It’s really easy. You need a good amount of time and patience.
I’ll describe the method that I used on my first try. It is not my original idea (but then again, very few things in life are).
Our grandmothers probably had been making “coconut yogurt” for centuries, even before we were born.
It is how you do it:
- Put one can of coconut milk (400ml) in a blender and blend it well.
- Pour into a pot, add 1/2 teaspoon of yogurt (from your last batch if possible to get the bacteria going), stir well, and cover with a lid.
- Keep this bowl either in an oven or over a pot of water that’s kept at the lowest heat possible (1/2 flame on my stovetop) and leave it there throughout the night.
- In the morning, you’ll find a layer of yogurt-like cream on top and coconut water below.
- Separate them by straining through a muslin cloth.
- Now add sugar to your taste (about 1/4 cup) and dissolve well.
- Mix your yogurt cream with the sugar-sweetened coconut water and whisk until smooth.
- You could opt to add more sugar (up to 1/2 cup) if you like it sweeter. I prefer a less sweet taste, so I used only 1/4 cup of sugar here.
- Now put 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture in a bowl & add mild, warm water. Just enough to make it “boil” or bubble up when you stir through.
- It will activate your yogurt culture and kill off the non-beneficial bacteria, ensuring that only the good ones stay alive in the final yogurt product.
- Now pour this mixture into the yogurt that you just made.
- Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for an hour or two. It will allow the yogurt to thicken up a bit.
Serve cold! 🙂
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- I used about 1/2 cup of sugar here (50gm). Adjust according to your taste preference.
- Coconut water is very low in fat, so the cream we made is also low in fat – only about 5-6% of fat.
- You can make a large batch (5-7 batches or more) and store it in small containers.
- Each time you eat, add water to the yogurt mixture to activate it & use as required. This way, you’ll be able to eat this yogurt for a few months.
- If keeping in the refrigerator for longer, I would suggest you only use 1/4 cup of sugar since it will last that much longer before going sour.
- Since there is no preservative & emulsifier in the yogurt, it tends to get separated even though whisked well before each use.
It is how my “coconut yogurt” looked like when I made it
The top layer with the cream and below it was coconut water & some bits of shredded coconut mixed up in the process. This pulp remained at the bottom and never came up during whisking, nor did it get blended in completely when making the yogurt. 🙂
On the other hand, the bottom layer was pretty watery (coconut water), and the yogurt cream rose to form a thick creamy layer. See the bits of shredded coconut that stayed at the bottom? not very pretty, I know, but it tasted great!
How long does coconut yogurt need to ferment?
I let my yogurt ferment for about 16-18 hours. I found that it thickened up perfectly & the taste was really good too. So this is how long I would recommend you to ferment your coconut yogurt. However, if you prefer a milder fermented taste, then go ahead and ferment for less time – maybe 12-14 hours would be just fine too.
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Is coconut yogurt healthy?
Well, the yogurt we’ve made here is much healthier than store-bought packaged ones. It’s not 100% fat-free since coconut milk contains fat (about 5-6% of fat). Also, many people tend to use more sugar in their cupboards, so there’s that to consider – about 1/4 cup or so in this recipe – but still lower in sugar than the store-bought ones.
The bacteria that we’ve added to the yogurt are good for your gut, too & since coconut milk is a great alternative source of dairy calcium, it’s better to go with this recipe.
Also, coconut milk is a bit rich in fat (medium-chain triglycerides). It is easier to digest and assimilate than dairy milk which contains long-chained fatty acids. It makes the yogurt easy on the stomach, too – it won’t cause any bloating or discomfort like a cow, buffalo, or goat’s milk-based yogurts would do.
Make sure that you use only pure, organic & Non-GMO ingredients here. We don’t know what other harmful chemicals they add to commercial yogurts these days, and it’s not worth the risk for you or your kids! I’d suggest making your yogurt at home as it truly is easy to make!
Can I add coconut extract to yogurt?
I do not recommend adding any extracts, essences, or artificial flavorings to your yogurt. Just leave it plain and simple as this is how you’ll get the best result – a smooth & creamy natural yogurt that you can add sweeteners (organic sugar, maple syrup, honey) to instead.
If you must have a coconut flavored yogurt, add some shredded coconut to your yogurt when you whisk it with water or milk. I have used about 1/4 cup & it was nice for me – not too overpowering but definitely, enough to get a good hint of the taste!
Why coconut yogurt is bad for you?
Unfortunately, there are people out there who wrongly declare that coconut is bad for you. I’ve even seen a post saying that fresh coconut meat is toxic until cooked at high heat! It may be true to some extent, but adding only coconut milk to your yogurt and fermenting it will truly give you a whole new healthy ingredient to try!