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Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Like many people these days, Babyzilla and I are allergic to dairy, soy and most nuts—each one of the most allergenic foods in the world. (We are even allergic to goat milk, too!) So, we’ve been looking for a suitable alternative for one of our favorite probiotic-rich foods: Yogurt.

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 (coconut, rice, almond, cow, etc.), resulting in about 20% more protein, and lots of enzymes that can help your digestion.

Making your own yogurt is easy, fun, delicious, and cheap—often costing less than 30 cents a cup!

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 coconut milk 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 thin 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.

UPDATE: There are LOTS of great tips in the comments section that can help answer almost any question you might have about making coconut yogurt. Fermentation is both an art and a science, and there is lots of wisdom below.

Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Tools

  • Yogurt maker, box-style dehydrator, cooler with a programmable heating pad, OR other means of maintaining an exact temperature of 110 degrees F.
  • Candy thermometer (Very important)
  • Glass or ceramic containers with lids (Do not use metal.) I use these leakproof containers for easy lunchbox packing.

Ingredients

  • 3 cans coconut milk OR 1 liter TetraPak full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. non-dairy yogurt starter/probiotic OR 2-3 dairy-free probiotic pills (where to find yogurt cultures)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. honey, maple syrup OR coconut sap
  • 1-2 Tbsp. unflavored grassfed gelatin, agar agar, tapioca flour, pectin, etc. OR 1-2 cups puréed young coconut meat (Optional if you want thick yogurt fast. Otherwise you can drip it to desired thickness. You will need to experiment a bit with the quantity to get the thickness that you like.)
  • Fresh organic berries, bananas, nuts, vanilla or other flavorings (Optional)

Directions

  1. Sterilize your yogurt containers, mixing spoons and other utensils with boiling water. This will keep bad bacteria from competing with the good yogurt bacteria.
  2. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to 180 degrees F, then remove from heat. Do NOT boil the milk; watch it closely. (Do NOT microwave, which harmfully alters the chemical structure of the milk). You want to get the milk just hot enough to sterilize it. Your coconut milk must reach 180 degrees or you risk contamination with Burkholderia cocovenenans or other harmful bacteria.
  3. If you are using a quick thickener like tapioca or gelatin, while the milk is still very hot, thoroughly dissolve and mix it into your batch. You will need to experiment a little to find the exact amount of thickener for your taste. (If you are not using a thickener, you can drip the yogurt to desired thickness, but this takes 6-12 hours. See step 11.)
  4. Add maple syrup or honey and stir thoroughly. The sweetener provides food for the bacterial culture and will be mostly consumed by the time your yogurt is done. Without a natural form of sugar, coconut milk will not culture very well.
  5. Cover and cool to 95-100 degrees. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the bacterial culture you are going to introduce. It takes a fair amount time to cool to 100, so go do something else in the house for a while.
  6. Remove about 1/2 cup of cooled coconut milk, and mix in your starter culture. Stir well.
  7. Thoroughly mix the inoculated batch back in with the remainder of the cooled coconut milk.
  8. Pour cultured milk into your yogurt maker jars, or any glass or enamel containers that work for you. Cover and ferment at 105-110 degrees for 7-9 hours. The longer you ferment the yogurt, the less sugar it will contain and the more sour it will taste. Check for taste at 7 hours, but note that if you want all the sugar to be fully consumed by the bacteria, you will need to ferment for at least 8 hours. Some people ferment as long as 18-24 hours!
  9. To keep the correct temperature for the culture, I use my Excalibur dehydrator set at about 105 degrees, and place the containers on the bottom, away from the heating element. You can also use a temperature-adjustable heating pad or crockpot, or put a 60-Watt bulb in your oven and leave the light on. No other heat is needed. Remember, too high a temperature will kill the bacterial culture; too low of a temperature will prevent proper fermentation. You will know you have done it right by the proper yogurt-sour smell and taste.
  10. After 7–9 hours, remove from heat, stir to an even consistency and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. You must refrigerate for the gelatin, tapioca, pectin or agar agar to set.
  11. If you DID NOT use a thickener like agar agar, pectin or gelatin, then you can now thicken your yogurt the old fashioned way: Pour the yogurt into a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and let it drip for 6-12 hours over a bowl in a cool area. The longer you let it drip, the thicker it will become. What drips out is coconut water, not whey, so add the liquid to a smoothie or discard. Carefully scrape the thickened yogurt from the bag into a jar. (Messy!) Cover and refrigerate.
  12. If your yogurt separates after chilling, either stir it briskly with a spoon, or whip it with a stick blender for a light and fluffy treat.
  13. Stir in fresh berries or other fruit, vanilla, nuts, coffee extract, or any other flavoring you desire. Or simply enjoy plain!
  14. Enjoy daily for maximum health benefit!

TROUBLESHOOTING: 

  • Your yogurt should smell and taste sour—like yogurt. If you notice any “off” or foul odors, mold, or hints of grey or pink on the surface, throw it out and try again. This suggests the equipment was not thoroughly sterilized, or that the starter culture died from temps too high or too low, and foreign “bad” bacteria colonized the batch.
  • Coconut yogurt initially comes out much thinner than cow’s milk yogurt, but there are two ways to thicken it: Add a dissolved thickener like gelatin, agar agar, etc. to your milk before fermentation, or after it is done fermenting, drip all the liquid out of your yogurt the old fashioned way using a cheesecloth, cotton or nut milk bag. This guide to thickening yogurt makes it more clear.
  • Once fully cooled, your yogurt may separate again, with some of the coconut oil hardening on top and a clear or cloudy liquid on the bottom. This happens especially with homemade coconut milk which hasn’t been homogenized and emulsified with factory machinery. This is usually not a problem, as long as everything else smells and tastes OK. Just mix well with a spoon or stick blender, and enjoy.
  • The new tetrapaks of coconut milk for drinking and cereal (like So Delicious) are NOT appropriate for making yogurt because they are mostly water and very little fat. Choose a high-fat coconut milk made for cooking.

UPDATE: There are TONS of tips, tricks and advice from readers in the comments section below that will answer just about any question you could have about making coconut milk yogurt. Please check them out!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog, including Amazon.com links. These small earnings make it possible for me to continue writing this blog for you. That said, I only recommend products I genuinely love, and that I believe would be of value to my readers.
Thank you for your support!

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: Your health is between you and your health care practitioner. Nothing in this blog is intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.




286 Comments

  1. Hey! Has anyone used RAW Probiotics to make yogurt?

  2. Since everyone uses different probiotics… are you talking Millions or
    Billions when you use 1-3
    Capsules? I don’t want
    To use too much. 3 of my capsules would be 4.5 billion. Thanks!

  3. I’m curious what is the best way to cover during incubation. I’m using glass mason jars and I plan to incubate in my Excalibur dehydrator. Should I seal them with the rims or just place the lid on to allow for any gases to escape?

    • Just place the lids gently. You want air to flow freely.

  4. Please help! We are trying desperately to make dairy-free yogurt and I just failed at my fifth attempt. We’re using Cultures for Health vegan starter and homemade coconut milk (which they recommend) – I cannot afford to buy canned every time. I followed their instructions perfectly, watched it like a baby (temps, refrigerated, etc.) – it always comes out runny. I tried the lighted stove method 4 times, bought a yogurt maker, used this recipe from them:
    http://www.culturesforhealth.com/vegan-yogurt-recipe
    I used exact amounts, the pectin thickened so nicely, I figured it would be too thick since I did the calcium water as well. No such luck. Still a thick, runny liquid (absolutely no lumps and nothing to put through a strainer – would all run through).
    Do you think it’s the temp (140 instead of 180), the no-sugar in the recipe, the amount of pectin, putting the pectin in w/milk at room temp instead of with heated liquid like your recipe (it really did thicken up nicely & dissolved fine using their recipe)?? Any help you can provide would be great. I do taste tartness & no weird smell/color, so we put it in smoothies. It just will not turn into yogurt for me and I’m nervous and defeated to try #6 (although they did send me a new box, so I’ll use a packet of starter from that new box next time, but would like your advice for best possible outcome as well). Thanks much!

    • It sounds like it did turn into yogurt, just not thick yogurt. Coconut milk simply cannot get thick without an added thickener, whether that is pectin, gelatin, coconut meat, or whatever. And homemade coconut milk is even thinner than canned! I have had much better luck with gelatin than with pectin, but try adjusting the quantity of pectin first.

      • I’m glad you commented as I’m getting ready to try this.

  5. Hi .. I might have missed this in the comments… But I make my own coconut milk and it has wonderful layers of fat at the top… Will this work with homemade coconut milk

    • I’ve read it will but it will probably need a thickener, like gelatin.

  6. Can I use a soil based probiotic such as prescript assist? Thanks

  7. Is it ok to use the black soil based probiotics, such as prescript assist brand?

  8. Can’t wait to try this. I just made a failure batch following a different recipe/instructions. There is so much more information here I am sure I will have better luck. My bad recipe did not call for any sweetener to feed the culture and only had me heat the yogurt to 115*; the instructions did not have me seperate out a portion of cooled milk (110* according them) to add the starter to, so I’m afraid it may have died because of hot spots in the pan even though I stirred it well. So it was a hot and hungry culture! After 14 hrs in the yogurt machine (my husband forgot to take it out before bed) it did not taste or smell a bit sour nor has it thickened even though I added thickener and it has been in the fridge all day. Can I try again with the same batch? Can I just pour it on my cereal and eat it like milk? Should I just throw it our? Again, I can’t wait to try this recipe! So glad I found this site!

    • Oops….that is heat the MILK to 115* NOT the YOGURT

    • I don’t see why you couldn’t use the uncultured batch on cereal, but you should culture a fresh batch of yogurt. :)

  9. Hey Dawn, just thinking… What about if I use some of my homemade coconut butter as a thickener for my yogurt?

  10. I made a batch of this a month ago, and it was perfect! I used Cultrelle Dairy Free Probiotics and canned Thai Kitchen CoConut milk. I used Knox gelatin to thicken, and it was perfect!! I was pretty impressed with how simple the process really is. I don’t have a yogurt maker, but left the light on in my oven overnight. It was perfect!

    I was wondering if it’s OK to add extra sugar to the milk when it’s hot to sweeten the yogurt a little bit? I’m making this for my dairy intolerant child (and myself). And, I liked it sweeter, but I wanted to make sure it was OK to sweeten before fermenting.

    Also, is it possible to add vanilla before fermenting or does all adding of flavors need to happen after fermenting?

    • Adding extra sweetener won’t hurt a bit, however save the flavoring for after the fermentation! So glad you enjoyed it!!

  11. I read back in the comments to mid-June 2012, but I’m running out of time to read them all. I was wondering about guar gum for a thickener. I really want to try making some yoghurt, without having to go to the store :) I have coconut flour, and guar gum, and Knox gelatin in envelopes. At least, I hope I have the guar gum; I waited so long for it to come into the bulk store, I’m not sure I bought it once it did cause it was expensive LOL!!
    Also, I just bought this yoghurt maker at a thrift store. I put a jar of water in it, and it seems to be getting up to only 36C–will it be hotter with the lid on, or on for longer?

    • I don’t have personal experience with guar gum as it upsets my stomach. However, the Knox gelatin, while not ideal, will work just fine. I can’t say for sure whether your thrift store yogurt maker will work. You’ll have to try it out and see!

  12. I just want to say Thank You so very much for your directions! I made this yogurt last night and after several attempts with other sites, I finally have success! My yogurt came out beautifully! I ditched the Yogourmet since I could not get the temp correct even with the dimmer switch and discovered that my own oven does the best fermenting job! I am blessed to have a proof setting on my Miele Master Chef oven for fermenting SCD yogurt! Thank You again; your recipe is delicious!

