How to Make Coconut Milk with Fresh Coconut or Dried Coconut Flakes

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How to Make Coconut Milk with Fresh Coconut or Dried Coconut Flakes

How to Make Coconut Milk - with fresh coconut or dried shredded coconut -

Coconut milk is delicious in smoothies, curries and even non-dairy coconut whipped cream with berries. But you don’t have to reach for the canned stuff to enjoy it. You can easily make your own.

I’ll show you two different ways to do it – with fresh coconuts or with dried coconut flakes (the super simple way).

How to Make Coconut Milk with Fresh Coconuts

Growing up in Hawaii, there are a ton of coconuts. You can literally get them anywhere, anytime. And tourists can enjoy fresh coconuts from fresh fruit carts on the side of the road. This is how I learned to make coconut milk the traditional way.


  • 2-3 fresh, young coconuts
  • Filtered water, boiled

Equipment & Tools


  1. Either drill holes in the eyes of the coconut or use a knife to poke a hole in the eyes of the coconut. Drain the coconut water and set aside.
  2. Take one coconut and find the seam that goes around it. Cover with a kitchen towel and hold still. Split the coconut open along the seam using a hammer. Keep turning the coconut while hitting it with a hammer along the seam until you go all the way around the coconut.
  3. Once the coconut is open, scoop out the coconut meat and set aside.
  4. Repeat for all coconuts.
  5. Rinse the coconut meat to remove all the brown outer pieces.
  6. In a blender, combine the coconut meat and coconut water. The coconut water volume can vary, so add boiled, filtered water to the blender as needed. I find a ratio of about 1 cup of coconut meat to 2 cups of coconut water or filtered water works best.
  7. Blend coconut meat and water for about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture through a sieve or nut milk bag to separate liquid from coconut pieces.
  9. Store coconut milk in the refrigerator to use as needed.

Keep the coconut pulp and make homemade coconut flour with this recipe to use for cooking and baking. I’ve got 100+ coconut flour recipes – for ideas on how to use coconut flour for breakfast, breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, main meals, and savory side dishes.

That wasn’t so bad right? Well, there’s an even SIMPLER way to make coconut milk. Just use dried, shredded coconut and filtered water. I’ll show you how…

Where to Get Kitchen Pantry Essentials

I get my other kitchen pantry supplies like sea salt, black pepper, spices, coconut oil, and other essentials either on Amazon or my local health food store usually. But then I got a Thrive membership. If you don’t already have one – it’s awesome! It’s like Whole Foods meets Costco. Bob’s Red Mill baking soda, for instance, is about $3 at my local health food store and $6 on Amazon. But it’s only $2.03 (YES!) on Thrive Market. Great deal right? And the raw honey?! Don’t even get me started how much that costs at the health food store. But on Thrive Market it’s just $5.45 for a 10.5 oz jar of raw honey.

Sign up for a Thrive Market membership and get 2 months free and 10% off your first order.

How to Make Coconut Milk with Dried Coconut Flakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

The process to make coconut milk from dried, shredded coconut is actually pretty close to making it with fresh coconuts without the hassle of cracking open a coconut.



  1. In a Vitamix, combine the shredded coconut and boiled water.
  2. Blend for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture through a sieve or nut milk bag to separate liquid from coconut pieces.
  4. Store coconut milk in the refrigerator to use as needed.
  5. Keep the coconut pulp and follow this recipe to {make homemade coconut flour|].

That was super easy, right? I love making coconut milk. It’s my favorite milk for smoothies, like my Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie, Almond Butter and Banana Smoothie, and Magnesium-Boosting Tropoical Smoothie.

How to Make Coconut Milk - with fresh coconut or dried shredded coconut -

p.s. Looking for tips to transition to a real food or healthy gluten-free lifestyle? Check out my free Real Food Guide email course and e-book.

Click here to subscribe to my Real Food Guide email course + free e-book -


Photo credit: / lanalanglois

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.



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About Tracey Black

Hi, I’m Tracey. Welcome to Don’t Mess with Mama. Join me to stand up against junk food, processed food, and anything artificial. I’ll show you how to cook wholesome, gluten free (and grain free) meals with real food ingredients to nourish your family. Plus, learn how to get the toxins and chemicals out of your home for good with my favorite DIY and homemade recipes for beauty, personal care and cleaning products.


  1. Hi Tracey,

    So which one is actually healthier and low fat from the two?

    Thank you.


    • Both are great options as far as being healthy. I don’t count fat grams, so I’m not sure on what option is low fat but I do know that healthy fats from coconut and avocado are great for the body.

  2. Hi! I tried this recipe and it came out just as described Yum!! However when I out my milk in the fridge the next morning I had a 1cm thick Hardish disc on top that wouldn’t breakup or shake into the milk underneath and the milk underneath wasn’t as creamy. What did I do wrong?

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