Recipe: $2.69 | Per Serving: $0.34 | Yield: ~4 cups (8 servings)
I have a bone to pick with all the homemade coconut recipes on the Internet. They’re usually far too watery for my preferences. When I want coconut milk, I’m looking for the thick and creamy coconut milk – and that’s exactly what you’ll find here!
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but this recipe definitely doesn’t suck. If you like coconut cream or coconut milk, this is going to change your world.
Okay, that might be slightly dramatic. But here’s the deal, people of the world like canned coconut milk because it is thick and creamy. And it makes for delicious Paleo Dark Chocolate Mousse, and Red Lentil Thai Curry. For real. I have ISSUES with the TetraPaks of coconut milk beverage, and canned coconut is the way to go.
Except for the fact that it runs somewhere from $2-$4 per can, and often contains thickening agents like xanthan gum and carageenan. I’ve made it using other recipes before and I was never impressed. It didn’t have enough coconut flavor, it was too thin, etc. But there’s such an easy fix.
Most recipes call for something like 4 cups of water to 1-2 cups shredded coconut milk. I CALL BULL! That turns into a watered-down version of coconut milk, nothing like the canned stuff (though it does taste much better than the cartons).
How to Make Thick & Creamy Homemade Coconut Milk
- Use this ratio: 4 cups of water for 3 cups of shredded coconut.
- Or, for a smaller batch, use 1 cup water to 3/4 cup shredded coconut.
- Soak shredded coconut in hot (not quite boiling) water for about 10 minutes.
- Add soaked coconut and soaking liquid to blender. Blend for 1-3 minutes, stopping to stir and scrape down the sides as needed.
- Strain through dishcloth or nut milk bag into a large bowl. I find that find mesh sieves are not fine enough for nut milks, so I recommend using either a non-fizzy dishcloth or a nut milk bag.
If you’re just trying to make a watery beverage that isn’t water, then, yes, you can definitely make coconut milk with the standard recipe (4 cups water for 1-2 cups coconut), but if you’re looking for a punch of flavor for stews, curries, soups, smoothies, popsicles, and mousse…this is the way to go.
Also, you can use a nut milk bag if you want, as they’re easy to find these days. Thrive Market sells them, and there are lots of options on Amazon. But if you don’t have one, you can use a dish towel, or in a pinch, use a reusable produce bag!
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER!
This easy recipe shows you how to make thick & creamy homemade coconut milk – not special tools required! Perfect for stews and curries!
- 3 cups shredded coconut (one 8ish-ounce package)
- 4 cups hot water (not boiling)
- strainer (which is technically optional, you can just use a bowl.)
- non-fuzzy dish towel (or nut milk bag, or cheesecloth)
- Pour ingredients in glass bowl or blender jar and let soak (covered) for about 10 minutes. (I microwave the water for 3 minutes, then wait about 30 seconds before pouring it over the coconut.)
- Blend for 1 minute, then stir and scrape, and blend again. Repeat 3-5 times, or until it is thick and creamy.
- Line the strainer with a dish towel and place over a large pot or container. Pour the coconut mixture into the dish towel, then squeeze out all the liquid. Voila! It’s surprisingly cheap & easy!
- Note: You can repeat this process 2-3 times and the 2nd and 3rd pressings will yield coconut milk that is similar in consistency to the store-bought carton stuff.
- Yield: just shy of 4 cups coconut milk. Serving: 1/2 cup per serving.
- Category: Drink, Make Ahead