  13. do you need to use a new package of the vegetal starter each time you make the coconut yoghurt, or can you take some of the new batch and reculture???

    • Vegan cultures are single batch, “direct set” cultures. They just won’t work well from a saved/recultured batch.

  14. Hello, thanks for all the good advice. I did take the time to read through the comments. They addressed my one concern about a tough layer forming atop the yogurt once in the fridge. Can you advise on the other: I use a yogourmet and ferment for about 18 hours, having added honey and gelatin to the coconut milk along with GI Prostart. For each batch, the top is brownish. It smells fine, so I’ve been scooping off the top, then blending and refrigerating, and all is fine. Last week, I decided to refrigerate before removing the brownish swirls to make it easier to remove, and that’s when I got the tough 1/4″ crust on the top. Easy to remove yes. But it’s removing quite a bit of the yogurt. Do I need to be removing the brownish swirls or is that a normal part of culturing coconut milk? If so, I’ll just blend it right away, then refrigerate. The swirls on the yogurt are definitely not pink or gray, and no nasty smells. I did have on batch go horribly wrong a while back, so I got a chance to learn what it smells like when it’s bad. Thanks for your help and your consistent patience with repeat questions. :)

    • The hard layer is simply the coconut fat that has separated and hardened in the cold of the fridge. Just mix it in. I’ve never seen brownish swirls before however, so I can’t comment on that.

      • Thanks Dawn. No one seems to know what’s causing the brown. Hmmm….

        • Are you using gelatin to thicken your yogurt? If so did you add the gelatin right after the milk was very warm? Like 180 degrees? The first batch I made I added the gelatin right to the hot milk, and I got brown swirls lumps. It was the gelatin not mixing well. The next batch I dissolved the gelatin in slightly warm milk first in a separate measuring cup and then added. I scooped out about a 1/4 cup or so of the coconut milk before it got all the way to 180. I dissolved the gelatin. Then when the milk got to the right temp I gave it a quick stir, and added it then.

  15. I love the light blue

  16. Hi there,

    Can I use cocunut flour to make coconut milk? If so what ratio’s should I use?

    Many thanks,
    Angelo

    • No, I’m sorry, you can’t. You should get a full fat coconut milk from a BPA-free can or box.

  17. Like many people these days, Babyzilla and I are allergic to cow and goat dairy, soy and most nuts—each one of the most allergenic foods in the world.

    Wow. That is completely inaccurate about goat milk. It is not one of the most allergenic foods. Just the opposite. It is very low allergenic and highly digestible. If it is consumed raw, there are very few people who cannot tolerate it.

    • The grammatical modifier refers to “dairy, soy and most nuts”—sorry if my over-specificity with regards to my personal allergens threw you. Dairy, soy and nuts are among the top 8 allergens; this is common knowledge. And we cannot tolerate goat’s dairy, even raw; it is much WORSE for us than cow’s milk, and leaves us with hives. We are also extremely allergic to rice, which is also supposedly well tolerated and low allergenicity, too.

    • I agree, I do not tolerate Cow’s milk well, but have absolutely no problem with Goat’s milk.

      • Oops, sorry, the response hadnt come up until after my comment posted. Thanks for the recipie.

  18. I made the yoghurt according to the recipes – canned coconut milk, 2 probiotic pills, 1.5tbsp honey and 1.5sp gelatin. It has been in my oven (oven off, light on, wrapped in a tea towel) for 11hrs. There are no signs of nasty bacteria (pink or grey spots) and it tastes ‘sour’, but it is not thickened at all. Still very milky. I have popped one pot into the fridge to see if that helps the gelatin ‘solidify’ a bit more, but can you think of anything that could have caused this or where I went wrong?
    P.s. I measured the temperature of the milk exactly (to 180F to kill bad bacteria, then back down to 100F before adding the probiotic).

    • It sounds perfect. The gelatin won’t gel until it is chilled. You might need to give it a stir to mix the coconut water and oil back together after it has chilled, but it sounds just right!

      • thank you so much for your fast response. it has been in the fridge for 2hrs and is starting to thicken up :) hooray. can’t wait to make it again (might try adding a little bit more gelatin/thickener next time). Thank you for sharing this recipe :)

  19. Hi there, this looks great and I’m going to try it out tomorrow. 1. I’m wondering how crucial it is to cover the jars once in the dehydrator? I’m having a hard time finding oven safe lids, so can I just make a big batch in a Pyrex then divide up the small servings into the little dishes with BPA free lids? 2. Can I use some store bought coconut yogurt as the starter culture? If so, how much? 3. Does maple syrup or honey yield better results in your experience?
    Ok I think that’s it. Thanks!!

    • You can cover the jars with just about anything; the dehydrator doesn’t get that hot. You can culture a larger container or smaller ones; it takes less time in smaller ones. You can use storebought yogurt as a starter, but a starter culture works better and has more strains for gut health. You will have to experiment with how much and which sweetener you prefer since every culture and kitchen is different. Good luck!

      • Thank you! I tried it out with honey and I think it looks ok. Wish I could post a picture but on the 2 containers I let go overnight (the other 2 I took out at 7 and 9 hours for experimenting), there was a thin film of milk at the top, with a teeny tiny bit of brown not grey or pink. I assumed that is bad bacteria so I pitched those. What about the other 2, since I took them out earlier? Should I pitch em?? Thank you!!

  20. Hi there! I have made 2 batches of coconut yogurt and both batches have had grey and pink mold on top. I don’t know what I am doing wrong this time (I have been successful in the past) I sanitized the heck out of everything before I started. Any ideas??

    • Since I am not in your kitchen and can’t see what’s going on, I can only recommend that you check your culture and make sure it is still viable, and that your heat is not too hot, which can kill your culture and encourage the growth of bad bacteria.

      • Thank you! :-)

        I will keep trying!

      • So, I used full cream but one came out with pink on the top. This is my first time making it. Does the pink indicate a bad batch?

  21. Hi, Thanks for the great recipe. I am wondering what kind of container you use to put the coconut milk inside an Excalibur 5-tray dehydrator? I assume you take all of the trays out, and would use pint size jars or a pyrex baking dish or something like that? Thanks!

  22. To do it in the crockpot – just to clarify… Put yogurt in jars, then in the crockpot for 7-9 hours? On high or low?

    • I have not used a crockpot for my yogurt, but I think you use the crockpot to heat the milk (because it gets so hot), and then use a heating pad or oven to incubate it. However, if you have the type of crockpot that has specific temp settings (not just HIGH or LOW), then you could set the crockpot to 110 degrees F and incubate the yogurt that way.

  23. Hi I want to try this, but I don’t have any culture on hand… Can I just use some yoghurt as I would when making cows milk yoghurt?

    • Yes, you can, as long as you aren’t allergic to dairy. However, commercial yogurt doesn’t have as many bacterial strains as a good probiotic or purchased culture. If you are eating the yogurt for digestive health, you’ll want to pick up a professional culture like those linked in the post.

  24. Can you use stevia instead of the sugar to sweeten?

    • No. You need some natural sugar to feed the culture bacteria. But the longer you culture the yogurt, the less sugar remains in the final product.

      • How much sugar (approximately) remains? Thanks!

  25. This totally didnt’ work. How are you supposed to get it to 180 degrees without boiling? I’m on my third attempt -incl trying almond milk. SO frustrated.

    • Are you in Fahrenheit or Celsius? (should be Fahrenheit) Maybe you need a new thermometer or to heat more slowly?

      • I am not sure how you are having trouble; I have done it in the crockpot everytime and sometimes w/o checking the temp and it has ALWAYS worked; even when I forgot to put the cultures in until the next day it worked.

        • did u incubate in the crock pot as well?? if so what temp?

    • Liquid will boil at lower tempuratures in higher altitudes. Are you at a higher altitude? I accidentally let mine boil all the time. In dairy yogurt you really want to avoid that, but in coconut or almond milk yogurt it’s not really an issue. In fact some thickeners require boiling temps, so a lot of vegan yogurt recipes I’ve looked at suggest bringing it to a boil.

  26. Dawn, Thank you so much for this recipe and the coconut milk one too. I tried them both out yesterday and ate my first coconut yoghurt this morning. I couldn’t wait to get up! Delicious ;-)
    It was a tad stiff because I used 3 tbsps of pectin but I wanted sure success and that’s what the comments said worked best.
    Next time I will try tapioca flour because I have a lot of that.
    I am diabetic and it didn’t seem to have much of the coconut sugar left after 8 hours fermenting. It wasn’t as sour as the goat milk yoghurt I used to make but I could tell that it was fermented. Maybe I’ll leave it for 10 hours next time.
    The only bad thing about it is that it took 24 hours to make and I really could eat all of it by myself right now ;-)

    • So glad you love it!

      • I made it again yesterday.
        First of all I used 2 tbsps of tapioca flour and had trouble dissolving it and had to take out some clumps, so I added 1 tbsp of pectin as well.
        Then I left it for 9 hours.
        This morning it has a thick layer of cream on top and the lovely squishy yoghurt texture underneath. It is Supremo!!!! Makes the first try with pectin feel way too stiff.
        I made over a quart and it’s a good thing I’m going out right now so there will be some left ;-)
        Thank you so much
        Pam
        PS At the cooling stage before culturing I was in a hurry so I put the dish in a sink full of cold water and that cooled it in about 5 minutes.

  27. I used to make yogurt all the time with milk but now would like to make it using coconut milk. I used a heating pad and wrapped it around the glass bowl. Is this ok? I haven’t checked the temperature.
    Also can I use kuzu root powder for a thickener?

    • It should be OK, as long as it doesn’t get too hot. I’ve never used kuzu root powder, but please let us know how it works!

  28. Can I use dairy starter for the culture? not looking into it for non-dairy reasons.

    second question; in this recipe can I keep a sample back to freeze for future use for cultures like I do w/ dairy recipe ?

    • Yes and yes. Though your frozen coconut culture might not be as viable as a frozen cow’s milk culture–more sugar in the cow’s milk. :)

      • Of course, if you’re going to make your second batch before the first would be going bad, you don’t have to freeze it at all. Maybe it would be easier to empty your extra yogurt into the freezer and just keep making more, and use the frozen stuff for consumption instead of culturing? (I’ve never frozen yogurt, so I don’t know how freezing and thawing will affect the texture.) Or if you really just don’t eat a lot of it, then maybe you could give some of it away to friends.

    • Hello all!! I have a question: does anyone here know how to culture directly w/freeze dried young coconut milk powder, coconut sap, special yogurt probiotics and pure, very high quality water? For all intents and purposes, the power of this yogurt impacts the gut ONLY if it doesn’t contain dairy, preservatives, sugar, gluten, soy casein, yeast, coloring or anything else that would impair the ability of the culture to actively grow, colonize and stimulate the gut.

      If anyone can help me, please send me an e-mail. Thanks a lot.

      • Culturing this would be no different than the recipe listed here, which also contains no dairy, preservatives, soy, etc. However, you would be mixing the powdered milk with water first, instead of using liquid coconut milk. Personally, I’d rather use the real whole coconut milk liquid, instead of the powdered stuff. The texture and flavor will be much better.

  29. I am going to make coconut oil on a semi commercial basis,I was wondering what to do with the leftover milk. One of the methods of making the oil is fermenting it. Would the byproduct be suitable for making yogurt?

    Thanking you
    carol

    • Probably not. Coconut milk for yogurt needs to have plenty of fat in it, and then you still need to use an additive like gelatin to thicken it up. If you take too much fat out of the milk, it will simply not taste very good or culture well.

