food and family in salt lake city

Coconut can add a burst of flavor, and is a great addition to all types of food, from smoothies, to cookies, to muffins, to curry. It’s yummy!

Fact: Coconut Milk is not actually the liquid you get from a freshly cracked coconut. I know, I was slightly disappointed too. I really wanted to break into a fresh coconut and get the yummiest of milk mustaches (I have ‘staches on the brain).

Anyway, what’s actually inside is just coconut water. Now I say “just” coconut water because it looks just like tap water, with a few coconut floaties that is. It smells and tastes of fresh coconut, however it’s missing the creamy texture and the concentrated flavor burst of delicious Coconut Milk.

Making Coconut Milk is actually pretty easy once you’ve broken into the coconut. That’s the hard part in my opinion. For the milk, you combine the coconut meat and the water and puree it, run it through a sieve or cheesecloth and you’re done.

What you’ll need: coconut, large sturdy knife or meat cleaver, blender or food processor, fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth, bowls, screw, measuring cup

After researching a lot of websites on how to milk a coconut, here’s how I ended up doing it:


1) First, find the 3 indents on the coconut where your fingers would go if it were a bowling ball. Press a clean screw into one of the holes and screw it in till it breaks all the way through the skin of the coconut. Do this again in the other holes. Pour or shake the coconut water into a bowl and set aside.


2) On a cutting board, lay the coconut so it lays flat. Gently begin tapping it with the backside of the a meat cleaver or heavy knife, making an indent into the skin. Continue doing this until you’ve completed a circle around the entire coconut, as if you are making perforation marks. Once you’ve got a visible circle, start tapping more firmly until you can get a crack in it and can really open it with a few good hard whacks. (This is when my kids flocked around to see what their mom was beating to death on the counter.) Warning, things might go flying at this point, be careful!


3) Now that the coconut is open, cut out the coconut meat by using a small sharp knife, and sliding it between the brown skin and the white meat of the coconut. Turn the knife outward, kind of like you are flicking the pieces of coconut out and off the brown skin. Once the meat is removed, you can slice off any bits of brown that are left on it.


4) Roughly chop the coconut meat into small chunks.


5) Pour the coconut water into a liquid measuring cup, and measure about 2 cups, adding any regular water if necessary. I added a little over a 1/2 cup of tap water to mine.

6) In a blender, puree the coconut meat and coconut water until smooth (about 2-3 minutes).

7) Prepare a bowl and a fine mesh sieve to separate the coconut milk and puree.


8) Slowly pour the pureed coconut and water mixture into the sieve that has been placed over the bowl. Leave to drain for a few minutes, while occasionally stirring gently and pressing with the back of a spoon to help the milk drain. In the bowl, you will have coconut milk and in the sieve, you will have coconut puree.

9) You can either use it immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Also, I wanted more milk, so I decided to use my coconut puree twice.  I put it back in the blender with about 1 cup of regular water and did it all again. It wasn’t as strong as the first time, but still flavorful.

I used the fresh coconut milk in Thai Coconut Chicken Curry, the coconut puree in Almond Joy Muffins, and a few leftover pieces of chopped and shredded coconut in Blueberry Lime Coconut Muffins (recipes coming soon!). We enjoyed a wonderful week of coconut deliciousness, and hope you do too. What will you use your fresh coconut for?

Note: If you’re short on time, you can skip the muscle work of prying into a coconut, and just use shredded coconut. Use about 2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) and 2 1/2 cups warm water, and follow the same steps as above.


Comments on: "How to Make Fresh Coconut Milk" (11)

  1. I ended up whacking my coconut on the sidewalk, worked pretty good! I would love the recipe for Almond Joy muffins!

  2. Also, I shredded and toasted it but it is still sitting in the fridge, do you think I could still make the milk? Maybe a dumb question…

  3. Thanks, I will try it!

  4. Coconuts are a lot of work to open, but those almond joy muffins sound like they could be worth the effort.

  5. also instead of the sieve you may use cheesecloth or a fine mesh net, then wring 😀

  6. I totally want to try to open a coconut now. Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. Fresh home made coconut milk is soo much better than the stuff from a can and it is super easy too!

    Unless of course you don’t have a food processor/blender. >.<

    The best way to handle making coconut milk if you don't have either appliance is to grate the coconut meat using a cheese grater. Then you need to squeeze the daylights out of the coconut meat until you get your coconut milk. I would say it is probably worth the money to just buy a blender or a food processor!

    If you are interested in more recipes centered around coconut milk and all other coconut parts, please visit my site that is dedicated to using the coconut in all its glory, .

    Happy coconutting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s