How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt




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How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt ~ since it’s one of the world’s healthiest foods, I think it’s worth the effort to make it yourself.   This yogurt is creamy, full of flavor, and dairy free.

I’ve made yogurt for years and I’ve posted about it on a couple of occasions.  But I always thought yogurt had to be made with dairy products.  I just assumed that there was something inherent in animal products that allowed the yogurt cultures to thrive. But I guess not.  You can culture coconut milk the same way.  It’s naturally a little thinner, so it requires some sort of added thickener, but you will get the most incredibly creamy delicious coconut yogurt, you won’t believe it.  The texture is even creamier than regular yogurt and it combines the natural sweetness and flavor of the coconut with the tang from the live cultures.

Sometimes the impetus for making something from scratch is financial.  Sometimes it springs from a health concern, and sometimes it just seems like a fun project.  But for me the most persuasive reason to make something from scratch that is already available commercially, is if you can achieve a really superior flavor.  This project checks all those boxes.

This yogurt went smoothly from beginning to end, and I made it almost exactly as I would make milk yogurt.  The only difference is that I add a little powdered gelatin to encourage thickening, and instead of a milk based yogurt starter, I used coconut milk yogurt as the starter.  Even with the added gelatin this coconut yogurt will tend to be a little thinner than regular yogurt.  You can drain it through cheesecloth after it’s fermented, which I do anyway with homemade yogurt because I like the thick Greek style.

But it was only when I dipped my little tasting spoon into the finished batch that the bells went off.  The taste was velvety smooth and pure coconut.  It had none of the cloying sweetness or gelatinous texture of the commercial brand.   It was way, way better than the commercial brand.

If you’re even thinking of trying this, I’m going to urge you to just plow ahead and do it.  It’s really a treat.  We had it for breakfast with bananas, honey and wheat germ, but it would be so good with granola, or in a smoothie.  I am really looking forward to using it alongside a hot curry.

If you don’t have a yogurt maker:
First off, I highly recommend getting a yogurt maker, they are inexpensive and so easy to use.  I am really happy with this one, but there are many on the market. The key is to find one that allows you to make a large batch, all in one container.  It’s more versatile, and easy to clean.
Otherwise there are several options to help you keep your yogurt at the constant temperature (110F) it needs to ferment. Some methods are too elaborate to bother with; here are the ones I recommend:

  • If your oven has a 60 watt or higher bulb in it, you may be able to store your yogurt in the oven (no heat) with the light on. Wrap it with a towel.  You can experiment with different wattage bulbs to get your desired temperature.
  • An electric heating pad or small electric throw blanket wrapped around the yogurt and set on low to medium will do the trick.  If you use a heating pad, cover the whole thing with a towel.
  • Whatever method you choose, do not disturb your yogurt while it’s fermenting.

You can keep your yogurt in one jar, or several individual jars, just be sure they are clean.

Do you have any experience with coconut yogurt?  I would like to try almond milk yogurt, too!

How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
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Yield: makes 4 half pint containers

How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 3 13.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
  • 1 6 oz container coconut milk yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan to 180F. This will be hot, but not boiling.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and whisk in.
  3. Let the milk cool to 110F. This is important--- the temperature has to be warm enough to allow the cultures to grow, but if it is too hot they will be killed off.
  4. Whisk in the container of coconut milk yogurt.
  5. Pour your milk into a yogurt maker and let incubate for 10-12 hours. I leave mine overnight.
  6. Refrigerate the yogurt until ready to use. If you want thicker yogurt, lay two layers of cheese cloth over a colander, and set that over a large bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth and let drain for an hour or so.

 

 

 

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100 Comments

  • Reply
    Tina
    March 15, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I was so excited when I came across this recipe. I made the recipe that evening! I left it overnight on the yogurt maker. When I checked on it in the morning, the cream separated to the top. Everything looked very watery. I put it in the fridge and it set by the time I got home from work. It’s a good thing I didn’t throw it out! I did add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract thinking it wouldn’t have enough flavor but the natural sweetness was amazing! There was even a hint of tartness that dairy yogurt would have. Deeelish! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 15, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      This can be tricky so I’m so glad it all worked out for you Tina, I’m experimenting with an Instant Pot Coconut yogurt recipe this week!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    February 10, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    How can this be vegan when gelatin is an animal product? I’m pretty sure gelatin is made from boiled down animal hooves.

    • Reply
      Karen Martin
      March 13, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      You can use agar agar, which is derived from seaweed.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 28, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      I don’t label this as vegan, Andrea, not sure where you saw that. You might look for a vegan gelatin alternative.

  • Reply
    Cindy Bradley
    September 13, 2016 at 7:39 am

    I LOVE coconut yogurt! I had been buying Liberte’ brand coconut yogurt for almost 2yrs. I was addicted but, wasn’t that crazy about the pulp. Well, now no one sells it anymore & didn’t know what to do. Aha, I’ll see if I can make my own. I bought the “Euro Cuisine” yogurt maker from Amazon. It took me awhile to find a decent recipe like yours. But my problem is, it just doesn’t taste very coconutty like store bought. Do you think if I used coconut cream instead it would taste more coconutty?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 13, 2016 at 7:49 am

      It’s worth a try, Cindy. I found the coconut flavor was really good, and I thought the store bought had a ‘fake’ kind of flavor. You could also consider adding a bit of real coconut extract to the finished product.

    • Reply
      Carol
      August 2, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Actually, Cindy I believe the Liberte brand was a dairy yogurt and just coconut flavored (naturally). I’m sure it had coconut in it. It was yummy! This post is about yogurt actually made with coconut milk which is non-dairy. I have cut way down on dairy. Hence I have been eating So Delicious brand which is terribly expensive (very few coupons available I might add). I tried once before to make my own and it was very runny. I am now trying this recipe as it has gelatin in it. Mind you, the plain coconut yogurt available commercially has no protein. I add gelatin anyway to get enough protein in my diet. Hoping it comes out better this time. I’m using 1 can coconut milk and 2 pkg coconut cream diluted with 2 cups water each. I have not added the starter yet (waiting for it to cool). It already appears thicker than last time. I will leave it in my oven for 24 hours. Another site also recommends adding 2 TBSP honey or maple syrup to help feed the culture. (I used honey). By tomorrow afternoon I will be trying it! Waiting impatiently!

  • Reply
    Daria
    June 14, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I have made this and my only issue is the little gelatin lumps despite my thorough mixing. Whenever I have used gelatin in the past, it’s instructed to mix it into a small portion then into the rest of batch of whatever you’re making. Any idea why I got l lumps? I may just try the small batch mixing method first :/

  • Reply
    kira
    February 2, 2016 at 10:22 am

    What brand is you yogurt maker? and where did you get it? I tried looking again to see if you typed it somewhere but i did not see it, so sorry if you have to repeat yourself! Also, this is all so new to me. Do I saw in the pic you used the cloth do I do that before or after the yogurt maker?

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