  30. Third try and for some reason my yogurt comes out watery and smelling bad so I can never try it – I am using the unflavored gelatin and the Euro cuisine yogurt maker. I used Honey and BioKult probiotic and homemade coconut milk. Help!

    • If it smells bad, you are getting contamination of bad bacteria from somewhere. The most likely place is with your homemade coconut milk. Make sure it is well heated to kill bacteria, and all your pots, spoons and bowls are well sterilized. Alternatively, try canned coconut milk and see if the same thing happens. Then you can narrow down where the contamination is coming from. Good luck!

  31. I am worried that my coconut yogurt isn’t going to work. It has the same consistency as when I made it 7 plus hours ago and it’s still really sweet. I made my own coconut milk, added agar agar and the correct yogurt starter per liter. Should I just keep it in my dehydrator several more hours until it changes consistency? it’s kind of like milk.

    • It will always be thin until the agar agar sets in the fridge. However, it shouldn’t be very sweet. If it isn’t sour (a little sweet is ok), it didn’t culture. You either didn’t have enough starter, your starter bacteria are dead, or your temps were wrong. However, use what you have in a smoothie so it doesn’t go to waste, and try again! It’s an art and a science. :D

  32. Thanks for the awesome recipe! I made it in my dehydrator with no problems! I will say though, that I used agar agar and I should have known better. I keep wishing I will be able to get it to dissolve well, but I have never been able to get that stuff to dissolve completely for any recipe. So, I mixed the finished product with some chia seeds to gel it up a bit, and some pureed fresh strawberries and dried dates and LOVED it. Plus, it’s fine for popsicles and smoothies – I’m not sure why people feel it’s a complete waste when it doesn’t firm up??? Next time (and oh, there WILL be a next time :) ) I will use pectin or gelatin, though… Thanks again!

  33. Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for the great recipe. This is my first go at making yogurt ever and I’m super excited- and nervous!

    Your instructions say:
    “Cover and ferment at 105-110 degrees for 7-9 hours. The longer you ferment the yogurt, the less sugar it will contain and the more sour it will taste. Check for taste at 7 hours, but note that if you want all the sugar to be fully consumed by the bacteria, you will need to ferment for at least 8 hours. Some people ferment as long as 18-24 hours!”

    So I fermented for 9 hours (It was pretty watery, smelled and tasted sour, but also tasted a little sweet) and now it’s cooling in the fridge.

    I’ve noticed in your comments you frequently say the yogurt must ferment for 24 hours. I only read this AFTER reading the directions. So- should I have fermented for 24 hours instead of 9? i’m confused…

    • If you are very concerned about having any excess sugar in your yogurt, fermenting it longer is a good idea. People on the GAPS diet will often ferment for a long time, but I have found that it isn’t necessary to go a full 24 hours most of the time. If you like a little sweet in your yogurt, don’t worry about extra time and just enjoy it!

  34. Thank you for the recipe and some good comments here.
    When I tried this, I couldn’t get the temp of the milk up to 180, as it was boiling already at 160. I did end up with some grey in the yogurt. Is this why?
    Does it have to be heated up very slowly?

    • That is odd. I am not sure what happened for you, but gray in your yogurt is a sure sign of contamination. I would 1) make sure your cooking thermometer is accurate, and then 2) make sure to sterilize all your equipment well, and 3) make extra sure your milk isn’t too hot when you put in your probiotic. It’s happened to me a few times, despite lots of precaution. Fermentation, like all food preparation, is an imprecise science. :)

      • Thank you for the reply to my question. I’m very excited to try making coconut milk right now! No luck needed.

      • When I first tried boiling, I had a similar issue. I found that my thermometer was off. I had two-one was registering something like 20 degrees lower. Maybe try a different thermometer, or get new batteries of you have a digital thermometer.

  35. I made coconut yogurt 3 days ago using young coconut “meat” that comes frozen and some coconut water and 1 capsule of a probiotic and a tablespoon of commercial coconut yogurt (to take the place of another 1 or 2 probiotic capsules. Well the following morning, the yogurt didn’t seem like yogurt but it had a good taste, sweet and very very slightly tangy. I transfered it to a glass jar and refrigerated it. The next day, the yogurt looked quite alive and tasty tangier. Two days later, much tangier and I just ate a small portion. The third day, I was reaching for the yogurt jar in the fridge and I noticed some yogurt had leaked onto the fridge shelf. Evidently the jar “burst”…the yogurt has gotten tangier each day…….wow, there must be an “explosion” in my stomach too!
    It tastes fantastic but I only had 1 tablespoons- worth today. Has anyone experienced a constant continuous fermentation?
    Thanks,
    Janis

  36. Not sure if you are still checking this feed….I have been making this yogurt and it turns out great. The first two times I used my VSL #3 capsule, but I ordered some starter and used that for the third batch (in four days, we love this). Anyway, the starter I bought said to use 1/8 of a tsp per 2 quarts. I made two liters, so I put in just a pinch over 1/8 tsp. just checked on it after 7 hours and it is not tangy like the last ones. I am wondering 1. Should I have put in the amount called for in your recipe or the bottle? 2. If I should have put in more, can I still add it in and let it go longer. I will probably let it go the whole 24 hours anyway, just not sure how it will turn out without enough starter ( or even if that is the problem). Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Failure to sour is usually either not enough starter, not hot enough to culture, or the starter died—either because it was dead to begin with, or your temps got too hot. You can certainly add some during culturing if you feel you don’t have enough.

      • Thanks! I will try adding some more. What do you think about the manufacturers suggestion of 1/8 tsp for 2 QT? Does that vary by the probiotic strength of the starter. I am so new to this!

        • Oh, and I am using the SCD legal starter by GI Prohealth. Thanks again for the help!

  37. Hi,

    I have two questions, one I would appreciate if you could answer in a timely manner. I received all of my Yogurt makers, starters, Vitamix and was very excited to get going. I made smoothies etc. I then made Almond Milk Yogurt last night but this morning I realized that I did not put boiling water on the nut bag to sterilize or on the almonds. Is the a way to check if it is bad or should I toss the batch and start over? It is presently in the fridge. My second question is that once you have coconut or almond yogurt, can I add some maple syrup or vanilla and put it into my ice cream maker to make a frozen yogurt? Will it be smooth and creamy or hard?

    • I would feel free to drink the almond milk, but I might refrain from culturing it because when you heat it in the yogurt maker you might end up culturing bacteria you don’t want. Also, coconut milk and almond yogurt come out very, very runny unless you add a thickener or drip them to thickness. However, adding a thickener will affect the way it freezes and your yogurt will end up very hard if you leave it in the freezer for long. I make “cultured popsicles” for this reason, not frozen yogurt—which are quite good, just not soft and smooth. You need a LOT of fat and eggs (or alternatively additives like guar gum) to get a smooth frozen yogurt.

      • Thank you for your quick response. I do have a dripper unit to drip the yogurt and yes, it was cultured last night. Should I toss it?

        I made the almond milk a bit thicker (2 1/2 Cups Water to 1 Cup Almonds)

        Instead of fat, could I add some olive or flax seed oil to the yogurt before freezing to make it smoother?

        • If you already cultured it and it tastes sour and has nothing pink or gray growing on it, then give it a try. Unfortunately, you are not likely to get smooth creamy frozen yogurt, even if you add oil. Oils are mono or polyunsaturated and just won’t emulsify and freeze well. In fact, they might ruin your yogurt. There’s a reason why there are so many additives in a pint of non-dairy yogurt. However, cultured popsicles are favorite treats around here. :)

          • Tanks again. I will not try the Frozen yogurt and it is draining in the Greek yogurt maker in the fridge. I tasted it and it is sour but with a slight bitter after taste. I used raw honey as a sweetener. I do not really see anything pink or grey growing?

          • I’m not sure why it might be bitter, but I have never made almond milk yogurt, just coconut. Were your almonds pasteurized (as all almonds are in the U.S.)? That might explain the bitterness.

          • Well, I guess they were since I purchased them at BJ Club in the US even though I am Canadian (All Natural Almonds). I will let it drip some more and wait until my wife comes home to taste. I may swirl in some maple syrup and then try a bit.

            Next time I will soak them 12 hours then blanch them for 30 seconds. I read that that helps tremendously.

  38. Can I use arrowroot starch as the thickener in this recipe? I can’t wait to try making homemade yogurt! Thanks for all the great info on your site.

    • Give it a try! I haven’t used it myself, but it just might work.

  39. well, this was a total bomb! i did the oven light method and it just didn’t work at all. it has the consistency of water. i blended over a cup of coconut cream concentrate and 3 tsp of gelatin to ensure a thick yogurt. i am dumbfounded as to why it didn’t work. it was damn expensive.

    • IF it is sour, then put it in the fridge to firm up. If it isn’t sour, it didn’t culture, and either your temps were wrong or your starter bacteria were dead. If it doesn’t firm up even after refrigeration, then there is something wrong with your gelatin, or maybe you need more. Gelatin should always firm after chilling, even if it didn’t culture into yogurt. Good luck!

  40. Hi! I just came across your article. I had been making cow milk yogurt in my crockpot for a year when I was told I’m allergic to cow & sheep dairy!! Oh my!! I’ve tried making both coconut and almond yogurts from homemade milks. Both have soured properly but never set up at all and was so runny I couldn’t stomach it. You’re article gives some “whys” for what may have happened. You’ve given me some ideas of what to change, so I’ll give it another try!! Thank you so much. I hope it works this time. :)

  41. Hi, just wondering if you can tell me why my yoghurt has the same sweet coconut taste as it did at the start of the process. I followed your recipie exactly. I used tin coconut milk, non-dairy probiotic, geletine, maple syrup, brought it to 180F let it cool to just under 100F and let it ferment in my easiyo yoghurt maker. It has set perfect but does not have that sour yoghurt taste. Can you tell me what this may mean?

    Regards
    Sarah

    • Coconut yogurt doesn’t get as sour as cow’s milk yogurt, but it should definitely be more sour than it started. It most likely means that it didn’t culture and your probiotic capsule was dead. This is not uncommon at all, even with just-bought probiotics. I’ve had lots of fermented foods and drinks fail due to dead starters. It’s always frustrating. Hopefully, your next attempt will be much better!

      • Hi Dawn, was just wondering in regards to your comment do you mean that the whole bottle of probiotics could be dead or just the amount I used in the yoghurt (ie killed it off if milk was still to hot)

        Thanks

        • Either are possible. I’ve bought plenty of probiotics and starter cultures only to find they are Dead On Arrival. I’ve also killed plenty of probiotics by not watching my temps. :)

  42. So happy I found this! I am allergic to cow and soya milk so I struggle with dairy substitutes!

  43. I tried my first batch of coconut yoghurt before coming across this article. I followed the same procedure I’m used to with the soya yoghurt, but for some reason it didn’t set.

    I figured that coconut milk hasn’t enough sugar for the bacteria to ferment, so instead of adding a sweetener I mixed two cups of low-fat canned coconut milk with one cup of rice milk. I brought to boil the mixture, I let it cool it down to 110F, I stirred a vegan cap (24 billion bacteria. L. acidophilus and B. bifidus with FOS) into it. I poured it into the yoghurt maker jars and I had been letting them incubate for five hours, when I noticed that the mixture “curdled”. I shook them and I split another cap between the jars. After other three hours it curdled again, so I flush it down. I didn’t taste it tough.

