What exactly is coconut milk, and how is it made? Coconut milk isn’t actually “milk” at all (in the sense that you normally think of it) — it’s a liquid naturally found inside of mature coconuts, stored within coconut “meat.” When you crack open a fresh coconut, the milky white substance that leaks out is natural coconut water, but when you blend coconut meat and then strain it, the result in a thicker coconut “milk.”
How do the two differ? As a coconut matures, more of the water inside is replaced with coconut meat, so mature coconuts tend to be better producers of coconut milk, while younger coconuts (around five–seven months) are the best producers of coconut water. Coconut water is higher in sugar and certain electrolytes, while coconut milk is higher in healthy saturated fatty acids (from coconut oil) and calories.