Homemade Coconut Yogurt [Recipe]
I was joking with my fiancé that I could legitimately own a house by now if I didn’t buy coconut yogurt from the store. That stuff is so delicious but, man, it is expensive!
This year I decided that I would try to make my own homemade coconut yogurt. I was a little intimidated but thought, how hard can it be?
Spoiler alert: coconut yogurt is actually very simple to make, but there are so many different methods it can get really confusing! I scoured the internet for the easiest recipe and came up with so many different variations. I’ve tried them all so you don’t have to!
I tried making yogurt in the InstantPot, heating it on the stove, incubating it in the oven and finally, after about 45 batches and a few unsuccessful attempts later, I landed on this simple method that I’ve been using ever since!
Making your own coconut yogurt is really simple and satisfying when you have a good method. I’m going to lay it all out for you here so you can made delicious, creamy, probiotic-rich yogurt at home and save a lot of money doing so!
Homemade Coconut Yogurt
[GF, DF, AIP, Whole 30, Vegan]
Makes 4 Servings
Large mason jar or glass container with lid
Sterilize the jar and a spoon with hot water before using, to kill any unwanted bacteria. I boil water, pour it in the jar, let it sit for 30 seconds, pour it out carefully and then allow time for the jar to cool to room temperature before using it.
Pour 2 cans of coconut milk into the glass jar.
Open the probiotic capsules and pour the powdery contents into the coconut milk. Stir the powder in until fully incorporated (this can take some time but make sure you do it as it will affect the outcome of the yogurt!).
Place the lid on top of the jar, but leave it slightly askew so air can reach the coconut milk.
Place the jar in the oven with the oven light (with just the oven light on, it incubates the coconut milk to a temperature of about 100-108 degrees (F) to maintain a warm (but not too warm!) and consistent environment for the yogurt to begin the fermentation process. (Be sure to put a note on the oven that your yogurt is in there! Or else you’ll have a disaster where your partner comes home late, turns on the oven to make a frozen pizza and scorches your yogurt…..you’ve been warned!)
Stir after 6-8 hours and taste your mixture, or if letting it ferment overnight, just taste it in the morning. If it’s as sour as you want it, place the lid on correctly and store in the fridge. It may have thickened up a bit during the fermentation process, but will thicken more in the fridge. If you’d like the yogurt a little more sour/thicker, let it go another 6-8 hours and check it again. It’s normal for the yogurt to have separated, just be sure to give it a stir to combine it again before you put it in the fridge. The total fermentation time does depend somewhat on the type of probiotics you’re using and the temperature.
When finished, place the lid on your jar of yogurt and refrigerate to halt the fermentation process. I like to let my yogurt sit in the fridge for another 6 hours or so before I open it and stir. This may have been a rule I made up, but I find the yogurt thickens better when you allow it to be for a few hours in the fridge!
If your yogurt didn’t reach the thickness you wanted, don’t fret! Simply place a cheesecloth over a mesh strainer and strain the yogurt until you reach your desired consistency! I pretty much always do this step to get a thicker greek style yogurt. I also like the thinner European style to drizzle on berries, GF toast with almond butter and bananas, and to drink like a kefir!
Enjoy your delicious, homemade, dairy-free coconut milk yogurt!
Putting the yogurt in the oven with the light on incubates the coconut milk to a temperature of about 100-108 degrees (F) which is ideal for the fermentation process. Heat speeds up the process of fermentation. It’s possible to ferment on the kitchen counter as well depending on the temperature in your environment.
When you’re have about a 1/4 cup of yogurt from your previous batch left, pour a new can of coconut milk in, stir it up, and let it sit in the oven for another 6-8 hours to culture your new batch. You don’t need to use another probiotic capsule for subsequent batches as long as you save some of your current batch of yogurt to use as your culture. I find that I get the thickest yogurt using this method. So cool!
I’ve tried this method with a variety of different probiotics and types of coconut milk and I will tell you, both of these factors really matter and make a difference in the outcome of your yogurt.
Coconut Milk: Many alternative milks contain additives that can interfere with the culturing process. Whenever possible, use milks without additives or preservatives like full-fat organic coconut milk from the can. I love the consistency of Native Forest Coconut Milk and have had the best luck with it for yogurt.
Probiotics: I just used what probiotics I happened to have in my house which were Klaire Labs and Pure Encapsulations and both worked! I have also heard that VSL#3 is a good option, but I would say just try what you have handy or accessible to you. You’ll want to choose a probiotic that doesn’t have prebiotics or other additives to make sure you’re just using the probiotic bacteria. You can also use a vegan probiotic yogurt starter culture.
You can also choose to use a thickener for your yogurt such as agar, arrowroot powder, or gelatin which involves a more in-depth process of heating the coconut milk prior to adding the probiotics. I prefer this simple method above but want you to know what your options are! I love this guide to using thickeners from Cultures for Health.
Save everything you strain out of the yogurt as that’s coconut milk/water and you can throw it into smoothies to get some added fats!
I hope you enjoy making your coconut yogurt! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the process. Thanks!
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