For those who've had enough of my non-dairy yogurt business, you might want to turn back now. For those wanting to venture on—let's go. Today we're making coconut milk yogurt. And it's my all-time favorite!
Before we jump into the yogurt, I have a bit of news. We are modifying our kiddo's diet—agaaain. I'd go into it, but will have to save that for another post. Bottom line; we're cutting out almonds for a while.
Almond milk has been the base of the non-dairy yogurt I have made on a weekly basis for the past two years. It wasn't easy giving it up.
When I committed to making the change, Moriah's words came back to me;
"I have learned how to respond with a plan. My plan for a successful
transition now begins with determining how to replace the foods
which need to be removed prior to removal."
I took Moriah's advice to heart and started playing with coconut milk yogurt—determined to "nail it" by the time we finished up the last of the almond yogurt.
Making coconut milk yogurt is not rocket science and recipes for it are a dime-a-dozen—but most use straight coconut milk which makes for a very high-fat yogurt. A 6-ounce serving of Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk (full fat) easily exceeds 100 calories of saturated fat (good saturated fat, but a lot of it). My solution for reducing the fat without sacrificing all of the creaminess? Add water and thicken with a bit of tapioca starch and agar agar.
This morning Miles and I enjoyed our fresh coconut milk yogurt topped with a drizzle of low-glycemic Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Nectar and a sprinkle of white chia seed. Tomorrow we'll be churning up some frozen yogurt and I don't know who's more excited, the boys or me!
Coconut Milk Yogurt
Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan
Makes: Just shy of 1 quart
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 26-32 10-12 hours
3/4 teaspoon AGAR AGAR powder (not flakes or bar)
1-1/2 tablespoons organic CANE SUGAR
2 cans full fat COCONUT MILK (such as Thai Kitchen®)
3 tablespoons TAPIOCA STARCH/FLOUR
Allergen-Free YOGURT STARTER or Allergen-Free Probiotic Capsules
***Do not make substitutions, do not alter measurements. Do not use milk beverages such as SoDelicious. Use pure coconut milk with the only additive (if there is one) being guar gum. Do not add flavorings or sweeteners until AFTER culturing and before transferring to the refrigerator ... I've gotten a few "it didn't work" comments. Digging deeper I was told "this or that was added" or sugar omitted (sugar is the bacteria's food!), etc. Follow the recipe exactly for guaranteed results.***
1. Sterilize cooking utensils, bowls and fermentation containers by dousing in boiling water.
2. In a small bowl, mix tapioca starch and 1/2 cup water to make a slurry. Set aside.
3. Add 2 cups filtered water to a large pot. Sprinkle agar agar powder over surface. Bring to boil and gently simmer 3-5 minutes or until agar agar is completely dissolved.
4. Give tapioca slurry a good stir and whisk it and the sugar into the agar agar mixture. Return to simmer, stirring constantly 1-2 minutes.
5. Whisk in coconut milk. Heat just until steam rises from surface.
6. Allow milk to cool to 95-100˚F. This can take a while.
7. Sprinkle yogurt starter (use manufacturer's recommended measure) or approximately 30 billion CFUs of probiotic over surface of cooled milk and whisk very well. Transfer to fermentation container(s) and then to yogurt maker. Leave undisturbed to ferment 8-10 hours (no longer). Transfer to refrigerator and chill 6-8 hours. Yogurt will set as it cools.
Cooling: Allow milk to cool at room temperature. Do not cool using a water bath as the agar agar will begin to set. Give it an occasional whisk. The mixture may look clumpy (this is the agar agar setting), but a good whisk will smooth it out again.
The Starter: Nut/seed milk yogurts are best made using a yogurt starter. Unlike animal-based milks, a scoop of yogurt may not be effective. A lot of natural food stores carry the YoGourmet brand of yogurt starter which contains skim milk powder. So just be cautious when purchasing a starter or probiotic for use in culturing.
The Yogurt Maker: I prefer using a yogurt maker. I rest assured knowing that the yogurt is fermenting at a safe and consistent temperature. However, you may choose to ferment in any container, preferably glass, in any environment that is kept at a constant 105-110˚F (on a heating pad, in the oven, etc).
What is Agar-Agar? Agar-agar is a plant-based "gelatine" derived from seaweed. It helps set the yogurt and firm it up. I get consistent results with agar powder versus flakes or bars. Agar powder may be purchased in packets at Asian grocery stores, from larger natural grocery stores and from Amazon.
Trouble Shooting: Portions of the surface may dry to a pale yellow; this can be expected. If there are any hints of pink, gray or black on the surface of the yogurt, throw the batch out and start again. This suggests the equipment was not thoroughly sterilized, that the yogurt starter was “dead” and that foreign “bad” bacteria colonized the batch, and/or that milk was hotter than 95° to 100°F when the starter was added.