Happy Fermented Friday!
Here at BHIHC, we are very ‘Pro Biotic’, and so is this recipe…
Over the last few days, we ran our own little experiment to make vegan coconut yoghurt, and the results are impressive.
While most store-bought coconut yoghurt has the ability to take a coconut sized gauge out of our wallets, a single mason jar of this homemade coconut yoghurt cost us a total of $3.00(+tax) to create!
This experiment requires very little doing time, paired with ample waiting time!
So get your ‘acidophilus’ up out of that desk and let’s get started!
- 1 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk* (We used the “365 everyday value Organic” brand. REFRIGERATE FIRST! This will allow the fatty milk to separate from the liquid in the can. Using just the solid removed from the can will give you a more firm end result, whereas shaking the can to combine the two will leave you will more of a Kefir-consistency)
- 2 capsules vegan-friendly probiotic* (they need to be capsules, not pills, which have to be crushed, see below for recommendations // capsules can be easily opened and emptied) (We used New Roots Acidophilus Ultra)
- Maple syrup, stevia, or agave nectar for sweetening
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
- Fruit or Fruit Compote
- SEE NOTES FOR MORE TIPS! It’s important to select coconut milk that’s creamy and smooth (not grainy or clumpy) to ensure that the yoghurt is creamy and smooth. My favourite brands are Thai Kitchen full fat and Whole Foods 365 full fat (BPA-free), which both offer organic options. Native Forest Full Fat(BPA-free) isn’t as creamy, but it still makes tasty yoghurt. I would not recommend Trader Joe’s (BPA-free), which was recently reformulated and is now chunky/grainy. The recommended brands’ full-fat coconut milk (and coconut cream) also work well for coconut whipped cream!
- Shake your coconut milk well. Then open and pour into a clean, sterilized, dry glass jar or bowl. You can easily sterilize clean jars by rinsing them thoroughly with boiling water and letting them dry completely. Just let them cool back down to room temperature before adding ingredients. For jars, I like this one from Weck. Sometimes the coconut milk is separated, so after adding it to the jar, I stir with a whisk to get it completely smooth.
- Empty your probiotic capsules (see brand recommendations below) into the yoghurt and (important🙂 use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir, not metal, as a metal spoon can react negatively with the probiotics. Stir until creamy and smooth, pushing the probiotic up against the side with your spoon to evenly disperse.
- Cover the mixture with cheesecloth (or a very thin, clean dish towel – something that lets air in but keeps bugs out) and secure with a rubber band.
- Let the yoghurt activate for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours (sometimes longer – 48 hours is my sweet spot for thickness and tang) in a warm place. The longer it rests, the tangier the yoghurt will become. In warmer climates and summer it’s easy to make yoghurt if your house is warm (75 degrees F / 23 C and above). But in cooler climates or seasons, place the yoghurt in the oven with the light on (do not turn on the oven), where it should have the right amount of heat to activate.
- That’s it! Once the yoghurt has reached the right amount of tanginess and thickness for your liking (be sure to sample with a wooden spoon), cover securely with a lid and refrigerate until cold. Refrigerating will also thicken the yoghurt even more, almost to a Greek yoghurt consistency (depending on the brand of coconut milk you used)! For even thicker yoghurt, line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and set over a mixing bowl. Pour in the yoghurt, then loosely cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight or for 12+ hours. It should thicken up quite a bit more.
- You have coconut yoghurt (!!), which can be enjoyed plain as I prefer it, with fruit, or even with Fruit Compote. You can also add a bit of sweetener or flavour at this point, such as maple syrup and/or vanilla extract.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for several days (mine kept for 7 days). You’ll know it’s gone bad when the smell is off-putting or there is mould.
- Please make sure your probiotic is high quality and does not contain PREbiotics.
- The combination I have had the most success with: 1 can 365 Whole Foods Full Fat Coconut Milk + 2 Renew Life 50 billion probiotic capsules.
- I have not tested this recipe in a yoghurt maker or with a yoghurt starter/culture. So if you try them this way, let me know how it goes in the comments!
- It’s important that you follow the recommendations of the coconut milk brands I mention, otherwise, I can’t guarantee good results. I believe Whole Foods 365 brand works so well because the flavour and consistency are nearly perfect. It does contain guar gum, which may be why it helps create a smooth texture and prevents separation. Brands that do not contain guar gum are more likely to have some separation.
- If you have separation, that’s OK! Either stir it in, or put it in the refrigerator separated, then scoop off the creamy top layer.
- If your yoghurt takes on weird colours or odd smells, something has gone wrong. This never happened to me, but it can. If this happens, throw it out! It should taste tangy, but not spoiled.
- If you made this recipe with good results and you tried other brands/methods, please leave a rating and share any tips or tricks that might be useful to other readers!
- I have not tested this recipe with any other non-dairy milk and have no further recommendations besides full-fat coconut milk.
- Lastly, if you want to thicken your yoghurt, even more, place two layers of cheesecloth over a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl and carefully pour in your yoghurt. Then loosely cover the top (with a lid or plastic wrap), and refrigerate/let drain for several hours (draining liquid as needed) until desired thickness is reached!
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