Today’s Weekly Kitchen Tip comes to us from Sonya, who shares how she makes coconut milk yogurt. Thanks, Sonya!
Following the tip on warming milk in a crock pot, I pour two cans (14 ounces each) of whole coconut milk (not lite) into a crock pot and turn the setting to high.
I stir in 2 tablespoons of agar agar. I have not been able to find the powder, so I used the flakes; the first time I made it, though, the flakes didn’t dissolve completely but instead swelled and gelled, which gave the finished product a bumpy texture. The second time I made the yogurt, I ground up the agar agar flakes in my Vita-Mix into a finer flake—it never really got what I would call powdery. The result was a much smoother, creamier texture. The agar agar made the yogurt set up pretty firmly, so you could probably get away with just 1 tablespoon. I am going to try that next time.
In addition to the agar agar, I stir in 2 tablespoons agave nectar [use any sweetener you desire], and I heat the milk until it is about 150 degrees. A lot of places I visited on the Web said that it probably isn’t necessary to heat the milk to that extent because, as a canned product, it has already been heated. But I did it anyway because I thought it might help the agar agar dissolve better.
While the milk is heating, I sterilize everything I will use for the rest of the process—a quart-size Mason jar, candy thermometer, whisk, tongs, 1 cup glass measuring cup, even the interior of my Vita-Mix wet container—with scalding water and set it aside on a scalded plate. So when the temperature of the milk reaches 150 degrees (as registered on a see-through candy thermometer), I turn off the crock pot and allow the milk to cool to between 105 and 110 degrees.
When the temperature is right, I remove 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the milk with the measuring cup and pour it into the wet container of my Vita-Mix so that I can grind up the probiotic capsules I initially chose to use for yogurt-making (Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Formulas Inc.’s Probiotics 12 PLUS Original Formula). This probiotic is not specifically intended for yogurt-making, but it was recommended as a possible dairy-free culture (something that is really hard to find!). I would like to look into the possibility of finding a powdered culture that I could use instead, in which case I would skip this step with the Vita-Mix and simply stir the culture into a small amount of the milk before adding it back to the whole batch.
Note: The first time I made yogurt, I tried every way I could think of to break open, dissolve or otherwise eliminate the hard outer coating of the capsule to get to the probiotic inside (the actual probiotic is in a moist, fermented form—not a powder), but nothing worked effectively. So I decided to grind up the capsules (I use two in each batch of yogurt) in the Vita-Mix with a little of the milk. It worked, but I was afraid to process it too long for fear of heating it up too much and killing the good bacteria.
After the culture is incorporated, I add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional) and pour the entire mixture into the sterilized Mason jar. I cover the jar with plastic wrap and place it into a towel-lined insulated cooler, along with one other large jar (or two small ones) filled with boiling water (the jars with water should not touch the yogurt jar directly, but all of the jars should be insulated by wrapping them in dish towels). Then I close the cooler lid and allow the yogurt to incubate for about 5 hours.
I read about people incubating their yogurt for as long as 8 hours using this and other methods, but I was going for a more pudding-like effect without a lot of tang or tartness. Both times I have made it, the yogurt has had a nice, mild coconut flavor that has mixed well with fruit or even just stirred into oatmeal or other cereal. I’m going to try to tweak a few things until I get it down to just the right process and result. Also, I think I might try to double the batch so that it doesn’t disappear so fast around our house! 🙂
I think it is great that Sonya pieced together different techniques to make a new kind of healthy yogurt for her family. Anyone game to try it? Let us know what you think!
save time, spend less, and get healthy... simple & delicious traditionally-cooked meals using ingredients you already have... even leftovers... 30 min or less!
free worksheet + videos:
Healthy Dinner in 30 Minutes... While Spending $0 Extra!
We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).
I never would have thought to make coconut milk yogurt. This looks great!!
Thanks for sharing a great idea! Do you think I could duplicate this w/ rice or almond milk?
Also, I have a dairy free probiotic called Ultra Flora Plus DF, made by Metagenics. It is a powder that I measure and add to things for my son (usually 1/2 teaspoon for one serving). It would save you a step though, as it’s already a powder substance. I do have to keep it refrigerated though.
Sonya Hemmings says
A couple of my resources (both Web and books, including Super Baby Food) said you can make yogurt with any kind of milk, including rice and almond. I would give it a try and see if it works! The consistency might be thinner with rice milk, which is why I tried the coconut milk instead. Thanks for the tip on the dairy-free probiotic! It would be easier to use a powder. Where do you get it?
Thanks for tip about rice milk. My son is not crazy about the taste of coconut, that’s why I thought I might try something different. Maybe he would like it with fruit, I’ll have to try the recipe soon!
We find the probiotic at a local health food store. Is there a store near you that would special order something like this for you (if you can’t find it)? I’ve never looked for it at Whole Foods, it might be there as well.
I noticed that rice milk does not have as much nutrition as almond milk…
I am trying the coconut milk yogurt, this morning; I buy the So Delicious Coconut Milk from
Natural Grocers, here in Cedar Park, TX.
I have made yogurt with raw cow milk with great success, and peace of mind that the milk is not
Sonya: I have tried making coconut milk yogurt, a blend of coconut milk and almond milk yogurt, plain almond milk yogurt and soy yogurt. I am still trying to perfect the thickness, but I have had problems with separating. No matter which type of milk I have used, there is usually a half inch to an inch of clear thin gelly like stuff in the bottom of my jars! Does this happen to you? What am I doing wrong? Thanks for the help! Also, yogourmet makes a dairy free yogurt starter–a bit hard to find but can be found online at Tribest.
My son is dairy-allergic. A year or so ago, I finally found a truly dairy-free yogurt starter (I was making soy, but am now going to try the coconut yogurt, since he’s been drinking coconut tonic now as a soy milk replacement). You should try it, I had great results for soy yogurt, and it was totally dairy- and maltodextrin-free (it’s made by a company who targets GFCF diets):
Thanks for the recipe — I already have agar powder from the soy yogurt days. Can’t wait to try it!
.-= Katy´s last blog post… Early-fall vegetable panino* =-.
I know this is an article from Long Ago, but I thought as it is so helpful I’d mention that I’ve been using a meat probe thermometer with beeper to “watch” the warming process and it works superbly. I’m always doing two things (or more) at once, so it is a help not to have to squint at a thermometer waiting for it to get where I need it to be. I always double check the temperature with my trusty instant thermometer before adding the probiotic, but it seems right on.
could I use probiotic powder that I take as a supplement to use as a yogurt starter?
that’s what I want to know, did you ever find out?