How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

How to Make your own coconut milk at home –
DIY Kitchen Basics

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

Making your own coconut milk might seem like a daunting task, but it is actually surprisingly easy, and only requires two ingredients – hot water, and unsweetened shredded coconut!

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

Tools You’ll need to make your own coconut milk

A Blender

So, you don’t need a particularly fancy blender to make good homemade coconut milk, surprisingly! I have done it in my mother’s inexpensive Oster. However, it is faster (and I experience less steam and milk ‘spurting’ out of the top) in my Vitamix! This is the Vitamix I have. If you have never used a Vitamix or other high speed blender before, let me tell you — it is worth every penny! (But that is for another blog post.)

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

A Nut Milk Bag or Cheesecloth

     This is to strain the pulp out of the coconut milk. This is, in fact, completely optional – but I do recommend it if you plan to use this coconut milk for any kind of dessert, or any instance where you specifically need coconut cream or coconut water (the coconut milk will separate into a cream on top, and water underneath, if it is well strained). I also recommend it if you are used to canned coconut milk and want a consistency closer to that. 

     If you plan to use this coconut milk for, say, a curry, or just in a smoothie, and you don’t care about pulp or a thicker coconut milk, then by all means feel free to leave it unstrained! I have tried it both ways with great success. Keep in mind that if it is unstrained, it doesn’t separate the way canned coconut milk does.

There are many options when it comes to choosing a nut milk bag! My personal favorite – because it is easiest to clean and seems to hold up the best – is a nylon mesh nut milk bag, like this one here. However, if you would prefer something more natural, you could go with  a hemp nut milk bag,  or a standard cotton cheese cloth. These don’t clean as easily, however- so keep that in mind when purchasing! 

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

Wide Mouth Jar

     Don’t make the same mistake that I did! The first time I made this coconut milk, I put it in a cute carafe. Well, unfortunately, it solidified into coconut cream at the top and clogged the entire neck of the bottle so it was near impossible to get out! Choose a wide-mouth jar for this job, or some other kind of wide mouth container so that when it solidifies into coconut cream on top, it is easy to break up, or scoop out!

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

The Basic Homemade Coconut Milk ratio:

1 Cup of Shredded Unsweetened Coconut to 2 Cups Hot Water

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

What about the left over pulp?

     After straining, you will be left with the ground up coconut pulp. You can compost it or throw it out. However, you can also use it to make coconut flour! Spread it out in a dehydrator and let it dehydrate for about 12 hours, or until it becomes crumbly and easily breaks up in your fingers. You can then break it up with your hands, or run it through your blender again quickly to break it up into a fine powder. You can use this in gluten free pancakes and desserts, or in oatmeal… there are many uses for it! 

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk

Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

Makes about 2 cups
(equivalent to 1 can)


1 Cup Dry Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

2 Cups of Filtered Water (Learn about the kind of water filter I use here)

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt


  1. Bring your filtered water to a simmer on the stove – doesn’t have to be boiling. Turn off the heat. 
  2. Put your shredded coconut in the blender, along with your hot water. Let sit until most of the steam has dissipated (may take 10min).
  3. Put on the lid tightly, and start your blender on the lowest setting. Blend it on the lowest setting for about 1 minute. Stop occasionally to open the lid and release some steam.
  4. Increase the speed to medium for about 1 minute. Then, move to the highest speed for 1 minute. Stop occasionally and lift the lid to release steam if needed. 
  5. Remove the lid, and let cool until it is cool to the touch. 
  6. To Strain: Get out a large bowl and a mesh strainer that can sit across the top (optional, but it helps so you don’t have to hold the cloth or bag while pouring and straining) and your nut milk bag or cheese cloth. Pour your coconut milk into the cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Begin squeezing the coconut milk out to separate the pulp (see photo above for reference). It will be hot – so let cool first if needed. Squeeze very tightly until you have extracted all of the liquid from the pulp. 
  7. Pour into your widemouth jar or container and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Use within 1 week. 
Check out our other Kitchen Basic How-To Tutorials Here
How to Make Chia Seed Pudding
How to Make Sauerkraut

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have photos to share? Show us on Instagram #homewithwillow, or join our Facebook group!

Easy Plant Based Buddha Bowl Recipe - with Purple Potatoes | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

     Try out this delicious easy plant based buddha bowl recipe from
Home with Willow! 

What is a Buddha Bowl?

     So, a buddha bowl is basically a heaping bowl of food that has a grain, a green, a veggie/starch, and a protein. They are filling, hearty, delicious, and super easy to make! Often, for a plant based / vegan buddha bowl, you’ll see a combination involving something like: quinoa or rice, kale or spinach, sweet potato, and tofu or tempeh. A non vegan bowl might have chicken, fish, or an egg on top for protein.

     The other benefit to a buddha bowl is that you can easily make them for lunches (its my go-to for work), by prepping your proteins & veggies & grains ahead of time, keeping them in separate containers, and then popping everything together last minute! So, I might make some roasted potatoes and quinoa, and buy a container of pre-washed greens at the store. Then, I will roast a few cans of chickpeas or some tofu on Sunday. During the week, I put everything but the greens into a container (greens go separately). Once I get to work, I heat up the grains & veggies, and then pour them ontop of my chilled greens!



how to make sauerkraut | home with Willow | Katie Emmitt
 Are you a fan of sauerkraut? Or not so much?

