Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Back when I went vegan I have to admit, I thought I would miss a lot of things, but as it turned out the only thing I really missed was yogurt. I used to eat yogurt like it was going out of production, the fridge was always stocked with an assortment of flavours. I soon came to the point where I thought I would never have yogurt again, I mean sure there are the store bought varieties of soygurt, but being in Alberta we only have access to two brands and they leave much to be desired….to put it bluntly…they just plain suck.

Then one day about a year ago a lightbulb went off (actually it was P’s lightbulb that went off since it was his idea) and I went on the hunt for a homemade yogurt recipe. I tried a few different ones that were kind of ok and then finally came across a recipe that was posted on The Daring Kitchen website, and it was Amazing! So of course, I had to share :)

Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups or 2 litres of canned coconut milk or unsweetened soymilk at room temp
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp agar powder
  • 1 cup plain cultured coconut yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar (I use agave or brown rice syrup)*

*If using a milk that already has sugar added to it, omit.

Have ready some glass containers with lids. I sterilize mine prior to making the yogurt by submerging them in boiling water for a few minutes and then removing them with tongs.

  1. In a large pot whisk the tapioca starch and agar into one cup of coconut milk until dissolved.
  2. Whisk in 4 cups of coconut milk until smooth.
  3. Heat the pot of coconut milk over low to medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 to 190 F, or if you don’t have a thermometer, to the point where the milk is steaming and beginning to form bubbles but before it reaches a boil. Stir occasionally so that the mixture stays smooth and doesn’t form clumps.
  4. Fill a sink about a quarter way full with cold water and add in some ice cubes if you happen to have any.
  5. Whisk in the remaining 3 cups of coconut milk and turn off the heat. Place the pot in the sink filled with ice water and let cool to around 115 to 120 F or somewhere between very warm and hot. Whisk occasionally to distribute the heat and speed up the cooling process.
  6. If using the added sugar whisk it into the very warm coconut milk along with the yogurt until smooth. Put the milk in warm jars, containers, or insulated bottles and put the lids on. I don’t own a yogurt maker, so to keep the milk warm at about 100 F, I wrap the jars in kitchen towels and place them in the oven with the light bulb on. The recipe says that you can also use a food dehydrator, yogurt maker, crock-pot, or heating pad to incubate your yogurt.
  7. Allow the yogurt to sit undisturbed for about 8 hours. Check the yogurt by tasting it (it should have a nice tangy flavour), or by tilting the jar or container to see whether the milk has become yogurt. If not, leave it alone for another 4 hours. When the yogurt is set, refrigerate and use within a week.

Once the yogurt is set you can add in extra sweetener, or change up the flavour by adding in different extracts like vanilla or orange. The best thing about making your own yogurt is that you control everything that goes into it, pretty sweet eh? Your yogurt should be pretty thick, like the picture below.

As you can see it’s pretty easy to make, it’s mostly just a lot of waiting around. Just eat it like you would any other yogurt, I prefer mine over fruit with a sprinkling of cocoa nibs, or sometimes I like to sweeten it up and just eat it plain.

Now that I’ve found this recipe I don’t think of dairy yogurts anymore because I can have creamy, rich, cruelty-free yogurt whenever I feel like it, and since I just made 8 freakin’ cups of the stuff I think I may go have some now.

I was a tad too impatient and didn’t let the yogurt chill completely, so as you can see in this picture it was a bit runny. Patience is definitely not one of my best qualities.

27 thoughts on “Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

  1. the soy yogurt in stores in nova scotia is just plain gross, too! i used to live in the states and there were several brands of yummy soy yogurt and also coconut milk yogurt there, and i really miss it. i’ll have to try this recipe out!

    • Yeah, there’s a lot of things they can get in the states that I wish we had access to. If you try it out let me know what you think, I’m really curious how a soy version would turn out as I haven’t tried it yet.

  2. Pingback: {weekend reading} Weekday Edition 2011 « FROM SCRATCH club

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m interested in making my own unsweetened yogurt, but due to my current diet I can’t use any sugar. I’ve read that the sugar in the recipe is there to give the bacteria something to feed on, is that right? Is there anything else I could add instead of sugar/sweetener to fill that function or is the sugar absolutely necessary?

    • I’ve accidentally left the sugar out before without any ill effects, but there was already sugar in my soy yogurt starter so I’m sure that more then made up for it.
      Do you have access to a sugar free starter?
      I would try a half batch without any and see how it goes, I’m sure it will still turn out fine it just may take a little longer then stated as the bacteria won’t have as much to feed on to get it all revved up.

