If you are dairy intolerant, vegan or paleo, you can get all the benefits of yogurt by making it from coconut milk. Making your own coconut milk yogurt is easy, fun, delicious, and cheap—often costing less than 30 cents a cup!
Yogurt is a very healthy, mildly fermented food which contains one or more strains of friendly gut bacteria. This fermentation process also improves the nutritional quality of any milk you use, resulting in about 20% more protein, and lots of enzymes and probiotics that can help your digestion.
Most people use high-fat, organic coconut milk for this recipe, either in cans or in tetra-paks. You can find this at Whole Foods, better grocery stores, or online.
However, one major drawback to buying canned coconut milk is that, like almost all canned foods, there is toxic BPA in the lining of the can which can leach into your food. (Here’s where to get canned 100% coconut milk in BPA free cans.)
Another option is to get full-fat 100% coconut milk and cream in Tetra paks or cartons. I prefer to do this because I don’t like the taste of canned coconut milk. But you should know that many of these products contain natural guar gum or carageenan, which can harm the digestive system. (Here’s where to get my favorite additive-free coconut milk in tetra paks.)
Be sure NOT to use the coconut milk “beverages” in Tetra paks. This kind of coconut milk contains many additives and is far too watered down to make good yogurt.
You will need a yogurt starter culture to introduce the fermentation bacteria to the milk. If you’re vegan or casein intolerant like we are, then you can use a non-dairy yogurt starter. (Here’s where to find non-dairy yogurt cultures online).
You can also use 2-3 capsules of any high-quality, dairy-free probiotic that contains bacterial strains called L. bulgaricus, S. themophilus and L. casei.
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
- 3 BPA-free cans coconut milk OR 1 liter TetraPak full-fat coconut cream
- 1/4 tsp. non-dairy yogurt starter/probiotic OR 2-3 dairy-free probiotic pills (where to find online)
- 1-2 Tbsp. honey, maple syrup OR coconut sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp. unflavored grassfed gelatin, agar agar, OR 1-2 cups puréed young coconut meat (Optional if you want thick yogurt fast. Otherwise you can drip it to desired thickness.)
- Fresh organic berries, bananas, nuts, vanilla or other flavorings (Optional)