You’ve seen cultured coconut milk “yogurts” at the grocery stores, no doubt. It’s expensive, but very tasty and the good one’s are very reminiscent of the dairy yogurts you’ve known; me and my family love YoSo brand yogurts…they’re worth the money if you don’t do dairy.
This week, I decided to see if cultured coconut milk yogurt can be made at home, knowing what I know about yogurt. Turns out, you can make it at home. If you take probiotics, you already have what you need in the fridge to make this. It takes some time to culture the coconut milk properly, but it is worth the wait and the money saving if you’re on a budget.
CULTURED COCONUT MILK YOGURT
| makes 2 cups |
- 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk (398ml)
- 1/3 Cup So Good Coconut Milk Beverage (optional)
- 1/4 tsp Agar Powder
- 1 TBLS Maple Syrup
- 1 Vegan Probiotic capsule with 10 Billion CFU (you can use regular probiotics if you have no issue with that)
1. Sterilize two 250ml mason jars or other glass container(s) and the lid(s) by placing them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Carefully remove them from the boiling water with tongs and dry them well with a clean cloth. Alternatively, you can run them through the dishwasher. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, add the canned coconut milk and coconut milk beverage (if using). Whisk or use a hand blender to ensure the coconut milk(s) is/are blended into a smooth consistency. Canned coconut milk tends to separate and needs to be thoroughly blended back to it’s former viscosity. I add the coconut milk beverage (So Good Brand) to lighten the texture of the final product. You could also simply use canned lite coconut milk and omit the coconut milk beverage.
3. Evenly sprinkle the agar powder over the top of the blended coconut milk(s) and turn the heat onto medium. Do not stir the agar powder into the mixture yet.
4. Once the coconut milk and agar come to a soft simmer, the agar will slowly start to dissolve. You can now stir them together and whisk well to ensure the agar is evenly dissolved and distributed. Continue cooking and whisking on medium for 5 minutes.
5. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down to approx 100’F or until it is warm, not hot (you should be able to comfortably leave your finger in the mixture). I recommend using a food grade thermometer to make sure you get to the right temperature.
6. Once the mixture is sufficiently cooled down to 100’F, add the vegan probiotic powder by removing the powder from the capsule. Use the powder only, discard the capsule. Add in the maple syrup and mix well.
7. Pour the mixture into the sterilized jars, screw on the lids and put the containers into the oven at 100-110’F (to achieve this, you can simply leave the oven light on with the oven door closed). Alternatively, you can place them in a food dehydrator at the same temperature or use a yogurt maker. You want to ensure your temperature stays around 100-110’F to ensure culturing; too hot and the probiotics will die off, too cold and the culturing will not take place. You may want to use a stand alone oven thermometer to keep a watch on the temperature. Leave the containers to culture via your chosen method for 12-24 hours. The longer they sit, the more they will take on that yogurt taste.
8. After the allotted culturing time, check them by removing the lid: if you see any fuzziness and/or discolouration (pinkish or grey) on the top, discard the whole thing do not go any further and heavens don’t eat it- it went bad, which can happen (it happened to me, too). Either the jars weren’t sterilized properly, the temperature was too high during culturing, or some other variable.
Assuming the culturing went smoothly, move the containers to the fridge for 4-6 hours for the final set up.
OPTIONS | instead of agar powder, you can use tapioca starch as a thickener. Most cultured coconut milk products use tapioca starch; I didn’t have any on hand this time around. To use tapioca starch, take 1/4 cup of the coconut milk from the saucepan and mix it with 1 Tablespoon of tapioca starch. Add the tapioca and coconut milk mixture back to the saucepan with the remainder of the coconut milk and whisk well to combine. Continue with the remaining steps above.
Notes | Like dairy yogurt, you will need to give this a nice stir to get a smooth consistency. Sometimes, the mixture can separate, and that’s normal like any cultured products; just stir to recombined. This will keep in the fridge for approximately 1 week.