What is the shelf life of home made coconut milk?

Coconut milk has become a popular dairy-free milk alternative in recent years. With its creamy texture and subtle sweet coconut flavor, coconut milk can be used in everything from coffee and smoothies to curries, desserts, and more. Many people also opt to make their own homemade coconut milk which allows them to control the ingredients and avoid additives or preservatives found in store-bought varieties.

But when you make your own coconut milk at home, how long does it last? Read on to learn more about the shelf life and storage tips for maximizing the freshness of homemade coconut milk.

What is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk is made by grating the flesh of mature coconuts and soaking the gratings in hot water to extract the flavorful coconut cream. The soaked coconut gratings are then strained to produce a rich, creamy liquid which is coconut milk.

Coconut milk contains high levels of healthy fats along with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. It’s naturally lactose-free, dairy-free, and vegan. The high fat content makes it perfect for creating rich, creamy foods and beverages.

How is Homemade Coconut Milk Made?

To make your own coconut milk at home, start by purchasing unsweetened shredded coconut or breaking down a fresh mature coconut into gratings. You’ll need about 2 cups of shredded coconut for every 1 cup of milk you want to produce.

Add the coconut gratings to a bowl and pour over very hot water (just off the boil). Use a ratio of about 4 parts water to 1 part coconut. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes to allow the coconut to soften.

Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and squeeze out the liquid. This strained liquid is your fresh homemade coconut milk. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What is the Shelf Life of Homemade Coconut Milk?

The shelf life of homemade coconut milk will vary slightly based on storage method and conditions. However, in general you can expect your homemade coconut milk to stay fresh for:

  • Refrigerator: 5-7 days
  • Freezer: 2-3 months

Always store your homemade coconut milk in airtight, opaque containers in the fridge or freezer. Glass jars or containers work well. Make sure to leave a little headspace at the top since coconut milk can expand slightly as it freezes.

Refrigerator Storage

When stored properly in the refrigerator, homemade coconut milk will stay fresh for 5-7 days. Make sure to keep it chilled at 40°F or below.

Here are some tips for maximizing fridge life:

  • Use clean, airtight containers: Glass jars or opaque plastic containers with tight fitting lids work best.
  • Leave headspace: Leave about 1 inch of space at the top since the milk may expand slightly.
  • Use quickly: Try to use your homemade milk within 5-7 days for best quality and freshness.
  • Check for spoilage: Discard if you see any curdling, mold, odd smells or flavors develop.

Freezer Storage

For longer storage, homemade coconut milk can be frozen for 2-3 months.

To freeze:

  • Pour milk into freezer safe containers, leaving 1 inch headspace.
  • Seal tightly.
  • Label with date.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw and use frozen coconut milk:

  • Refrigerate overnight to thaw gradually.
  • Give it a good stir or shake once thawed and before using.
  • Use within 1 week once thawed.
  • Do not re-freeze thawed coconut milk.

How to Tell If Homemade Coconut Milk Has Gone Bad

Be on the lookout for these signs of spoilage to tell if your homemade coconut milk has gone bad:

  • Change in consistency: Healthy coconut milk should be smooth, creamy, and opaque white. Separation is normal but it should mix back together evenly. If your milk is curdled or stringy, toss it.
  • Mold growth: Any fuzzy spots or film on the surface signals mold. Moldy coconut milk should be discarded.
  • Off smells: Fresh coconut milk has a pleasant sweet coconut aroma. If you detect sour, buttermilk, or rotten odors, the milk is spoiled.
  • Off flavors: Taste milk before use. It should taste fresh and mildly sweet. Rancid or bitter flavors mean it’s gone bad.
  • Expired date: If your homemade coconut milk is past the 5-7 day fridge life or 3 month freezer life, it should be discarded.

Does Homemade Coconut Milk Separation Happen?

It’s perfectly normal for homemade coconut milk stored in the refrigerator to separate. The cream will rise to the top and the liquid will sink to the bottom. This is due to the high fat content and does not mean your milk has gone bad.

Simply give your coconut milk a good stir or shake before use to reincorporate the layers. It will mix back together smoothly if fresh. Then use as normal in recipes or beverages.

Factors That Shorten Shelf Life

A few factors can shorten the shelf life of homemade coconut milk, causing it to spoil faster:

  • Improper storage: Leaving coconut milk out on the counter or neglecting to seal containers allows bacteria growth.
  • Contaminated equipment: Unsanitary graters, containers, or straining equipment introduce bacteria.
  • Added ingredients: Mixing in fresh fruits, vegetables, or juices shortens shelf life.
  • Temperature fluctuations: Repeatedly warming up and cooling homemade coconut milk reduces freshness.

Practicing proper food safety and avoiding contamination will help your homemade coconut milk last longer.

Can You Extend the Shelf Life?

The shelf life cannot be extended much longer than 3 months due to the natural breakdown of the coconut milk over time. However, you can take these steps for maximum freshness:

  • Store in very cold refrigerator temperatures as close to 32°F as possible.
  • Keep air exposure to a minimum by sealing containers.
  • Freeze milk if you won’t use it within 5-7 days.
  • Portion into smaller containers so there are no leftovers.
  • Avoid contaminating milk by using clean utensils and equipment.

Homemade Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts

Homemade coconut milk is packed with healthy fats and nutrients. Here is the nutrition information for a 1 cup serving:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 445
Fat 45g
Saturated fat 41g
Carbohydrates 6g
Protein 5g
Calcium 5% DV
Iron 11% DV
Potassium 18% DV
Vitamin C 6% DV
Vitamin B6 9% DV

As you can see, coconut milk provides a hefty dose of filling fats along with important vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins B6 and C.

Uses for Homemade Coconut Milk

Try using your fresh homemade coconut milk in these ways:

  • Smoothies: Blend it into fruit or green smoothies.
  • Chia pudding: Combine with chia seeds for a creamy dessert.
  • Coffee creamer: Sweeten it up for a vegan coffee creamer.
  • Curries: Use it as the base for hearty Thai or Indian curries.
  • Soups: Add creaminess to blended vegetable soups.
  • Oatmeal: Stir it in for extra richness.
  • Baked goods: Replace dairy milk in cakes, cookies etc.
  • Overnight oats: Soak oats in it overnight for coconut cream oats.
  • Ice cream: Blend with banana to make a simple dairy-free ice cream.


Making your own coconut milk at home allows you to control the quality of ingredients and avoid preservatives found in store-bought varieties. Fortunately, homemade coconut milk has a decent shelf life of 5-7 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze milk for 2-3 months. Keep your milk safe by storing in airtight containers and keeping refrigerated or frozen. Discard if you notice signs of spoilage like changes in consistency, smell or flavor. Homemade coconut milk provides a delicious, nutritious, and versatile dairy-free milk option to enjoy in recipes and beverages.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *