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Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt is an easy 3-ingredient recipe. It takes just 8 hours to make in a yogurt maker (or Instant Pot); or you may leave it on the counter, and make this recipe without a yogurt maker.
So, this recipe is flexible depending on what tools you have in your kitchen and how fast you want the yogurt.
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt is compliant for AIP, Keto, Paleo, Whole30 and GAPS diets.
And, this recipe post protects you from common coconut yogurt making mistakes, so be sure to see that section and the tips below!
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Ingredients in Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
Firstly, a note about thickening homemade yogurts: If you see a 2-ingredient coconut milk yogurt recipe, it will either be thin and runny, or the recipe uses a coconut milk that contains a thickener like guar gum. If you want thick homemade yogurt, it’s necessary on wellness diets to use a natural thickener, thus 3 ingredients.
Only 3 ingredients are used in this recipe: coconut milk, gelatin and a quality probiotic. (To make this recipe Vegan, gelatin would be subbed with agar-agar, which I show how to do in this recipe, if you’re interested.)
- For coconut milk, choose any brand without guar gum, but my favorite by far is Aroy-D brand (here), which is really creamy but doesn’t settle with a layer of oil like some brands. Or Native Forest’s Simple (here) is good, but it does often have that layer of oil.
- The gelatin brand I use is Perfect Supplements (find it here) because they use 3rd party testing to be sure there is zero pesticide residue, and the gelatin comes from pasture-finished cows. (Use code BEAUTIFUL10 at checkout for 10% off your entire order.)
- For a probiotic, I use is a 50-billion strain by NOW brand (here). It’s inexpensive and easy to source.
How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
While making Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt is REALLY easy, there ARE a couple of tips that make it foolproof and prevent mistakes, so please read those after this section! 🙂
Follow these steps:
- With most brands of coconut milk, there is a separation of cream and water in the can. If this is the case: Pour the watery part (from the bottom half of the can) of compliant full-fat canned coconut milk (like this) into a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over the surface, and stir. Add the remaining coconut cream from the top half of the can. Heat gently, stirring until the coconut cream and gelatin dissolve. (If you buy the Aroy-D brand and there’s no settling/separation, simply pour the whole amount of coconut milk into the saucepan; then sprinkle and whisk in the gelatin.)
- Cool to warm.
- Pour into a clean jar. Stir in probiotic (this is a good one). Cover loosely with lid, or cheesecloth and rubber band.
- Place in yogurt maker 8 to 10 hours or overnight. That’s it!
If your house is warm, you may also do a slower process by just leaving the jar to inoculate on the counter, for 12 to 48 hours (depending on just how warm your kitchen is).
When your yogurt is fermenting, at first it will separate into two layers, cream and watery milk.
When it’s ready, these layers will combine in a kind of splotchy way, as the fermentation process churns together the ingredients.
Before refrigerating, stir the yogurt together, but expect it separate a bit in the fridge again. I like to give mine one more stir after it’s been chilling for 2 to 3 hours, so that when it’s entirely chilled, it looks just like store bought yogurt, semi-solid but soft.
If you don’t stir it part way through chilling, it will set up with a bit more liquid whey at the bottom. That won’t stir in quite as evenly if done only at the end, but it’s still fine to wait. Stir it before serving to “homogenize”, if desired.
How to prevent common mistakes when making Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
The MOST important tip I have for you is this: Be aware that many canned full-fat coconut milks have a layer of coconut OIL on the top. So, instead of two layers, cream and watery milk, there are three layers.
That thin layer of coconut oil is found in many brands of coconut milk. And: It MUST be skimmed off for the best results.
Here’s a photo, below, of how easy it is to do this.
Now, you have JUST coconut cream and watery coconut milk to make yogurt, and that’s what you want!
If you want to avoid this problem all together, choose Aroy-D brand of coconut milk (found here).
Also follow these tips for sure success:
- Freshly wash or sterilize your jar before making yogurt in it. This ensures that no bad bacteria with throw off your good ferment.
- Use a quality probiotic that you know works well to make yogurt.
- Do not use a probiotic that also contains a prebiotic.
- Be sure your jar has a nice warm (or very warm) location to ferment. The warmer the location, the less time your yogurt will need to become yogurt.
- If your coconut milk has a high ratio of coconut cream, you may need only 1 teaspoon of gelatin to thicken it, instead of 2. Native Forest’s Simple product works well with 2 teaspoons, but I can’t be sure about all brands.
Ways to use Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
- Make Yogurt Cheesecake.
- Top with fresh fruit.
- Use as a savory dip: stir in herbs, garlic etc.
- Enjoy on top of AIP waffles, Keto waffles or Paleo Waffles.
- Add to a smoothie.
- Make a layered parfait.
- Combine with smashed avocado, herbs, diced onion etc. for a tangy probiotic guacamole or avocado sauce.
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt (Easy, Paleo, AIP, Keto)
- glass jar
- yogurt maker or Instant Pot optional (a warming mat may also be used, like this)
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk full fat, no guar gum or other extra ingredients OR use 1-¾ cups Aroy-D brand (here), which may come in smaller tetra paks
- 1 to 2 teaspoons gelatin I used 2 teaspoons with Native Forest's Simple coconut milk for the texture you see in the photos.
- 2 capsules probiotic without prebiotic, THIS ONE is a good choice
- Open compliant canned coconut milk. If there's a thin layer of coconut oil on the surface, use a spoon to scoop it off. Scoop aside or down through the coconut cream to pour the watery milk from underneath into a small saucepan.
- Sprinkle gelatin over the surface, and allow 1 minute or less for it to dissolve on the surface. Stir it in. Add the coconut cream remaining from the can. (If you buy the Aroy-D brand and there's no settling/separation, simply pour the whole amount of coconut milk into the saucepan; then sprinkle and whisk in the gelatin.)
- Heat over low heat, stirring, until gelatin and coconut cream are fully melted and mixed in. Set aside, and allow to cool to warm. Pour into freshly cleaned or sterilized jar.
- Stir in probiotic. (Some sources say to avoid using metal utensils for this step. Choose wood or silicone to be safe.)
- Cover loosely with lid, or cheesecloth and rubberband.
- Place in yogurt maker 8 to 10 hours or overnight. After the time has elapsed, stir to incorporate liquids and solids, as some separation will occur during fermentation. (If you don't have a yogurt maker, you can also make this recipe by setting your jar on a warm seed mat or out at warm room temperature for 12 to 48 hours, until nicely tangy [time based on just how warm your kitchen is].)For Instant Pot, simply press the "Yogurt" button. Use the +/- button to adjust the incubation time (8 to 10 hours). You can use the clear glass lid or the lock on lid; it doesn't matter.
- Refrigerate stirred yogurt 2 to 3 hours, then give one more stir to "homogenize" the ingredients before the yogurt fully sets. Chill completely, and enjoy.