    After reading this article and all the comments I’ve become aware of some reasons for my failure. Next time I’ll make my own coconut milk and I won’t bring it to boil. Then I’ll use a thickener (agar agar). Still, I’d like to mix it up with the rice milk. Is it a viable way for skipping the sweetener? Further, my caps have 60mg of FOS. Should I add a bit of light agave syrup anyway?

    Unfortunately I can’t find in UK a convenient supplier of the dried coconut. Should I be worried of the sulphur dioxide contained in most of the commercially available shredded coconut?
    I’ve found the unsulphured coconut chips. Do they do the job?

    • It’s hard to find coconut products in the U.K. that don’t have a lot of additives or preservatives, so I recommend you use high-fat, canned coconut milk. The fat is necessary to help make the yogurt taste and set right—plus the extremely healthy fat in coconut is what makes the nutrition in the yogurt available to your body.

      I would not use rice milk at all for two reasons: 1) it is mostly water and will not mix well with fatty coconut milk, and will quickly separate out, as you noticed; and 2) it does not contain enough simple sugar to feed the bacterial culture. However, I would never recommend agave as an alternative because it is so bad for you. Rather, a little honey, maple syrup or treacle work just fine, or you can also dissolve Rapadura, jaggery or another unprocessed sugar into your hot milk as well. The bacteria will consume most of the sugar by the time you are ready to eat the yogurt. Good luck to you!

      • thanks for the precious advice, especially for the enlighten article about agave.

        I don’t want to sound stubborn but I’ll give a try to the unsulphured coconut chips to make my own coconut milk. If it works, it’s cheaper and I feel less worried.

        I barely use sugar, but if I have to I’ve got a jar of dark brown unrefined cane sugar (I guess it’s muscovado) in my cupboard.

        What’s the best between maple syrup, black treacle, golden syrup and brown sugar? I know the benefits of maple syrup, but it’s quite expensive and does it really worth in this case? What’s the equivalent of 1-2 Tbsp of syrup for brown sugar?

        • I’m sorry for my last question. Probably I was tired last night and I couldn’t think straight. 1 Tbsp (20gr) of maple syrup (sugars 62%) contains about 12gr of sugars, so the equivalent for brown sugar (sugars 97%) is 13gr (1 level Tbsp).

          • I did a new batch. I started from scratch doing my own coconut milk with 1lt of water and 200gr of dried unsweetened unsulphured coconut chips, that yielded 700ml or so of it. I brought 600ml of coconut milk to 190F and I dissolved 2gr of agar powder in it. Then I removed half cup of hot milk, I stirred 10gr of muscovado into it, I dissolved it thoroughly and I mixed it back into the rest of the milk. I let it cooling down to 110F and I stirred 2 caps of free-dairy probiotic cultures into it. I let fermenting the mixture for 10 hours in the yoghurt maker and I refrigerated overnight. Next morning this was the outcome

            http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/1294/yog1u.jpg
            http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/8232/yog2.jpg.

            As you can see in the first snap, once opened it’s very thick. Even though you can’t see the separation from outside the jar, it is there and you have to give it a stir. After that the yoghurt it’s quite runny though. I guess more agar would do the job. I’ll try one gram more next time and I’ll do the same as for the sugar, that is I’ll remove half cup of hot milk from the whole batch and I’ll mix it back after the agar is thoroughly dissolved.

            Nonetheless I guess I’ve finally succeeded, haven’t I? It’s tart and it does taste of coconut, yet it’s not sweet at all.

          • Hurrah!! Yes, you have succeeded indeed! It’s normal for homemade coconut milk to separate because it hasn’t been emulsified with machinery and additives like guar gum. As you discovered, a stir solves that nicely. You can also drip the excess liquid out of the yogurt, making it even thicker. Congratulations!

  44. Hi, I just started making my own yogurt and came across this recipe looking for info related to the interaction between coconut and probiotics. My question is , does anyone know if coconut, since it has antibacterial properties, kill also the “good” probiotic bacteria?

    The thing is I would like to make yogurt with coconut, or honey, but if they are antibacterial and kill the probiotics then there is no point for me and I would prefer to use some other ingredients in order to keep the probiotic properties of yogurt. Any advice or sources where I can read any research about it? thanks very much!

    • No need to worry about either. Coconut milk ferments very well with honey as the sweetener, as the many commenters here can attest. You can also ferment honey into wine! Neither honey nor coconut oil are antibiotic enough to harm the probiotics in your yogurt.

      • Thank you Dawn, that’s great to know! :)

  45. To have a thicker coconut yogurt from scratch use young coconut meat and blend with its water. The young coconut meat is very soft and will dissolve when blended almost like cashew milk. If the coconut doesn’t have enough water I use Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water. Sometimes Whole Foods sells frozen young coconut meat.

    Follow the rest of the fermentation process.

  46. Thank you so much for your comprehensive recipe for the coconut milk
    yogurt. I have tried several other recipes with dismal results. I used 3
    cans of coconut milk, 2 tsp. of gelatin, 2 tbsp. of maple syrup and 3 probiotic capsules containing the 3 strains you mentionned. I was diagnosed 2.5 years ago with several food allergies and celiac disease.
    What a treat to have creamy, delicious yogurt! I have the good fortune to have figured lots of healthy, tasty options and now I have yogurt too!

    Thanks again, Dawn

    Sincerely,

    Sue in Alberta

  47. I tried this & was really surprised that it didn’t work. I used 2 cans of coconut milk, 2 cans of coconut cream (about 1.5 liters or 1.5 quarts), 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 packet of Culture for Health Vegan yogurt starter. It was completely liquid when finished, had not set at all. I have been making dairy yogurt successfully in my crock pot for quite some time, so I used the same method (heat to 180, add gelatin & sugar, reduce to 110 & add the culture, wrapped the pot in towels & put in a thermal cooler overnight). I know it should be loose when finished, but I expected it to be set a little. My only thought is maybe I didn’t have enough if the culture, but the directions say one packet is enough for 2 quarts of yogurt. I know some people strain the yogurt, and I always do that with dairy yogurt, but it was so liquid that there was nothing to strain. I cultured for 8 hrs. I would appreciate any ideas!! Thanks!

    • The yogurt will be very thin until you chill it and the gelatin can set up. Make sure it has a sour yogurt taste, which will indicate it cultured properly. (If not, the culture is the issue.) If it’s not the culture, and it doesn’t set after chilling, you might need to add more gelatin. Best to you.

      • Thanks Dawn, I don’t think it cultured at all. It never firmed up after being in the fridge & didn’t have that sour yogurt taste. I think my house got too cold, even though I had it wrapped up well. I will try again!

  48. Hello, I just wanted to say that I completely agree with Jeanne. You are showing that you are a bigger person than some of the people that have commented on here. Also, I can’t wait to try this out and make some coconut milk yogurt. I feel that my boys and I will finally be able to eat it on a regular basis, instead of once in a while due to the high cost of commercial coconut milk yogurt. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe and all that is on your site.

    • Thanks, Jennifer! The homemade version is so much more affordable than the commercial stuff for sure—and it has a lot less sugar! I hope your boys enjoy it!

  49. This is a great! I’m going to try to make coconut yogurt today. Your post answered all of the questions I had in my mind. So glad I stumbled upon it. Also, as per your suggestion, I’ve read through the comments and have found some great info. But mostly I learned that you are probably the most gracious, diplomatic person I’ve come across in a long time. Some of these comments would have sent the most patient person over the edge. Not you, you maintained your positive attitude and addressed each complaint, statement, issue with grace. I’m impressed and will be checking out the rest of your site to see what other goodies I can find!
    :)

    • Thank you, Jeanne. That is very nice of you to say. Welcome to the site, and I hope you find something very useful here!

  50. Great idea for all of those with dairy issues.

    Thanks for sharing this with Fill Those Jars Friday. Hope to see you again later this week!

  51. Absolutely fantastic that you have posted this as I am learning to deal with my GI issues. Could please provide me with some guidance as I am failing with this experiment. SO….180 degrees with So Delicious Coconut Milk un-sweetend from a tetra pack (1 liter). Remove 1 c of milk and mix in Tapioca starch to thicken…here is my problem. First time I added 3 Tbsp. Yes 3 tablespoons and it came out like white water. Second time I added 10 tbsp. Yes 10. It’s slightly thicker than water but still no where near anything that resembles yogurt. I placed this mixture in a blender for a ridiculous amount of time to make SURE it was mixed. 2 T of Maple syrup and 2T of imitation vanilla added. Mixed again in a blender for 5 minutes. Placed in fridge (which at this time the milk was 160 degrees) At exactly 98 degrees I added Yogourmet Freeze dried yogurt starter and blended for another 10 minutes. Temperature at this point was now 95 degrees and the mixture was them placed in my yogurt maker (E-ware Digital Yogurt Maker Model XJ-5K102) for 10 hours. Now, it tastes great, smells great, looks like white milk with some oil seperation but it is of water consistency and has a ton of little white balls in it. This seems to me like the starch is not being mixed well but at 10 minutes on the highest (lowest also tried) mixing setting I cannot possibly fathom the thought that it isn’t mixed well. I even tried letting it sit for 5 minutes, blend again for 1 minute, and so on…..are ya stumped? I am :-) I did read in your directions that Coconut milk from a Tetra pack will not make good yogurt but with that much starch one would think it would be thicker than water. I appreciate your feedback as I can tell your expertise is highly valued on this forum.

    • So Delicious tetra pak milk is far too thin to make yogurt with. It is meant for drinking or with cereal and is little more than water. This is probably the main problem because it sounds like you did everything else right. My best recommendation to you would be to try a thick, cooking-type of coconut milk with lots of fat in it.

      Also, you will need the finished yogurt to be fully chilled to get it at its thickest. The difference in thickness between fresh-out-of-the-maker yogurt and after 8 hours of chilling is remarkable, especially if you use gelatin or pectin.

      Tapioca and pectin can clump or “pearl” very easily, which is why I prefer to use gelatin. Whatever thickener you use, you can mix it into a little HOT coconut milk or water separately from the larger batch to make sure it is fully dissolved, and then let it cool and blend it back into the larger batch, like you do with the innoculant. Best to you!

  52. sincere thanks for your excellent recipe!

    “…The sweetener provides food for the bacterial culture and will be mostly consumed by the time your yogurt is done…”

    does that mean that when calculating the nutritional data (kcals, carbs, etc.) for a batch, that i don’t have to count whatever sweetener i happen to use, in the kcals/carbs count?

    thanks in advance for your reply.

    • It means that the sweetener cannot be accurately measured after fermenting. In other words, there is no way, without a lab array, to determine exactly how much sugar is left after the bacteria have done their job; it depends on far too many factors.

      However, calorie counting will not help you lose weight (IF that is why you are doing it). Weight is not a factor of calories eaten vs. calories burned—that is a myth that has been disproved, but still hangs on. Rather, all calories are NOT created equal, and some foods make you fatter than others. See this article for more information.

      • just because i asked a question about yogurt-making, you assume that i don’t know anything about nutrition and you need to educate me?

        did it ever occured to you that i might not need you to educate me about weight and “calories eaten vs. calories burned”?

        has it ever occured to you that being interested in nutrition data does not automatically equate to wanting “help to lose weight”?

        can you be any more condenscending?

        • Oh dear! :(

          Please note that I said IF, with caps and a big parenthetical emphasis to indicate that I did not assume it of you specifically. But I did want to address the fact that your question singled out kcals and carbs for concern— which is a topic that I often write about, and my readers often ask about. How many carbs are healthy and what kind are big questions around here.

          I write responses to comments with ALL of my readers in mind. Many folks who subscribe here do so to learn more about nutrition; many are new on their health journey, and may not know that the calories in vs. calories-burned idea is a myth. Clearly, this is not you.

