Creamy Coconut Milk

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Although I have shared this recipe elsewhere on this site, I thought it deserved to have it’s own page for reference. I love making coconut milk fresh both because it tastes way better than the canned variety, and because it is hard to avoid finding a brand that does not use BPA in their can lining, or thickeners as an ingredient in the milk (I’ve used this brand before, but I still prefer homemade). This recipe is quick, affordable, and easy to make with a blender, just make sure the container is capable of holding boiling water.

I like to use my homemade coconut milk in soups, curries, desserts, and as a base for beverages like turmeric tea or an AIP-friendly chai. It keeps for a week stored in the refrigerator, but it will clump up until it is heated through again.

Coconut Milk


5.0 from 10 reviews
Creamy Coconut Milk
Prep time
Total time
Creamy Coconut Milk
Serves: 12 ounces
  1. Place the shredded coconut and boiling water in your blender and blend on high speed for a few minutes, taking breaks for the motor if needed.
  2. Let cool for at least 15 minutes-until it can be safely handled. Strain through a cheesecloth into a glass jar.

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Cattarina says

    I’d like to make fresh coconut milk this way, but I don’t use it enough to keep in the fridge. Is it able to be kept in the freezer? That way I can just take out of the freezer little bits that I would basically need each time.

    • Mickey says

      Cattarina, yes, you can freeze it! You might try freezing in an ice cube tray and then adding to a baggie once frozen, then you have little pre-measured bits to use!


  • Shelly says

    Trying to switch over to a autoimmune protocol Paleo diet but I just learned I have several food allergies that limit me further and make finding recipes extremely challenging! Coconut, onions, celery, sesame, ginger and coco are a few of them. Shelly

    • Mickey says

      Shelly, coconut is a hard one! I do make an effort to come up with coconut-free recipes from time to time because I know it is common. The other allergies shouldn’t be too hard to work out, just eliminate or sub for them. Sesame isn’t AIP anyways. Good luck!


      • Elene says

        homemade hemp milk is a good substitute…just blend hulled hemp seeds and water…super creamy

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Elene,
          Hemp seeds are not included on AIP, FYI! I have had hemp milk before though, and it is delicious.

        • Roberta Hubbard says

          Is it made the same way?

    • I don’t think cocoa is AIP-friendly, either. If you haven’t heard of this website, I’d highly recommend. Sarah can create some menus for your specific needs. I actually found Mickey through Sarah (or vice versa). Mickey, thanks for the great recipes, and I’ve ordered the book and can’t wait to read. It should be arriving any day now. Congratulations on your success!!! :O)

    • Shelly, did you get tested for food allergies/intolerances? If so, did your holistic doctor or chiropractor order the tests, or did you order your own tests? If you ordered your own, can you please share that info?

    • Cheryl says

      I feel your pain, Shelly. I’m officially allergic to tomatoes, rice, carrots, salmon, tuna and dairy. Things most people eat when they avoid gluten.

    • Roberta Hubbard says

      I am sensitive to seseme too, and lemons and oranges, and legumes. So, it is challenging for me too, but I do everything I can do to help myself in my diet the way I can.

    • Sur says

      Hi Shelly,

      I know just what you mean! I have the same problem. Plus I’m Seriously allergic to emulsifiers and products with surficants in. It’s a nightmare, but I’m navigating it quite well. The secret is to heal the gut. I use bone broth and slippery elm / pure not the food – it’s full of malt with high mico- toxins. I have it before every meal – it’s working! X suze

  • judi selset says

    I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis and struggle to find calcium with no dairy in my life. I’ve been eating sautéed greens for breakfast to help. I am wondering if there is such a thing as calcium powder to add to the blender when making this coconut milk or even if I were to try coconut yogurt. I eat Trader Joe’s coconut yogurt because it has 25% calcium….it also has 19 grams of sugar but it’s much less than other coconut yogurts that I have found.

    Any suggestion about adding calcium to the coconut milk coconut yogurt?

