You’ll never buy store bought again with this simple homemade coconut milk recipe.
Coconut milk is delicious and nutritious. It’s thick and creamy, making it the perfect addition to smoothies, fruit, and curries. It’s loaded with healthy fats that support a healthy metabolism.
Unfortunately, though, the cans that coconut milk comes in are less than ideal.
The Problem with Canned Coconut Milk
In a pinch, I still use canned coconut milk from time to time, but I now avoid canned foods as much as possible, as the cans typically contain the chemical BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to cancer and obesity.
Don’t Waste Your Money on BPA-Free Cans
When I learned about the dangers of BPA, I initially switched to BPA-free cans. Alas, it turns out, they can be just as or even more toxic than the regular BPA-laced ones. When manufacturer’s got rid of BPA, they had to replace it with something, and the chemicals they chose, BPS and BPC. These chemicals haven’t had such a negative PR campaign as BPA (yet), but can be even more harmful than the chemical they are used to replace. (So don’t waste your money on the more expensive BPA-free cans. Instead, find the items you want jarred or frozen).
The Problem with Boxed Coconut Milk
Boxed coconut milk, similar to almond milk, is highly processed and loaded with a variety of additives, including synthetic vitamins and chemicals, which are unnecessary. While not the end of the world to drink it, personally I prefer to avoid additives and make my own.
Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe
This homemade coconut milk recipe is so simple to make, and it lasts for at least 5 days (whereas canned coconut only lasts 3 days after being opened).
The less water you use, the creamier it will be. And just like the good canned coconut milk, when you refrigerate it, the cream will rise to the top.
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- Heat water in a pot until hot (but not yet boiling).
- Remove from the heat, add in the shredded coconut, and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Carefully transfer to a blender
- (If all of the water won’t fit, you can add it in two batches.)
- Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
- Strain the pulp from the liquid into a mason jar or other lidded glass container, using a cheese cloth or nut milk bag.
- Refrigerate before serving. Fresh coconut milk should be used within 5 days of making it for the best flavor and texture.
- The coconut cream will rise to the top once refrigerated.
- You can use that in banana ice cream, smoothies, oatmeal, on top of (gluten-free!) pancakes, or wherever you want a richer flavor and texture. Or you can warm it up and stir it into the rest of the liquid.
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. She has ongoing group workshops both in NYC and online, and writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.