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I love yogurt, regular or greek, I do not discriminate. I love it for breakfast with berries and granola…..ummmm. But alas, that pesky dairy problem crept up and my love for yogurt had gone denied. Until now!!

I scoured the internet looking for non dairy yogurt recipes. I wanted to make it myself of course because….why not? This way I can control the sugar and avoid the additives that come with products intended to stay on a supermarket dairy shelf for months! Most store-bought yogurt has way to much sugar in it.

After several attempts and letting trial and error be my guide, here is the recipe that seems to work.

Ingredients are simple:

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1 packet vegan yogurt culture. Vegan cultures work best with Non-dairy milk.  ( I get mine from Cultures for Health)
  • 1 1/2 tbs agar agar powder (a plant-based thickener made from seaweed found in health food stores. I bought mine at the Fruitful Yield by my house)
  • 1/2 cup boiled water
  • I choose to add any flavors after yogurt has cultured like honey, fruit,etc.

First things first, you must sterilize everything! Boil a big pot of water and sterilize your utensils, spoon or spatula, candy thermometer, measuring spoons, pot, whisk, jars you will be culturing yogurt in, etc.

Add the 2 cans of coconut milk to the pot on low heat. Since the milk comes in sterilized cans I do not bother to sterilize the milk as well but some people do. If you want to do that you need to bring the milk up to 180 degrees then cool back down to 110-108. If you add the culture while the milk is any hotter than that it will kill the culture and your yogurt won’t ferment.

Bring a 1/2 cup water to boil in a small sauce pan and add the Agar Agar powder and let disolve. Keep the water hot or the mixture will thicken too fast. If it thickens up just add a little more water. Whisk this mix into the coconut milk. If you do not add a thickener to the milk it will not thicken. Whisk well or better yet, use a wand blender to really mix it in well.  Non Dairy yogurt will not thicken without a thickener and it will be more like a Keifer. This will likely increase the temp of the milk so watch the temperature using a candy thermometer. Once Agar Agar powder is fully incorporated without lumps, turn off heat to let milk cool down. Some people use tapioca starch for this as well, but I am trying to avoid starches so I stick with Agar Agar.  Vegan yogurt cultures do not need sugar to ferment but if you want to add some sweetener (honey maybe) you can do so now. I do not add sweetener because I like the taste of the coconut milk, it is slightly sweet on its own. You can always sweeten later.  Once the temp gets back down to 110 or a bit lower, add the culture. Mix in the culture well but gently.  

Transfer to sterilized container or containers depending on the yogurt maker you use. Mine has 7 small jars, others have one large one. (I got mine at Sur La Table but you can find them at Bed Bath and Beyond sometimes or even on Amazon.com and it shouldn’t be more than $30) Some people do not use a yogurt maker, they use a crock pot. I do not know how to do this but I can find out if you want to know. Another option is to turn your oven light on and let that heat your oven to just about 100-110 degrees. I would use an oven thermometer to make sure it stays at the right temp. It needs to stay consistent for about 8 to 9 hours.

Taste it at about 9 hours. You’ll know it is done when it still tastes like coconut milk but has that slight yogurt tang. Some recipes say the longer you ferment the tangier it will taste but I haven’t really found that to be the case.  I have found I get a consistent slightly sweet, slightly tangy very rich coconut milk flavor that tastes great with my grainless granola and some berries at about 9 hours.  The yogurt will still seem a pretty thin until you chill it. Once chilled the Agar, Agar will firm up more. Once chilled it will have the consistency of a Yoplait light. If you want it thicker you can either strain it through several layers of cheesecloth for a couple of hours or you can add other thickeners like tapioca starch. For instructions using tapioca starch there is a recipe on Lexieskitchen.com that’s good just type coconut milk yogurt in the search function.  Again, I just prefer to keep my recipes and ingredients simple and with as few steps as possible. As you can see it is thick enough to hold up a bunch of grainless granola on top. Laura can eat her yogurt again! Yeah!!! 😉

If you want to give this a try but have some questions feel free to comment with your question. It took me 3 times to really get this recipe right for my tastes so I am happy to share some of what worked well and what didn’t.

Some common mistakes,

  • Not sterilizing utensils
  • Yogurt is too hot when culture is added. Be patient and wait.
  • If not using a yogurt maker, temp might vary. Cultures for Health has a Viili yogurt starter that ferments at room temperature, but I do not know how it works with non-dairy yogurt. That will be my next project and I’ll let you know! Or feel free to give it a try and let me know.



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6 Responses to “Coconut Milk Yogurt”

  1. craftyfox25 says:

    Awesome post. I love coconut milk, now I can have coconut yogurt. Thanks!

    • momgonepaleo says:

      Hi there onefoxycraft!

      I’m so glad you liked it! Posting a homemade coconut milk recipe this weekend. Can’t wait to check out your stuff!

      Sent from my iPhone

      ~ Laura

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  3. Natalie McN says:

    I just tried your recipe! Thank you so much. I am looking forward to seeing how it comes out….But for now, it’s sitting in the yogurt maker.

    Thanks again,

  4. Andria says:

    Oven light definitely does NOT warm oven up to 110 degrees! I have seen this mentioned on several sites. Not sure what kind of light bulb their oven use but my oven is at a cool 75 degrees with the light on.

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