At long last, it’s here. I know I’ve been yammering on about my coconut yogurt escapades, the trials and tribulations of a homemade coconut yogurtier… (there’s no word for a professional yogurt maker? Yogurtier it is, I’m making it up.) I’m not giving you a recipe that you can’t already find all over the internet, I mean, it’s coconut and probiotics mixed together–but I’ve learned a few things along my yogurt making journey that I think really streamline the process and yield the best coconut yogurt.
I know that fermentation and making your own yogurt sounds really daunting and complicated. For so long, I was just so overwhelmed by the idea and didn’t even bother because I figured you had to be some kind of fermentation master to do this. This is not the case at all. Typically, when I read instructions for something and I see so many rules, I get scared, “oh no! what if I use a metal spoon and kill the probiotics? What if I keep the yogurt somewhere too hot?” You worry so much about breaking the rules that you don’t even give it a shot.
I’ve realized you just have to do it. You just have to get started! Don’t be afraid to mess up, you probably won’t even mess anything up and you’ll learn as you go. Think of your first batch as a test round. I promise you, once you do it one time, you will feel like a master ‘yogurtier’!
Here’s what works for me:
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 large jar (I use a 32 ounce mason jar)
- 2 13 ounce cans of full- fat coconut milk (whole foods 365 brand works the best–this is very important and not a tip that should be overlooked! Learned this one from Minimalist Baker)
- 4 probiotic capsules (I used flora brand, from the refrigerated section)
- cheesecloth or paper towel
- a rubberband
- an oven
- time and patience
So, if you wanted to make one small batch of this yogurt, you would use a smaller jar and use only 1 can of coconut milk and two probiotic capsules, but I figure, when it takes so much time and patience for the yogurt to ferment, you might as well make more at one time. *That’s just me though* do you!
Okay, so for the first batch, here is what I did:
I poured two cans of coconut milk into a large mixing bowl (don’t use a metal bowl or spoon once the probiotics are introduced, it will effect the life of the probiotics). The milk started out separated and I used a whisk to combine everything until it was seemingly smooth and creamy. Then, I poured the milk into my jar and added in four probiotic capsules. For this batch, I used 2 different types of probiotics, I’m not entirely sure if this had a negative effect but it’s worth noting- I think it’s probably best to just use one type of probiotics (I used all Flora brand probiotics, but for this batch I used two different strains, super 8 and adult’s advanced).
I mixed the probiotics into the milk with a wooden spoon (remember- not metal allowed!) and I topped it with a paper towel and secured the paper towel with a rubber band. I used to get so nervous about the covering of the fermentation situation, but I’ve realized you really just want to make sure something is covered so that no bugs or unwanted debris can get it, but air can still circulate.
So, I let this batch sit for 48 hours in the oven with the light on. Normally, you could place it on a window sill indoors that gets some sun and warmth, but I’m not getting a lot of sun in my apartment right now, so the oven with the light on is my best bet.
When I went to check it after about 48 hours, it was smelling real fragrant and sour (but in a good way), there was a slight film on top and some bubbly looking stuff on top which I was a little worried about, but according to my research, the yogurt is only concerning if there is a pink or gray color appearing. I skimmed off the film and then stirred the yogurt to combine the liquid and the solid. You can use a metal spoon now since you’re not planning to ferment any further. Then, I put a top on placed it in the fridge.
(If you want to be super cool like me, take a photo as if you’re going to post it on your story, then write on it to keep track, and save the photo to your camera roll)
rating: I’d give this batch a B-
It did become thick after refrigeration, and the more days it’s been in the fridge the more tangy and fermented it’s becoming. The only thing that was weird about it was texture, it had a lot of lumpy bits and almost a grittiness to it. I actually decided to blend this in my vitamix (on very low because I didn’t want to heat it up and disturb the probiotics), and then poured it back in the jar and refrigerated and it’s been great since then.
(this is what it looked like post fermentation, pre stir and refrigeration)
(a little bit chunky- but after I blended it and refrigerated longer it was really good!)
BATCH #2 (THE WINNER!)
For batch number two, everything was the same except for this:
I was trying to whisk the milk by hand and it just wasn’t getting creamy or combined enough. So, in my (very clean–we don’t want to introduce bacteria) vitamix, I gave the milk a quick blend on medium until it was a creamy uniform texture. I poured the milk into my jar and added in four of the same strain of probiotic (advanced adult’s probiotic– Flora brand). I stirred it all up with a wooden spoon. This time I used cheesecloth to cover the jar, securing it with a rubber band.
I placed in the oven with the light on for 48 hours, undisturbed. Well, they were slightly disturbed, if I needed to use the oven I would just take the yogurt out and place it somewhere else in my apartment for an hour until the oven was back to normal temperature–this ended up being perfectly fine.
After 48 hours, I removed the jar and stirred up the yogurt. Then I placed a lid on and put it in the fridge overnight. This batch was really magical to wake up to….
rating: I’d give this batch an A!
I think the key to this batch’s success was blending the milk prior to fermentation, and leaving the yogurt to refrigerate undisturbed for at least 12 hours. It came out super thick and creamy and the taste is amazing.
I personally love a really tart and tangy plain yogurt taste. The longer you keep these coconut yogurts in the fridge, the tangier they get. They truly don’t even taste like coconut yogurt anymore they taste like real greek style yogurt! If this isn’t your thing, I’d recommend perhaps adding less probiotics (2 instead of 4) or adding some honey or maple syrup post fermentation to sweeten it up.
I hope this was helpful! I’ve realized how truly simple it is to make your own yogurt–not to mention WAY cheaper. There’s no going back for me now…
I’m going to keep experimenting and making little changes and I will keep you updated on this post! Let me know if you have any questions on your coconut yogurt journey.