How to Make Coconut Milk, Shredded Coconut, and Coconut Oil in the Ninja Blender…and Get Coconut Water Too!

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When I set out to write this post, it was really only going to focus on how to turn a coconut into coconut milk, from a reader request.Half Coconut and Flower on Bamboo Mat --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

But, in the process of figuring out how to do this request, I discovered that the coconut is much more diverse than I had planned! By the time I was done with my little project, I had amassed 16 ounces of coconut water, 4-5 cups of shredded coconut, 3 cups of coconut milk, and about 1/4 cup of coconut oil.

That is a lot of bang for the $2.99 I invested in a single coconut!

Since I set out to do an instructional, let’s start from the start, shall we?

Procure your coconut. Steer clear of coconuts with black spots, and shake it to make sure there is still water inside.

1. Drain the Coconut.

For this step, use a very sharp knife and cut into the smallest “eye” of the coconut. You should be able to carve a decent enough opening for the water to drain out of this eye (it doesn’t have to be big.) Once you have a hole through to the flesh, drain the water.


You may get little bits of shell in the water, this is okay – just run the coconut water through a sieve to get it nice and clean and store in an airtight container to drink later.

2. Open the Coconut.

I recommend doing this outside as it requires a hammer. Place the coconut on a clean dishtowel and hit it a couple of times with the hammer. It should split right open!


Be sure you have your helper handy!


After two whacks with the hammer, you will probably have the coconut open.


3. Remove coconut from the shell.

Take the coconut inside and pry the coconut meat out of the shell. It should come out fairly cleanly, but if you get pieces that still have parts of the shell on them, be sure to cut that off.

4. Wash the coconut pieces.

Get them nice and clean, because what’s on the coconut will be in your milk and shredded coconut flakes. I washed them individually and make sure each piece was clean before putting into the blender.


5. Add to Ninja Blender with enough water to cover the top of the coconut.


5. Blend on 3 for about one minute, until everything is well combined.


If you look closely in this picture you can see two oddly-shaped blobs on the blender jar. That is coconut oil sticking to the jar!

6. Strain.


Really push out all the liquid with a spoon, or, better yet, use a nut milk bag to really squeeze out all the liquid.

You’ll likely find a bit of coconut oil stuck to the side of the blender jar when you pour out the contents – just scrape this out with a spatula and save it for cooking, or, even a lotion for dry skin. I had about three tablespoons worth of oil.


And that’s really it to make the coconut milk! I got about three cups worth from one coconut.

If you want to make dried shredded coconut, you can bake it in a single layer in a cake pan or cookie sheet (a large one) at 350 for about 20 minutes (stir once half way through), which will really dry it out and also toast the coconut.

In all, this was a pretty good yield! I didn’t add the coconut oil to the picture, but one $2.99 coconut provided all this, which I think is fairly incredible, as oftentimes the coconut water alone can be $2.99.


What do you think? Will you make your own coconut milk now?

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