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Those who know me well, know that I should have been born somewhere with coconut palms. Not only do I love coconuts, but I also love the tropical climate that coconut palms need to survive. Sadly, while I have moved a bit closer to the tropics than where I was when living in Michigan, I don't live in a climate that allows for coconut palm trees; nor do I live in a place where it is easy to find coconut butter or coconut flour. I can find coconut milk in a can, but it costs an overpriced three and a half euros, and is likely laced with BPA. Why deal with that when it is so easy to make your own for much cheaper?

Ingredients:
-Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
-Water 

You will also need a food processor and/or blender, a cheesecloth or food safe cloth for straining the coconut milk, and an oven for drying out the coconut flour

I have decided to group these together because they are so easy to do.  Plus, you need to make the coconut milk first to be able to make the coconut flour.  The coconut butter is made independently, but I decided to add it in the end anyway because it follows the same theme.

Step 1: Making Coconut Milk: Step 1- Soak Shredded Coconut in Warm Water

To make it, you only need two ingredients: one part shredded coconut and two parts water.
Decide how much coconut milk you want to make.  I was making some to invent myself a coconut flan recipe, but I made more than I needed for that so that I could use the leftovers for making kefir and smoothies.  (My son loves smoothies, and it's a great way to sneak him foods that he won't normally eat!)

So, to make around 4 cups of coconut milk, I took two cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut and soaked it in 4 cups of warm water for a couple of hours.  I let mine soak in my blender jar because I'll be using it in the next step anyway.

Step 2: Making Coconut Milk: Step 2- Blend the Coconut and Water

Blend the coconut and water mixture in the blender for a minute or two.  

Step 3: Making Coconut Milk: Step 3- Strain the Coconut Milk

Prepare a cheesecloth or white cotton towel and a bowl.  Pour the blended mixture into the cloth, and strain. 
The liquid that you squeeze out of the cloth is your coconut milk!!  Easy, right?  
You can use it right away, store it in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze it in ice cube trays for easy future dispensing.

If you want to make coconut cream, just use more coconut to less water.  It will make a more concentrated, thicker liquid.  This, of course, is not to be confused with the sweetened "coconut cream" that they sell for making desserts and piña coladas.

If you want to make coconut flour, don't throw away the leftover coconut pulp in your cloth!!  Instead, continue to the next step...

Step 4: Making Coconut Flour: Step 1- Spread Coconut Pulp Out on a Baking Sheet and Bake

What is coconut flour, you ask? 

It is a high fiber, low carb "flour" that can be used in place of wheat or other grain flours in cooking and baking.  It is especially used in recipes for diets that seek to eliminate wheat flour like gluten-free diets, GAPS and paleo diets.

You have to be a bit careful when replacing it in baking as it tends to be a bit drier (you'll probably need to add some more liquid to compensate) and makes a bit different consistency than wheat flour.  You could substitute a small percentage of it, though, to reduce your flour intake.  Luckily, there are a lot of good recipes out there that use it, though, and it is also good for coating meats.
Making coconut flour is very easy.

Basically all you need to do is to take the pulp that is left over after straining your coconut milk, and spread it out in a thin layer on a baking sheet.  I lined my baking sheet with some parchment paper first for easy cleanup.
Bake on low heat until it feels completely dry.  You are almost done!...

Step 5: Making Coconut Flour: Step 2- Process in Food Processor

Now, just process it in a food processor until you get as fine of a powder as you can with your particular machine.  Mine doesn't get very powdery or flour-like, but still works quite well in recipes that use coconut flour.

In the picture, the coconut flour is on the left, the coconut butter is in the middle and the coconut milk is on the right.  (I did make more flour than the amount in the jar, but  when I took the picture, I had already set aside some of the flour for another recipe!)

Step 6: Making Coconut Butter: Step 1- Process Shredded Coconut in a Food Processor

Once I had started to create homemade coconut products with shredded coconut, I decided to make coconut butter too.  Usually coconut flan uses shredded coconut, but I wanted to try to make something a little bit smoother.  So, I decided to use some homemade coconut butter instead.

