How to make a coconut milk

March 28, 2006  
Topics: Belize, Health

Movie related to this post: Making Coconut Milk (for dummies)

During our stay in “The Last Resort” in Northern Belize we are learning new things every day. Trying vegetables and fruits we have never seen before, observing tropical animals (tarantulas, scorpions, etc). We will stay in the holiday resort for one more week or two, as we have to finish creating them a website and helping to promote the place on the Internet.
One of the new things we have learned here – is the process of making a coconut milk from the coconuts collected around. In this letter we will step-by-step explain the procedure of making a fresh coconut milk. 🙂
Let us know if you will succeed to follow our description and do the milk yourselves 🙂

The coconut-tree will look more or less like this one. Find the coconut-tree
High in the tree you will see green unriped fruits. Green unriped fruits
And at the bottom of the plant you might find some of fallen nuts. Fallen nuts
If you leave them untouched, they will sprout into a new tree. New tree sprout
Shake the nut and listen for the splashing noise inside the fruit. Selecting nuts with water inside
Select the ones with the water inside. Bringing to the sharp wooden pole
Bring them to the sharp wooden pole. 07-stick1
It is really sharp… 🙂 07-stick2
Peel the shell of the coconut using the wooden pole. Peel the shell
It may take several minutes. 08-peeling2
It is a hard job. A hard job
However dry fruits will be much easier to peel. Dry fruits are easier to peel
Finally you will reach the main part of the coconut. The coconut husk
Use a strong sharp tool to open the husk. Open the husk.
Hit in the middle carefully without injuring yourself. 09-opening2
Split the nut into two parts. 09-opening3
This nut was already in the process of growing a plant.
The bulb inside is a sweet delicious for the kids.
Nut in process to grow a plant
Use the grinding tool to process the coconut. Grinding tool for the coconut
One more hard job to do. 11-grain2
Make sure you clean the tool after using it. 11-grain3
Do not forget to taste the coconut after grinding it. 🙂 11-grain4
Pour cold water as much as it covers grinded coconut. Pour cold water
Pour a little bit of hot water. It will make the fat to separate easier. 12-water_cold2
For few minutes… A little bit of hot water
Knead the nut with your hands. Knead the nut
Filter the nut traces from the milk.
Filter the nut traces from the milk

15-making_milk2 15-making_milk3 15-making_milk4


Drink the milk with a pleasure or use it for cooking. It is only good for 1 day though, so consume it quickly!

16-milk3 Drink the milk with a pleasure

Or use it for cooking

Last notes about the coconuts:

  • The milk from green (unripe) coconuts is a good thirst quencher. However, the milk from mature coconuts contains an oil that acts as a laxative. Drink in moderation only. Drinking too much of this milk may cause you to lose more fluid than you drink. (US Army Survival manual)
  • The white coconut meat might be applied for relieving the itching and discomfort caused by insect bites. (US Army Survival manual)
  • After pealing the shell of the coconut keep the husk in a dry and cool place. The hot sun will make them to brake and the inside will become winy.
  • You may produce an oil from the coconut fat.
  • Use the coconut milk the same day! In the fridge the fat will separate from the water and it will become solid. It might be difficult to mix it up again.


  1. Thank you very much for the images. I come from a country where we do those steps “everyday” but never photographed them! I have a pen-pal and I wanted to explain the process of getting coconut milk. You have made it very easy with this excellent article!

    By the way, in Sri Lanka, we use coconut milk for cooking! We hardly drink it at all! :-O

    Thanks alot! Now I can send the link to my friend instead of explaining the whole thing! 🙂

    Great work!


  2. Quintella Herrington says:

    I found your steps on how to make coconut milk when doing a project with the children in my daycare. We are doing a 2 week project on coconuts. We loved the site I think we will try to make the coconut milk next week. I will get back to you with how it went. I am very excited. I anticipate some will like the milk and some wont but I think all of them will enjoy and benefit from the process. Thank You so much.