If you’ve ever picked up a box of coconut milk from the store and read the ingredients, it probably looked something like this: water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, carrageenan, guar gum, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors…
The list of ingredients in most store bought coconut milks is absolutely ridiculous, especially since you only need 2 ingredients to make it – COCONUT AND WATER!
I’m here to show you 3 ways to make coconut milk with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. I think some of you might be shocked at how easy it is…
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This is why I don’t buy store bought coconut milk, just look at all the unnecessary ingredients…
Earlier this year when Starbucks made their big announcement that they were going to start offering coconut milk, they failed to mention the most elementary thing – what the ingredients are! But some of you have sent me pics of the box it comes in, and I hate to admit that I’m not surprised:
Starbucks Coconut Milk Ingredients: Water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum, corn dextrin, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2.
Packaged coconut milks are full of unnecessary additives like these :
Carrageenan – I’ve written extensively about carrageenan since 2012, when I found out that it’s used in many dairy-substitutes like nut milks. Carrageenan is added as a thickener and to keep ingredients from separating as an emulsifier, but it’s known to cause digestion problems and is contaminated with“degraded carrageenan”. Tests have found as much as 25% degraded carrageenan in “food-grade carrageenan” (the kind used in some coconut milks). As reported in the news recently, a new study published in Nature, found that emulsifiers may be contributing to the “rising incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract”. Many mainstream brands are removing (or have removed) carrageenan from their products, like Silk and So Delicious – but it’s still found at Starbucks and in Coconut Dream brand.
Gellan Gum, Locust Bean Gum and Guar Gum– These ingredients are known to cause stomach issues like bloating and gas in people who have sensitive digestive systems. I personally try not to consume these ingredients on a regular basis especially for foods that I have often like coconut milk and other nut milks.
Added Sugar – There is no need to sweeten coconut milk, and you can always sweeten it with sweeteners you prefer at home. Also, some of us would like to drink a coconut milk Starbucks latte without added sugar, and if customers want a sweet drink they can request that sweeteners are added when they order.
Natural Flavors – If they simply used more coconut cream and less “thickening agents”, would these fake flavors be needed? This proprietary concoction of chemicals could contain just about anything naturally-derived, and as recently reported on CNN, may contain “anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients. And all of the extra ingredients in flavors often aren’t as innocent as you’d hope they would be. The mixture will often have some solvent and preservatives — and that makes up 80 to 90 percent of the volume”.
Synthetic Vitamin D2 – This form of vitamin D isn’t natural (created in a lab), and you’ll often see it added to non-dairy products. Vitamin D2 has been shown to be insufficient and not suitable for fortification, but food manufacturers continue to needlessly fortify their products with it.
Corn Dextrin & Xanthan Gum – These are more thickening agents, typically made from GMO corn. Xanthan gum is often derived from corn, and its consumption can cause gastrointestinal issues. Corn is an increasingly common allergen and more people are reporting an intolerance to eating corn-based products. What’s corn doing in coconut milk, anyway?
The bottom line: None of these ingredients belong in coconut milk, and they certainly don’t improve the nutritional value.
The crazy thing is that coconut milk is one of the easiest things to make in the world (as you can see from the video above). There’s absolutely no reason to ever buy coconut milk at the grocery store (or from Starbucks) when it literally takes less than five minutes to make – and you don’t even need to crack a coconut!
- 4 cups water
- 1 can coconut milk (BPA-free)
- Blend or shake really hard and serve.
- 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 4 cups water
- Place the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Strain through a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer.
- 1 cup coconut manna
- 3 cups water
- Place the jar of coconut manna in a bowl of warm to hot water to allow the manna to soften.
- When soft, place the manna and water in a blender and blend on medium speed until combined.
- Strain through a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer
Supplies for homemade coconut milk:
- Natural Value Coconut Milk (12-pack) (option 1 in the video) FYI – I buy these cans in bulk so I always have something in the pantry, and it’s cheaper!
- Organic Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut (option 2 in the video)
- Organic Coconut Manna (option 3 in the video)
- Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer
- Glass Pitcher
- Check out my favorite blenders here
Please share and spread the word – making homemade coconut milk is easy!
Do you know someone who is still buying overly processed coconut milk at the store? Please share this video with them and inspire them to make their own! Also if you know someone getting coconut milk lattes at Starbucks – tell them what’s up! Knowledge is power.
If you want more tips like these and monthly guidance from me and my team, please consider getting a Food Babe membership – the details are here and we’d love to have you join!
155 responses to “3 Ways To Make Coconut Milk (without cracking a coconut)”
One question, why would you make coconut milk out of coconut milk, doesn’t make sense, why not just use the actual coconut milk from the can?
thank you for your work and research.
Do you know how thick canned coconut milk is? More like whipped cream, you have to spoon it from the can.
Thanks for all you do Vani. I pray Yah keeps you as you tackle a giant force who cant see the horrible effects of GMO foods when their focus is the bottom line. Families around the globe count on good folk who stand up when they dont know how to or cannot do so. Blessings!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much Vani!
May the good lord Jesus Christ, continue to protect you and yours, for all your good works you are doing daily.
Millions of people appreciates you.
Thank you Vani, great research. I’ve linked to this in my article about coconut milk. You can find it by clicking on my name.
I would however invite everyone to try to make their own coconut milk from scratch: cracking a coconut open isn’t hard and the process doesn’t take long at all, especially when you use a food processor to grind the coconut. There is nothing as fresh and good as homemade coconut milk from a coconut you’ve just opened!
Can you tell us how long the coconut milk is good for? I noticed the other nut milks last about 4 days in the refrigerator. Is it the same for coconut milk?
I noticed some recommended brands contain ORGANIC guar gum. Is that safe / healthy?
I started making my own coconut milk following your option 1 recipe and love it. But what about all the saturated fat that it contains? Isn’t that bad for you?
Hi Nicole! Vani wrote about the saturated fat in coconuts here: https://foodbabe.com/coconut-oil-healthy-controversy-explained/
I also wanted to know how long your coconut milk made with canned lasts for in the refrigerator? 4 days also?
On another note I think the public should be made aware how important it is to buy ORGANIC almond milk/nut butter on account all the almond trees here in CA are sprayed with heavy amounts of Roundup killing most of the bee population 🙁
Yes God bless you for each a great job you have being doing , also sharing with all of us, thank you.
I have being looking for a multivitamin and minerals for my Grandson 6 years old, can’t
Find a decent one organic without all the chemicals, if you can recommend one l will really appreciate it, thank you very much