Whether you follow a Paleo diet or a vegan lifestyle, coconut milk is one of the best substitutes for animal milk. You can drink it raw or incorporate it into a variety of exotic recipes. What’s not to love?
Fresh coconut milk is similar to cow’s milk in consistency and taste. Properly prepared coconut milk has little or no coconut smell. You can substitute it for animal milk in tea or coffee. You can also use it for baking and cooking.Mixed with fruit, it can serve as a yogurt substitute.
If you are a regular consumer, you most likely buy canned coconut milk from your nearest grocery store. You probably find the price well worth this heavenly and healthy drink. But, like most canned foods, canned coconut milk has recently come under scrutiny for being sold in cans lined with BPA.
Homemade coconut milk is BPA-free, preservative-free and much cheaper than those pricy commercial versions. And making coconut milk at home is easier than you might think.
You can make your own fresh coconut milk using either a fresh mature coconut or a dried one. Alternatively, shredded coconut is an option if you can’t get your hands on a whole one.
Here are two methods for making coconut milk at home, depending upon your preference or the ingredients available to you.
- Method 1: From Fresh Coconut
- Step 1. Put diced coconut in a blender
- Step 2. Pour in water
- Step 3. Blend the contents until smooth
- Step 4. Arrange jar, strainer and cheese cloth
- Step 5. Spoon the blended coconut over the cheese cloth
- Step 6. Press the juice out with a spoon
- Step 7. Bundle up the cheese cloth and squeeze out the liquid
- Step 8. Transfer the milk to a glass or store accordingly
- Method 2: From Dried Coconut
- Step 1. Grate the dry coconut
- Step 2. Put grated coconut into a blender
- Step 3. Add hot water
- Step 4. Blend on high until smooth
- Step 5. Arrange glass, strainer and cheese cloth
- Step 6. Spoon the blended coconut into the cheese cloth
- Step 7. Pour milk over it
- Step 8. Bundle up the cheese cloth and squeeze out the liquid
- Additional Tips
Method 1: From Fresh Coconut
Things you’ll need:
- Fresh coconut meat, diced – 1 cup
- Cheese cloth
- Glass jar
- Measuring cup
Step 1. Put diced coconut in a blender
Put 1 cup of diced fresh coconut meat in a blender. Be sure to pick a nice and fresh mature coconut from the store.
Step 2. Pour in water
Pour 1 cup of water into the blender. Filtered water is fine.
Step 3. Blend the contents until smooth
Blend on high until the contents form a smooth-textured mixture.
Step 4. Arrange jar, strainer and cheese cloth
Place a small strainer over a glass jar. Line the strainer with a cheese cloth.
Step 5. Spoon the blended coconut over the cheese cloth
Slowly spoon the blended coconut over the cheese cloth. Don’t pour it all at once or the mixture may overflow and make a mess that you'll need to clean up.
Step 6. Press the juice out with a spoon
Keep pressing the mixture against the cheese cloth with the spoon. This way you can strain the maximum amount of mixture at a time.
Step 7. Bundle up the cheese cloth and squeeze out the liquid
When you’ve transferred the entire mixture from the blender to the cheese cloth, bundle up the cloth. Tightly squeeze the top of the bundle with your hand to extract all the milk.
Step 8. Transfer the milk to a glass or store accordingly
Your coconut milk is ready. Transfer it to a glass if you want to drink it right away. You can also store it in an airtight jar in a refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Method 2: From Dried Coconut
Things you’ll need:
- Dry coconut – 1
- Hot water
- Whole milk – 1 cup
- Cheese cloth
- Measuring cup
Step 1. Grate the dry coconut
Grate your dry coconut. Be sure to use a grater with fine grating slots. The finer the shreds of coconut you use, the richer milk it will yield.
Step 2. Put grated coconut into a blender
Put 1 cup of grated coconut into a blender.
Step 3. Add hot water
Add 1 cup of hot water to the blender. The water shouldn't be too hot or boiling since you’re using it in the blender.
Step 4. Blend on high until smooth
Blend the contents on high until you get a smooth mixture.
Step 5. Arrange glass, strainer and cheese cloth
Place a strainer over a glass and line the strainer with the cheese cloth.
Step 6. Spoon the blended coconut into the cheese cloth
Put spoonfuls of the blended coconut into the cheese cloth, allowing the liquid to strain as you go. Move and lift the pulp with the spoon if it’s blocking the cheese cloth and hindering the flow of the liquid.
Step 7. Pour milk over it
Pour 1 cup of whole milk over the pulp. You can use skim milk if you prefer. Those following a vegan lifestyle or avoiding dairy products can use any plant-based milk.
Step 8. Bundle up the cheese cloth and squeeze out the liquid
Bundle up the cheese cloth and squeeze out all the liquid over the strainer. You can drink your coconut milk right away or store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Enjoy your coconut milk. You can also use the leftover pulp in various recipes or dry it to make coconut flour.
- If the cheese cloth is getting blocked with solid particles that are hindering the flow of the liquid, lift or move the coconut pulp around with the spoon to allow it to keep straining.
- Be sure to properly clean the cheese cloth before and after each use.
- The quantity of coconut milk yielded depends upon the moisture content of your coconut and how efficiently you extract the milk from the pulp. A fresh coconut will yield more milk than a dried coconut.
- You can also freeze the coconut milk for up to 3 months.
- When stored in the fridge, the fat of the coconut milk deposits in a layer over the surface. Shake well or blend before consuming.