    Thought my book would be here today…not yet…so excited to receive it and learn new recipes.

    See you on the 4th.
    Judi Selset

    • Mickey says

      Often problems with calcium are not from having enough calcium, but from not having enough vitamin D or a proper balance of the other minerals that balance out calcium. Have you talked to your practitioner about having your D levels tested and possibly adding a supplement? That in addition to eating lots of greens and bone broth would be far preferred over taking a supplement. Wishing you the best!


  • is coconut milk suitable for ulcerative colitis patients ??

    • Mickey says

      Ayesha, you can try and see if you react to it–coconut is a more common food sensitivity, but as long as it is well-tolerated it should be fine.

  • Virginia says

    Thanks, Mickey! This is so much more tasty than the coconut milk in the carton. Maybe tis is a stupid question…but do you have uses for the left over coconut once the milk is squeezed out of it?

    • Aylia Bledsoe says


      I spread the leftover coconut pulp on a baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 40 min or so, until its dried out, this is coconut flour! Just pulse it a couple times in your food processor or blender after its cooled to get a finer texture. :]

      • Virginia says

        Fantastic! Thanks! I think your cookbook will be in my mailbox today…can’t wait!

        • Virginia says

          I meant Mickey’s cookbook, of course! Thanks for your tip about the coconut flour, Aylia!

      • Stella Lyn Norris says

        I am so thrilled to learn this-thanks for sharing!!

      • Kay says

        That is awesome! I must try this!

  • Laura says

    I use canned, organic coconut milk (at 2€ per can, ouch!) to make kefir several times each week …. do you think your homemade coconut milk would work as a replacement? I’d love a more economical alternative to canned coconut milk, but I’d hate to accidentally kill my kefir grains. :-/

    • Mickey says

      Laura, yes you can use homemade to make kefir! You can always start with a small test batch to see how it goes. I have never actually made kefir with coconut milk, either homemade or storebought, but my hunch is that if it works with the canned stuff it should work with the homemade. Let me know how it goes!


      • Laura says

        Thank you, Mickey! I’m making the coconut milk right now, and will start the kefir later today ….. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

        • Mickey says



          • Laura says

            It worked BRILLIANTLY! The homemade coconut milk made a much smoother, creamier kefir than the canned coconut milk I’d been using. It seemed to take a bit longer to ferment to the same level of sourness, but that’s okay, because I was having a hard time keeping up with the other stuff fermenting every 12-18 hours! And there is much less fat in the homemade coconut milk, so the kefir grains aren’t getting coated in it, which makes straining it much easier. I would think it’s probably better for the grains anyway, to keep them from suffocating (the canned coconut milk I use is 60% fat, so I was scraping 3/4 of it from the top of the can and removing it before adding the kefir grains to the milk). But the consistency of the kefir made from homemade coconut milk is much less greasy and much more palatable. Also, the shredded coconut costs 1.29€/bag and I can make 2 batches of kefir from it, versus 2€ per can of coconut milk (=4€ for two batches of kefir) — woo hoo for saving money! 🙂

          • Mickey says

            Awesome! Thanks for the feedback!!

  • Meredith says

    Thanks for the coconut milk recipe! Can you give us your recipe for AIP-friendly chai?

    • Mickey says

      Meredith, I have one in my cookbook 🙂


      • Meredith says

        Awesome! I’ll definitely look in your cookbook once it arrives. I’m one of the unlucky ones who ordered too late on amazon. But I made your coconut milk recipe and love it!

        • Mickey says

          Meredith, it will be back in stock soon! 🙂


          • Meredith says

            Hi Mickey! I got your book today! It’s a wonderful collection of great recipes and ideas. I can’t say it enough, thank you!

          • Mickey says

            Thank you Meredith!

  • Melissa says

    i am just making my own coconut milk. can i use the unstrained coconut that remains on the cheesecloth for anything? Is that coconu tman or butter?

    • Mickey says

      What is left is just the fiber, and personally something that I don’t digest well so I just toss it. I would not use it in place of coconut butter, the recipe won’t turn out because it no longer has the fat or coconut taste to it. I have heard of making crackers, but I have never done this myself!


