Coconut Milk Yogurt

Making yogurt in your own home kitchen is very easy and fun. I have been making yogurt for years and I can feel the difference between store bought and homemade yogurt. Homemade yogurt taste much better. It is less expensive as well. Yogurt is a wonderful snack and can be even more healthy if you make it yourself. Here is some quick easy steps that will help you make your own home made yogurt. There are so many good things about homemade yogurt that it’s tough to think of a good excuse not to make it!

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Coconut Milk Yogurt
Recipe Creator: Bhavna
Ingredients
  • 3 cans organic coconut milk OR 1 liter TetraPak coconut milk OR 1 liter of homemade coconut milk (recipe here or here)
  • 1/4 tsp . non-dairy yogurt starter/probiotic (Vegetal non-dairy yogurt starter is our latest favorite.) OR 2-3 dairy-free probiotic pills
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to 180 degrees F, then remove from heat. Do NOT boil the milk; watch it closely. (Do NOT microwave, which harmfully alters the chemical structure of the milk). You want to get the milk just hot enough to sterilize it. Your coconut milk must reach 180 degrees or you risk contamination with Burkholderia cocovenenans or other harmful bacteria.
  2. If you are using a quick thickener like pectin or gelatin, while the milk is still very hot, thoroughly dissolve and mix it into your batch. You will need to experiment a little to find the exact amount of thickener for your taste. (If you are not using a thickener, you can drip the yogurt to desired thickness, but this takes 6-12 hours.)
  3. Cool to 95-100 degrees. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the bacterial culture you are going to introduce. It takes a fair amount time to cool to 100, so go do something else in the house for a while.
  4. Remove about 1/2 cup of cooled coconut milk, and mix in your starter culture. Stir well.
  5. Thoroughly mix the inoculated batch back in with the remainder of the cooled coconut milk.
  6. Pour cultured milk into your yogurt maker jars, or any glass or enamel containers that work for you. Cover and ferment at 105-110 degrees for 7-9 hours. The longer you ferment the yogurt, the less sugar it will contain and the more sour it will taste. Check for taste at 7 hours, but note that if you want all the sugar to be fully consumed by the bacteria, you will need to ferment for at least 8 hours. Some people ferment as long as 18-24 hours!
  7. To keep the correct temperature for the culture, I use my Excalibur dehydrator set at about 105 degrees, and place the containers on the bottom, away from the heating element. You can also use a temperature-adjustable heating pad or crockpot, or put a 60-Watt bulb in your oven and leave the light on. No other heat is needed. Remember, too high a temperature will kill the bacterial culture; too low of a temperature will prevent proper fermentation. You will know you have done it right by the proper yogurt-sour smell and taste.
  8. After 7–9 hours, remove from heat, stir to an even consistency and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  9. If you DID NOT use a thickener like agar agar, pectin or gelatin, then you can now thicken your yogurt the old fashioned way: Pour the yogurt into a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and let it drip for 6-12 hours over a bowl. The longer you let it drip, the thicker it will become. What drips out is coconut water, not whey, so add the liquid to a smoothie or discard. Carefully scrape the thickened yogurt from the bag into a jar. (Messy!) Cover and refrigerate.
  10. If your yogurt separates after chilling, either stir it briskly with a spoon, or whip it with a stick blender for a light and fluffy treat.
  11. Stir in fresh berries or other fruit, vanilla, nuts, coffee extract, or any other flavoring you desire. Or simply enjoy plain!
  12. Enjoy daily for maximum health benefit