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Video: Make Your Own Coconut Milk using Organic Coconut Chips

Coconut milk is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Not only does it make a fresh-tasting addition to recipes, but it has incredible health benefits. Rich with energy-boosting fats and trace minerals, the unique composition of coconut milk makes it a very helpful and healing addition to many Western diets. Learn how to make your own coconut milk at home in just about 10 minutes using dehydrated organic coconut flakes. This is a great real food tip you won't want to miss!

health benefits of coconut

Contrary to what many people believe, coconut milk is not the clear, sugary liquid you hear sloshing around inside of the furry brown globes you see at the grocery store. That liquid is coconut water, which has its own slew of health benefits (the fresh kind that is- store bought is an entirely different story), but is altogether different in composition from coconut milk. Rich, creamy coconut milk is made by extracting the juice from the brilliant white meat of a fresh coconut. Depending on the amount of water used in the processing, coconut milk contains 17-24% fat, making it a fantastic source of energy-giving saturated fatty acids and medium chain triglycerides. Because coconut milk maintains many of the natural oils of the coconut meat, it possesses many of the incredible health benefits of coconut oil. It makes a pleasant, bright tasting addition to many recipes of sweet and savory design, making it a truly enjoyable and simple way to get more coconut oil into your diet. Coconut milk can also be used to nourish the skin and has been used in some cultures as a functional “wrinkle-remover” and primary soothing treatment for cuts, burns and sunburns. It is also wonderfully moisturizing for the hair and scalp and can be helpful in controlling dandruff, as well as conditioning the hair to be strong, silk and shiny.

Most people think of coconut milk as the stuff found jammed into a can in the grocery store. While store bought coconut milk is one of the few canned products deemed “acceptable” by many traditional food enthusiasts, you have to be careful when selecting a brand. It is important that the can be BPA-free, as this harmful agent has been linked to neurotoxicity and has also been shown to have estrogenic effect. You also want to make sure that the coconut milk you select is free of stabilizers and/or additives which can be gastric irritants, and that it has not been strained or watered-down to create a “lite” version that is sadly stripped of the beautiful fats that make coconut milk so healing. There are also some truly simple homemade alternatives that provide a trustworthy, additive-free, fresh-tasting coconut milk. While some people choose to make coconut milk from fresh young coconut, these can sometimes be difficult to hunt down in store and it also requires the daunting process of cracking the hard outer shell open. For some tips on how to do this with greater ease, see our post on making your own coconut milk ice cream.

Make Your Own Coconut Milk with Organic Coconut Flakes

Another way to make coconut milk is by using high quality, organic dehydrated shredded coconut and filtered or purified water. This recipe, inspired by Chris Kresser, takes only about 10 minutes to make and yields a rich, nutrient-dense coconut milk. All you need is 1.5-2 cups shredded coconut and 4 cups of hot filtered water. We had some fun capturing the process on film in our kitchen. Click on the video below to check it out!


Coconut Oil: Discover the Key to Vibrant Health by Siegfried Gursche, MH

The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife

Find this post and other real food tricks on Monday Mania and Natural Living Mondays. Don't forget to check it out on pinterest too!