          My humble apologies that you were offended or felt condescended to. It was certainly never my intention.

  53. Ok, I tried this stupid tempermental coconut recipe but made my own coconut milk from fresh coconuts, so it took some time and work. I used Garden of Life Primal Defense as the probiotic powder. I put it in my yogurt maker and it never thickened or cultured and started to bubble and look weird and then smell a little weird. I was so bummed. All that work and time and I had to throw it down the drain. I won’t try coconut yogurt ever again. I”ll stick to my normal dairy yogurt and try to flavor it with coconut somehow. I have a feeling it was the Primal Defense probiotic. It had something black in it, probably the soil organisms. Anything that is this delicate to get right isn’t worth it. Frustrated

    • Garden of Life is NOT a normal probiotic, and I wouldn’t recommend it for yogurt of any kind. If you aren’t allergic to dairy, you can make coconut yogurt with any yogurt starter. It won’t thicken though. Coconut milk yogurt doesn’t ever thicken unless you add a thickener or drip it until it is thick. That’s why the commercial coconut yogurts have so much “stuff” in them. Best to you.

  54. Has anyone tried to thicken the coconut yoghurt with kuzu? I just bought some and wonder if I could use it in this delicious sounding recipe…

    • Let me know how it works out. Kudzu could be a great thickener potentially.

  55. I make this but in such a basic way – with no special equipment bar a good blender… I just blend the meat of 2 Thai Green Coconuts with enough coconut water to make a yoghurt-like consistancy, then add 1/2 a probiotic tablet and blend again. Then I sit it on the bench overnight in summer or on top of the fridge in winter. By the next morning or sometimes afternoon the yoghurt is perfect – I just add fruit to taste just before I eat it. So simple and I’ve never had a failure yet. I sweeten with agave or honey or just fruit.

    • This recipe is for the milk and meat of mature, brown hairy coconuts, or for canned coconut milk—both of which are more available to most Americans than young coconuts. You can culture young coconuts in the way you have described, using my recipe for Cultured Coconut Pudding.

  56. You mention adding coconut meat to thicken the yogurt…so if you’re making homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut…can you not just keep the coconut meat in the mixture to begin with?

    • Fresh coconut meat has a very different texture than dried shreds leftover from making coconut milk. You could use the dry shreds to make thicker yogurt, but I think you’d find it grainy, or even chewy. By using fresh, young coconut purée and a stick blender, you can get a very smooth, yogurt-like texture without using added thickeners.

  57. I have never tried to make my own yogurt, but your post has certainly answered a lot of questions that I had about the process. Thank you so much for sharing with my recipe hop last week and my apologies for being late. Now that summer has arrived, my time seems to be getting tighter and tighter on the computer LOL.

  58. What a great alternative to dairy yogurt! I love coconut milk, I use it in curries, I’ll be this is really tasty. Thanks for sharing this on Hearth & Soul. :)

  59. could i ferment the yogurt in the oven at the 110C??or now its so hot around here…to let it outside?hmm….thank you.

    • Most people do not have ovens that can be set as low as 110 Fahrenheit (NOT Celcius). You will need to keep the temperature constant, which you can do with a heating pad in a cooler, a cold oven with just the incandescent light on, some types of crockpots, a box-type dehydrator or a yogurt maker. Outside, you won’t be able to control the culture. This is where your candy thermometer comes in handy. :)

  60. yogurt success! 3 tablespoons of ball pectin did the trick (when the milk was at its hottest point 180 and it dissolve immediately) and my yogurt came out thick and creamy! i’m so excited! this is my 4th time trying and if i didn’t get it right this time i was going to pack up my yogurt maker and give it a break. yeay 3tbs of pectin.

  61. This recipe, is great, thanks! (Much easier to follow then the others I’ve seen) I am on the SCD diet, and can’t tolerate dairy, so I followed your recipe a week ago and it worked great (it separated since it was homemade coconut milk, but was fine). This time, I did the same, followed the directions, using gelatin as the thickener while the milk was warm, and proceded … but, it didn’t firm up like last time. It’s still very watery. Advice, tips? Is there any salvaging this? Do I trash it and start over?

    • Sometimes batches don’t work out, but as long as it is not spoiled and has no pink or gray mold, you can always make a smoothie! Or you can drip it thicker using a nutmilk bag or fine cheesecloth. Fermenting is a bit of an art as well as a science, so it’s hard to say what you did differently from the first time to the second time without having been there. Make sure your gelatin was fully dissolved, well mixed in, and in the same quantity as you used the first time. Best to you!

  62. If you’re not using a thickener, the recipe says you can add fresh coconut meat. When does that get added?

    • Mix smoothly puréed, fresh coconut meat into your cooled coconut milk right before you add the bacterial culture. Best to you!

  63. agar flakes just dont like me…at all! they once again swelled up n did not dissolve luckily i didnt do it in the whole batch and strained the flakes out. i use my gound up tapioca perals but still too runny. this weekend i’ ll try pectin. 3 tbls right? i may use 4-5 i am so frustrated with my 3 watery yogurt batches! i must pick up some cheese cloth just in case. in the mean time bottoms up to runny yogurt.

    • The first time I used pectin, my yogurt was as firm as Jello, which was a little too thick! It is tricky to dissolve, so I used a stick blender to make sure it was completely mixed in after dissolving it thoroughly into a cup of hot milk. Good luck!

  64. thanks for the quick reply dawn. i will try it today. any suggestions on how much water or milk i should use. i will be using eden agar flakes n the package says to use 1 cup of water for 1 1/2 TBS of flakes. i dont my yogurt to come out too runny…as it has the past two times. and which would be better water or the coconut milk. thanks again.

    • Coconut milk is definitely a better choice than water if you can do it! I’ve had my best luck thickening with pectin and gelatin, but you really need to dissolve it well first, then mix it thoroughly into the culture. If even after dissolving well, it is too runny (give it a go in the fridge for a while first as it is always runny when warm), you can then drip it through a fine cheesecloth or nutmilk bag to make it thicker so it is not lost. You can also use it like kefir in smoothies. Best!

  65. I want to try this recipe with agar flakes (not powder, i could’t find it). i put the flakes in my blender they got a little finer but not powdery. and when i was ready to dissolve it i guess i did not use enough water and it gel and made my yogurt have little gel pieces in it…yuk. so my question is does it really dissolve better by putting it in the warm/hot coconut milk rather than trying to dissolve in in water and then adding it in. i really want to get it right this will be my 3rd time trying. first i tried with tapioca peals and that didn’t dissolve well at all then agar flakes also a bust. i think i’m not dissolving the thickers in enough hot liquid. please help. TIA :)

    • Ah, yes, you must dissolve into hot liquid. It can be water or milk, but it must be hot. Mix your thickener up thoroughly until totally dissolved in a separate bowl and only then then mix it thoroughly into the batch. Tapioca pearls are NOT supposed to dissolve, so use tapioca starch or flour instead of pearls, if using tapioca. To be truly fool-proof, drip the yogurt until it is thick, and use the remaining coconut water in a smoothie.

  66. Thanks for posting this recipe! My son used to devour yogurt before we went dairy-free, but I haven’t given him any since we went off dairy because the only dairy- and soy-free yogurts I could find had sugar in them. I’d really like to try this out. I pinned it here: http://pinterest.com/pin/91690542383634575/

    • I feel sorry for your son.

  67. I made it after reading all the comments. I used Pectin and added a bit more than the recipe called for since most said theirs was thin. Mine was a bust. It was no thicker than the milk I started from. :( I fed it to the dogs. It really wasn’t inexpensive to try to make it, as someone commented. $2 for the C-milk Tetra Pak, $7 for the Pectin, $12 for the vegan starter.
    I have a question though- there has to be a different recipe for canned coconut vs. the Tetra Pak milk because the Tetra Pak has a lot of water added to it to make it drinkable. This would explain the thin consistency of most of the yogurts. Any comments on that? Thanks :)

    • No matter what you do, it will be thinner coming out of the heat, and you will need to chill it to get it thicker. However, if you are using watered down “drinking” coconut milk from a tetra pak (not all brands are watered down for drinking), then you will need to either drip it thick like old-fashioned yogurt, or use it like kefir in smoothies.

    • If you have access to Asian food store, you will find 100% coconut milk, it says that on the carton. I live in Thailand which are available in most supermarkets,Thais use it to make curry and desserts, and thousands other things. Thais put coconut meat, water, milk in everything. And we have more coconut trees than Thai population. I used to live in the States, and I am sure this item is available there also for the Asian community.

  68. I can’t wait to try this out. It sounds delicious! Since I am not allergic to anything, I think that I will try it with a yogurt from the store as a starter culture. I put your blog post on my blog so other people can try it out too.

  69. After you make your first batch, can you use some of that as your starter for the next batch? That is how I make cow’s milk yogurt, and it works perfectly!

    • Yes, absolutely! However, if you are using the Vegetal culture, you will probably need to add some more as it doesn’t re-inoculate a new batch very well.

  70. I’ve been trying to make coconut yogurt for some time now, specifically for my son who has a mild form of PKU and needs a lower-protein option. This is the first recipe that I’ve found that somewhat works. I am using tapioca flour as the thickener because it is what I have on hand. I added 2 tsp the first time, and it came out so runny that I have to give it to my 2 year old with a straw. (and it had a few little chunks in it) I just started my second batch, and I took out about a cup of the hot yogurt, dissolved 2 tbsp of flour in it, and stirred it back into the batch. As I was putting it into the cups with a turkey baster, I had trouble because of all of the chunks where the flour “fell out.” Any tips on how to dissolve the thickener better?

    • You might want to thoroughly dissolve the flour in a minimum of hot water before adding it to the yogurt, blend it in with a stick blender, or perhaps skip the added thickener and just drip the yogurt to your desired thickness. Best to you and your son!!

    • Amy, let me know if you have any luck. I have also been looking for foods/alternatives for my son with PKU.

  71. WOW! have just eaten my first ever pot of this yoghurt after making my first ever batch last night. Turned out perfectly smooth, creamy, tart and sweet (as I added a bit more honey), white and delicious!!!!!!!!!!! No seperation or anything, and I think all the comments here helped me so much- I read them all before I started.I purchased a yolife yogurt maker and the yolife non-dairy starter sachet. I also added 1 dairy-free probiotic pill just for good luck. I was a bit over-the-top with sterilising all equiptment-because I REALLY wanted it to work out first time. I used honey to feed bacteria and sweeten and agar agar to thicken and it is everything I always wanted and imagined cocoyo should be!!!!! :-) Thank you thankyou thankyou thankyou from Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Citrus free Mummy and 2 Babies!!!!!!! slice of heaven!

  72. Just made my first batch of yoghurt, used a milk starter topped up with coconut milk, I added a sachet of coconut milk powder and some raw honey, soon delicious, very thick and sweet, more like pudding! Had no idea you can get a non dairy starter ( I have a dairy free child who really misses yoghurt!) will have to look it up and try and get some, hopefully adding the coconut milk powder will thicken that also, here’s hoping!

  73. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. New to GAPS, I found your coconut milk recipe the easiest and best lay-out of my other google choices.

    I’ve made cow’s milk yogurt for years. I just add the culture when the milk has cooled, and then cover with a down jacket or doona in the summer, adding a hot water bottle in winter. Overnite perfection.

    I’ll be back to look around your delightful site.;-)

    • Thank you and welcome to SFF!

