we use a lot of coconut milk in our cooking), we make coconut milk by simply adding water to grated coconut, just enough to cover the coconut, and squeezing the coconut to help it release its essence for a few minutes, then letting it sit for 5-10 minutes if it’s freshly grated (or 15-20 if it’s dried). After that, we take a small handful of the soaked coconut and squeeze it as hard as we can over a sieve and into a bowl. This will release more of its essence than the method above (or so my mother tells me :) ). This is the way every household does it and it works perfectly! :)

    • I give a spoonful to the dog – he loves it. And I dry the rest (it takes awhile), then put in my Vitamix for 20-30 seconds. I use this in any recipe that calls for coconut flour, and it seems to work well.

      • Also good for chickens – supposed to make them lay better. Whether it does or not, they love it as a “treat.”

  8. I have attempted making coconut milk several times now with dried coconut, most recently following your recipe. The final product tastes fresh and good but instead of a nice layer of coconut cream as you get in full fat coconut milk in the can, I get a layer of what seems more like coconut oil on the top. So once it’s been refrigerated and is cold, this hard layer will not mix back in. And then when heated, leaves an oily film on top. Any tips or suggestions? Or is this normal with the homemade milk? How do you get that yummy cream layer that is perfect for whipped coconut cream? Thanks!

    • I have this problem too and I’ve been asking around trying to see if anyone knows how to avoid this, or what to do with it, to no avail. I’ve seen recipes call for the cream at the top of the can in order to make dairy-free whipped cream. Well I always make my own coconut milk and get that thick, hard layer at the top and I don’t think it will mix up like other coconut cream. I’d love to hear what other people do with it, how to incorporate it better, etc. I don’t want to waste it but at the same time it’s hard to even get to the coconut milk through that tough layer. Thanks!

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Recipes » Drinks » Homemade Coconut Milk