      • Stella Lyn Norris says

        Regarding this: I am confused because Aylia (a person who commented above) was saying that she dries the pulp out and pulses it in her food processor to make coconut flour. So, do you have any clarification about that? Thanks for being a fantastic human!

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Stella – I’ve never done this so I don’t know. Sorry!

  • Gunilla says

    Hi Mickey,
    Thanks for a wonderful site.
    A year a go I was diagnosed with UC. Since then I have been grainfree, and since October I am on SCD diet.
    Now I think I will order your book and start the protocol. But I have a question about coconut, do I have to wait for some time before I can eat it or is it ok from the start?

    Gunilla ( from Sweden)

    • Mickey says

      Thank you! You do not have to eliminate coconut unless you already know that it affects you. Good luck!


  • […] and kale dish, seasoned with lots of garlic, ginger, turmeric, and creamy coconut milk (my recipe here). I recommend making your own coconut milk instead of buying at the store, both because it is […]

  • Heather Johnson says

    Did I miss the chai recipe? Can’t find it anywhere on your site.

    • Mickey says

      Heather, it is in both the ebook and the print book, but not on the site–sorry!


  • Jessica says

    Do you ever use your coconut milk to make yogurt? I used to, adding gelatin to thicken it further. I’m horribly allergic to dairy and started doing it as a probiotic subsitute.

    • Mickey says

      I haven’t, because I can’t handle the texture of yogurt. If you find a good recipe please send my way, I’d love to share on the FB page!

  • Terry says

    I often use the cream that forms at the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk. Will your recipe for coconut milk provide the cream, as well?

    • Mickey says

      Terry, unfortunately it is not the same. The commercially made coconut milk is blended far finer than the homemade variety, I have found!

  • Concetta Oteri says

    Is this recipe thick enough to make coconut whipped cream?

    • Mickey says

      Concetta, I have not tried to make whipped cream with it. It doesn’t separate quite the same as a can of coconut milk–I have found that the creamy part turns more into a hard lump than a thick cream in the fridge (which goes away with heat)


  • Liesl says

    I didn’t have any cheesecloth when I was following the recipe so I used my french press and it worked fantastically! I didn’t have to wait for it to cool as long and it was easier to pour out and clean up too!

    • Mickey says

      That is great! I didn’t even think of that but what a great repurposing 🙂


  • Chris says

    I make coconut milk that separates into cream and water just like the commercial canned version. It’s a bit more work than using flakes though. I use whole coconuts. I jam a Philips head screwdriver into the soft hole, drain and reserve the water, wrap the coconut into a towel and whack it on driveway(fun), use a small knife to separate the flesh from the shell, peel off the brown membrane, give the flesh a rinse, soak for 30 min in my food processor in the reserved coconut water and mineral water (about 3cups total), blend at least 5 minutes, then strain the pulp through nut bag. Once it separates in the fridge, I get like a 60-75% cream (which is same as canned). Be patient…my first coconut took me 40min to break down but now I can have all the cleaned flesh in about 15 min and milk in 30min. Honestly, it is so thick that I use the cream part as ‘mayo’. If your room temp is below 70, warm up the water for the soak. I also do all the messy work on the towel and just shake it into the compost for super fast clean up.

    • Mickey says

      Wonderful, thanks for sharing! Most of us don’t have access to fresh coconuts, but as soon as I get my hands on some I am going to try your version!