  74. This looks so delicious and though I really like yogurt I bet this is even more delicious. Thanks for sharing it with us at Whole Food Wednesday. I hope to see you again this week :)

  75. This looks amazing, thank you! I just got a yogurt maker and culture from Cultures for Health and tried my first batch yesterday. The verdict? Hemp milk does not work! At least not the kind I can buy here, so I’m off to experiment with different milks. I will definitely be trying your recipe!

    • Consider that maybe hemp milk will work, you just need to add a little bit of sugar (cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc) for the bacteria to feast on, like in this coconut milk recipe.

  76. I was thinking about making 2 quarts at a time in a 9×13 glass casserole dish with its cover for the fermentation part of the process in my warming drawer which I can set to 110 degrees.  I have not ever made any yogurt before and was just wondering if this shallow of a dish is ok and do I need to set it in a towel so as not to cook it? 

    • As long as the temperature of the yogurt does not exceed 105-110, you should be ok. Whatever it takes to keep it right there should work; any higher and you’ll kill your culture. You might want to experiment with a smaller batch until you are sure your incubation method works. Good luck!

  77. I have a yogurt maker, I used to use reg. milk till I found out I was allergic to it. I used to use plain greek yogurt as my starter. Can I use plain yogurt made with coconut milk as a starter, and make it the same way as I did with reg. milk? Thanks, Holly

    • I have had varying success with using store-bought coconut yogurt as a starter. After a lot of trial and error over the years, I find the Vegetal culture to be the most reliable starter I’ve used.

  78. Can you do the first step of heating in the crock pot?  When I make regular cow milk yogurt my recipe is on low for 2.5 hrs. turn off,  then cooling for 3 hrs.  add culture and wrap a towel around it for the 7-8 hrs.

    • I have no experience with doing it this way, so you’ll have to experiment.  What fun!!  If your crockpot will take the milk to 180 degrees and NOT boiling, then you should be able to do it. 180 degrees is KEY to sterilizing the milk, which is crucial with coconut milk. Good luck!

      • I always make yogurt in the crock pot, I have a thermometer that tells me when it gets to 180 to sterilize & then back to 115 to add the culture. I would think it would work the same, I will definitely be trying it as I have been making yogurt for a while & have recently realized I am dairy intolerant. Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

  79. Thanks for commenting and for the connection to your blog. I’ve joined your hop and can’t wait to see what others share too! Good luck on your yogurt!

    •  YUM!!  Now i am reading on how to make it thicker!  It was almost like kefir, drinkable yogurt, but SO delicious!  My son is gobbling it up, tomorrow is my 2nd batch!

      • You can drip the liquid out of it old-school style, or you can add a thickener like gelatin, tapioca, pectin, etc. whichever you prefer! I’m so glad you and your son like it!!

  80. Any idea how long this will stay good in the refrigerator?

    • About a week or two, like store-bought. Thanks for commenting!

  81. I’ve seen your recipe before and have it in my queue but haven’t gotten up the nerve to try it yet.  My husband and I were just talking this morning about the high amount of sugar in the commercial coconut yogurt.  I told him that I really need to just strap on my boots and give it a whirl.  Thanks for sharing this at Allergy-Free Wednesdays!

    • Fermentation seems daunting to a lot of people. This is so cheap to make, you have little to lose, even if for some reason your first batch doesn’t come out right. Be sure to read the comments to get some good tips before you begin! Best to you!

  82. This looks so yummy! Thank you for linking to Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

  83. Oh my gosh. Amazing. I can’t wait to try this. When I make cow’s milk yogurt, I use yogurt as the starter. Would that work with this, do you think? (…I know, I know… we’re all asking you crazy questions, like you’re the fermenting expert!) Or can I not combine dairy with coconut milk?

    Stopping by from Made by You Monday…

    • You can certainly use a dairy culture as a starter for coconut milk! Most people choose to make coconut milk yogurt because they are allergic to dairy like we are, so I’ve included instructions only on how to make it 100% dairy-free. However, if you are not allergic, homemade cow’s milk yogurt would make a great starter.

    • You can certainly use a dairy yogurt culture to make coconut milk yogurt. Since most people make it because they are allergic to dairy, I did not include this in the article. Not all dairy yogurt cultures will work on coconut milk, so you’ll have to experiment a little.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  84. I have been looking everywhere for a recipe for homemade coconut yogurt-so happy I found this recipe and your site!

    • Me too! Welcome!

  85. Do I need to use a store bought culture for each batch, or can I save one container from the homemade yogurt to culture the next batch (like I do for dairy yogurt).

    • If you use the Vegetal or GI Pro Health non-dairy cultures, you will need to add some to each new batch. The packages go a loooong way though.

      If you use a dairy-based culture or the right probiotic pills, you can save some yogurt to reinoculate your next batch. This will work 5-6 times before you need new starter.

  86. I am brand new to the yogurt making world and I tried this recipe last night.  It seems to have worked, although pretty thin.  My questions: 1) I used agar agar and the flakes are still present in the yogurt. Is this how it is supposed to work?  2) How do you know if you’ve killed the live cultures with too high of a temp during incubation?  I used a water bath in crockpot and even on low it got up to almost 120 at times.  Overnight I turned the crockpot off, wrapped it in a towel and put it in a cooler so the temp wouldn’t stay so high.  Other ideas for incubating?  My oven doesn’t go that low and doesn’t have a light and we have no woodstove or radiator.  Thanks for any advice.  I appreciate it!

    • 1) You definitely want to dissolve your thickener into the hot milk while it is hot. Alternatively, you can dissolve your thickener in a little boiling water, just enough to dissolve it, and then cool it and mix it into the yogurt. 2) If your temps were too hot, you simply won’t have yogurt. It will spoil instead of ferment. Any off flavors or colors indicate spoilage.

  87. If u use So Delicious boxed coconut milk, do u need to add the sugar/honey?  The boxed milk already contains 7g sugar per cup, thus wouldn’t that be enough to feed the starter?

    Also, is it advisable to use BOTH the 1/4c commercial coyo plus the gipro health starter (to get more beneficial bacteria in there and hopefully make the yogurt thicker)?  Or would this not be good?

    Lastly, would it be advisable to add in EXTRA probiotics along with the starter?  I have some powdered probiotics (I have Custom Brand 11-strain and Klaire Lab’s 12 strain powders), along with the GIPro Health starter….would this help to produce a more “well-rounded” yogurt with more beneficial strains…and would it make it thicker?

    Thanks!

    • The sugar added to So Delicious coconut milk is probably enough for the culture, but you’ll have to experiment. It is advisable to use the best probiotic strains you have that are able to culture coconut milk, such as GI Pro Yogurt Starter or another batch of yogurt. The starter must contain at least L. bulgaricus, S. themophilus and L. casei.

      Adding a lot of strains or more quantity of probiotics is a waste of money, since if there isn’t enough food for them, or if they are not cultures that will grow in sweetened coconut milk, they will just die.

      Coconut milk yogurt is ALWAYS thin, and naturally more like kefir, unless you add a thickener like gelatin, guar gum, etc. Probiotics will not change this. Good luck!

  88. I tried it but my yogurt did not taste sour at all. It was just as sweet as before I cultured it. I have been making cow’s milk yogurt at home so I know how to make yogurt. I am just trying to make some coconut milk yogurt for my wife while she is on a dairy free diet for a few months. Can anyone tell me what might be the problem?

  89. Hi, I’m in New Zealand and you can not get alot here for dairy free diets. I have 2 boys both who are dairy and finding anything for them to ‘snacke’ on is horrible. We are a country of dairy, our culture is wrapped up in it so getting out of that and thinking up non-dairy ideas is hard. I am so excited to find this page and am hoping I’ll be able to find stuff to try it out. I know we can get agar agar powder here (although the only place I know of that sells it no long exists due to the Christchurch earthquake!) and I have diary-free probiotics in the fridge so I guess I’ll start there. Has anyone tried it with rice milk? Is it possible? We have our older boy on rice milk so have plenty in supply.

    • Hi there Anna, were you referring to Piko that got wrecked cos of the quake? Because Piko is back up and running on Stanmore road, and also another organic and whole foods shop in Chch which is bigger and has other verieties (imported products also as wewll as local) is Liberty market on the corner of Fitzgerald and Moorhouse Aves,.You can get agar agar at both. hugs and hope this helps. PS post how you got on with rice milk yog- we are all dairy free here too and would love another option! keen to experiment but would love to hear how you get on x

  90. Ok well…this did not turn out right but I did enjoy learning to make coconut milk from scratch and my son now has a new “bra” from the shells (lol…don’t ask!) The yogurt didn’t gel, it was very thin. Not sure where I went wrong. It tasted right and I am using it in recipes anyway. The leftover coconut from the milk got baked into oatmeal cookies. So not a total success but not a total failure either.

    • Coconut milk yogurt is always thin, usually almost as thin as it was before you cultured it! You weren’t specific about whether you added gelatin, pectin or some other thickener, but I would start by adding some (or adding more) on the next batch. Glad it wasn’t a total loss!

      • Just a quick question regarding containers.  You mention not using metal in your instructions.   Are you referring to the lids or the containers themselves?  I would like to use small canning jars with metal lids, would this work?  Thanks!

        • Reactive metals like copper and aluminum are NOT recommended for culturing or fermenting foods. Canning jars have lids that can be reactive, but, more importantly, they are lined with toxic BPA. (Yes, all canning jar lids have BPA!) I use the plastic BPA-free screw-tops for the canning jars that I use for storage, or I use another glass container with a BPA-free plastic lid.

  91. thanks a million!  I started making my own dairy yogurt last year, but I must have a milk allergy because having it every day caused me to get a very phlemgy throat all day long, gross.  So I tried making almond milk yogurt following the same recipe and it didn’t turn out at all.  I had no idea using almond milk or coconut milk needs sugar!  I personally don’t like almond milk, so I can’t wait to try it with coconut milk. and thanks so much for the recipes on making my own coconut milk!!!

  92. p.s. I also have an Excaliber and used to make 3 gallons of dairy yogurt at a time! I love that thing!

  93. Hi! I’m going to try making this for my family. Thank you so much for the hand holding. We are starting a full GAPS/low oxalate diet soon and I’m so nervous! We should be doing anticandida/GAPS/low oxalate but were just baby stepping our way into that. I have a question about the coconut yogurt. Can I just use our probiotic (VSL #3) and no culture? I wasn’t sure if the pb could be done alone or should be done in combination with a dairy free yogurt culture. I’m sure you’re busy, but figured I’d try for your advice. Thank you again for your wonderful tutorial.

    • I have not used VSL #3 to culture yogurt and am not familiar with what strains of bacteria it contains. I would make a small batch and give it a try!

  94. Hi Dawn

    My yoghurt maker suggests that if your (dairy) yoghurt is too thin, it may be because not enough starter was used. So, I am wondering then if using more starter/probiotic with coconut milk yoghurt would do the trick of trying to thicken it up without having to add other thickeners. Or would it have other undesirable effects?

    • Coconut yogurt is naturally pretty thin, no matter how much starter you use. This is why companies like So Delicious add thickeners. You can thicken it up with coconut meat, gelatin, pectin, agar agar, Irish moss, tapioca, etc.

  95. Thank you for this helpful article! My son is 8 mo old, and I wanted to make coconut milk yogurt for him as he seems to be sensitive to dairy. Your recipe is the best one I could find online. I bought a yogurt maker, used organic coconut milk with 1 tbsp of agar agar and Prohealth probiotic, and farmented for 22 hrs. It turned our a bit too sour for my liking, perhaps I should do shorter time.

