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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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

karina March 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Here is a tip: before you crack it open, make a hole with a clean nail where the coconut has natural little dark indentations and drain the water. This way you don’t lose any of it or make a mess! This coconut water is nature’s Gatorade, by the way. Enjoy it chilled!

Susie March 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm

How much of this luscious stuff may I allow myself to drink per day?

Susan March 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Susie, that would completely depend on so many different things I couldn’t begin to guess. It is probably not low fat so I would take that into consideration. Cheers!

CoconutLover August 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

Fresh coconut milk is not only easy to make, it also tastes soooo much better than the stuff in the can. Plus when you make it at home it is just coconut and water.

Thank you for the tip on whacking the shell. I will have to give it a go I usually use a paring knife and pry it out piece by tiny piece. So time consuming! And if you don’t have a blender or food processor then you need to grate the coconut. Trying to grate tiny 1 inch pieces of coconut is not fun!

Anna August 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I’m interested in trying this and use coconut milk quite frequently, but have never used coconut flour before. How long can the freshly made coconut flour keep?

Susan August 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

If you want to keep it for more than a week or two, put it in the freezer. :-)

Ashly September 22, 2013 at 1:52 am

Can you dehydrate the coconut in the oven?

B November 29, 2013 at 7:59 am

“Discard the water” – coconut water does a better job at keeping you hydrated than plain water, like a “natural Gatorate” :) Is a very refreshing drink with electrolytes and minerals to replenish hydration levels within the body. I used the locknut water mixed with the water and I thought the recipe tasted a with a little more flavor. :)

Sorry my bad english :)
I love your blog!

Susan November 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Honestly, I think that the water that comes out of young coconuts is so much superior to the water that comes out of old ones. I love to drink that coconut water…

biosong January 13, 2014 at 4:13 am

i dont suggest drinking the juice of this type of coconut.
the juice that is for drinkign comes from those that of have thin meat. less mature if you may say.
from my experience the juice from this mature coconuts isnt good.
in my location we call this “niyog” (usually brown in color), the once for eating and drinking is “buko” (usually green in color).

Laong (Wan) Hertz February 10, 2014 at 5:25 am

In Thailand we discard the coconut water from the old coconuts and shred up the coconut meat and toast it to be used in different recipes. It is also best to use the freshly made coconut within 24 hours. It goes bad very quickly and sometimes spoils before 2 days.

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!

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