Making Coconut Milk with Fresh Coconuts


Coconut milk with cream line.

There are some amazing ways to make coconut milk. Some pretty fancy, expensive machines too. But if you just want to try it, with little to no pricey tools, then this story is for you.

The first thing you are going to need is some mature, brown coconuts. Why brown? Because they will have the highest concentration of fat or coconut oil.

Don’t use green nuts or you will be disappointed. We call the brown nuts “shakers” because you can shake them and you will hear the coconut water swish around inside the nut.

Next, split them in two with a heavy machete. If you’re hacking and hacking and the blade is bouncing off the nut, go sharpen your machete with a file. Dull machetes are dangerous and awkward to use.

Don’t hold the coconut with your hands, when you are cleaving it in two. Set it up on a heavy wood board and with the full intension of splitting it open, land your machete going with the fiber. The top of the nut facing you and the pointed end opposite–long ways. You will be there all day, if you try to chop a nut open, going against the grain–short ways.

Once the nut is open, taste it. It has got to taste good. It should be sweet. If not, feed it to your chickens. They will love it.

teeth grater

Teeth grater attached to board

Open 4-5 mature nuts and take them into your kitchen. Now you will need to shred the coconut meat. You can pop it out of the nut, in the largest-sized pieces possible,  and shred with your kitchen cheese grater.

Instead, I use a handy device especially made to shred meat out of a coconut. I use a teeth coconut grater and you can find it here at a very reasonable price. Mine is attached to a board so you can sit on the board and use your weight to steady the tool and scrape the meat out of the nut.

Once you have shredded all your coconuts by developing your own rhythm of removing the meat with the teeth grater, you move onto the easier part of the process.


Hold the nut and move it up and down, scraping the meat off the nut

Hold the nut and move it up and down, scraping the meat off the nut


Measure in cups how much shredded coconut you have. If you have four cups of shredded coconut, you will need two cups of boiling water. So, two to one, coconut to water. Pour the boiling water over your shredded coconut and let sit for 20-25 minutes.


Preparing to squeeze the liquid out

Afterwards, you are going to squeeze the water, milk and fat, out of the coconut meat. If you have a nut milk bag, those work great. But you can also use cheesecloth or a clean, old T-shirt.

Ladle some of the mixture into the nut bag or cloth and squeeze out all the water as best you can with your hands. Make sure to get every last drop, because the last drops will surely be the most precious–the fat.

You should have the same amount of liquid you added, plus a little more. I used 8 cups of shredded coconut, added 4 cups of boiling water and in the end, came out with 4-1/2 cups of coconut milk. As it sits, you will see the cream rise to the top, same as in raw cow milk.



A hen and chicks eating shredded coconut

You can use the left over shredded coconut to feed the birds, chickens or put into your compost. I also have used it, by adding store-bought coconut oil back into it and made coconut macaroons.

Take your coconut milk and put it into the refrigerator and you will find once it cools, a nice layer of rich, coconut cream will be on top.

Use it in your favorite recipes, drink it, or eat the hardened coconut oil and drink the milk. It’s delicious any way you choose to use it. I will be making a coconut pumpkin soup with mine. Enjoy!


Cream of Pumpkin-Coconut Curry Soup



  • 1 large or 2 small pumpkins
  • 1-1/2 cups of fresh coconut milk
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 1 medium hot pepper (Hungarian)
  • 1 small Thai pepper (Hot)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of gram masala (spices)
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Cut and skin pumpkin. Rough chop pumpkin in cubes and boil in water. Just cover the pumpkin with water (not too much). Cook until soft. Sauté diced onion, chopped celery, med. hot pepper, chopped carrots in pan until cooked and onions are clear. Add chopped garlic, chopped sm. Thai pepper, and spices. Use emersion blender to cream pumpkin and add coconut cream. Add sautéed vegetables and blend again. Salt and pepper to taste.




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