How to Make Coconut Milk {quick & easy}

Young coconut split open

{Updated on July 26, 2014}

Here’s a quick, easy way to make coconut milk, plus a few sources of commercial coconut milk that don’t have gums or other additives.

There are a few commercial sources of coconut milk on the market that don’t have any additives. That said, the safest bet, if you’re sensitive to additives, is to make your own coconut milk using unsweetened shredded coconut (no additives) and water.

Here’s a list of commercial brands that do not have additives as of 7/26/2014. This can change from time to time, so read the ingredients label carefully.

You can make coconut milk using a fresh young coconut, but it’s more work on your part. That said, crack open the coconut, saving the liquid coconut water and scrape or peel the coconut flesh that is soft. Combine the coconut water and flesh in a high-speed blender and pulse until creamy. You may need to add additional water to the coconut flesh. Finally,  separate the milk from the pulp as in the instructions below.

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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 {quick & easy}

    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.
      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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