  4. Pingback: Baked Oatmeal « The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

  5. Just for clarification, in step 1 did you mean coconut YOGURT or coconut MILK? If it’s MILK then do we even need the yogurt, and if so, what step? Will any other kind of yogurt or yogurt starter work? I’m getting ready to make this and it’s all new to me but it looks pretty good! Tx for the recipe!

    • In step one you mix the coconut MILK with the tapioca and agar. The yogurt doesn’t get mixed in until step 6, after the coconut milk mixture has cooled slightly (wouldn’t want to kill the bacteria we need). The yogurt is necessary, as it’s used as a starter and contains the active cultures required to make yogurt. You can use any kind of yogurt you’d like as a starter, coconut, soy, rice, you name it, as long as it’s a cultured yogurt, you can use it. Thanks for trying the recipe!

      • The list of ingredients says 8 c of milk, but the recipie only accounts for 7 c, which is what I ended up using, thankfully, otherwise it probably would have been too thin. My first batch turned out okay, but even after 18 hrs, it’s sweeter than I prefer. I left one thermos to incubate longer to see if it gets tangier. I think it turned out sweet because I used mostly coconut milk: carton of unsweetened, vanilla coconut milk and one can of canned coconut milk, with just 1 c of unsweetened soy milk along w/ 2 T sugar. The other reason is because the carton of coconut milk was vanilla flavored–the vanilla was pretty pronounced in the batch.

        Next time I’ll use all unsweetened soy milk with 2 T sugar to see if that makes a tangier yogurt; eventually I’ll make my own soy or almond milk because…using store-bought milk and store-bought yogurt as a starter ends up costing just about the same as buying the yogurt in the first place. That said, I hear that, depending on where you live, decent store-bought vegan yogurt is hard to come by. If you are traveling in the US and are interested in store-bought yogurt, try an almond-based vegan yogurt by “Amande”–the coconut flavor is amazing. It’s available at these stores: Fred Meyers, Whole Foods and New Seasons. For a good plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt (best I’ve tried, and I’ve tried them all), look for Whole Soy at Whole Foods and New Seasons.

        Thanks for the recipie! Can’t wait to make my own milk to drive the cost down.

        • All 8 cups are used in the recipe, 1 cup is used to dissolve the tapioca and agar, then you mix this with an additional 4 cups before you heat the milk. The last 3 cups are added at the end. The reason your yogurt turned out so thin was because you used the carton coconut milk, I’ve tried this before and had the same thing happen, so I only recommend using canned or unsweetened soymilk. The carton milk is much, much thinner then the canned variety. The vanilla coconut milk would definitely alter the sweetness of your yogurt, I like using unsweetened milks so that I can control how much sugar is added but then I also really don’t like sweet yogurt, so to each their own.
          The cost really depends on where you are and what you have available to you, we just started getting So Delicious Coconut Yogurt here and as wonderful as it is, it’s much cheaper for me to stick to making my own; I also have a place where I can get really cheap coconut milk, so that really helps decrease the cost. The soy yogurt, on the other hand, isn’t too bad in cost…it just really tastes gross.
          The thing about the storebought starter is that depending on how frequent you make yogurt, you only need to use it once, after that you can use your homemade yogurt as the starter.
          I’d love to try an almond based yogurt, I bet it’s delicious. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll have to keep my eye out for it the next time I’m in the states.

  6. I think it would also work beautifully with almond milk!!! very neutral tasting too. how coconutty is Im so excited to try this, i need to get my jar with lids soon ^^

    • It would depend on the amount of fat in the brand of coconut milk that you use. You could always cut back on the amount of fat by using a lighter coconut milk, or even doing half coconut milk and half soymilk (or another non-dairy milk you prefer).

    • Sorry, I’ve never attempted it. I was unsuccessful with freezing soy yogurt as it got too watery but I’m not sure if it would have the same effect. Maybe try freezing a small portion to test it out.

    • Hmm…first, never use xatham gum again, ha ha.
      Maybe try putting it in a food processor or blender and try pureeing it until it’s smooth. I’m not sure how thick/gel-like it is but if it’s too thick for the blender, add a touch of milk until it gets to the right consistency. I’ve never had that happen, so I’m not sure what else to suggest at the moment.

  7. Pingback: Vegan Coconut Yogurt and Granola | When in Doubt...Leave it at 350

Leave a Comment!