Recipe: SCD/GAPS Coconut Milk

May 1, 2011 · 55 comments

Shredded coconut, coconut milk


Living dairy-free can be a challenge, especially when it comes to milk replacements. Over the years I have tried many products. Before I knew better, I drank a lot of soy milk. After reading Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story I stopped drinking it immediately because of all the problems it can create. But that is another post for a different day. One alternative is to make your own coconut milk.

There are cans of coconut milk on the market, but if you are on SCD or GAPS you will not want to use them. Even the cans that list only coconut milk as the ingredient may have some guar gum in it to prevent separating. In this country, most manufacturers follow the 2% rule. That rule says that if the ingredient is less than 2% of the product, the manufacturers DO NOT have to list it. Very few manufacturers disclose every single additive, which is why you have to be so careful when purchasing commercial food. Even if you are not on these special diets why would you want to use something with an additive? The best way to avoid additives is to make you own.

Coconut milk can easily be made from pure shredded coconut that has no sugar added. I would purchase this from a health food store, not the conventional grocery. You can also purchase shredded coconut online from reputable suppliers.  Shredded coconut by itself can be a little irritating to a sensitive gut, but the milk is well tolerated by most people. This milk is also the basis for my delicious coconut yogurt which will be the topic for my next recipe.

Coconut Milk


5.6 – 6 quart filtered water
12 – 15 cups shredded coconut


Large pot

Strainers with varying degrees of fineness

Large wooden spoon

Immersion blender


  • In a large pot (I use my stockpot) combine the shredded coconut and filtered water
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer stirring constantly with the large wooden spoon
  • Let cool for a few minutes
  • Blend mixture for 2 – 3 minutes using an immersion blender (this is a fabulous invention!)
  • Strain through a course strainer FIRST and press with a spatula to get all the liquid out
  • Strain through a fine strainer next
  • Press liquid out with a spatula at each straining
  • Pour into quart jars when cool enough
  • You may pass the liquid through several fine strainers to get it very smooth

This will make approximately 4 quarts coconut milk. You can freeze what you don’t need right away.

This post is linked to: Seasonal Sunday, Sugar-free Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Meatless Monday, Mangia Monday,Mouthwatering Monday, Hearth and Soul Hop, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Tuesdays at the Table, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods, Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, What’s on the Menu, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Made it on Monday, Foodie Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Frugal Follies, Tip Day Carnival, Real Food Weekly, Recipe Swap Thursday, Creative Juice Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Food Trip Friday, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Fight back Friday, Friday Potluck, Fat Camp Friday, Fun with Food Friday

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Chaya May 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm

This is interesting and not hard to do. I am not sure where to get this because it has to be marked kosher. I will have to do some checking up. thanks for linking this up. It is marvelous way to make the milk.

Were you suggesting that there is a problem with guar gum? If so, what would it be. My husband has celiac and although I rarely use it, it is found in many gluten-free recipes. I have found my cakes rise just as well with out it and have a better texture.


Jill May 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Hi Chaya,
Go to this page:

The company Digestive Wellness has Kosher products and sells coconut flour on the “Nut products” page.
Guar gum is a polysaccharide and not allowed on the SCD/GAPS diets. But even for others not on these diets, any of the gums — guar, arabic, xanthan, etc. are processed additives used to bind the product together, improve texture and stabilize it. They are found in gluten-free recipes because without gluten holding things together, these other emulsifiers are needed to make the product similar to a gluten product. However, the gums are made from beans and are very hard to digest and can irritate a sensitive gut. I hope this helps!


Raj @ Flip Cookbook May 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I used to drink soy milk all the time too. For me it was because I wanted to increase my intake of protein. After gaining more knowledge about soy milk, I switched too. I’m actually able to drink dairy without problems now but every now and again I switch things up and drink almond or coconut milk.

Thanks for sharing this with Sugar Free Sunday. It’s really nice to show everyone that sometimes options are not as difficult as they may seem.