I didn't hear a measurement for the amount of coconut chips to add to the 4 cups of water?
Posted @ Saturday, December 15, 2012 3:04 PM by Tana Howell
Hello Tana, 
You add 1.5-2 cups coconut chips to the 4 cups of hot filtered water. Thanks for your comment, I will be sure to add this into the text of the post!
Posted @ Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:00 AM by Kayla Grossmann
Thank you making it sound so easy. 
What about the left over coconut scraps, can they be used for anything? 
Posted @ Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:56 PM by Shelley
Hi Kayla, 
Thank you for the video. I made some coconut milk last night and it tastes so wonderful! My next goal: coconut milk kefir. 
Do you have any suggestions for what to do with the leftover fiber? Thank you. =)
Posted @ Thursday, December 20, 2012 7:37 AM by Maurice
In the spirit of using everything, the leftover coconut shreds can certainly be kept for a variety of purposes. Because they are high in beneficial natural fiber, they make a great addition to smoothies and baked goods. You can either freeze the leftovers for later use (I find it helpful to pack them into an ice cube tray) or dehydrate or toast them to preserve as well.
Posted @ Thursday, December 20, 2012 8:24 AM by Kayla Grossmann
What a great informative post. Looks totally yummy! 
Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!
Posted @ Sunday, December 23, 2012 6:51 PM by Angela @ mamarosemary.com
Can you use packaged dried unsweetened coconut shreds (like Bob's Red Mill) instead of coconut chips? Would the measurement of 1.5-2 cups still apply?
Posted @ Wednesday, June 05, 2013 3:30 PM by Sue
Hello Sue! 
Finely shredded coconut should work just fine. You can add more/less based on the consistency and flavor that you like best. I hope you enjoy!
Posted @ Wednesday, June 05, 2013 6:37 PM by Kayla Grossmann
Does homemade coconut milk freeze well? I'm thinking I'd like to make quite a bit at once (so there's one mess to clean up) & stick it in my freezer so I always have some on hand. Would there be any downside to freezing it? 
Thanks for the video!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 27, 2013 7:46 AM by Jill
I also would like to know your thoughts on the value of the left over coconut and uses AND if coconut milk could be frozen without troubles. Thanks!
Posted @ Wednesday, September 18, 2013 4:32 PM by Carol
Hi Carol! 
The leftover coconut shreds can be kept for a variety of purposes. Because they are high in beneficial natural fiber, they make a great addition to smoothies and baked goods. As I mentioned in an above comment, you can either freeze the leftover shreds into ice cube trays for later use or dehydrate or toast them to preserve as well.  
As for freezing the coconut milk itself- this is actually a little tricky. It freezes fine in glass containers and will preserve flavor, however sometimes upon thawing it will settle and become a bit grainy. This makes it useful for cooking purposes, however some find it unpleasant to drink on its own. When I have some leftover that will spoil before I get a chance to use it, I stick it in the freezer. I mean how could I waste that precious coconut milk? I just make sure that I have adequate time to let it thaw later and use it mixed in a stir fry or dense smoothie where the texture combines well.
Posted @ Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:20 PM by Kayla Grossmann
I looked on the net for things I could do with leftover coconut pulp–found this and have made several times–kids and adults love them. My comments are in brackets. 
“This recipe is the closest I’ve come to English coconut macaroons — truly delicious and so quick to make! Get your Dehydrator out…[or use parchment paper and cookie sheet on lowest oven temp--around 150 degrees] 
Adapted from the recipe Macaroon Chews in “Hooked On Raw” by Rhio (rawfoodinfo.com): 
2 cups coconut pulp — run fresh coconut through the Samson Juicer with mincing screen OR use pulp left over from making coconut milk from dried organic coconut 
10 large pitted dates [dried apricots work too] 
1-1/2 to 2 cups of filtered water [depends on dryness of coconut pulp 1-1/2 c. or less seems to work with slightly damp coconut pulp from making coconut milk] 
sprinkle of vanilla powder, or vanilla exctract 
Blend all ingredients in food processor, spoon onto teflex sheets as round cookies [OR parchment if using your oven], flatten to 1/4-inch thickness [I use small cookie scoop and flatten with a small square of parchment under a flat-bottomed glass] 
Posted @ Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:46 AM by Mari
Does it have to be dehydrated coconut or can it be just shredded coconut Thanks!
Posted @ Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:20 AM by Melanie
Hi Melanie! Any variety of dried coconut (shredded, chips, flakes) will work just fine. Unsweetened is always best if you can find it.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:40 PM by Kayla Grossmann
Thank you for the post, coconut is great! Can you tell me if the nutrient value of the coconut chips, which have been dehydrated at low temps, are decreased due to the processing with hot water? Unless you get the newly made milk refrigerated to stop the heating process??? Thanks!
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 6:01 PM by Susie Tarman
Can you use fresh coconut to make coconut milk? Also with green coconuts you get the "jelly" the soft part of coconut before it gets hardened on the inside of the shell…what are uses for it? I live part time in the Caribbean and have local source of plentiful coconuts.  
Posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:52 AM by karyn
Hi Susie,  
I appreciate your kind words! Coconut is just amazing isn't it? You are correct in your assumptions that the hot water will diminish some of the enzyme content of the coconut, making it no longer technically "raw". However the damages caused by adding hot water in the kitchen are quite minimal to the major nutrients- especially when compared to those created by toasting coconut under dry heat in the industrial setting. Starting with a good quality coconut chip will give you a strong base of fatty acids, minerals and vitamins to work with. 
If you are still concerned about nutrient loss and have a powerful blender, you can also try this recipe using room temperature water. The intent of the warm water is really just to help soften the coconut and make it easier to blend finely. Many people with a Vitamix, or comparable machine have no problem mixing up coconut milk at room temp. I hope that helps!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:16 PM by Kayla Grossmann
Hi Karyn! 
How lucky that you have access to fresh coconut! You can certainly make coconut milk from them- it will be raw and totally delicious.  
Simply scoop out the white flesh (and all that softer jelly-like part) and place in a blender. Add just enough water (or the coconut water if you kept it) to cover the coconut meat. Blend for about a minute or so.  
The one downside to this method is that you may need several coconuts to make a substantial amount of milk. However, that soft coconut meat also tastes great added to smoothies even without making it into milk first. Enjoy!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:35 PM by Kayla Grossmann
so shredded coconut will work just as well as coconut chips?
Posted @ Saturday, September 20, 2014 1:02 PM by zosia
Hi Zosia, 
Yes- shredded coconut also works very well for making coconut milk. Hope you find the recipe tasty and useful!
Posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 2:04 PM by Kayla Grossmann
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