Homemade Coconut Milk

11:00 PM
A step by step guide to making coconut milk using a fresh coconut.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Coconut is such a staple in Caribbean cooking. Found in abundance, this one item can be made and used in so many different foods from sweet to savory. We are able to get so many uses from a coconut, with coconut milk being one of the most common produce, along with coconut oil.

Coconut milk has so many amazing benefits and it's quite easy to make.

I grew up seeing my mom make coconut milk from dry coconut whenever she needed it to cook. We had a coconut tree, so coconuts fell all the time. It was just about going out to the tree and grabbing a dry coconut and cutting it up to work on it.

The milk would be used in stew chicken or an stewed meat, or in fish in some coconut curry sauce.

But that isn't all the coconut is good for. We also use coconut milk and make coconut oil, and the husk (grated coconut) can be used to make coconut tart, coconut drops, used in sweet bread and coconut bake.

Why is the coconut so prevalent? Coconut in general has many benefits. It provides vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and has minerals ranging from iron and sodium to magnesium and phosphorous.

Dry coconut husk

This milk which is not really a milk per se, is really the meat of an adult coconut blended up and the liquid produced becomes the milk.

When choosing the best dry coconut (which is really an adult coconut versus the ones we use to get coconut water) I suggest doing a little shake of the coconut to hear if there is water in there. We want it to have water. As a coconut matures, it loses its water for meat. So though we want more meat then water, we don't want all meat. Most times if there is all meat the coconut is rotten.

Had enough of the coconut lesson?

Here's the step by step process of taking a dry coconut into coconut milk.

Use a hammer, of if you have heavy chopper.

Fresh coconut

I like to give the coconut a few taps before I give it the heavier hits. It helps to loosen the meat from the shell

Cracked fresh coconut

If there is still meat attached to shell, use a not too pointy rounded knife and separate the meat. Be careful with your fingers.

Removing coconut meat from shell

Then cut the meat up into small pieces. Small enough to blend in whatever you are going to use. (blender, food processor)

Coconut meat

Add meat to blender, and put in enough water to about same level of the coconut

Coconut meat in blender with water to blend

Blend on high until coconut is finely chopped, and pour into either a plain strainer or cheese cloth lined strainer

Coconut husk straining for milk

Let all the liquid strain out. Then either start squeezing the coconut husk in batches and putting to the side until all is done or use the cheese cloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid

Squeezing milk out of husk

Once you think you have removed all the liquid possible, strain milk into a bottle

Straining coconut milk into bottle

Now don't get me wrong. I am an avid user of coconut milk in the tin. It's convenient and surely less work, but after making your own coconut milk you would definitely taste the difference of this fresh version.

Tin milks obviously have preservatives for shelf life, some more than others which is a strike against it. Natural coconut milk does not last half as long as one from the tin.

Homemade Coconut Milk

This would easily replace wherever you use coconut milk. In your stews, in your curries. In your coffee?

See how easy it is? Really doesn't take that much work, especially if you have a good blender.

Get some fresh coconut milk into your life!! You won't regret it.

And remember I said we use all of the coconut!!

Yield: Approx 2 cups

Homemade Coconut Milk

An easy step by step guide for making coconut milk from a fresh dry coconut just like we do it in the Caribbean.


  • 2 dry coconuts
  • Water


  1. Crack coconut open with the hammer or Chinese chopper. (The smaller the pieces the better)
  2. Using knife, remove any shells that may still be attached to the "meat" of the coconut.
  3. Once all the shell is removed, wash coconut to get rid of any remnants shell or debris that may be hanging around
  4. Cut the meat into small enough pieces to work well in the blender. Doesn't have to be extremely small but not too big.
  5. Add enough water to fall just below the level of the coconut meat. (this is to ensure the water isn't too watery).
  6. Blend on high until coconut is minced to grains
  7. Stop and blend again
  8. In a large bowl place strainer and if using cheese cloth, place cloth in strainer
  9. Pour coconut mixture into strainer and work as much liquid out of the coconut as possible.
  10. Once that is done you can now use your hands to continue squeezing liquid of the coconut in batches, placing the squeeze coconut husk to the side.
  11. Continue squeezing until all the husk is moved to another bowl.
  12. If using cheese cloth, just squeeze husk in cloth until all liquid is removed.
  13. Strain milk one more time into an air tight bottle
  14. Store in fridge if not using right away
Created using The Recipes Generator

Want to see what other condiments I make for myself?

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How to make coconut Milk at home

Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.