Want to make homemade coconut yogurt? Look no further. You’re gonna love my patented (ok, not really patented) fuss-free technique.
Coconut rocks as a replacement for dairy when you want a creamy texture. It’s also full of anti-bacterial properties and naturally occurring fat that keeps blood sugar stable. Not to mention that nice, subtle sweet flavor that goes beautifully with breakfasts, desserts and more.
You’ve got fresh coconut, dried coconut, coconut water, coconut oil, coconut milk…
And then, coconut ice cream! Coconut yogurt!
Oops.That last part is something of a danger zone.
You might think, “Oh heyyyy, coconut! You’re obviously healthy. Get in my belly!”
But the ingredients on those processed coconut products may surprise you:
So Delicious Blueberry Greek Cultured Coconut Milk ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (WATER, ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM), CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, BLUEBERRIES, ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, RICE STARCH, PECTIN, TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, NATURAL FLAVOR, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, BLUEBERRY JUICE CONCENTRATE, LOCUST BEAN GUM, LIVE CULTURES, CITRIC ACID, GRAPE, CARROT AND BLUEBERRY JUICES FOR COLOR, GUAR GUM, MONK FRUIT EXTRACT, SODIUM CITRATE, VITAMIN D-2, VITAMIN B12.
What is all that stuff?
Come on, guys. Real yogurt should be nothing more than milk and probiotic, healthy bacteria. Cultured milk that gets thick and creamy when left at a warm temperature for awhile.
With this in mind, I set out to make my very own homemade coconut yogurt.
Like so many of my fermented food adventures, I was abruptly halted by needing a special starter culture. Damn.
Then I learned that you can use a probiotic capsule instead! Isn’t that so much easier than mail ordering something special? I had a jar in my refrigerator just waiting to be used. Maybe you do too.
I proceeded to experiment with several techniques that included leaving the oven light on for 24 hours, using my dehydrator to achieve a perfect 110F temperature, and adding thickeners like gelatin and agar agar.
But you know what ended up working beautifully? The most simple technique of all.
I like simple.
Now you are going to fall into 1 of 2 camps.
“Wow, Michelle! This is amazingly easy! My coconut yogurt came out thick and delicious!”
“Um…it didn’t work.”
If it doesn’t smell or taste yogurt-y, try using a different probiotic. I have great success with Garden of Life Raw and I’ve heard that PB8 does well. You could also try a different coconut milk. I generally use Native Forest. Look for something without carrageenan. Guar gum is ok. You can also try leaving your jar in a warmer place (maybe even trying the oven light technique.)
If your yogurt-in-the-making separates in the jar, that’s ok. This will happen, especially if there is no guar gum in your coconut milk. What I’ve done is let it percolate until the top, thicker part of the yogurt tastes to my liking. Then I pour or scoop it out, discarding the watery part.
Remember, home fermentation is not an exact science. But luckily it’s a fairly inexpensive experimental art!
Edited to add: If you’re worried about the BPA in cans, I hear ya. Me too. Some people make their own coconut milk from coconut flesh, but I haven’t had success with that yet. Until then, I’m thinking that any yogurt you buy at the store (coconut or otherwise) comes in plastic containers with BPA and a host of other chemicals. So let’s shoot for improvement, if not perfection.
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
- 2 probiotic capsules
- Blend coconut milk with contents of probiotic capsules. Transfer to a 1 quart glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. (If you have an immersion blender, just dump everything into the jar and blend it right there.)
- Store somewhere warm-ish in your house, like a window sill.
- After 24-48 hours, it should smell yogurt-y. It may be runny, more like kefir than yogurt. If you prefer, leave it out longer.
- After 48-72 hours, it should be thick and have a more tangy flavor.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Go on, enjoy!
It’s great with granola or muesli, or anywhere you’d normally use yogurt. I love a dollop on top of a bowl of oatmeal. Remember that it will be plain and unsweetened, so if you are used to sweeter yogurts you may want to mix in maple syrup or fruit puree.