Home Allergy Friendly Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Recipe

Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Recipe

October 5, 2011

Making non-dairy coconut milk yogurt isn’t rocket science. If this is your first time, have no fear. I promise, you’ll be licking your spoon and doing a happy dance in less than 24 hours!

Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Yogurt

Making non-dairy coconut milk yogurt isn’t rocket science. If this is your first time, have no fear. I promise, you’ll be licking your spoon and doing a happy dance in less than 24 hours!

If you’ve done some research, you’ve probably found that most coconut milk yogurt recipes use straight full fat coconut milk. I love the creamy result of these recipes, but at the rate our family eats yogurt, I simply cannot afford to make it that way. So just like grandma used to do, I had to stretch it. Adding water and thickening with a bit of tapioca starch and agar agar is the solution I came up with to reducing the cost of ingredients without sacrificing all creaminess.

If you are new to yogurt making, you might want to give this post a good read first.

I hope this yogurt becomes a staple in your home. Yogurt parfaits, yogurt-based smoothies and even frozen yogurt are back on the table. Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 20 hours

Yield: 44 ounces

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

Ingredients

  • Filtered WATER
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Important: Follow the recipe exactly for guaranteed results. Do not make substitutions, do not alter measurements. Do not use milk beverages such as Silk or SoDelicious. Use pure coconut milk with the only additive (if there is one) being guar gum. Do not add flavorings or added sweeteners until AFTER culturing and before transferring to the refrigerator. Do not omit sugar, this is provides food for the bacteria. They will consume most of it.
  2. Sterilize cooking utensils, bowls and fermentation containers by dousing in boiling water. This is a very important step.
  3. In a small bowl, mix tapioca starch and 1/2 cup water to make a slurry. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Give the tapioca slurry a good stir and whisk, along with sugar, into the agar agar mixture. Return to simmer, stirring constantly 1-2 minutes.
  6. Whisk in coconut milk. Heat just until steam rises from surface.
  7. Allow milk to cool to 100?F. This can take a while.
  8. Sprinkle yogurt starter (use manufacturer's recommended measure) or approximately 40-50 billion CFUs of probiotic powder over surface of cooled milk. Whisk very well.
  9. Transfer to fermentation container(s) and then to heated yogurt maker. Leave undisturbed to ferment 8-14 hours—depending on desired level of tartness.
  10. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 6-8 hours. Yogurt will set as it cools.
http://www.floandgrace.com/2011104dairy-free-coconut-milk-yogurt-recipe-html/

Helpful Tips:

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). 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 with its live cultures may not be effective. Many natural food stores carry yogurt starters which contain skim cow’s milk powder. So just be cautious when purchasing a starter or probiotic for use in culturing if you are dairy allergic or intolerant.

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, in a dehydrator, etc). Check out my post on Yogurt Makers and Essentials.

What is Agar-Agar? Agar-agar is a plant-based gelatin 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: 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 the milk was hotter than 110°F when the starter was added.

107 comments

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107 comments

esther October 5, 2011 at 5:26 am

Lexie, should the honey be raw honey or pasteurized? I only have raw on hand but I'm not sure whether it might introduce bacteria….

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santie October 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hi Lexie, I see you use honey in the recipe, this would then not be vegan. Vegans don't eat honey.

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Lexie October 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Santie, my slip. I have corrected the recipe to use cane sugar which may be more effective anyway : )

xoLexie

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Moriah October 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Lexie – this looks great! My daughter doesn't like almond products – which I do – but prefers coconut ones. Pleasing a picky eater with food allergies has been quite the challenge – but this sounds like a winner. I'll try it tomorrow. Thanks 🙂

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carol October 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I was told/read not to mix proabotic with honey as it is an antibotic. Is this not true??

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Laurel October 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Hi Lexie: This recipe is very similar to the one I make but I use agar and kudzu instead of tapioca with a teaspoon or so of maple syrup plus about 4 dates. I mix it all in the Vitamix until it's at 180 degrees, then let it cool, mixing for a second or 2 every hour until 105 degrees then add starter and vanilla. I'm wondering though,why you can't/don't use 2 or 3 Tablespoons of your last batch of yogurt to start a new one. What did I miss?
P.S. I just gave my doctor's office your blog as a resource for all the Autistic kids he's working with. His nurse told me their parents are pulling their hair out, obviously, because they don't know how to feed them. Keep up the good work.

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Stephanie October 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I am going to have to try this… Finding a yummy dairy free yogurt that doesn't have the dreaded carrageenan is super hard here.

