Coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to cow’s milk and is often a staple for people who adhere to a vegan, SCD, GAPS or Paleo lifestyle. Its creamy, exotic flavour packs a punch and is so versatile — from soups and curries, to smoothies and baked goodies. It’s also makes amazing homemade dairy-free yogurt!
While the calories might be greater than other plant-based milks, such as almond milk and oat milk, coconut milk is seriously good for you and one of the best sources of medium-chain fatty acids, which are easily absorbed and used by the body for energy.
Unlike coconut water, coconut milk is not naturally occurring. The traditional production process is relatively simple; using grated white flesh from a brown coconut, soaking it in hot water and then straining it. It can be made either thick (cream) or thin (milk) based on the amount of water added and how much it's processed.
For consumer convenience, coconut milk and cream are mass produced and sold in cans and tetra packs across the globe. Unfortunately, preservatives, emulsifiers and even sugar are often added during production. Then there’s the BPA lining in the can! To stay in complete control of the quality and ingredients, the only option is making it yourself.
The good news is, with the Vibe Blender System, this is quick and simple. And the result is going to be far richer in vitamins, enzymes and nutrients than any coconut milk from a can or box. Not to mention the taste! Fresh homemade, coconut milk is so clean, so refreshing, and so fragrant that it’s almost like eating fresh coconut except in liquid form.
You have a few options – brown (mature) coconut, young white (drinking) coconut, dehydrated shredded coconut or frozen coconut meat. The process for each is virtually the same. Coconut and water blended. The thickness of your coconut milk really depends on your needs. Always start with smaller amount of water and add more as you go.
The one essential piece of equipment required when making homemade coconut milk is a high-speed blender. The smoothness of the cream, and the fullness of flavour will depend entirely on the power and quality of the blender blades. The Vibe Blender System has got you covered and pulverises dried, frozen or mature coconut effortlessly in no time at all. Note: Over the course of blending, the blades will generate heat. Use the Stainless-steel jug instead of the plastic jug when making coconut milk.
After blending, the texture of the coconut milk should be only ever so slightly grainy. The blended milk could easily be used straight from the blender. But for silky smooth milk, use a nut milk bag (or muslin cheesecloth) to separate the coconut flesh from the liquid. You’ll want to squeeze as hard as you can to remove the liquid. Take care if the contents are hot! Once all the milk is extracted, you will end up with only dry coconut pulp.
Without preservatives or stabilisers, homemade coconut milk will separate when stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.
When you make homemade coconut milk it is worth saving the nutritious pulp to make coconut flour. The left-over pulp can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer until you have enough to make a larger amount of flour. Find out how to make coconut flour here.
1 brown coconut (including the coconut water)
1-2 cups of water
1. Using a screwdriver, or a very sharp knife, poke a hole into one of the three eyes or indentations in the shell of the coconut.
2. Collect the water from the coconut and set aside.
3. Wrap the coconut in a towel and hit it with a hammer or something similarly strong and hard a few times until it cracks open then use a knife to extract the coconut meat from the shell.
4. Wash the coconut meat to remove any dirt or brown fibres. Leave the brown skin on the meat.
5. Place the coconut into the stainless-steel jug with the coconut water and 1 cup of water.
6. Blend on ‘nut’ mode for 60 seconds.
7. Stop and scrape down the sides, add more water if making milk.
8. Blend on ‘soup’ mode for another minute or until creamy.
9. Strain and squeeze out all of the liquid.
10. Store the fresh coconut milk in a sealed glass jar for 3-4 days.
RESULT - This method produces milk or cream with a full, rich, coconut flavour that is much more pronounced than store bought coconut products and appears creamy brown, rather than white.
1 young drinking coconut (including coconut water)
1 - 2 cups of water
The flesh inside a young drinking coconut varies depending on its age, so you may find some coconuts have more flesh than others. The Vibe Blender System purees young coconut flesh to such a fine consistency that you can pass on straining! The Vibe gives you the most amazing coconut cream in seconds! The texture is so smooth, thick and creamy that it is perfect for making enzyme rich homemade coconut yogurt.
Opening a drinking coconut is easy and can be done without any special equipment. Watch this video to see how. Once open, pour the coconut water into your stainless-steel blender jug, then scoop out the flesh with the back of a spoon.
1. Wash the coconut flesh to remove any remaining coconut fibres then place into the blender jug with the coconut water.
2. Blend on ‘smoothie’ mode for 40 seconds.
3. Check the consistency, add 1 – 2 additional cups of water until you reach your desired consistency.
4. Store the fresh coconut milk in a sealed glass jar for 3-4 days.
RESULT - Coconut milk made with only the flesh and water of young drinking coconuts is incredibly thick and creamy and works best as ‘cream ‘rather than milk. Left as cream it has a strong sweet flavour.
2 packed cups of shredded or flaked coconut (do not use desiccated)
1-2 cups of water (or more if required)
Note: for the creamiest results, a good ratio is 1 cup of water to 1 cup of shredded coconut. Double the quantity for a larger batch.
1. Put the shredded coconut in the stainless-steel blender jug with 1 cup of water.
2. Blend on ‘soup’ mode for approx. 2-3 minutes or until creamed
3. Stop, scrape down the sides and add more water if required.
4. Strain and squeeze out all of the liquid.
5. Store the fresh coconut milk in a sealed glass jar for 3-4 days.
RESULT – This method produces milk or cream with a wonderful sweet taste and a bright white colour.
300 grams of frozen coconut chunks*
1 – 2 cups of boiling water
*Frozen coconut is found in the freezer section of the supermarket or Asian grocers.
1. Add the frozen coconut and one cup of boiling water to the stainless-steel blender jug.
2. Blend on ‘soup’ mode for 2 minutes
3. Stop and scrape down the sides.
4. Add more water if making milk
5. Strain and squeeze out all of the liquid.
6. Store the fresh coconut milk in a sealed glass jar for 3-4 days.
RESULT - This method produces milk or cream that is milder in flavour than the other methods. We also have a delicious coconut yogurt recipe using this method.