Simple Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

If you’ve had to avoid animal-based dairy for health reasons, or for any other reason, you’ll quickly discover that some dairy-free alternatives leave a lot to be desired. And one of the hardest things to swallow is the price! Dairy-free milks, yogurts, and cheeses can be twice as expensive and sometimes not worth the cost for the other additives and flavor you’re getting. Or should I say, the flavor you’re not getting.

When I had to go dairy-free almost a year ago, most things were pretty easy to give up. I wasn’t a big milk drinker except for a splash in my coffee, sour cream would look like a science experiment before I would use it all, and cheese was a take-it-or-leave-it for me. There was one thing I really missed...

Yogurt.

I love the tanginess of thick, plain yogurt (yeah I’m weird…no sweetener for me), and with the benefit of the natural probiotics, it’s such a great food for gut health. I used yogurt all the time! Blended into smoothies, dolloped on a baked sweet potato, nestled under a mound of berries, and subbed anytime a recipe called for sour cream. Yogurt is where I felt a bit of my dairy void.

Dairy-free problem solved! This deliciously tangy coconut milk yogurt could not be easier! No heating, no equipment, no mess, no kidding! If you can stir, this recipe will be a success for you. And it is totally delicious. Creamy, tangy, thick…everything yogurt should be! So get to stirring!

Ingredients

  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (organic when possible; if you use “light” milk it will yield a much thinner consistency) 
  • 2 probiotic capsules, or the number needed for a total of 20-50 billion (bacterial strains only; no added prebiotics or nutrients) native harvest coconut milk and probiotics

Instructions

  1. Pour coconut milk into a clean, sterilized glass jar or bowl. With a whisk or emersion blender, mix coconut milk until it reaches a smooth and uniform consistency.
  2. Open probiotic capsules and empty the contents into the milk. Use a wooden or plastic spoon to incorporate powder. Metal can sometimes react negatively with the probiotics. Stir until creamy, smooth, and completely incorporated.
  3. Cover the mixture with cheesecloth or a thin dish towel and secure with a rubber band.
  4. Let the yogurt activate for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours in a warm place. The longer it rests, the tangier the yogurt will become. I put mine in my oven and leave the light on. That keeps things around a toasty 100º.
  5. After 24-48 hours, remove the cheesecloth or towel, cover securely with the jar’s lid, and refrigerate until cold. As it chills, the yogurt will continue to thicken. If you notice that the yogurt has separated, that’s ok! See below for tips.
  6. Once it’s chilled, enjoy it plain or add your favorite toppings.
  7. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week (if it even lasts that long!)

Extra Tips:

  • My recommended coconut milk brands are Native Forest and Whole Foods 365.
  • Make sure your probiotic contains ONLY bacterial strains (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are good ones to look for). It cannot have added prebiotics or other nutrients. To see some of my recommended brands, you can head to Fullscript.
  • I don’t add any sweetener or flavors when making my yogurt. While this is delicious just as it is, I recommend adding fruit or other toppings with each serving as you eat it.
  • If there is any off color or smell to your yogurt after it has cultured, discard and start the process over.
  • If your yogurt separates, you can stir everything together for a thinner consistency or use only the thicker top layer. But don’t toss out the liquid! Keep this and take it by the tablespoon for an extra probiotic shot!

In joy and health,

Jennifer signature

 

 

 

 

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