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
    Wendy
    September 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Would this work with regular yogurt starter? I have never ssen coconet milk yogurt and this sounds like an interesting recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 13, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Yes, it would, Wendy. And coconut yogurt is becoming more popular, you can find it at Whole Foods, if you have one nearby.

  • Reply
    Sandy
    September 9, 2013 at 11:50 am

    My reason for not using gelatin would be to keep the recipe vegetarian. Have you tried using any other thickeners? I used corn starch for almond milk yogurt, but I think it makes the taste a little starchy.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I haven’t, but I think there are vegan gelatin substitutes, agar agar (a seaweed based thickener) comes to mind. I also think that straining it, and time in the refrigerator thickens the yogurt.

  • Reply
    mayK
    September 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

    5 stars
    Hello – i wanted to send a big thank you for the recipe of coconut yogurt:))
    I wanted to test if the recipe worked with ordinary live yogurt as a culture for coconut yogurt, just for to make the prosess easier, because I always have ordinary naturell yogurt in the refrigirator.. So I followed the recipe, but used ordinary naturell yogurt as a starter. The next day the yogurt looked thinner than ordinary yogurt and the taste if coconut was mild. But I drained it for about 30-45min, still a little thinner, but I stored it in the refrigirator. And now I’m eating the BEST yogurt ever, it has been thickening during a couple of days and is tasting really coconutty:-) so now I’ m making a big portion. So thanks again because you inspire by your writing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 9, 2013 at 4:48 am

      So happy it worked for you, May. Yogurt making is not an exact science, and it seems to work differently for everyone, so I’m glad you were happy with the results.

  • Reply
    Terra Kelly
    June 21, 2013 at 5:43 am

    We are going to make this! We do not have a yogurt maker BUT we do have an excalibur dehydrator, and skimming through the book I believe I came across yogurt. We will test it out later this weekend/early next week

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      I do think the dehydrator will work if you can get it to keep a constant temp of about 110F…good luck and let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    TJ And Abby
    June 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I tried this and was so disappointed that it didn’t work! I don’t have a yogurt maker and used the method where I wrap the pot in a towel and set it in the oven overnight with the light on. It came out just as watery as the coconut milk I used in the first place. When I was heating up the coconut milk at the beginning, it did boil before getting to 180 degrees- I don’t know if that has anything to do with it?

    • Reply
      christine
      August 17, 2013 at 8:24 am

      I just made this last night and was excited as i can no longer have dairy and love yogurt. iI woke this morning to find i don’t have yogurt but liquid instead I followed all directions to a tea and i still don’t know what happened I did however use a crock pot all the steps are the same for dairy yogurt very sad
      any ideas?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

      I find that the yogurt maker, which isn’t very expensive, is really critical to having good reliable results because it does keep the milk at the right temperature. If your temperature was too low or too high, the culture won’t grow.

    • Reply
      Laurie
      August 31, 2013 at 9:05 am

      5 stars
      Mine came out super watery too UNTIL I put it into the fridge – woke up in the morning to super creamy yummy perfect consistency yogurt……….hope that helps…….

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      A regular oven light is usually not enough to get the temp to 110F. I think you need to replace the bulb with a higher wattage, I think about 60 watts. Most ovens use appliance bulbs which are very low wattage.

      • Reply
        Sarah
        August 14, 2015 at 6:49 pm

        I tried the recipe with my yogurt maker, and it came out as gelatinous coconut milk rather than actual yogurt. It’s a little thicker but no tartness. I’ve made both dairy and soy yogurts before so I’m not sure what went wrong… maybe my starter didn’t have enough cultures? I typically use some yogurt or whey from a previous batch as starter, so I figured I’d do the same for this, but maybe it was no good. I can’t think of what else would have gone wrong. :-\

  • Reply
    nsteck2345
    June 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Once you have made your own yogurt, could you use the homemade stuff to be your starter for the next batch?

  • Reply
    nsteck2345
    June 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    How are you making homemade coconut milk yogurt…if coconut milk yogurt is in the ingredients? If I’m going to buy coco yogurt…why would I make it?

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Well, all yogurt requires a starter, so that is the reason for buying a small amount of commercial coconut yogurt. For the next batch, you can use a little of your homemade yogurt as a starter. One reason to make it yourself is that, if you ask me, the flavor is way better.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    May 26, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Can you use homemade coconut milk? Much cheaper if you can!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Not sure, but I don’t see why not.

      • Reply
        suzanne
        June 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

        I just made a batch with homemade coconut milk – once the yogurt was done and placed in the fridge – the next morning the cream hardened at the top. Not sure what to do with it now……

  • Reply
    Brian Portzen
    May 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    can you use the coconut milk you buy in a carton?

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      June 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      NO! You must buy the kind in the can that is full fat without all those additives. The kind in the cartons are too thin. I got mine delivered for free to my door from amazon. Natural Value is the brand and its in BPA free cans, and the only ingredients are coconut and water!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      I agree 🙂

  • Reply
    Healthygirl
    May 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I made goat milk yogurt and it is delicious! Now I will try coconut milk…..but I can’t find any full fat, just 4 grams if fat in mine….also I read almond milk will not culture….anyone try that yet?

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