Jill May 2, 2011 at 6:12 am

Hi Raj,
Thanks for your comments. I do like people to see that it is not so hard to make your own products.


judee@glutenfreeA-Z May 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

Although it looks like a little more work, I just don’t like using canned products. Thanks for a helpful recipe.


Jill May 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

Hi Judee,
Thanks for your comments. It’s always a little more work, but so worth it.


barbara goodman May 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

Recently had coconut milk, it was delicious. We also stopped drinking soy milk & using almond milk.


Jill May 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hi Barbara,
Those are much better choices than soy milk.


Laura May 2, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I just made some cocoyo and it was soo good! I was wondering what you do with the leftover shredded coconut. I dehydrated mine and put it in the blender thinking it would make flour, but it’s just finely shredded coconut. Would I be able to use it again to make milk?


Jill May 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Hi Laura,
Sometimes I dehydrate some of it and use it in cookies. I do not think it would yield much milk a second time.


Jacqui May 2, 2011 at 9:25 pm

This is so awesome! I love coconut milk.


Jill May 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Hi Jacqui,
Thanks so much for your comments!


Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes May 2, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Hi Jill! I just saw your link over at Real Sustenance. I have been interested in making my own coconut milk for awhile now. It seems pretty easy. Does it separate like canned coconut milk does? I use the coconut cream a lot so I am wondering if I can get the coconut cream from homemade milk?

Thanks! :)


Jill May 3, 2011 at 6:05 am

Hi Tressa,
Yes, it separates. The cream would be at the top and I guess you could call it coconut cream. But if you don’t mix it, the rest of the product would be very watery. Good luck!


Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes May 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I skim the “cream” off the top and make a dairy free whipped cream. The texture is just like real whipped cream and it is delicious! I then use the leftover milk/water in my smoothies and shakes.


Jill May 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Hi Tressa,
Do you whip up the cream in a blender or do you use a hand beater to make whipped cream? Sounds like a great idea and a good use for the leftover milk!


Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes May 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I use a hand mixer. I refrigerate the milk for about an hour, then skim off the cream and whip it up. I am not sure what is allowed on the SCD and GAPS diets but I also add some raw agave and vanilla. It is good just on it’s own though, fairly sweet.

Jill May 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Hi Tressa,
raw honey and sugar free vanilla extract are both allowed on SCD. I would not use agave — it is not the “natural” sweetener it is touted to be. In fact, it is highly processed. But thanks! I am going to try this!


Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes May 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I have been doing some more research on agave and I am finding that what you are saying is true. It is not so natural. I think I will be moving toward using raw honey. Do you know anything about coconut palm sugar? That is the other sweetener I use.

I make my own vanilla extract, so I know it is sugar free. :)

Jill May 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Hi Tressa,
I’m sot too sure about how coconut palm sugar rates as to “naturalness” but read this from a coconut manufacturer — it is not a sustainable product…

Christy May 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I love how easy this is. My son is allergic to milk and I would love to make this for him. Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!


Jill May 3, 2011 at 6:06 am

Hi Christy,
This is perfect for him!


Christine May 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

This looks super tasty! I cast a leery eye the additional ingredients to my cans of coconut milk, but can’t find any alternative, so I just use it anyways. I guess I don’t have to any more! :)

If one didn’t have an immersion blender, what do you recommend using?


Jill May 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Hi Christine,
I guess you could use a regular blender. But I’m giving away an immersion blender this month if you subscribe to the Newsletter. Why don’t you try for it!!! Scroll up to see the ad for it.


Miz Helen May 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

What a great idea and recipe. Although I do not drink milk of any kind except for a once a year soda, I do use this kind of product to cook with and it is always great to know how to make your own, especially when you are out in the country like we are. We don’t always have access to what the larger city markets offer. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!


Jill May 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Hi Miz Helen,
Thank you for your comments!


April @ The 21st Century Housewife May 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

Thank you for a really interesting post. My family are not dairy free, but I’m always interested in ways of avoiding additives etc. I had no idea you could make your own coconut milk at home – that is wonderful! Thank you for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!


