How To Make Coconut Milk From Coconut Flakes {Video}

Heather Dessinger

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As Much Fun As It Is To Kung Fu A Coconut In The Driveway, Making coconut milk from fresh coconut is also very messy. And time consuming. AND mind bendingly difficult when there are no coconuts for sale at the grocery store.

For two months straight.

I have been a little depressed about that lately, but thanks to a tip from a friend we have discovered a super easy, thick and creamy workaround: We’re going to use coconut flakes!

Oh yes, ridiculously easy and mmmm mmmm good. Can you tell how excited I am about this????

(Note: You can also use this method for making coconut milk from coconut cream/coconut butter. It’s even faster and easier if you have the key ingredient on hand.)

Why Not Just Buy The Canned Stuff?

  1. It’s not “legal” on the GAPS Diet due to the guar gum most manufacturers add as a thickener.
  2. All but one brand has BPA in the can. Blech.
  3. It’s cheaper. Ignore my cost analysis in the video – You can use the shreds TWICE so the cost per cup is approximately one dollar, not two. And you still have shredded coconut left over to bake with!

How to Make Coconut Milk From Shredded Coconut

Note: Since making this video I have begun using a stick blender instead of the kneading method. It makes creamier coconut milk πŸ™‚

coconut flakes
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5 from 1 vote

If You Prefer Written Instructions, Here They Are!

Servings 1 Β½ to 2 cups
Calories 0kcal
Author Mommypotamus


  • mixing bowl


  • 2 cups coconut flakes
  • 2Β½ cups water


  • Place shreds in a medium mixing boil
  • Bring water to a near boil, then pour over the shreds and mix. Allow mixture to return to lukewarm/room temp
  • Knead using method in the video or place in a blender for 60 seconds.
  • Scoop mixture into a mesh bag and squeeze the milk into a medium bowl. Don't waste those shreds! Repeat the process one more time and then use them to make coconut flour.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 0kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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78 thoughts on “How To Make Coconut Milk From Coconut Flakes {Video}”

  1. Love this! We never eat anything from a can (heavy metals & BPA coatings contaminate food) so this is really helpful for me. Thank you for sharing.

  2. @Tricia – This was our last canned item to go. If I had known how simple it is I would have made the switch a long time ago! Isn’t it funny how so many foods we think are too hard to make from scratch are really, really easy?

  3. @Alexis – Oh, I’m glad! Katie LOVES doing them — she is such a ham. I seriously wonder if she is going to have her own YouTube cooking channel one day πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for sharing! I love the video! I hadn’t not seen coconut milk made this way… I posted a “blender version” on my blog earlier this month-

    I use a higher coconut to water ratio, but it is still super creamy. I am definitely going to try your method for comparison, and because as much as my kiddos like pushing the button on the blender, I’m sure they’ll love getting their hands messy even more! πŸ™‚

    • Oh yes, I bet they will. I’ve tried it both ways and think this one yields a thicker end product. Since I use it as a cream replacement that’s important to me, but I’ll probably still use the blender in a pinch

  5. Eek! There was a post on that? She actually told me when we are chatting about something else and I didn’t realize I was being a copycat. **Blush**

  6. LOL! After I said that, I remembered that it wasn’t Cheeseslave, it was one of the posts on the Food Renegade thing. I just read it right after I had hunted for something on Cheeseslave. Don’t feel bad; I’m not even sure who it was!!! πŸ™‚ I’ll try to find it, though, because I think the method was a bit different than the one you have, so I’ll try out both of them!

  7. The blender version has been floating around the internet for a few years, I think I first saw it on Dr. Ben Kim’s site, so no worries about copycat posts πŸ™‚ Besides, yours uses the novel and electricity-free option of hands. Now that I haven’t seen before.

    Do you have any suggestions for storing it and maintaining or regaining the creaminess? Without the gum stabilizers I’ve ended up with a brick of oil and some coconut-flavored water that doesn’t remix well. Even when I was making coconut yogurt and leaving it on the counter it tended to separate into oil and water. I have to confess I still use Native Forest most of the time for that reason.

    • I wish I had a solutions for you, bu we usually use ours right away. If we do happen to have some left over I make it into kefir. It still separates but I like the creamy texture of the stuff that rises and usually use it as a topping for fruit and nuts – and then I just drink the watery stuff.