Not too long ago I mistakenly thought that coconut butter was just a term that people used for coconut oil when it reached its solid state at cooler temperatures.  I later found out, though, that coconut butter and coconut oil are really two different, wonderful things!
Coconut oil is the fat of the coconut.  It is white as a solid, but it is a clear, transparent liquid when the temperatures are warm enough.  Coconut butter, though, also has coconut pulp in it.  So, even when temperatures are high, it is white and more like a nut butter; definitely not a liquid.  Now, in the summer heat, mine has separated with a thin layer of coconut oil floating on top.

So, how does one make coconut butter? 

Well, it's pretty much made in the same way that you would make any nut butter.  I have had success making homemade almond butter in my food processor.  It takes a bit of time and patience, but it is a great workout for your food processor, and the results are fantastic.

So, start with a decent amount of shredded coconut.  I forgot how compacted it gets, used 375g, and it didn't make that much.  

Start processing away...

Step 7: Making Coconut Butter: Step 2- Keep Processing!!!

Coconut seems way to dry to turn into something so creamy without needing to add anything else.  Trust me, though, if you blend it for long enough, it will eventually turn into coconut butter.
My old food processor actually took much less time to make the coconut butter.  I think the blades hit much lower and so it really kept moving the coconut better, making the process much easier.  I was starting to doubt that my newer food processor would even be able to make coconut butter at all, but it eventually did.
If you are having problems getting your coconut butter to form, stop every minute or so, at first, and scrape down the sides so that your blades can reach all of the coconut.  Also, make sure you use enough coconut to have a big enough mass for your blades to reach it all well.  At first you will notice the coconut getting a little bit clumpy.  Keep processing, and it will start to release its oils.  Once some of the liquid from the oil is released, it makes it easier for your food processor to work the rest of it.  Keep processing until you get the consistency you like.

