Learn how to make homemade coconut milk. This simple homemade coconut milk recipe uses only two ingredients – coconut and water. There are two ways to make coconut milk, coconut or coconut flakes, but a coconut makes the milk creamier and more flavor than the flakes!
Coconut is one of the best foods to include in our diet. It is a fruit rich in good fats and low in carbohydrates, which comes with health benefits, such as giving energy, improving intestinal transit, and strengthening the immune system.
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HOW TO CHOOSE A COCONUT
- Pick it up and shake it out – it should feel heavy for its size and have lots of water inside.
- Examine the ‘eyes’ – these are the three holes in the shell. Make sure the eyes aren’t moldy or wet. If they are, this signals leakage in the coconut and might have gone rancid.
- Examine the shell for cracks or leaks – if there are cracks or leaks, the coconut meat and the water inside have likely gone bad too.
HOW TO OPEN A COCONUT
I know two methods to open the coconut, but there are probably many more, and if you know other methods, please leave a comment.
Whichever method you use, you will first have to drain the coconut water:
Find the soft eye of the coconut. The soft eye will let you poke through to the meat. Point the tip of the knife into an eye and make a hole. Drain the coconut water by pouring the coconut water into a glass. Make sure the liquid inside hasn’t gone bad. It should smell sweet and not sour. The color should be slightly translucent but mostly clear.
Take the dry coconut fruit and hit it gently with a hammer across the “equator” of the coconut shell. Rotate the coconut as you tap, ensuring you hit each part of the coconut’s equator. Keep going in this manner until you hear a cracking sound. Once it starts cracking, use less and less force to keep it in two large pieces until it breaks in half.
Place the coconut on a baking tray and put it in the oven at 200ºC for about 25 minutes. Thus, the coconut shell should crack, and the pulp should be slightly loose. Use a kitchen hammer to give light taps to finish braking.
Once broken into pieces, place a butter knife or spoon between the coconut flesh and the outer shell. Carefully rock it back and forth until the flesh separates from the tough outer shell. The flesh should pop out and have a thin, brown skin over it.
Step optional: Peel off the thin skin.
Remove the thin, brown skin from the coconut flesh using a peeler. I only recommend this if you plan on making coconut flour from the leftover pulp (if you dry the coconut pulp, you will end up with coconut flour). The brown skin on the coconut flesh does not affect the taste of the milk, as we will be straining it.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK
- Cut the coconut flesh into smaller pieces and place in a high-speed blender.
- Add the boiling water, and let the coconut rest in the hot water to release the oil. When water becomes lukewarm, blend on high speed for 1 to 3 minutes until smooth ( I highly recommend using a high-speed blender as it extracts more flavor from the coconut meat).
- Pour the coconut milk into a sieve, cheesecloth, or strainer bag for nut milk, and squeeze it well. Squeeze out all that creamy homemade coconut milk!
- Use hot coconut milk with your coffee, or refrigerate it for later use. Therefore, when homemade coconut milk cools down, it is common to separate it into two parts, the fat part goes up, and the water part goes down. So before use, stir it with a spoon, and the milk will get homogeneous again.
You’ll end up with rich, creamy, super-tasty homemade coconut milk. I didn’t want to put too much water in this dairy-free milk recipe because I like it richer and creamier, but it’s easy to dilute the coconut milk with more water.
I think this is the perfect consistency for homemade coconut milk, but If you like your milk thinner, feel free to add another cup of water, and if you want thicker milk, add less water.
The flavor is slightly sweet as coconut is naturally sweet, and there is a fresh, intense coconut flavor that you won’t get from store-bought coconut milk.
HOMEMADE COCONUT CREAM
You will notice that after several hours of refrigeration, coconut cream can separate from the rest of the milk. This is especially true if you use dry coconut fruit instead of store-bought coconut flakes.
This homemade coconut cream is probably the best part of this dairy-free milk. It is so delicious and melts in your mouth. In addition, it has a wonderfully creamy, smooth, and silky consistency and is slightly sweet. It’s a huge bonus, if you use dry coconut fruit as you get a lot of the coconut cream.
WHAT TO DO WITH HOMEMADE COCONUT MILK
Homemade coconut milk is one of my favorite drinks. I love to use it in cappuccino! In addition, it can be used to make sweet and savory dishes.
I love adding this non-dairy milk to fruit drinks like smoothies, ice cream, puddings, pancakes, or curries. It is super creamy with a touch of natural sweetness, and its flavor goes well with almost anything!
Homemade Coconut Milk
- Butter Knife
- 1 whole dry coconut, or 2 cups dry coconut flakes
- 2 cups 2 cups hot filtered water
- Drain the coconut water. Find the three "eyes" of the coconut and poke a hole in a "soft eye" with a sharp knife. Pour coconut water into a glass and reserve for later use.
- Hit the coconut gently with a hammer across the “equator” of the coconut shell. Rotate the coconut as you tap, ensuring you hit each part of the coconut's equator. Keep going in this manner until you hear a cracking sound. Once it starts cracking, use less and less force to keep it in two large pieces until it breaks in half.
- Once broken into pieces, place a butter knife or spoon between the coconut flesh and the outer shell. Carefully rock it back and forth until the flesh separates from the tough outer shell. The flesh should pop out and have a thin, brown skin over it.
- Optional: Remove the thin, brown outer skin of the coconut flesh with a peeler. (I recommend doing this if you plan on using leftover coconut flesh to make Coconut Flour)
- Cut the coconut into smaller pieces (my coconut yielded about 3 cups of pieces).
- Add the coconut flesh chunks to a high-speed blender OR use the dry coconut flakes.
- Add the boiling water, let the coconut rest in the hot water to release the oil. When water is lukewarm, blend on high-speed for 1 to 3 minutes until creamy and smooth. (For a rich, creamy coconut milk, add just enough water to cover the coconut meat, I added 2 cups of hot water to 3 cups of coconut flesh).
- Pour the coconut milk into a sieve, cheesecloth, or strainer bag for nut milk, and squeeze it well. Squeeze the coconut milk until only the coconut pulp is left. This is coconut fiber, which when dried will make coconut flour.
- Keep the coconut milk refrigerated. When coconut milk cools down (If you used the coconut fruit to make the milk) it is common to separate into water and coconut cream in the fridge. Stir well before serving, and the milk will get homogeneous again. You can also scoop out the coconut cream for later use, but if you remove the cream it will change the texture and flavor of the milk.