  • […] coconut oil.  So, around the time the brew finished I also finished making the coconut milk using this recipe with slight modifications (see below).  After pouring a fresh hot cup of coffee into the mug, I […]

  • […] Homemade Organic Coconut Butter * Creamy Coconut Milk via Autoimmune Paleo * Tigernut Milk {for those who are coconut-free AIP} * Basil Pesto * There are […]

  • Daphne says

    So happy with this easy recipe! I find it almost impossible to find canned coconut milk over here that doesn’t have additives…

  • […] easy as long as you have unsweetened coconut flakes, hot water, and a blender. My recipe is here, and these are the coconut flakes I […]

  • […] to eat as a snack (its delicious toasted!) and the small-flake coconut can be used to make homemade coconut milk as well as baked […]

  • catherine says

    hope this doesn’t seem nit picky but does anyone worry about the boiling water in a plastic blender container like a vitamix? has anyone tried making it without boiling in a vitamix? i did this morning and it was creamy enough but had a weird taste? maybe it was the shredded coconut used… I wish vitamix had a container that wasn’t plastic.

  • […] Creamy Coconut Milk by Mickey Trescott from Autoimmune Paleo […]

  • Mary says

    My copy of the cookbook arrived this afternoon and I was eager to try the coconut milk recipe. While holding the lid down, I gave it one test pulse in my glass Waring blender and had coconut and boiling water all over myself and the kitchen. I haven’t had this much excitement in the kitchen since I opened up an apple juice ferment. 😉

    What blender do you use that works with hot liquids?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Mary!
      That does not sound like a good experience–so sorry! I use a Vitamix blender with a towel over top to prevent any mishaps.

    • Becky says

      I have a Ninja and had the experience of the boiling hot water and coconut flakes exploding around my kitchen. After a couple times making coconut milk (and learning to put the towel on top- thank you, Mickey), I discovered that the plastic on my blender started cracking. Is there a way not to use boiling water?

  • Serda says

    Great recipe. Thanks.

  • andria says

    that look amazing! quick question-is coconut water AIP friendly?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Yes, as long as it doesn’t have any additives that are eliminated on AIP!

  • Kim says

    This was wonderfully easy to make with my Oster My Blend personal blender (I made half a batch for just a single serving.) And I sooooo enjoyed drinking it still warm. It is so soothing! Thanks for another terrific recipe!

  • Elizabeth says

    This is so simple and easy. I love how there’s no overnight soaking involved and nothing but the coconut and water needed. It tastes far better than store-bought. Thank you!!

  • michayla says

    Do you have a recipe for making coconut yogurt?

  • Joanne says

    Love your book! Last time I followed it for 2 months and my thyroid meds went down and I’m off my cholesterol medicine! I’m so glad I saw the coconut concentrate recipe online, because unfortunately in your book it is wrong. It forgets to add the 2 cups of boiling water! I was wondering why my never turned out ….

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Joanne! I am so happy to hear of your success! Actually, the coconut concentrate recipe in my book isn’t wrong, it is to make a thick, creamy coconut paste kind of the texture of peanut butter – not coconut milk! Hope it helps!

      • John says

        My girlfriend tried the coconut concentrate recipe as well. She followed the recipe to a T but no luck either..

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Did she accidentally use low-fat coconut flakes?

  • Jennifer Farrell says

    Love your cookbook and the emails!! Trying to stick with AIP this time and was happy to find a coconut milk recipe to help. 🙂 One thing – when am I tasting to add the salt?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Jennifer, sure you can add the salt at the end!

  • Macauley says

    is any nutrition lost by using dried coconut flakes as opposed to fresh coconut? It seems like if that is the case, it would be better to buy the cans…but I’m asking because I really am interested in your recipe. Thanks for your time.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Macauley, I don’t believe so. I like the recipe because it is cheaper than the cans, but these days it is quite easy to find canned products without guar gum or carageenan so there are some good options there as well!

  • Tegan says

    Hi Mickey,

    I’ve recently started making this recipe for coconut milk, it is the best! One thing I’ve found helpful is straining the milk into a large mixing bowl, letting it cool and then placing in the fridge overnight. Once the cream has firmed up I pop it back into my blender and blitz until smooth and creamy (it makes the best whipped coconut cream), add the rest of the milk to the blender and blitz again until smooth, pour it into a jar, refrigerate, give it a good shake before each use and there’s no more separation, just thick creamy coconut milk.
    We just love it! I always a double batch and it freezes really well. I recently posted it on my nutrition Facebook blog create and nourish.

