Looking for a coconut yogurt recipe? Look no further! I have a winner and although it requires some preparation, specific supplies, and time, it turns out great EVERY TIME.
When I first started on my homemade, non-dairy yogurt journey I was living in the United States and dairy-free yogurt alternatives were readily available. They were expensive, but they were available. When I moved to Germany, the only “alternative” yogurt was soy (which I don’t tolerate). Desperately craving yogurt, I started researching coconut yogurt recipes online. I found several that sort of worked, but my batches were never consistent. Some were too runny, some were overly cultured (i.e. rotten), some tasted like they hadn’t cultured at all.
Finally, I took matters into my own hands and melded together a couple of different methods and recipes, and created my own. Eureka! It worked! And it worked again, and again, and again.
I do NOT claim to be a yogurt making expert. This is simply a recipe that’s the result of a lot of trial and error, and it yields consistent results for ME. If you try my coconut yogurt recipe and want to adjust something (or use a different ingredient), you’ll have to experiment on your own because I only know ONE WAY, and that’s this way. It’s probably the one recipe in my “mental recipe file” that I have down to a science, because most other recipes I make are slap-dash and sloppy; a little of this, a little of that. Not this one… And perhaps that’s why it always works so well!!!
Onto the homemade coconut yogurt recipe. I hope you like it as much as I do! The video takes you step-by-step through my process. If you don’t want to watch it, or don’t have time, then the recipe is also written below.
Homemade Coconut Yogurt (Dairy-Free)
You will need:
- One 33 oz box Aroy-D coconut milk, or 2 cans good quality full-fat coconut milk (such as Native Forest or Thai Kitchen Organic)
- 1 tsp organic sugar
- 2 tsp unflavored gelatin (I love Vital Proteins pasture-raised beef gelatin! Yes, I am an affiliate for this company so I’d love for you to shop using my link.)
- 1 packet vegan yogurt starter (such as this one from Cultures for Health) *or* 1 Tbsp yogurt from your previous batch
- Optional: Pure vanilla extract, jam, or essential oil (such as lemon) for flavoring (this will be stirred in at the end, after yogurt has cultured and set in the fridge)
Supplies you’ll need:
- Yogurt maker (a worthwhile investment), or you can try these yogurt maker alternatives
- Jars and lids for your yogurt (these should come with your yogurt maker, or you can repurpose old jars)
- A food thermometer
- A whisk
- A clean small bowl
- A saucepan
- A large soup pot for sterilizing your jars, whisk, and food thermometer probe
- Optional: An icepack or two for speeding the cooling process
I know. It already seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? But I promise: It’s not hard.
When researching coconut yogurt recipes, I was actually turned off by several that made it look so complicated and precise. And then I had failures with recipes that were overly simplified (i.e. just two ingredients: coconut milk and starter culture). There’s a fine balance! Yes, you have to make sure things are sterile and clean, yes you have to monitor temperatures, I’ve found that you need more than two ingredients… But REALLY… It’s not that hard, and I’ve even found that there’s some wiggle room for error.
So, for the “how-to:”
- Sterilize your jars, lids, whisk, and thermometer probe by placing them in your large soup pot, covering them with water, and boiling for 5-8 minutes.
- In saucepan, stir together 33 oz of Aroy-D* coconut milk and 1 tsp sugar for feeding the bacteria. Use your sterilized whisk for stirring. *Truly, my BEST results have come from using Aroy-D brand coconut milk. (No, I am not affiliated with Aroy-D nor do I get any compensation for saying how great they are!)
- Put sterilized food thermometer probe in the coconut milk. Whisk occasionally, and monitor the temp. When it gets to 150 Farenheit (really, anywhere between 140-170) you should start to notice some steam rising up. Do NOT let it get to boiling. Just to the point when steam is consistently rising. At this point, remove pan from heat.
- Pour 1 cup of the hot coconut milk into a small, clean bowl. Sprinkle 2 tsp gelatin evenly over this small amount of coconut milk. GENTLY whisk until there are no lumps or clumps of gelatin. This will take 1-3 minutes.
- Return your coconut milk/gelatin mixture to the saucepan of hot coconut milk, and whisk EVERYTHING together.
- It’s time to cool! As shown here (click here) in my video, you can place your saucepan on a foil-covered ice pack, or even surround your saucepan with ice packs, to help speed the cooling process. Whisk occasionally, with the thermometer probe in the coconut milk mixture, until it reaches 108 Farenheit. This will take anywhere between 25-45 minutes.
- When the coconut milk mixture has reached 108, stir in vegan yogurt starter culture *or* 1 Tbsp yogurt from a previous batch. If you’re using yogurt from a previous batch, make sure it still smells good and not “past its prime.” Stir WELL to fully incorporate the starter culture. (Wondering if you can just use a probiotic capsule? You CAN, but you aren’t likely to get consistent results. I’ve had the best success using vegan yogurt starter OR 1 Tbsp yogurt from a previous batch.)
- Pour coconut milk mixture into sterilized jars. Seal lids tightly. Place in yogurt maker and incubate for 6-8 hours following manufacturer’s instructions. The incubation temperature should remain at a constant 108-110 degrees F.
- After yogurt is done culturing, you might notice some separation. Make sure lids are tightly screwed on, and SHAKE EACH JAR WELL before placing in fridge.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours MINIMUM. I find that my yogurt has the best flavor and consistency after it’s been in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
- When ready to eat, stir in optional flavorings such as honey, pure vanilla extract, jam, or a toothpick swirl of essential oil (such as lemon). I usually eat my coconut yogurt plain… Sometimes topped with gluten-free granola such as this Cavegirl Crunch recipe, or this Pumpkin Spice recipe.