  8. Not yet, but it’s in my documents waiting to be printed out! My husband will be ecstatic. πŸ™‚ I found the other coconut milk recipe. It’s not a Christian website, but she’s got tons of fun homemade skincare recipes…

  9. Hello,
    I have subscribed to your blog for a while but this is my first comment. I wanted to let you know that after your last tutorial my daughter and I bought a coconut (not sure how many air miles it had accumulated though as we are in Scotland!) and I had fun bashing it to bits in the kitchen. I made a curry with it and ate some raw while my daughter drank the water However, this new method looks somewhat easier and more toddler friendly than using a big meat cleaver….. :o)
    Love your blog, and it has made me think about many many things. Keep it up. xx

  10. hope recess was a blast! :)~ This was great!!! Thanks, Heather! Hey, since you are so brilliant, have you ever made coconut flour? Is that possible? Well, I’m sure it’s possible, I just meant….could the left over shreds be used to make flour? I’m not a lover of shredded coconut, but use the flour often, and this video just made me wonder how coconut flour could be made at home. If there’s a way, I know you’ll figure it out before me and let us all know!!! πŸ™‚

    • Yes, Emily! It is so easy and a great way to save money (storebought coconut flour is expensive!). Katie and I love doing these little videos so hopefully MIcah will cooperate by taking an extra long nap so we can shoot. Recess!

    • Hello Tiffany! It’s lovely to hear from you! Normally starting off an introduction by disagreeing on food philosophy does not end well among foodies, so you are indeed truly gracious! To answer your question: Yes, shredded coconut and unsweetened dried coconut are one and the same!

      • Oh no worries! It’s such a personal thing! I kind of giggle when people get that upset over food. I just do my own thing and leave it at that.

        Thanks for the coconut info. I’ll pick some up this weekend and give it a try!

    • Where can you find the unsweetened shredded coconut? None of the stores in my city seem to carry it. Is there a safe, reputable website where it can be ordered?

  11. I couldn’t view the entire video, so I mainly just went off of the written directions. So my question is, now that I did that, am I ready to use it to make the coconut fudge? It seems a bit more watery than the canned stuff that I’m used to. Just want to make sure! My husband is so excited about the coconut fudge, and I don’t want to mess it up!

    • If i were you I would stick the coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours. The cream will rise to the top – you can scoop it off and use it to make the fudge, then use the thinner stuff in a smoothie or make coconut milk kefir with it. Hope that helps!

  12. Okay, stupid question. Do you keep the milk in the refrigerator? I put it in there, and I’ve got a super hard layer of cream on top. Do you serve it right away? I’m a coconut milk newb. lol thanks!

    • I usually use ours right away, but it can be stored in the fridge. As you’ve noticed it does separate, though, so you’ll need to warm it up and remix to use. The texture might be a little different but it’s not a problem if you’re baking with it or using it in smoothies. Does that help?

  13. gonna try this today! btw i found let’s go organic shredded coconut on amazon for 1.67/bag (instead of 4.99 at kroger, or 3.29 wherever you got yours)– you just have to do the subscribe and save, and buy 12 packages at a time (total was 20.15). just fyi!

  14. I love this method and have been using it for several weeks- so simple and saves me a ton on both coconut milk AND coconut flour!

    Just wanted to let you know I just wrote a blog post on milk substitutes and I linked to this post- hope you don’t mind! The post is scheduled to go live on Wednesday morning, if you want to check it out you can click the website above after then (sorry, I’d link directly, but I can’t see the url until it’s posted- I’ll try to remember to come back and do it!).

    • In the video I knead the coconut shreds after boiling them in water to release the milk. These days I use a stick blender instead of the kneading process.

  15. Hi there. I looked through the comments. May have missed it. It’s the dried unsweetened coconut flakes, right? Can’t quite get organic, but I get it at Winco. Baby with Food allergies like crazy.

  16. Not a mommy, but definitely a natural foods addict and a closet environmental activist πŸ™‚ So I love your idea and how it reduces can usage. Thank you so much. Love the sibling kiss fest as well!


  18. I recently read another bloggers post about a recipe for homemade coconut milk that includes dolomite powder (KAL brand was recommended) as a source of calcium. I was wondering what your thoughts are on adding this and why your recipe doesn’t include it. I’m trying to find an alternative to soy milk for my 18-month old. Thanks.