    Thanks for the recipe

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thanks for sharing your method, I will give it a try!

  • […] Read the ingredient label carefully when you buy coconut milk because (especially for kids) it is important to avoid guar gum and other thickeners (e.g. carrageenan). My research has concluded that small amounts of guar gum is probably not going to cause harm in healthy children but that it is best avoided (particularly in children who are prone to constipation). I buy canned coconut milk in a BPA free can; the cheapest organic, non-BPA, guar gum free brand that I have found is Trader Joe’s (~$1.50/can). You can find another guar gum free brand on Amazon, here. Coconut milk is also easy to make yourself; learn how here. […]

  • Sheila says

    Can gelatin be used to thicken this coconut milk? I find that the milk just isn’t thick enough for recipes or as a creamer substitute.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hmm, I am not sure I would try and thicken it with gelatin, but you could try adding some coconut oil to the blend to give it more fat content.

  • Marly says

    Soooo….I tried this and my blender exploded hehe. Apparently it can’t take hot liquids in it? Do I likely need another blender or do I need to hold the lid (is that safe to do?)
    Thanks 🙂

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Marly – sorry to hear! I am not sure what went wrong as I don’t know what kind of blender you have, nor am I a blender expert 😉 Hope you figure it out!

  • Chauntrece Washington says

    Hi, I find that I can tolerate coconut milk when I make it myself, but store bought (can versions with no additives) cream causes me all kinds of digestive issues. I am following AIP, and as you know many recipes with thicker sauces or deserts call for coconut cream. Are there any alternatives that you’ve come across? I just finished the elimination phase and have been able to add back in seeds. I make my own flax milk when I want a more neutral flavor milk.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Chauntrece! I think this is because when you make your own coconut milk, it has less fiber in it than the storebought varieties (they use commercial equipment that is better at breaking the coconut down). If you are looking for an alternative to thicken soups, stews, or sauces, I would use a root vegetable puree (like parsnip or white sweet potato) thinned with bone broth. Hope it helps!

  • […] so I worry about the health impact of the packaging. Best case scenario would be for you to make your own coconut milk – which actually isn’t as hard as you think it would be, as long as you have a high […]

  • Amy says

    Thank you for this! I’ve been out of coconut milk for weeks now as all the stores in my area are out of the Native Forest Simple coconut milk and I’m really hesitant with other brands online. I’ve been making my non-coffee lattes with collagen and coconut oil in the vitamix (works alright in a pinch) and tried adding homemade coconut butter today (NOT the best mouthfeel), but then I realized I can MAKE coconut milk. I’m saved!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Amy, I am happy this is a good solution for you! Enjoy!

      • Lucia says


        Thanks for all the info on coconut milk and the recipe. Coconut milk has become a staple in my diet and I make kefir and yogurt from it. I have been using Aroy-D. Recently a test showed I am getting gluten from some unknown source and I am reviewing all the products I use. Arroy-D seems to be gf from what I can find online, but I have decided to go another route for coconut milk, so this recipe is timely.

        I have been buying coconut flakes from the Philippines in bulk at our Coop and I do not believe it has caused GI problems, it is located a good distance from the gluten containing products. However, I need to be more vigilant and wonder if I should buy the ones you suggested from Amazon, though I would much rather buy locally. After talking to the grocery manager it seems items like bulk coconut and green or black tea would be manufactured separately from grains… What is your opinion on using bulk foods? My other hesitation with Amazon is that my naturopath told me not to buy supplements from there. Do you believe it is safe to buy gf coconut flakes and flours from Amazon?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Lucia! If you are looking to avoid all gluten cross-contamination, you will want to avoid bulk bins at grocery stores. There is no way you can tell if those products are completely free from cross-contamination, as all it takes is someone moving a “scooper” from the flour bin to another one. A better idea is to purchase pre-packaged or online from brands that manufacture in a GF facility. I do believe there are good options available on Amazon. Hope it helps!

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