Fresh Raw Coconut Milk

by Susan on April 12, 2012

It all started with a  craving for raw Pad Thai. I haven’t made it yet, and have been wanting to for quite a while. Knowing that coconut milk is an important ingredient that I want in my Pad Thai sauce, I set out to make fresh, raw coconut milk for my raw Pad Thai raw food recipe.

I use young Thai coconuts all the time. I open them with ease (see here) and am very familiar with how to use them. Traditional coconut milk is made from mature coconuts. Something I am not familiar with at all. I bought a couple and brought them home and stared at them for days. The hairy little buggers intimidated me. In fact, they down right scared me.

I have memories, as a very little girl, of my mother trying to open a coconut. I believe there were hammers, chisels, and maybe even a car involved. Much huffing and puffing, and extreme frustration. There may have even been a few off color words from my very prim and proper mother. A frightening scenario for a little girl. Honestly, I also think there was quite a lot of laughing as each attempt failed and each following attempt got more extreme. I seem to remember the final attempt involving her 64 pontiac. 

Well, here is the thing. Opening those hairy little guys is actually a piece of cake. A little research on line and I was able to pop right through the shell and dive into one of the most heavenly substances I have encountered for a while. Traditionally coconut milk is made from mature coconuts and I quickly found out why. The flesh is pure coconut heaven. Very different from the young coconuts.

To open the coconut, simply tap (ok…whack) the coconut around the midline with the back of a cleaver.

 After a couple of good whacks, you will hear a crack. Keep turning and tapping and within seconds, the coconut will have split! You will want to do this over a bowl as there is water inside. Discard the water. 

You can then either pry out the flesh with a table knife or my favorite, turn it over, give the outside shell a good whack with a hammer and the flesh will just pop right out (this does require breaking the shell). 

Once you pop the flesh out, peel off the brown skin with a vegetable peeler. Chop up the coconut and put it in the high-speed blender. Add water, blend and then strain through a nut-milk bag or a few layers of cheese cloth.

The extra pulp can be dehydrated at 115 degrees until dry. Give it a quick spin in the blender after it is dry and you have lovely, fragrant raw coconut flour! 

Raw Coconut Flour

Fresh Coconut Milk


  • 1 to 4 mature coconuts (depending on how thick you want your milk)
  • 3 cups water

1.Remove flesh from coconut (see above)

2. Place the flesh from one coconut in high-speed blender with 3 cups water and blend a few minutes. 

3. Strain through nut-milk bag. (Set pulp aside to dehydrate for coconut flour)

To make thicker coconut milk:

1. Take coconut milk you just made and blend with second coconut in high-speed blender. Strain through nut-milk bag.

*You can keep blending the coconut milk with more coconut flesh until you get coconut cream. 

Note: If your coconut milk sits in the refrigerator the fat will collect on the top. You can give it a quick spin in the blender to reincorporate it. 

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

kate April 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

This is what I do…..i scrub the outside of the coconut, then whack over a bowl, and i do NOT discard the water. It’s great, in my opinion, even from these mature cocs….sure it’s not as sweet as the young coc water, but why throw it away??? It is great in smoothies, or just to drink, etc. That’s what I say…..=)


Petra April 24, 2014 at 6:48 am

You can drink both the coconut “juice” or “water’ from the young (green) coconuts as well as the mature coconuts. There’s more juice in the green coconuts + plus it’s sweeter and has more electrolytes than juice from mature coconuts.
Coconut flour: Can I dry this out in the sun instead of using a dehydrator /oven? How do I know that the dried ground coconut meat is ready to be blended?


The Brand Fam June 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Excellent! Living in Guatemala now without access to Young Thai Coconuts so this was a valuable resource. Thank you!

The Brand Fam


Hisha August 2, 2014 at 7:30 am

Where did u get that knife? Could you please post me the style and the brand of the knife?


Susan August 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

It is a simple cleaver. You can pick one up anywhere knives are sold. Cheers!


Wini September 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Can you freeze the milk?


Susan September 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Hi, Wini, I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not. It might separate but you can just whisk or blend it again. Cheers!


Paige October 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm

How long does the milk keep? Is there any way to store it long term (without freezing), similar to how one would can their own vegetables?


Susan October 19, 2014 at 11:52 am

Hi, Paige, Fresh milks like this will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. You could try freezing it. Cheers!


Lisa June 15, 2015 at 10:00 am

Freezing is not a problem. My mother in law does it.


Paige October 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm

How long does the milk keep? Is there any way to store it long term (without freezing), similar to how one would can their own vegetables?


Cory January 26, 2015 at 10:59 pm

I always use the coconut water IN my coconut milk (added flavor). Great tip is to poke a hole in the coconut and let it drain before cracking it open. The odd one of the three circular shapes on every coconut is easy to poke a hole in with a small tool like a clean screwdriver. I place the coconut over the vitamix and let it drain. Also there is no need specifically for a large cleaver type knife to crack open the coconut. I often just use a hammer, continually hitting the center around the whole thing. It works well and not as jagged a cut as you might expect. I just learned of the many uses of coconut flour, and now realize I’ve been throwing a precious commodity away. Thank you.


Ada February 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Love how you teach opening a mature coconut (a truly heavenly delicacy)…. I will try it your way and sure hope it’ll be easier than the monster task I’ve considered it so far, so thank you for that! Now, why discarding the water?!? That’s totally delicious (unless the coconut it’s starting to go bad)… and very nutritious!! (almost my favorite part :) !)


Rachel Cramer February 28, 2015 at 11:25 pm

You can use the water from mature coconuts in cake mixes or other baked items that call for water it keeps them moist far longer than water. Just strain it to remove bits and keep refrigerated or frozen till you need it


Marina March 1, 2015 at 11:40 pm

We in Sri Lanka has been using coconuts for centuries on a daily basis , coconut oil , coconut milk ,scraped coconut , dedicated coconut or lately coconut powder and sapping the coconut flower obtained a liquid when fermented becomes a local alcoholic drink toddy or into arrak . When boiled for hours it become honey or solidifies into jaggry . My grand parents lived long and healthy lives eating coconut products .The rest of the tree has so many uses from making roofs to brooms and the leaves weaeved to cover roofs in the villages. So coconut tree is no dought the wonder tree for us locals . Same as the bamboo to the Chinese


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