How to Make Coconut Milk

Young coconut split open
I quickly put together this post of some sources for coconut milk. If you know of others, feel free to add them in the comments. You can never have too many food sources.

Go to the source

A young coconut (pictured above) can be found in a lot of grocery stores, and will yield about 12 ounces or so of coconut milk. I’ve had good results doing this using a Vita-Mix. If you’re going to use a blender or food processor, keep it going for quite a while.

Open the coconut, pour and save the coconut water in a glass or container. Warning: the coconut water may leak out or spurt out, so be prepared with a glass or deep bowl nearby, before you start cutting the coconut open.

Scoop out the soft, white interior of the coconut and combine it with the coconut water in a Vita-Mix or other food processor. Blend until it is smooth and creamy.

Tip Coconut water is quite sweet, and can be used to sweeten smoothies, ice cream, and ice pops, instead of honey, agave, or sugar.

Make it from shredded coconut

Combine 1 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened) and two cups of water, and let them soak for about an hour or so. Add the soaked mixture to a Vita-Mix or food processor, and pulse away, until it’s creamy. If you can’t get all the food particles broken down (which may be the case when you use a blender), you can strain the milk.

Tip To get naturally sweetened coconut milk, combine 1 cup of shredded coconut and  2 cups of coconut water, soak, and then process.There are several brands of coconut water, and most are purely the water.

Make it from coconut cream

Tropical Traditions has interesting info in this FAQ about coconut milk, additives, and how to make milk from cream.

Commercial Sources

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    Posted in Dairy-Free, Drinks, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, Sauces & Dressings, SCD, Tips, Vegetarian, Wheat-Free  |  19 Comments

    19 Responses to How to Make Coconut Milk

    1. Rebeca says:

      Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk doesn’t have anything but coconut and water. I like the full fat stuff better, but in a pinch it’s good to know.

    2. Erica says:

      Thanks Rebeca. I forgot about TJ’s light coconut milk. FYI – it’s really hard to tell what’s in processed stuff, particularly coconut milk because the manufacturer can add under 2% of an ingredient without having to declare it in the ingredients list.

    3. Erica says:

      This is a post from Holly:
      Manufacturers do have to declare all ingredients, even those under 2%. I found the following statement at http://www.kashrut.com/articles/LabelingLaw/: “The two per cent rule plays a role in the following: all ingredients must be labeled in order of predominance, by … See Moreweight. The heaviest is first, and so on. All ingredients that are less than two percent of the weight of the product are freed from being placed in a specific order – that is, order of predominance by weight. As long as the ingredients label writes: “the following ingredients are present at less than 2%” or “1.5%” or so on, the ingredients can be in any order that the manufacturer chooses.”

    4. Erica says:

      I can’t seem to find the 2% rule on the FDA website (not sure where I originally read this) but it’s not clear that trace additives are required to be listed on labels unless one of them is an allergen. Here’s the link to the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/FoodLabelingNutrition/FoodLabelingGuide/ucm064880.htm#declare
      The best thing to do is contact the manufacturer and ask them what’s in their product. I pinged Trader Joe’s, so we’ll see if I hear back from them.

    5. Erica says:

      Great news about Trader Joe’s coconut milk – Nothing in there but coconut and water. They confirmed it for me. They also said that they always list their ingredients, even if they’re present in trace amounts. Good to know.

    6. Holly says:

      The Natural Value Coconut Milk now contains guar gum. There are a lot of unhappy people at amazon because they ordered it thinking it was pure coconut milk: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Value-Coconut-14-Ounce-Containers/dp/B000LKVIEG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1278829011&sr=1-2

    7. Erica says:

      Wow. What a bummer. Thanks Holly. There is debate about whether guar gum is ok or not. I don’t have trouble with it, but I know others do.

    8. Thanks for the info on cocounut. Any favorite recipe for coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate? Vernon

    9. Susan says:

      Native Forest has guar gum as well…

    10. Erica says:

      Thanks Susan. Looks like Trader Joe’s may be the only one left that doesn’t use guar gum.

    11. Susan says:

      They are certainly filling a big void.
      I talked to the customer service person at Native Forest about SCD and including it in their Special Diet profiles and being aware that guar gum is illegal for many people seeking coconut milk.
      Who knows if it will do any good. I think Iĺl call the other companies too and try to raise their awareness.

    12. Danielle says:

      Thank you for posting this! I know this article is somewhat old, but I have been on SCD for several months now and ready to start exploring some “milk” options – I just didn’t know where to start. This is really helpful! I’ve heard good things about the TJ coconut milk before and will definitely check them out. Do you know if the Thai Kitchen is still ok?

    13. Jeni says:

      Thank you for the info. Just recently started shopping at TJ’s happy to know I’ll be able to get the coconut milk from them.
      Thanks a bunch :)

    14. Cynthia Stark, soon-to-be CNP (certified nutrition practitioner) - holistic nutrition therapist says:

      Toddler milk
      Put a few holes in the 3 “eyes” of a young green coconut, and pour the liquid in a blender, crack it open to scoop out the soft gel-like flesh. Make sure that the coconut meat is bright white meat and the coconut water is clear. Discard if pink, purple, or brown. (Or you can buy the coconut flesh and coconut water at places like Organic Lives, see http://organiclives.ca/organic-food/cacao-and-coconut). Blend the liquid and gel to a smooth consistency. Add an infant probiotic with acidophilus infantis, micro distilled fish oil (Nordic Naturals is good), sea buckthorn oil for vaccenic acid (found in mother’s milk) borage oil for GLA and pure water if needed. (If you omit the water and leave it on the counter covered overnight it becomes a delicious yogurt, then add supplements. Before serving you can add a little powdered green stevia leaves, dates, or honey (if older than 1 year) to sweeten, and blend in fresh fruit for flavour if desired.
      Adapted from http://comfybelly.com/2010/06/coconut-milk/

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