How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

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 homemade 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.

Why make homemade coconut milk yogurt?

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.

Homemade coconut yogurt beats store bought by a mile!

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!

Print
3.5 from 28 votes

How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan to 180F. This will be hot, but not boiling.
  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and whisk in.
  • 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.
  • Whisk in the container of coconut milk yogurt.
  • Pour your milk into a yogurt maker and let incubate for 10-12 hours. I leave mine overnight.
  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

 

 

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104 Comments

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  • Reply
    vanillasugarblog
    March 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    coconut yogurt–now that’s my kind of yogurt.
    i keep tweeting to siggi’s yogurt to make a coconut one.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      I tried the brand they sell at Whole Foods, I think it was called SO Delicious, and I wasn’t impressed…it had an artificial taste, and was too sweet. Also a gelatinous texture. Maybe siggi’s can come up with a better one.

  • Reply
    Theresa S
    March 11, 2013 at 2:17 am

    This recipe looks delish and I love both yogurt and coconut so I’m sure I’d be gaga for it. Although I’d love it for the taste I wouldn’t really consider it a real healthy alternative to dairy yogurt since you lose the protein and essentially double the calories because it’s so high fat. Coconut milk is actually a decent source of calcium, especially for people who can’t tolerate dairy

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      June 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Don’t be too quick to diss coconut. Virgin coconut oil is a healthy fat esp. compared to most vegetable oils.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 11, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Well,I’m trying not to think about calories in a vacuum these days; if the serving size is appropriate, and the food has health benefits, I go for it. I especially think this yogurt would be good as a condiment for Indian and Thai food.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I love this, Sue! I love making fermented things…kefir, komboucha, pickles, yeasted bread but this is just so beautiful! I have a coconut milk kefir recipe on my site from 2009 that I love and it’s so easy and can just be made on the countertop but now I want to try actual yogurt! Your photos are just so luscious and inviting and make me want it now!

  • Reply
    Joy Bee
    March 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I love coconut milk. I’ve been thinking of trying coconut milk kefir sometime (I have a kefir culture and I find it easier than yogurt). It is supposed to work the same way. Your yogurt looks very smooth and creamy and delicious. I love yogurt or kefir with granola…i just need to make some. My sister doesn’t eat dairy, so she would love this…I’ll send her a link. Love your blog, I’m usually lurking.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      I really think the coconut flavor in this yogurt would be especially tasty with homemade granolas. I think maybe the kefir culture would work on coconut milk, too, you should give it a try.

  • Reply
    ~~louise~~
    March 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Sue! I must confess, I’ve been a lurker for quite a while and I truly enjoy your servings of deliciousness.

    I find today I must comment because like you, I’ve been making whipping up homemade yogurt for ages and not once did I ever think anything un-dairy like, for lack of a better description, could be made into yogurt. Not only that, but it all makes sense. The sweetness of the milk the tangy yogurt cultures. Oh my!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing…I’ve pinned this to my Pinterest Dairy board, well it does use yogurt after all, because I just had to save it!!! Thanks again, Louise.

  • Reply
    thyme Sarah
    March 11, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I’ve never tried making coconut…but I adore the flavor of coconut. Oh, I wish I could taste yours.

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    This recipe might be worth getting a yogurt maker. I can remember I gave one as a wedding gift 30 years ago. But do I have one? No!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      I know that all too well, I’m on the verge of re-buying an ice cream maker myself! I do recommend the yogurt maker if you like to make yogurt at all, it makes it foolproof, and for me it encourages me to eat more yogurt because I really don’t like how sour most commercial yogurt is.

  • Reply
    Todd Albala
    March 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Sue, the only downside to this , and here is the difference between dairy yogurt, is the lack of protein in the coconut version

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      I’ll have to check into that, and I guess it would lack calcium, too. But then again the coconut milk has nutritional value in itself, that dairy milk doesn’t have, so I guess unless you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, it makes sense to enjoy both.

    • Reply
      Wendy Rosenthal
      March 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Hi! How about the Good probiotics in kefir?! Is that still present in homemade kefir?! I have not made either but will love to and might try this weekend.
      Thanks
      Wendy

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      May 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Wendy…commercial kefir has about 10 cultures while kefir grains provide more than thirty. Even water kefir grains are densely probiotic.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Louise! This really does taste good, I hope you give it a try.
    It’s interesting because I think you could make this yogurt with the coconut milk yogurt as a starter, like I did, or actually probably with regular yogurt as well, as long as you don’t need to avoid dairy for any reason. Using regular yogurt as a starter would certainly be more convenient, a little bit cheaper, and might even alter the end result, I’m going to have to try!

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