Homemade Coconut Yogurt

I love yogurt.  For me it is a very calming and soothing food.  Loaded with probiotics, yogurt is a living food that it so beneficial to the digestive system.  Milk proteins do something unique to dairy when cultured.  Coconut milk does not thicken into creamy deliciousness without a little help from natural thickeners so I used small amounts of them in my recipe.  Coconut yogurt is delicious, filling and free of whey and lactose, two things my body just doesn’t get along with.   I have included my calculations for the nutrition information for those of you counting carbohydrates or just curious!

Coconut yogurt in my yogurt incubator!

Ok, maybe a word or two on yogurt makers before I get on with the recipe.  A ‘yogurt maker’ is no more than a glorified heating pad and you can, if you so desire, make your own. There are certainly plenty of suggestions on the interwebs. I did try to make my own yogurt using a medium sized cooler and hot water.  Aside from the recipe I used being total crap, it worked out all right.  Usually I’m a do it yourself kinda cook but apparently, when it comes to making yogurt, I’m quite happy to use my single purpose yogurt maker.  It has 8 glass (yes!) containers with lids and I don’t have to worry about keeping the temperature steady in my drafty kitchen.

Ingredients for Coconut Yogurt:

1 1/2 cups almond milk (unsweetened, of course)

3 cups organic coconut milk (make sure it’s NOT lite, that just means it’s watered down, don’t fear the coconut fat, it’s good stuff!)

1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt (from a previous batch or store bought, just make sure it says ‘live, active cultures’ on the container and is free of weird colors, ‘fruits’ and sugar.  You can also use powdered yogurt starter)

1/2 teaspoon Agar Agar

1/2 tablespoon Tapioca starch

Mmmmm, coconut yogurt close up!

The Procedure:

In a sauce pan heat the coconut milk and 1 cup of the almond milk over medium high heat.

Whisk the agar agar, tapioca and remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk together in a seperate bowl and then whisk it into your sauce pan with the coconut and almond milk.

Keep on whisking and let the mixture come to a boil.  Turn the heat down a bit so it’s at a soft low boil for a couple of minutes and then remove from the heat.

Continue to stir occasionally and let it cool down to 100-110 degrees F. You can use an ice bath if you want things to cool down quickly. I find that the inside of my wrist works well as a temperature gauge but you can use a candy thermometer if you’re not sure.  Basically you need the coconut mixture to be a little warmer than body temperature but not so hot that you will kill the cultures when you intoduce them.

When the coconut mixture has cooled to  the right temperature range, take out about a 1/2 cup and mix it separately with your 1/2 cup yogurt starter or powdered starter.  Then add the yogurt starter mixture into your coconut mixture, stir to combine.

Pour the yogurt into the clean containers you will be using with your yogurt maker of choice.  Wait 7-12 hours, it will get thicker and tangier with time.

Put the warm yogurt in the fridge, it’s best when it’s chilled!  Remember to set a half cup aside to start your next batch.

For each shy 1/2 cup serving there are: 165 calories, 3 grams net carbohydrates, a nominal amount of fiber, 1.3 grams of protein and 16.3 grams of good for you fats.



9 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Stephanie W
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 06:33:05

    Hi, I am in total agreement about the coconut yogurt – I also cannot eat dairy and I miss it so much! I have been experimenting with thickeners and I love your idea of combining almond milk with coconut milk. I have been reading the ingredients on SO cultured coconut milk because I love its texture and mouthfeel it has so many different thickeners…
    I just purchased a yogurt machine, so I am going to try your recipe out…Other than tapioca and agar, it would also be possible to try rice starch, arrowroot and pectin…
    I also love the “Sweet Leaf” flavored stevias as sweeteners such as the English Toffee, Raspberry Chocolate and Chocolate ones…

    Have you tried using the Plain SO Coconut Cultured Milk as a starter?


    • Amy Huebner Health Coach
      Jan 14, 2011 @ 15:23:55

      I had to start my first batch with cows milk yogurt, it was the only unsweetened option and my husband was happy to have the whole first batch to himself! I used a 1/2 cup from the first batch of yogurt for the next batch, the amount of cows milk at that point was negligible and it came out really well. I would love to hear how your coconut yogurt comes out and what thickeners you use. The SO brand was ok, I got a case of the unsweetened keifer from my co-op but it had so many ingredients, thickeners, it was kinda weird. I like mine better : – ) This recipe won’t make really thick yogurt, but you can totally experiment with the amount of the thickeners (pectin, what a great idea) I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the suggestions!


  3. Chef Rachel Albert
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 02:47:54

    Wow your idea for coconut yogurt sounds great. I look forward to trying it. I wondered what you used to start the first batch since all the dairy free yogurts I’ve seen are loaded with sugars. The texture looks fantastic!


    • Amy Huebner Health Coach
      Jan 15, 2011 @ 17:09:47

      Thank you! Yes, I started with dairy and then used part of that batch to start the next, which I promptly ate! I was just too excited to start making yogurt to look around for yogurt culture or unsweetened non soy/dairy yogurt. I’m experimenting with powdered coconut next, to see if I can make thicker yogurt. I’ll post my experiments soon, would love to hear what you try and how your yogurt comes out!


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  5. Tori
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 19:16:42

    When you put the yogurt aside for the 7-12 hours…does it need to be warm or cold?


  6. Delores
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 05:29:12

    I can’t wait to try your coconut yogurt recipe. It looks so delicious.


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