Jill May 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

Hi April,
Thanks for your comments!


Miranda May 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I never knew it was so simple to make your own coconut milk. I am from the islands, but believe it or not, I have never been much of a fan though. Thanks for linking this up to Fat Camp Fridays this week! See you next week!


Katie May 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I really need to make my own coconut milk as much as I use sometime!!


christy larsen May 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm

this is a fabulous solution…and i never thought to make my own coconut milk. although i am neither dairy or gluten free, i do like to have options when cooking and eating..and coconut milk is a favorite of mine. i too stay away from any non-fermented soy. thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!


Jill May 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Hi Christy,
I’m so glad you find the recipe useful!


Jill May 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

Hi Christy,
Thanks for your comments!


Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy May 11, 2011 at 10:27 am

Since my son almost exclusively drinks coconut milk (allergic to milk and soy, and avoiding nut products), I am very interested in making it myself, but most recipes I’ve seen online involve using a high-powered blender/food processor like VitaMix which I simply can’t afford. I like that this one uses an immersion blender, which I have, but the difference I see is that the mixture is heated first. Does this ruin any of the nutrients in the coconut? I guess it doesn’t make much difference; it’s still better than buying the processed version, and I can do it without investing in the VitaMix (which I will do eventually when I can). Have you ever used it with frozen coconut?


Jill May 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

Hi Anne,
While it is possible that some of the nutrients may be decreased a little from heating, you really do need to do that to get the liquid flowing. I really don’t worry about that as we use a lot of coconut in various ways that are heated. For instance you might question if heating coconut oil takes nutrients out of that and I think the answer is no. I have not used the frozen coconut but have seen that used in the Vitamix. I just wonder if that method gets it really smooth…


nicolette @ momnivores dilemma May 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm

What would you suggest for calcium for young boys on GFCF? I worry about that…

This looks easy enough, putting it on my summer to do list!

Thanks for linking to Creative Juice. Hope to see you back again this week…


Jill May 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Hi Nicolette,
I great source of calcium and minerals is bone broths. I will be posting recipes for those in the near future. And let’s not forget fermented cod liver oil and butter oil for strong bones. There are sponsors on my blog pages for these products. If I did not think they were great products I would not have them there.


Kim May 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I use a ton of coconut milk and have never considered making my own! Thanks so much for the recipe.


Jill May 12, 2011 at 5:34 am

Hi Kim,
Great! Let me know how it goes!


christy mcdonald July 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

I use my nut milk bag for straining coconut or almond milk, it works really well and it only takes one pass through.


Jill July 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Hi Christy,
Where do you purchase a nut milk bag? I have a bag that came with my Yogourmet Yogurt maker. Is that the same? And how do you press the coconut so all the liquid goes through?



Cylkev December 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm

same here, i don’t know where you would get one but i got mine in UK from a raw foodie online store.
you just squeeze and squeeze and press and press!


Cindy August 8, 2011 at 11:13 am

Thanks for info on coconut sugar. I got on that bandwagon and bought 2 cans. The taste sort of disappears in baking, so I stopped using it anyway. But I didn’t think about the source! That would be awful to lose access to fresh coconuts!

And that brings me to my question: doesn’t heating the coconut destroy the nutrients. You don’t give a heating temperature. I’ve done this with a fresh coconut. Blend, juice, take the pulp and dehydrate then grind to flour. I can’t buy frozen coconut where I live so it’s a little work getting the meat out. Didn’t think about freezing it–it ferments so quickly.


Jill August 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hi Cindy,
I usually heat until hot but not boiling. I never bothered to actually take the temperature. But you need to heat to get the oils flowing. I don’t know if you actually lose any nutrients as they are in the fat and that is fine to heat unless you go beyond the smoke point.


kate September 1, 2011 at 11:27 am

How long does this stay good in the refrigerator?


Jill September 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi Kate,
It will stay a few days refrigerated. Maybe up to a week but I usually use it before that.


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