Step 8: Making Coconut Butter: Step 3- Enjoy Your Freshly Made Coconut Butter

In the picture you can see how much coconut butter I obtained from 3 small 125g bags of shredded coconut.
Even in the winter, when coconut butter and oil solidify, this should work well because the heat from all of the blending makes it creamy.  In cold weather, though, you should pour your recently made coconut butter into the container you want to keep it in as soon as you can because it will quickly harden up as it cools off.  In the summer it will stay creamy, so leave it out of the fridge for easy use. 
I actually like to eat it plain, as is.  I'm a coconut fanatic, though.  That said, it is also how I like my peanut butter.  Basically you should be able to use it for the same sorts of things that you use other nut butters for.
I used part of mine in my coconut flan...  (recipe to come shortly!!)
<p>Thank you for these straightforward, well-illustrated instructions. You mentioned kefir. I haven't had any luck making coconut kefir with kefir grains raised in cow's milk. Have you found a good way to make coconut kefir? If so, would you share it? Thanks again.</p>
<p>I have always added coconut to when making my soymilk but never thought of trying to make coconut milk, cream or butter. Thanks for the tip.</p>
<p>hi all.well i am wondering on sth..we have on stores shredded coconut which we use in candy and macaroons and i dont knwo if thats the one i can use to make milk and flour????second..i found coconuts fresh on store for rather cheap...now how to make coconut flour out fo them?like must make milk first and then dry the pulp or i can make it straight to flour by dry the coconut flesh in dehydrator????????any thoughts to a confused coconut lover???thanks!!!!!!</p>
If the shredded coconut isn't a sweetened shredded coconut, then, yes, it should be what you are looking for. Just check the ingredients and make sure it doesn't have added sugar.<br>You should be able to make coconut milk and flour from the fresh coconut if you can shred it up. I would cut the brown part off first. I don't think you would need to worry about dehydrating it first because you are just going to rehydrate it again anyway. I've never tried it personally, though, because using already shredded coconut is just so much easier.<br>Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
thanks for the really great information. I was wondering if you've tried this with fresh coconut... i have been having an affair with coconuts lately and well... there's just so much coconut... i've been freezing the meats. i was thinking i could dry out the coconut in the oven and and then grate in the food processor? I'll let you know... the worst that could happen is I waste $1.39 (the cost of the coconut:-)
I'm sure it would work. You might not even have to dry it out, although butter made with coconut with moisture probably wouldn't keep as long. Maybe the water would separate, though, and you could remove it later by putting it in the fridge. The coconut oil and butter should solidify, allowing you to pour off the water. <br>This is all hypothetical, though, because I haven't tried it myself. I'm just guessing. <br>For the milk, obviously, the water isn't a problem. <br>I'd love to hear how it goes if you try it!! :)
it was interesting... first off, it didn't dry so well... and then i added coconut milk to the coconut as it was, and maybe some water. maybe i overblended it and turned it into butter.. it was really thick. I used it as cream in my tea. I'll try again. I'll keep you informed. have a great one.
Which were you trying to make? Coconut milk?<br>Did you add enough water and then strain it?
This is fantastic! I can't wait to try it all out. Thank you so much :)
Congratulations on the instructions is very practical and useful. Thanked.
Who knew how easy this could be. Great instructable! My, Caveman Diet budget, will be very pleased, thanks.
This is just too brilliant! Where have I been?!! Oh wait, I know...at the store spending a bundle on all of the listed items you made al by yourself! Thanks so much, I cannot wait to get my not little hands on some coconuts! I truly am coo-coo for coconuts!!!
:)
Love this! I made coconut milk and the flour with about 250g of shredded coconut. It made approx. 1.2L of milk and exactly a cup of flour. <br>The milk I made has less fat than the canned variety I found, about half the solids than the can - is it just me? <br>Instructables is great for procrastination from homework :)
I mentioned before- I think in the comments section somewhere :)- that you can make it either thicker or thinner depending upon the amount of water you use in your coconut to water ratio. I found this ratio to be a happy medium and similar to what I have bought in stores. I have made it with more coconut, though, and it did have more solids and was thicker and creamier. I guess it would depend upon what you want to use it for. <br>I, for example, would never buy &quot;light&quot; coconut milk in a can because I think with many brands it is just watered down coconut milk for a similar price. If you were to make this with more water and less coconut, though, I would imagine that you get something similar to &quot;Light coconut milk.&quot; <br>Another thing that may affect the thickness of canned coconut milk is that they often add things like guar gum to thicken it. I prefer to have coconut milk with just coconut and water. ;)
Oh, and Instructables is actually good for procrastination from just about anything- not just homework!! :)
That's great...NOW here are MY INTERESTS: Coconut oil can be (SHOULD BE) used for almost everything that has movement and need friction reduced; from hinges to locks. Also remove paint on hands (no odor, good for the skin!); fresh stains.. I have cleaned rust from an outdoor cooker, and on and on...Just try it and see ...
