Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt or use Dairy Milk. Store-bought yogurts pasteurized killing most of the beneficial probiotics. Easy thick, creamy yogurt recipe
Buying store-bought yogurt may be convenient but most of the beneficial probiotics it contains are killed during the pasteurization process required by law. The good news is that in yogurt is easy to make. And if you’re dairy-free you can make delicious yogurt using coconut milk. You can even use goat’s milk.
The simplest way to make homemade yogurt is to use a yogurt maker. But if you don’t want to invest in one, you can use a heating pad, thermos, cooler, slow cooker, or even a conventional oven.
Using full fat coconut milk or whole milk produces a naturally creamy and thick yogurt. For a lower calorie option, you can use lite coconut milk, low-fat milk, or skim milk. However, your final product will be very thin, more like kefir than yogurt. Commercially made low-fat yogurts are mixed with thickeners like guar gum.
INGREDIENTS – please use organic ingredients
- 2 BPA-free Cans Full Fat Coconut Milk or 1 Quart Whole Milk or Goat’s Milk
- Powdered yogurt starter, refer to instructions on jar for exact amount, find this at your natural foods store in the refrigerated section
- Optional – 3T ot 4T non-fat powdered milk or powdered coconut milk, for thicker yogurt
- Optional – sweeteners like jam, honey, molasses, maple syrup, coconut sugar
- Optional – fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, granola, chopped nuts, etc.
- Equipment – tongs, whisk or fork, ladle, Mason jars or other glass containers with lids.
- Special equipment – candy thermometer and yogurt maker or incubator, click here for a product review
Note: for larger batches of yogurt, double or triple the above recipe. Increase amount of milk, powdered yogurt starter, and powdered milk, if using, proportionately.
Directions – start with a clean work surface and clean tools. Sterilized the equipment by adding it to a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Use sterilized tongs to remove equipment, taking care not to touch tips of utensils or inside of containers. Note: some dish washers have a sanitizer setting.
Add milk of choice to a saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly. Heat milk until it just boils. Add candy thermometer to saucepan. Make sure temperature is 120°F or higher.
Remove milk from heat. Watch the thermometer. Cool milk between 110°F to 115°F. Be careful not to let the temperature of the milk drop too low. If it does, you will have to reheat it.
Follow the directions on the jar of powdered yogurt starter. Add specified amount for amount of milk you are using. Add the powdered culture to the warm milk. Optional – for thicker yogurt, stir in nonfat powdered dry milk or powdered coconut milk. Whisk or use a fork to mix in the powder[s]. Do not stir mixture vigorously.
Use a sterilized ladle or pour yogurt mixture into sterilized containers of yogurt incubator. Leave some room at the top, do not fill containers all the way. Following manufactures instructions, start the yogurt incubator and let the yogurt culture for the desired amount of time. Longer incubation periods produce tarter, thicker yogurt. Do not disturb yogurt during incubation.
Note: yogurt needs to incubate or culture for a minimum of 5 hours. But can safely incubate for longer. Even overnight. Most yogurt makers have timers. If you choose a shorter incubation period, yogurt is fine left in incubator several hours after culturing. The same is true if using a thermos.
Making yogurt without a yogurt incubator
Add yogurt mixture to sterilized glass container[s] with tight fitting lids. Like Mason jars. Leave some room at the top. Do not fill the jars all the way. Do not add lids yet. Incubate yogurt and cool before adding lids. Incubate yogurt, uncovered, 5 to 10 hours. Again, longer incubation periods produce tarter, thicker yogurt.
- Cooler – add jars to a cooler. Fill excess space with rolled towels. Pack the jars in snuggly. To make sure they stay warm. Close the cooler until incubation period is over.
- Crockpot – fill one-third to one-half with water. Heat water on high setting. Once water is hot, reduce heat to warm. Using candy thermometer, add jars when water temperature lowers to 110°F and 115°F. Add uncovered jars of water. Be careful not to get water in the jars. Incubate on warm setting for desired amount of time. See below.
- Thermos – add yogurt mixture to a sterile glass interior thermos. Do not use a metal thermos to incubate yogurt. Add yogurt to sterilized jars after incubation. Before refrigerating.
- Heating pad – add yogurt mixture to a large glass jar or container. Warm heating pad on low setting. Wrap heating pad snuggly around jar. Secure with large rubber bands. Or twine. Transfer to individual serving jars before refrigerating, if desired.
- Conventional Oven – heat oven on warm. Put jars in a ceramic baking dish. So they don’t tip over. Put dish warm oven. Leave oven door ajar. Let yogurt incubate.
Do not disturb yogurt during incubation. After incubation, cover yogurt jars with lids. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until cold. To protect probiotics, add sweeteners or flavorings just before serving.
Greek yogurt is a thicker version of regular yogurt. To make Greek-style yogurt, spoon incubated yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Set the colander over a large bowl. Cover bowl. Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Until all excess liquid drains. This liquid is known as whey. Whey contains probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Use it in smoothies. Or make a lassis by adding a little sweetener and a pinch of salt.
Store yogurt in refrigerator in covered glass or ceramic jars. Some yogurt incubators come with plastic jars. I substitute them with small Mason jars used for jam-making. But this is not necessary. Yogurt can be stored in the refrigerator in plastic incubator jars.
Yogurt becomes tarter the longer it ages. If whey separates from yogurt during refrigeration, pour it off and reuse it. Or simply mix it back into the yogurt. Add sweetener of choice, if desired. And other flavorings like fruit, granola, or nuts just before serving. Adding sweeteners and flavorings ahead of time can kill yogurts beneficial probiotics.
Now for the best part…Frozen Yogurt
Homemade yogurt can be used to make your own frozen yogurt. Yum!
Check out this easy recipe from Heidi Shultz, if you are dairy-free substitute coconut cream for the dairy cream in this recipe.