    I honestly hated sauerkraut until I made my own! I hated the texture and the flavor. However, I knew how good it was for me (full of probiotics), so I would buy packages of it at the store and try to find ways to add it to foods so I would like it more. But I never really came to enjoy it.

     Luckily, I had a very wise friend suggest to me that I try making my own, since its so much better made ‘fresh’ than the stuff you buy at the store. I decided to give it a shot, since this theory has proven true for a lot of things I’ve made on my own! 

     Lo and behold, it was amazing! And I could eat it by the forkful! The best part was that it didn’t have that slimy texture I disliked, and I could control how fermented it was, and how salty it tasted. All of the things I wasn’t a fan of with store bought kraut, I could easily control by doing my own ferment. I was hooked!

Check out the rest of this article to learn how to make sauerkraut at home!

Vegan Vs. Plant Based | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt


     It’s a common misconception that vegan and plant based are interchangeable terms! They seem pretty similar, right? Both are based around eating non-animal foods, however they are actually quite different. Let’s take a look — Vegan vs Plant Based.

What is a Vegan?

A Vegan is someone who abstains from eating, using, and purchasing animal products. It’s not just food, its a lifestyle.
Vegan Lentil Chili & Cornbread | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

     The perfect Sunday dinner. Delicious. Savory. And super filling! When you need a nice hearty meal, our Plant Based Vegan Lentil Chili & Cornbread is a fantastic option!

     The best part about this, is it makes A LOT of food! So you can easily meal prep this for lunches during the week, or dinners when you are too tired from work to imagine coming home and cooking. It keeps really well – in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for months! Or, if you have people over, its a fantastic way to feed a lot of people for very little. One of the reasons I absolutely love beans! 

     Find our Vegan Lentil Chili Recipe on this page, and our Vegan Maple Cornbread here.

Dairy-Free 'Frosty' | Plant Based High Protein | Home with Willow

     Sometimes it can be hard to find healthy plant-based replacements for the things we used to love as kids. For me, its ice cream (you might’ve noticed I have a lot of nice cream recipes around here!) 

     One thing I used to love getting was a Wendy’s Frosty. And I’d stick those greasy salty french fries in it! Disgusting when I think about it now, but I absolutely loved it as a kid! I was pretty much a fan of any cheap soft serve style ice cream. 

     Anyway, when I recently figured out the trick to getting that same kind of consistency in a smoothie – I was gung-ho to figure out how to make my own dairy-free ‘frosty’! Want to know the secret? ICE CUBES!

Continue reading “DAIRY-FREE FROSTY”

DIY Himalayan Salt Body Scrub | Home with Willow

     As a Vegan, and someone who has very sensitive skin, I’ve always struggled with finding skin care products that worked for me. Store bought lotions would either dry me out, or cause break outs. Trying to find cruelty free soaps, scrubs, and lotions was a constant battle. And don’t even get me started on how many store-bought products have ingredients that I really honestly wouldn’t dream about putting in my body (so why would I put them on my body?) This eventually led me to doing a lot of DIY bath & beauty products. So here is one of my favorites; my DIY Himalayan Salt Body Scrub (detoxifying, smoothing, moisturizing, plant-based, and free of harsh chemicals)!


Letting go of responsibility for others \ Home with Willow \ meditation \ prayer

     Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with taking on too much responsibility when it comes to other people’s actions. Friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships, etc. I would tell myself that it was my ‘job’ to ‘fix’ it. To do something to ‘save’ whatever or whoever it was. Or even to protect people. And this feeling of responsibility weighed heavily on me. It became a huge burden. 

     With my last romantic relationship, I initially felt like it was my responsibility to ‘fix’ everything and make his life better. Everything seemed ‘hard’ for him and like the world worked against him (in his eyes) – and I just wanted to help. My empathic tendencies were so strong, I completely neglected myself and put all of my energy into taking responsibility for everything that happened to him. It was draining. He began to blame me for his problems. As that relationship wore on, and I realized that it was, in fact, his problem, and not mine. There is more to it than that, but for the sake of this topic, I’ll keep it brief. 


Strawberry Banana Nice Cream Chia Pudding Jar Home with Willow

     Since you guys just loved my previous Chia Pudding Recipes, I thought I would include another one: this Strawberry Banana Nice Cream Breakfast Jar! The colors, presentation, and taste of this breakfast jar are all absolutely INCREDIBLE! 

     Now, I am a huge fan of making a big batch of Chia Seed Pudding at the beginning of the week for breakfasts. (It’s the perfect plant-based breakfast meal-prep food staple), so its always nice when you can come up with ways to customize your jars in the morning, so you aren’t stuck with eating the same flavor of chia pudding each day. This would also be perfect for a Saturday morning, if you have any left over! Or as a healthy dessert option during the week when you want something sweet.