Homemade Coconut Milk
By: 
Dish Type: Drinks
Cuisine: Vegan
Ingredient prep: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: generous 2 C
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ C dried unsweetened flaked coconut (see notes)
  • 3 C water (preferably filtered)
Equipment
Make It
  1. Place coconut in blender. In a small saucepan or a tea kettle, heat water over high until it just barely simmers--you want it very hot but not fully simmering or boiling. Carefully add hot water to blender with coconut, cover, and place a folded dish towel over the lid so it's completely covered. This is to protect your hand in case some water (or coconut) escapes.
  2. With your hand over the lid, pulse or blend on low for about 10 seconds to start to break down the coconut and expose more of it to the water. Let sit with the blender off for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Holding the lid again, blend, starting on low and quickly working up the speed to high, for about 2 minutes. The mixture should be quite smooth with few to no visible coconut flakes remaining, and it will smell absolutely divine when you carefully remove the lid.
  4. Hold or rest the strainer over a mixing bowl or pitcher and slowly pour the milk through the strainer. Most of the milk will run through easily. Stir the remaining thick mixture in the strainer with a wooden spoon, then press it with the back of the spoon to extract all the liquid.
  5. Use the coconut milk right away for any hot dishes, or transfer it to a resealable container and refrigerate until needed. Coconut milk keeps well in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Because it's so easy to make fresh, I don't recommend making and storing large quantities in advance. Coconut milk will separate as it rests, so stir or shake before using.
  6. Adjust the consistency of the milk by playing with the ratio of coconut and water. Using more coconut will result in a thicker, more concentrated milk, while using less (i.e., more water) will yield a thinner, milder milk.
Notes
I prefer these thick coconut flakes, but it's perfectly fine to use a finer coconut shaving or shred if you have it on hand or if that's all you can find. It typically costs much less if you can find it in a store instead of online (the 4-pack is a decent price).

I usually toss the coconut pulp (waster, I know), but you could save it for smoothies or dry it in a low oven to make your own coconut flour.
Recipe by Natural Comfort Kitchen at http://www.naturalcomfortkitchen.com/homemade-coconut-milk-recipe/