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
· Glass or ceramic containers with lids (Do not use metal). Ingredients
· 3 cans coconut milk
· 1/4 tsp. non-dairy yogurt starter/probiotic OR 2-3 dairy-free probiotic pills
· 1-2 Tbsp. honey, maple syrup OR coconut sap
· 1-2 Tbsp. unflavored grass-fed gelatin, agar agar , tapioca flour, pectin, etc. OR 1-2 cups puréed young coconut meat.
· Fresh organic berries, bananas, nuts, vanilla or other flavorings 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. You want to get the milk just hot enough to sterilize it. Your coconut milk must reach 180 degrees.
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. 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.
- If you DID NOT use a thickener: 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. Cover and refrigerate.
- 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.
- Stirinfreshberriesorotherfruit,vanilla,nuts,coffeeextract,oranyotherflavoringyoudesire. Or simply enjoy plain!
· 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.
· 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.