    A couple of questions….
    – I know children under 1 yr old should avoid honey, but is it okay to use it for farmentation? I used Agave as I feared using honey.
    – I noticed some chunky coconut milk bits in the yogurt after refrigerating over night. (I stirred the yogurt after farmentation as it separated in the process….). Is this normal?

    Thanks!

    • I would use another sweetener for a baby, like maple syrup or coconut sap, etc. It’s normal for all types of yogurt to separate; as long as it smells fine, just stir and enjoy!

  96. My incubator is a styrofoam cooler lined with a heating pad. The low setting maintains an even 110 degrees (though others may vary – test it out with a candy thermometer). Cut a notch to accommodate the cord for a tight seal. Be sure to fold a small towel under the jars so it doesn’t ‘cook’.

  97. I make mine into a thick tapioca first then put the coconut yogurt in and in the dehydrator at 105 overnight. In the morning it’s great and still has thick consistancy.

    • Do you use tapioca starch in the coconut milk while heating to make it thick?

  98. Coconut cultured. So delicious does work with coconut milk but you have to do it a little different. . It works for me, but I have to make it tapioca first.

    I make it with frozen coconut milk or boxed equivelent to 2 cans or about a quart is my favorite due to no sodium metabisulfite, I add tapioca starch 3 table spoons , tapioca 3 tablespoons, and rice starch 1 table spoon leave for about 1/2 hour to soak. I cook it below about 180 until thickened and then I add so delicious cultured coconut. And at 105 put in a dehydrator for 10-12 hours.

    •   You mention tapioca starch and regular tapioca.  Do you use small pearls?  Do they dissolve?  I can’t have grains of any kind so will need to omit the rice starch and possibly add a little more tapioca starch?

  99. Thanks so much! I made it the same way I used to make cow milk yogurt when I was living in India… just heated it to a little under 100, added some starter (in this case I used vanilla soy yogurt, thanks for the tip), and bundled it in a blanket to keep it warm for 6hrs or so. Scrumptious! I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to give my dairy-intolerant 5-yr old yogurt again! So exciting!

  100. I followed the link for the non-dairy yogurt starter and they indicate that it does not work for coconut milk :-(

    • Since I first published the link, they have amended their page to say their culture doesn’t work on coconut milk yogurt. That’s too bad, I was hoping to buy from them when my bottle of a discontinued brand ran out.

      It’s challenging to find a totally non-dairy yogurt starter that works, but I know many people have had success (including me) simply using a couple capsules of over-the-counter casein-free probiotics that contain several species of lactobacilli. Best to you!

    • Hi Karen,

      A very good yogurt starter is made by GI prohealth and called GI prostart. We are totally casein free and using this starter with very good results. Works for goats milk yogurt, all nut yogurts, and coconut yogurt too.
      http://www.giprohealth.com/giprostart.aspx.

      Hope this helps!

  101. Hi, interesting advice and hints. I recently purchased an Easiyo yogurt maker without purchasing their ready made packets they say you must use with it. I was hoping to use it with a Tetra Pak coconut milk I get here in the UK. However, my first attempt was a failure :( I used a few tsbp of plain soya yogurt to start it but no luck. The easiyo is like a ginormous thermos so not sure if temp too high for milk. I have read various things about using UHT cocunut milk and that it doesn’t work properly. Any suggestions? thanks!!

    • UHT or ultra-pasteurized milks do NOT ferment properly and cannot be used for yogurt.

      • I use UHT milk all the time to culture yoghurt,both cow and goat,It does several lots before I renew it.Am going to try goat and coconut milk powder next.
        Dave

  102. We made this yesterday using Silk PureCoconut milk. We used a recipe that included Coconut milk, sugar, dry milk, and a couple of Tablespoons of Organic Plain Yogurt as a starter. We heated it to 165 degrees and then cooled to 110 degrees before adding the yogurt starter. The jars were then placed in a cooler with a heating pad for 5 hours. The jars were then moved to the refrigerator. This morning the Yogurt has floated to the top and there is this liquid on the bottom half of the jar. The yogurt has some small bubbles in it and actually has a slight “Sprite” taste to it. Do you have any idea what we have done wrong? lol Thanks!

    • I have never mixed cow dairy with coconut milk in yogurt before, but that may have something to do with it. It is not uncommon for the whey to separate from the milk during yogurt making. Coconut milk will also often separate during fermentation. If it tastes alright (no funky smell, no weird mold on top, and a sour yogurt taste), then just mix the yogurt up to a smooth consistency.

  103. May I please know how you know the probiotics (good bactera) in the yogurt eat all the sugar?

    • The longer the yogurt is left to ferment, the more time the bacteria have to consume the sugar. Fully fermented yogurt is quite tart and does not taste sweet. Best, Dawn

  104. Hello! I want to make this purely because I love coconut. I have what is probably a dumb question though-do you get a strong coconut flavor just from the coconut milk? Or do I need to add some kind of other coconut flavoring? Also, I prefer thicker yogurt and plan to use unflavored gelatin-should I just go ahead and use the 2 tbsp. listed in the recipe? I make yogurt in a Euro cuisine ym80 maker so is 12 hrs long enough to ferment and thicken the yogurt in that? Thank so much!

    • The coconut flavor is not very strong in coconut milk yogurt. It might be advisable to add either pureed coconut meat or coconut extract to get that strong coconut-y flavor. You will need to experiment a bit with the amount of gelatin you need to get the exact consistency you want. Start with the recipe and see what you think, then adjust as necessary with the next batch. As long as the temperature is a consistent 105-110 degrees, 12 hours should be plenty of time to ferment, but if you are on a low-sugar, GAPS, SCD, etc. diet, you will want to ferment longer to get all the sugar out.

      • I just bought a Euro Cuisine YMX650 yogurt maker. On my first try, it came out completely watery. On my second try, I meticulously sterilized everything & specifically followed the recipe instructions on this site to a tee! Still! After 20 hours, the consistency was clear & watery as before, except this time one of the jars was forming pink goop around the rim. Yuck! 

        Someone! PLEASE help me!!! I need to stop wasting precious food & I also need some protein for breakfast besides eggs every morning! For the next two months, I’m on this special intestinal cleansing/repair diet that exempts all nuts, soy, grains, and dairy from my diet – a Paleolithic diet of sorts. Since I’m allergic to dairy and gluten, I will probably use my machine after this diet to make almond yogurt or soy yogurt. But in the mean time, it’d be REALLY nice to know how on earth to actually make yogurt with my machine that isn’t watery!

        • also, instead of throwing out yet another watery batch of “yogurt”, would it be safe to instead use it in a smoothie? Or did I make the probiotics go bad & become harmful when ingested by letting the coconut milk-gelatin-yogurt starter mixture ferment for 20 hours? 

          • Taste it. If it tastes sour like runny coconut yogurt, then it is actually done correctly and you can use it any way you like. Don’t use any yogurt that has mold or pink growing on it, or that has a foul odor.

          • This really helped me get to my first batch of perfect-consistency coco-yo! I tried the small batches with different probiotics & more or less gelatin & finally found the right ratio. Thank you for your help!

          • what ratio worked for you? I am having troubles…

        • Coconut milk is always pretty watery, which is why I suggest using some sort of thickener like gelatin, agar agar, guar gum, tapioca, etc. in the recipe, according to your dietary preferences.

          Do NOT eat any yogurt with pink on it! That is certainly tainted.

          Try checking your yogurt at 8 hours and then 12 hours for taste, you may be overheating the culture over the length of time you are culturing. Or your heat may be too high on the “auto” setting of your machine. Alternatively, you may be using inappropriate or non-viable strains of probiotics, but I am not sure what you are using.

          This is an art as much as a science, since everyone uses different methods for culturing yogurt. You can also make very small, one-cup batches using different thickeners, probiotics, etc. to find what works best for you. And, as always, the comments are FULL of wisdom.

  105. Wow! Thanks for the detailed instructions and sharing all the extra tips in the comments. I would never have thought of using the oven. I think that will be the easiest way to start, but I might ask around and see if anyone has a crockpot I can borrow.

  106. My homemade coconut milk using shredded coconut and water is the best! Its very thick and creamy already. Can’t wait for the yogurt. I did the 1:1 ratio coconut to water and its fabulous! I added a few medjool dates while processing the coconut & water and it gave the milk a nice subtle sweetness. To strain the milk, I used a newly purchased nut milk bag and it really simplified the whole process.

    I am now in the process of making the yogurt. I love how simple this recipe is. I have been making goats milk yogurt and this is a new twist for us. I am using the GI prohealth yogurt starter (free from casein which we are sensitive to). I am going to incubate the yogurt in my yogurmet machine. I plan on adding gelatin at the end to thicken it. Will post back on the results. Thanks for the recipe!

    • So after my yogurt was done setting up in the fridge for about 8 hours I now have a thick crust on the top, and still fairly runny liquid below. The taste is wonderful, but I’m not crazy about the texture. It came out a bit gritty and I can’t tell if its from the top fatty cream layer not totally blending together with the runny lower layer. Or perhaps its from the gelatin? Should I have dissolved the gelatin in boiling water first? The instructions seemed a bit unclear and I just mixed it with a bit of extra coconut milk that I had in my fridge and then added it to my cultured milk. That is probably what ruined the texture, sigh.

      I might just try skipping the gelatin next time, and then dripping my yogurt with a coffee filter to thicken it up, or just leave it runny as is. If anybody could share their tips on how to thicken the lower layer and prevent a thick crust from forming on top I would love to hear from you.

      • One last thing I’d like to mention is that I would definitely bring the coconut milk up to 185 degrees to sterilize it before letting it cool to room temperature and adding the starter. Evidently, there is a risk of bacterial contamination with bacterium burkholderia cocovenenans otherwise.

        • Agreed. Also it is probably a good idea to thoroughly dissolve the gelatin in the hot coconut milk, if you plan to use it again. I am so glad you liked the taste. I’m sure your next batch will be perfect!

      • My best guess is that the crust was either from too much gelatin, or (more likely) from the coconut oil on top of the yogurt hardening in the cold fridge. Homemade coconut milk is typically higher in coconut oil than store-bought varieties, and the oil separates out pretty easily, because, unlike canned coconut milk, it is not emulsified with machinery and additives like guar gum. This excess oil would naturally float to the top of your yogurt, and then harden. If you ate the yogurt at room temperature, I think you would prefer the texture!

        Try it without gelatin, but also try it with a lower-oil coconut milk from the store, or let your homemade coconut milk sit for a while, and then skim some of the oil off yourself before using it for yogurt.

        Best,
        Dawn

      • Tina, I just saw something on u-tube yesterday about this. Can’t remember all the details but I know she put in in a blender and then back in the frig. for more hours. Try looking on u-tube and maybe u will see this. I talks about thicker coconut yogurt

  107. I tried making coconut milk yogurt before but didnt have good results. I’ve made whole milk plus cream yogurt in an attempt to make greek yogurt in the past and I have had mixed results. For me using a crockpot and yogurt incubator have shown the best results. First batch of coconut milk yogurt I made was very watery but I didnt enjoy the taste.

    Last time I didn’t check the temperature either as I thought I had lost my thermometers. I noticed for coconut milk yogurt you incubate for a lot longer. Im making a batch right now and this will be my second batch, Im expecting it to turn out much better then the last. :)

  108. I’d really like to make this, it looks great. how can you keep the yogurt at the right temp if you don’t have a dehydrator? would it work in the oven?

    • We use a yogurt maker called a yogourmet. I would highly recommend a yogurt maker to keep the correct temperature. It really simplifies the process. We also have an excalibur dehydrator and I do like it a lot but am still using the yogurt maker for little batches of yogurt. The excalibur is really nice to have though for all of its other wonderful uses.

