Coconut Milk

Instead of buying canned coconut milk, make your own. It’s fast and easy, plus you know exactly what’s in it.
Yield about 3 cups
Time 20 minutes
  • blender, preferably high-speed
  • strainer or cheesecloth
  • bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • 1½ c dried, unsweetened coconut*
  • 3 c hot water
Directions Combine coconut and water and blend for 20-30 seconds. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Place strainer over bowl and pour the coconut milk into it. Press the coconut to force all of the liquid out.

If you’re not using it right away, transfer this thick coconut milk into a glass container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. It will naturally separate; just shake or stir before using. Or you can use a spoon to remove the top layer, which is coconut cream, leaving the thinner coconut milk for other uses.

For the remaining coconut pulp, you have two options:

  1. Put it back in the blender with another cup of water to make a thin coconut milk.
  2. Dry it out and then add to granola or grind into coconut flour.

Depending on what you’re using the coconut milk for, there’s a third option. For creamy desserts and sauces, of course, you just want the liquid itself. But when I make things like coconut rice, I blend but don’t strain – I just pour the whole mixture straight into my recipe.

* I use thin, dried slices of coconut, but grated coconut works just as well.

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Homemade coconut milk