If you are dairy intolerant or paleo, you can get all the awesome probiotic benefits of 24 hour yoghurt, making it from coconut milk.
This isn’t any ordinary coconut yoghurt you can buy in the store by the way. Based on the science of the Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD), 24 hour coconut yoghurt is a powerful healing food that must be homemade. Read a description of the many health benefits of SCD yoghurt here and here.
With the addition of one super ingredient, the steps are virtually the same as the dairy variety and just as easy. I say ‘easy’ now but I didn’t always consider coconut yoghurt that way. I have been on the hunt for the perfect, failsafe recipe for years and through batch after batch of runny attempts, I know homemade coconut yoghurt to be a tricky beast.
Here’s the problem; during fermentation coconut milk does not thicken like dairy yoghurt. This gives you runny, slightly sour coconut milk. The aim instead is obviously scoopable, wobbly deliciousness.
To my surprise, there’s no shortage of recipes on the web but most include gums and thickeners to achieve this desired creamy texture. I, however wanted to discover the purest, gut loving, health promoting, coconut milk yoghurt possible.
Success! I discovered the wonders of gelatin. Of course, why didn’t I think of this sooner? Gelatin is an essential ingredient from a gut health perspective. Adding it to coconut yoghurt is simply a no brainer. Perfect, additive-free, firm, coconut yoghurt every time! Don’t use any old gelatin though, quality matters. I only recommend Gelpro gelatin in Australia. Find out why we should be eating more gelatin here.
(A vegan alternative is agar agar powder.)
Homemade coconut milk yoghurt will not look like the consistent, smooth, white store-bought variety you may have come to enjoy. Even your expensive organic variety has sugar, food stabilisers or gums.
This recipe avoids all these nasties. However, a quick word of warning; coconut milk a la natural won’t behave! Without additives coconut milk will separate. When refrigerated and left to set coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. If you’re lucky, you might even get a solid layer of coconut oil right on top of the cream. Naturally, there will be three layers to your homemade coconut yoghurt. There is no use fighting it. Embrace it. Read why coconut oil is amazing for your gut health here.
What kind of coconut milk should I use?
Good question. Unless you want to make it yourself, additive free coconut milk is not easy to come across. I highly recommend you source a brand that states ‘coconut pulp’ as it’s only ingredient but even then it is hard to be sure. Most importantly, if you are up for healing your gut it is best to avoid those containing guar gum or carrageenan as both are known to cause digestive problems.
Here’s the test. If your coconut milk does not separate you can be sure it has unlisted additives.
Then there is BPA. (An industrial chemical used in plastic) Like almost all canned foods, there is usually toxic BPA in the lining of canned coconut milk. Many state BPA free these days which is great. I buy Banaban coconut milk in bulk online. It is a little more expensive but I trust the product.
You will need a yoghurt starter culture to introduce the fermentation of bacteria to your coconut milk. I used this brand. Feel free to use any starter culture you are happy with. Use the amount of starter culture indicated on the packet. A powdered multi-strain probiotic or the contents of a capsule may also be used.
COCONUT MILK YOGHURT RECIPE
Thoroughly wash your yoghurt container, whisk and other utensils with boiling water.
3 x 400ml BPA free and additive free cans of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of
raw honey white sugar (see below for explanation)
1 tablespoon of Premium Gelatin powder (agar agar for vegan alternative)
Yoghurt starter culture
INGREDIENT UPDATE Oct 2017: Since posting this recipe I have learnt a lot about fermentation and bacteria. I now make this yoghurt with 1 teaspoon of sugar instead of raw honey. Here’s why – In traditional dairy milk yoghurt the bacteria in starter culture thrive on the sugar content (lactose). Alternative milks naturally have less sugar than dairy milk, so it can help to add some sugar with the starter culture to promote fermentation. Please understand, the sugar is not for you! The bacteria populating your homemade yoghurt must have something to feed on to allow the culturing process to take place. A little bit of sugar is enough to kick start fermentation.
1. Pour the coconut milk into a large saucepan
2. Add the powdered gelatin and whisk in to combine
3. On the stove top gently heat the milk just enough to dissolve the gelatin powder. Do NOT boil the coconut milk. Gelatin only needs to be heated to 95⁰F (35⁰C) to activate.
4. Remove from heat. While the milk is still hot, add the
honey (SUGAR) and mix thoroughly. (The honey SUGAR provides additional food for the bacterial culture)
5. Let cool to below 110° F (43° C)
6. Add the yoghurt starter culture and gently whisk in.
7. Pour the coconut milk into the yoghurt maker. The coconut milk is now ready to begin fermentation.
8. Set the temperature and timer.
Incubate the milk for 24 hours, keeping the temperature between 108 and 112 degrees. (36 and 43° C).
9. After 24 hours the fermentation is complete. The coconut milk will have thickened somewhat but will still be fairly thin. In the fridge, the gelatin will set the coconut milk to perfect yoghurt consistency.
10. Place the tub in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set firm.
Enjoy perfectly set homemade coconut milk yoghurt.
- 3 x 400ml BPA free and additive free cans of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Premium Gelatin powder (agar for vegan alternative)
- Yoghurt starter culture or probiotic powder
- Pour the coconut milk into a large saucepan
- Add the powdered gelatin and whisk in to combineOn the stove top gently heat the milk just enough to dissolve the gelatin powder. Do NOT boil the coconut milk. Gelatin only needs to be heated to 95⁰F (35⁰C) to activate.
- Remove from heat. While the milk is still hot, add the (SUGAR) and mix thoroughly. (The SUGAR provides additional food for the bacterial culture)
- Let cool to below 110° F (43° C)
- Add the yoghurt starter culture and gently whisk in.
- Pour the coconut milk into the yoghurt maker.
- The coconut milk is now ready to begin fermentation.
- Set the temperature and timer.
- Incubate the milk for 24 hours, keeping the temperature between 108 and 112 degrees. (36 and 43° C).
- After 24 hours the fermentation is complete. The coconut milk will have thickened somewhat but will still be fairly thin. In the fridge, the gelatin will set the coconut milk to perfect yoghurt consistency.
- Place the tub in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set firm.
Paid endorsement disclosure:
In order to support my blogging activities and continue doing what I love, I may receive monetary compensation for writing posts. This post has been generously sponsored by Luvele and will also be published on the Luvele blog page. Please note, I only recommend products I have personally used and genuinely believe add value to A Gut Feeling. Thank you Luvele for sharing my love for yoghurt making on your page.