  109. Hi- I’m in the process of making the yogurt now- it’s been in the oven with the light on since last night (about 18 hours). I just checked on it and I noticed a light purple colour on the edge. Does this mean it’s gone bad? My husband took the yogurt out of the oven yesterday to bake a fish, so the yogurt temperature cooled down for an hour and a half while the oven was in use and then cooling back to 100 degrees.

    • If you see “off” colors or odors, discard the yogurt. This can happen if the temp is too high for the probiotics, if there are too many temp fluctuations, or if your tools or containers were not sterile.

    • My experience with making yogurt is that for the active culture to grow, it must be kept at a constant temperature of around 115 degrees. Otherwise, the culture will not grow. I have never tried allowing the yogurt to cool below 115 mid-way through the process and then increasing the heat back to 115.

      Have you double-checked the actual temperature inside the oven to be certain you are maintaining 115 degrees to begin with? For me, the oven light only was not sufficient to maintain that temperature. I used a 75-watt or 60-watt incadescent bulb (in one of those ‘trouble lights’ that you can get at a hardware store) to maintain the 115 degrees. In the summer, I use a 60-watt bulb; in the winter I use a 75-watt bulb. I used to have a larger oven and needed a 100-watt bulb in the winter.

      I don’t know what the light purple color might mean. When in doubt, throw it out! :o)

  110. I’m soooo happy to find this info. I want to use tapioca flour as a thickner. I think I should add it to the coconut milk before I heat it. Is this correct? I’m going to use the “SO Delicious Plain yogart for the starter. I also found “SO Delicious original cultured coconut milk with pre & probiotics” can this be uses as an alternate starter? I drink lots of rice milk. Is there a yogart recipe for it also.

  111. Hi,

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve been making yogurt for a while, and have found the need to seek dairy alternatives.

    I recently made some coconut yogurt and it was delish. Here are the changes I made.

    I used abt 1/4 cup barley malt powder instead of honey or maple syrup. I did a little research and found that any pre-biotic will do (which is why tapioca is added to commercial nondairy yogurts — but I think it tastes awful), so I sought a low GI one and found that barley malt powder has no flavor and is easily available at my local organic store.

    I removed some of the cream (fat) and added a couple Tbsp guar gum powder (dried guar bean goo) to thicken it up. Great texture.

    Orange blossom water and vanilla were excellent flavors to add, as are lemon extract and lime juice. It’s great with fruit or on its own.

    Thanks again!

    • Oh, and I found fresh frozen coconut milk at my local Asian grocery store which has no additives, no bpa worries and tastes fresher than canned.

  112. Thank you for this recipe! I used to make a ton of whole fat yogurt for my so until I discovered he was allergic to both milk and soy. He is okay with store bought coconut milk yogurt so I’d love to make it at home for him. With regular milk yogurt, I used to incubate for ~7 hours but I noticed your instructions call for 24-29 hours. Does it really require that long? My yogurt machine has a timer so I’ll have to reset it halfway through.

    • Thanks for your comment! I have found that it indeed takes at least 12 hours to ferment the coconut milk to a true yogurt, but you can test it yourself and take some out early to see what works for you. The beauty of fermented food is that it is both an art and a science. Enjoy!

      • My first batch was way too watery. There may be two culprits (1) I used my son’s probiotic powder which didn’t work so I will invest in GI Pro Starter. (2) You specified 95-105 degrees for incubation but I used my Euro Cuisine YM100 yogurt machine which heats up to temperatures of 104°F – 118°F (which is PERFECT for milk based yogurt). My machine works really well with Euro Cuisine Yogurt Starter and YoGourmet Yogurt Starter, but I’m wondering if it is too hot for probiotics? Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

        • Coconut milk yogurt is naturally thinner than store-bought yogurt, and is often thin enough to be drinkable.

          The way nondairy yogurt can be thickened (without the guar gum, tapioca starch, etc. used in store-bought nondairy yogurts) is to use powdered pectin (if you can tolerate it), pureed young coconut meat, agar agar, or other natural thickeners until it is as thick as you want it to be.

          • At what point do you add the powdered pectin and how much?

          • You add thickener at Step 7 (above). I cannot use pectin as it is made from citrus, so you will need to experiment with the quantity. Start with a quarter or half teaspoon and go from there…

            Best,
            Dawn @ Small Footprint Family

  113. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I recently made the jump to no dairy after making my own yogurt for years. Is the sweetner absolutely necessary when using coconut milk? I am also trying to cut out ALL sweetners – even honey, agave, stevia, etc.

    A couple of hints I’d like to share:
    #1: I use a “trouble light” in my oven – with a 75-watt light bulb. Between that and the oven light itself, it maintains a perfect 110 -115 degrees. I don’t know what I’ll do when incandescent bulbs are finally illegal!!

    #2: The starter will grow weaker with subsequent batches. I spoon out 2-tablespoon dollops onto a cookie sheet, freeze them and store in a zip-loc baggie. You sacrifice about 8 ounces of yogurt this way but can use it as starter for about 10 subsequent batches! When you run out of the original frozen dollops, start another batch with new starter.

    • Indeed, the added real sugar is absolutely necessary for coconut milk yogurt. Milk is already full of sugar–lactose–which is what the probiotic bacteria feed on, which ferments the yogurt. Coconut milk has very little of its own sugar, so you need to add a bit extra to feed the bacteria and get it to ferment. Nearly all of the honey or maple syrup (DON’T use agave for this!) you use will have been consumed by the bacteria by the time you eat the yogurt though, so don’t worry!

      Thanks for commenting!!

    • These are awesome tips. Thanks!

  114. I just started trying this and my first batch was a complete disaster. I was so concerned with keeping the milk at the right temperature and letting it sit long enough to get thick that I went overkill. I think I killed most of the bugs and it got very tart. I was also experimenting with stevia and added too much. However, after some more reseach I have overcome those problems.
    To keep the right temperature, I put my two quart jars wrapped in towels inside a stock pot. I also add the water I used to sterilize the milk jars since still warm in two other quart jars wrapped in towels. (the bottom of the stock pot also is lined with a towel) I put the lid on the pot and place it in my oven after removing all but one rack placed on the lowest shelf. To monitor the temperature inside the pot, I use a meat thermometer that has a cord plugged into the outside unit. This keeps my yogurt about 108F for at least 12 hours. If you are having trouble keeping the temperature up you can turn on the light.
    To tackle the thickness issue I added Konjac flour to the 4 cans of coconut milk to act as a thickner. I used 3 teaspoons. I am still trying to perfect the best addition method to avoid lumps, but after my last batch had cooled in the fridge I put it all in the food processor. The result was awesome. It became very creamy with no lumps.
    The Konjac flour is also food for the probiotics and is 100% soluble fiber. It is a great way to add extra fiber. I used just 3 pinches of stevia for the 4 cans of coconut milk. Now I just pull out what I want to eat and flavor it with one of my many extracts. Orange Creamcicle is my favorite. My husband and 4-year old son also love it.
    I hope this helps and I hope to see more tips from people as I continue to perfect my process.

    • Thanks for sharing your tips! Fermentation is as much an art as a science… :)

      You can also use pectin, agar agar or young coconut meat to thicken the yogurt, blending it like you did with the konjac to remove lumps before refrigeration.

      Best,
      Dawn
      Small Footprint Mama

  115. Here’s a link on how to make fresh coconut milk. There are also pages on opening coconuts and removing the meat: http://www.thenaughtyvegan.com/how-to-make-coconut-milk.htm

  116. I am looking forward to trying this recipe, and am familiar with wilderness family naturals, but their coconut milk tetra pak has casein added… Has this been a problem for you?

    • Wilderness Naturals has been out of stock on the tetra pak for so long now that I either make my own from mature coconut meat or I use Native Forest coconut milk, which comes in a BPA-free can! Happy fermenting!!

      -Dawn

  117. I am very interested in trying this. Do you think if I use my crock pot instead of my oven, it would still work? I could put the jars on some towels so they are not directly on the warm surface. What are your thoughts?
    My little one has CRAZY food allergies but I can’t afford to continue to purchase the $2.00 a carton coconut yogurt! I hope I can get the recipe to work for me!

    • A crockpot will work great. Just check the temp of your yogurt to make sure it doesn’t exceed the maximum temp, or your bacterial culture will die. Babyzilla has crazy food allergies too, which is why I learned to make coconut milk yogurt in the first place, so I sympathize. Good luck and enjoy the cocoyo!

      -Dawn

  118. could I make this in a yogurt maker? I have never made yogurt and it seems very intensive. Does the yogurt maker make the process easier?

    • A yogurt maker simply holds the cultured milk (which, I believe, you still have to boil, cool and culture on the stovetop) at a constant and correct temp for fermenting. A dehydrator, a cold oven with the light on, a heating pad or even a jar of hot water inside a cooler will work as well as a yogurt maker to keep your cultured milk at about 100 for a day or so.

      You can also buy cultures from Cultures for Health that will make yogurt at room temp on your countertop (though be advised that they contain dairy).

      Once you’ve done it once or twice, you’ll see that yogurt is quite easy and fun to make, and really doesn’t even require a recipe once you know how…

      Best to you,

      Dawn @ Small Footprint Family

      • Thank yyou for the response. I need to order the non dairy yogurt started you recommended and get that yogurt maker. Thanks so much I can not wait!!

  119. That recipe sounds great and those pictures make it look so good.

  120. I tried this and just took it out of the fridge to test it. I THINK it worked right, it tastes sour like yogurt, but there is the slightest hint of another flavor and smell that seems like it might be off. How do you know if it’s safe to eat? I don’t often eat plain yogurt (especially coconut milk yogurt) either, so I could just be super sensitive to all the flavors…thoughts?

    • Thanks for your comment, Sara!

      Chances are everything is just fine, but use your best judgment. Usually the smell is really off if the yogurt is not good, which can happen if you heat it too high. (I’ve done that). Add a little honey, crushed fruit and see what you think. It will not be as thick or as smooth as commercial yogurt, but I think you will enjoy it.

      -Dawn

      • If anything, the heat was too low. I used just the light in my oven, which doesn’t bother my sourdough starter, so it can’t be more than 100. Seems like it’s probably fine. We’ll try it! Thanks! :)

  121. I am in the process of exploring whether or not I’m having trouble with dairy – I’m going to start an elimination diet. So, I was happy to find this post. I **hope** that it’s not dairy that’s causing the problem, but if it is then so be it.

    I tried making dairy yogurt in the CrockPot and it was a real flop. So, I appreciate the details you’ve given here. I also love how you take such good care of your baby – just so cute!!

    • Even if you continue to enjoy dairy, I hope you’ll enjoy coconut milk yogurt on its own merit as another probiotic, nutritious bit of yumminess in your diet!

      Babyzilla has a lot of food sensitivities, so making things she can and will eat is always the challenge and joy.

      Best,
      Dawn

  122. I’m excited to try making coconut yogurt. I’m just trying to find a way to keep at about 100 degrees using whatever I have around the house. I do have a dehydrator- how do you use it to keep the yogurt warm? Do you use fruit leather trays and pour the milk on? Or am I completely off?

    • You would take a few trays out and put your covered glass yogurt containers on the floor of the dehydrator near the front (not near the heating unit). (This only works with an Excalibur-type dehydrator that looks like a small oven). You can use a heating pad with a thermostat too. Best, Dawn

      • Oh, I haven’t seen this type of dehydrator. I have a round tower-type. That’s why I was confused. : ) Thanks!

  123. I need this, stat.

  124. Ooh, I think I will mix half coconut milk and dairy next time, it sounds heavenly.

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