    • Hi Robbin! It will work but the resulting coconut milk will be very thin I believe (The milk made from full-fat coconut shreds is not as thick as store bought (which usually has thickeners like guar gum). So sorry!

  19. Thanks for a really cute video and great instructions! I just took my 15mo’s off dairy (it was raw, too, boo hoo) but really hesitated buying brands with BPA/paying so much for Native Forest. I bought some organic shredded coconut today and will try this out! Thanks again! πŸ™‚

  20. Thanks for sharing this! I am quite sensitive to lactose. I have tried raw milk in hopes that my tummy could handle it but the results were…uncomfortable. πŸ˜‰

    So, with this great recipe I have started making coconut milk daily as part of my morning routine. But here’s my question: how do I make sure that I am getting enough calcium? Should I be adding something (like dolemite?) to the milk or beefing up my diet in another way?


  21. This looks like a pretty easy method for making coconut milk. Will defintely give this a try, because I also frequenstly use coconut flour and if I can kill two birds with one stone (so to speak), and save a little money that would be great.

  22. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made it and it turned out great! I like my coconut milk cold though, and I just pull it out of the refrigerator and found clumps on top. Is that oil? Should I just strain it and use the oil for something else? Thank you so much!!!! I love your blog!

  23. Hi! I am interested in making my own coconut milk, but I don’t know if I should use dried coconut flakes or the fresher shreds. Which one do you recommend and where do you get it from? Thanks so much.

  24. Loved the video for this recipe- your children are so cute together, and they obviously adore one another – well done to you, mum!! My daughter has been by my side in the same way, and now that she is six, she is able to a) read a recipe, b) gather all ingredients and utensils needed, c) mix/ prepare/ cook (as much as is safe for her to do so!), and d) serve (then ravenously consume! hehe). Sometimes she amazes me with what she is able to do (I had a very different upbringing). I love seeing other mums engaging with their little ones and enjoying the messy process, too! ^_^ Oh, and I LOVE the recipe- our local supermarket (we live in a small rural town) just started stocking organic shredded coconut, which I hadn’t even been able to get when I went to our nearest major city (we also happen to live on a small island-state at the bottom of the world ^_^). *YAY* God bless you.

  25. My youngest daughter and I love watching you and Katie teaching us new things! Just wondering if you have any idea how long the coconut milk will last in the fridge? After our first time making this we forgot it was there…not used to having it around yet. It’s been about 12 days…I popped it into ice cube trays and froze it. I figure we’ll use it for smoothies if nothing else. Thanks for all your hard work!

  26. Quick question, when you say you repeat the process, are you making a whole new batch of 2.5 cups of water or is it part of the same batch? Is the second batch thinner?

  27. I have made what I call micro-batches* of soap using fats rendered from both pork and beef roasts with great success. * about 100 g of fat and appropriate amount of lye, giving about 4 oz of soap
    I tried for the first time to use all coconut oil, as I had heard it can be harsh, but then lots of other soap myths I’ve disproved with my own testing.
    I have not been superfatting per say but simply round down when weighing the lye.
    I do think it may have been a bit harsh, so I am looking forward to giving the superfatting you suggest a try.
    Also fyi, for water amount, I use only about 2x the amount lye. I have used a ‘standard’ kitchen blender and have just tried a stick blender. I start with the fat melted and perhaps 120 degrees. I mix lye and water and add that to the fat and blend. I pour it into a mold and usually by end of day or next morning the soap is ready to go, it has no bite and is plenty hard.
    maybe you’ll want to give it a try without the cooking. I think it is great.

  28. In my opinion, this is the best coconut milk from flakes recipe that I found on the Internet thank you so much for providing it for us all! I have a question, though. There’s nothing better than freshly made coconut milk when it’s still lukewarm, using it in my coffee is a joy. Sometimes I wonder how long the coconut milk was last at room temperature instead of putting in the fridge where it separates. Every morning I need to heat it up or shake it up in my jar to add to my coffee. I wondered if you know whether or not the antibacterial properties of the coconut oil would protect it from being at room temperature for a certain amount of time. It seems like it would be fine for at least a few hours at a time. Love to hear your thoughts..

  29. Hi Heather, in your video you said that the cream at the top could be removed and used in your favorite ___________. I couldn’t hear what you said. Thanks πŸ™‚