Yes, I also use coconut oil for a lot of different things. It's almost impossible to find coconut oil here in Spain, though, because they still consider it an unhealthy oil. I end up ordering in large quantities from Germany. I do like it for cooking, but my favorite uses are for moisturizing my skin and as a pre-wash conditioner for my hair. I also love the way it smells. :) <br>
The human DNA allows it to process either protein or ketones. When a baby is born, it has been processing ketones, not protein. If you don't have meat available, the coconut oil can provide a useable source of nutrition in place of it. No animal's body can do this. Probably should supplement the corn mush in starving regions with coconut oil to help on several levels.
THANK YOU!! I cant drink milk and the substitute milks like almond and coconut have carrageenan in it that makes me very sick, Thus I have been buying the canned coconut milk at a ridiculous price. Thank you thank you, I had given up on coconut milk because I couldn't afford it but now I have new hope.
Wife likes Silk Soymilk original, because it is low-fat, has the additional benefits of cholesterol-lowering naturally-occurring compounds, and they don't use sweet barley to give it sweetness, which to her is objectionable, because in competitor products, it strays too far from the traditional milk taste.
You're very welcome. I hope it works out well for you. I also prefer the taste of homemade to canned coconut milk, and when you make it yourself you can control how thick or thin you want it to be. You can get a coconut cream consistency with more coconut and less water, or a &quot;light&quot; coconut milk with more water and less coconut.
Oh, man! This sounds too easy. Now to find a source of unsweetened coconut in the land of over-sweetened, church basement recipes! <br>One more thing to bring back in my already overstuffed suitcase from Hawaii.
If you're in the US you can order coconut from places like Amazon, Swanson Vitamins, Vitacost, and various other online health food-type stores. Mine came from . . . Puritan's Pride, apparently. Now I have to stop eating the cashews I found while looking through the cupboard <br> <br>Anyway, tangent over, I LOVE this Instructable. I've made coconut butter before, and am about to burn out my aging blender (It's due for a replacement) making coconut milk.
:) <br>If you look at the comments, someone else mentioned finding it in the bulk section of Whole Foods too. <br>I miss Whole Foods. Sigh.
Luckily here in Spain I've never even seen the sweetened variety, so it is very easy to find. I do remember eating the sweetened coconut from the bags as a kid, though, when growing up in the states. I loved the easter bunny cakes covered with it, too. Now it is way too sweet for me. <br>I'm surprised that they wouldn't have both varieties available, though, in just a regular grocery store- maybe in a different section? Maybe you could try health food stores if not?
This worked great! My hubby (@ozyglass) and I found the coconut at Whole Foods in the bulk section. About $6 worth of coconut made a half pint of butter, a quart of milk, four cups of flour, with enough raw left over to coat the shrimp in our dinner. We made all the products and put them right to use with Coconut Shrimp and curried Swiss chard in coconut milk. Thanks for the great Instructable!
I'm so glad they worked for you and that you liked it!!
Awesome Instructable, thank you so much for sharing! I was wondering whether you compared the cost of eg. the diy coconut milk vs store-bought coconut milk? I have a feeling it works out a lot cheaper to make it yourself!
Woo-hoo! Great post - thanks so much for this!
Thank you so much for sharing this incredible idea..this is something I shall definitely try..
When you say unsweetened shredded coconut, are you talking about the dry coconut?
Yes!! :)
Thank you for such a great post! I will definitely give all of these a try, especially since I have never had coconut butter...sounds luscious!
a coffee grinder(spice grinder... pretty much the same thing) will make a nice fine powder from that coconut meal leftover from making the milk. <br> <br>Not that i would make the flour on purpose, but as a byproduct of making the milk, it works pretty well in pie shells, doughnuts and waffles. Not so well in breads and pasta.
Thanks. You're right. I actually did use mine (coffee grinder) awhile back when trying to make a finer version to see if it would help in baked goods to have a finer powder (although it didn't really make a huge difference in the recipe I tried). I forgot all about that. I haven't used it lately because it is being used to grind up my hens' shells to put back in their food for added calcium, and I'm too lazy to clean it out for just coconut flour. ;) <br>
Thanks so much! I've always wanted to know how to make these!
This is really interesting. It looks like your old food processor is an old Oster Kitchen Center attachment. If so I love this old appliance. I will have to try this just to see how it works.
It's actually just an inexpensive blender/food processor brand made by a local, German supermarket (LIDL) here in Spain. It uses the same motor for both the blender and food processor attachments. It isn't an expensive machine, and I'm still able to make coconut butter with it. So, definitely give it a try. Be patient. It can take a little while. ;) &nbsp;Good luck!
This is very helpful- I never knew it was so easy to make your own coconut products!
excellent ive been trying to do this for a long time. thanks.

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Bio: Originally from Michigan, I am currently living on the Spanish Riviera with my Spanish husband, our toddler, two dogs and four hens. I love to ... More »
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