Your whole food, plant-based life.

Fresh Raw Coconut Milk

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

Tips for your Coconut Milk

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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  1. Ali J wrote on January 12, 2016

    I have just had my first experience cracking a dried coconut. I tried hitting it with the back of my kitchen knife, then moved on to using the back of a machete (Thant didn’t work as I could hit it hard enough). My third attempt involved giving it a good hard wack on the concrete floor outside. Success!!! I quickly poured the water into a cup, and my husband enjoyed it later. Here in Jamaica, we don’t usually discard the water as it only tasted bad it the coconut is old or stale. We also don’t bother to remove the brown skin around the flesh. it all gets blended then strained

  2. demi wrote on December 9, 2015

    hi could u please tell me in cups hpwmuch water for how much cups flesh??thank you.also the cocontu cream how do i do it?i use like 2 cups coconut meat with same amount of water for milk and then i can freeze it to use it or refrigerate it??

    • Susan wrote on December 9, 2015

      Hi, Demi, I wrote this post a long time ago and I don’t have the exact measurements of the coconut. Most mature coconuts are about the same size. So, I used the flesh from 4 coconuts and 3 cups of water. If you want it to be thicker, just use less water with the same amount of flesh. You can freeze it or refrigerate it. Cheers!

  3. Marina wrote on March 1, 2015

    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

  4. Rachel Cramer wrote on February 28, 2015

    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

  5. Ada wrote on February 25, 2015

    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 🙂 !)

  6. Cory wrote on January 26, 2015

    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.


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