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Shirley @ gfe October 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Beautiful yogurt, Lexie! I love how you took the words of advice from one of your Making the Switch posts and put them to use yourself. 🙂 I'm sure Moriah will be pleased, too.

xo,
Shirley

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Lexie October 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Carol. Very true about honey having antibiotic properties. And GREAT question. I am super grateful for readers like you who share what they have heard and learned. I, too am learning everyday.

Here are my thoughts. If the starter is working and producing a nice tangy yogurt then I think you are good to go. In my recipe here the honey is boiled … and in a sense "pasteurized" which limits the antibiotic strength of the raw honey (okay, who's gonna jump on me for "heating" my honey … go for it but don't expect a response : ). That said, I made a call to Cultures for Health and they said they usually do not recommend making yogurt using honey … but rather organic cane sugar. So thanks to you Carol, I will be adjusting all my yogurt recipes to reflect that.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and for your help.

xoLexie

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carol October 6, 2011 at 4:09 am

Lexie: Did they give you any altertive to can sugar if youcant have cane sugar?

Carol, agave would be my next choice. But I have not tested it so cannot say for sure.

xoLexie

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Alta October 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I definitely need to try this. Must locate my yogurt starter…

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Alisa Fleming October 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

This is something I still need to try. I've never been a yogurt fan, but I get so many requests for recipes like this! I'm also a little intimidated by agar, but need to get over that. Looks great Alexa!

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Lexie October 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Yes, Alta, find that starter : )

Alisa, no need to be intimidated by agar : ) Bars are agar-agar in its simplest form, then flakes. But both of those intimidate me … exact measuring seems impossible. That is why I love the powder. It's been handled a little more, but it's the best! It's as easy as using Knox gelatine … maybe even easier! No need to bloom. Just sprinkle over boiling liquid and simmer 2-5 minutes until it's certain to be dissolved. The thing with bars and flakes is that if you don't dissolve them completely (and usually takes longer) you will end up with chunks of weird, tough gel in the finished product. Embrace the agar powder! : ) It's hoof-free!

Here's a bit of info on animal-based gelatin from http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question557.htm :

The gelatin in Jell-O is what lets you transform it into all sorts of different shapes. What exactly is gelatin? Gelatin is just a processed version of a structural protein called collagen that is found in many animals, including humans. Collagen actually makes up almost a third of all the protein in the human body. It is a big, fibrous molecule that makes skin, bones, and tendons both strong and somewhat elastic. As you get older, your body makes less collagen, and individual collagen fibers become crosslinked with each other. You might experience this as stiff joints (from less flexible tendons) or wrinkles (from loss of skin elasticity).

The gelatin you eat in Jell-O comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hooves, and connective tissues. To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up these various parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down, and the resulting product is called gelatin. The gelatin is easily extracted because it forms a layer on the surface of the boiling mixture.

Good luck.

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Kim(Cook It Allergy Free) October 9, 2011 at 2:31 am

I cannot believe I have not yet made coconut milk yogurt. I have made goat milk yogurt with raw goat milk tons of time, but guess it is now time to give this a go. It looks absolutely amazing and creamy and I know my kiddos would be huge fans of it!
Great job, missy!!
xo
k

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Lexie October 9, 2011 at 4:15 am

Thanks Kim! How do your kids (he he) do on goat milk?

Lexie

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Morri October 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

As I am refined sugar free, is it possible that I could do agave, honey (I know… not vegan), or maple syrup instead at 1.5 tbsp.?

This looks delicious, by the way. I've been looking for ways to make more things from scratch. Can this recipe be frozen to make a frozen yogurt dessert?

Best,
Morri

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Kendra January 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Can gelatin be used instead of agar agar? If so in what amount? Not a vegan just dealing with wheat, egg, deairy and peanut allergies. LOL

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Lexie February 5, 2012 at 2:29 am

Morri,

For those wanting to try gelatin in place of agar:
Use 1-1/2 tablespoons gelatin in place of the agar

Adjust the next batch to your liking.

xoLexie

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Lexie February 5, 2012 at 2:31 am

The last comment was for Kendra, not Morri … sorry…

Morri, this answer is for you … I started using sugar in place of honey b/c or any possible bacteria in the honey … I had made it that way for a long time and it worked fine. Am sure maple would work just fine, too. So go ahead with either of those (same measure). I have just changed it up to cane sugar at the recommendation of Cultures for Health, the folks I buy my starter from.

xoLexie

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Dawn March 12, 2012 at 12:44 am

Hi, just found your blog – I will be moseying around! I can wait to try this yogurt! I am a fairly new vegan and I miss yogurt and soy-yogurt does NOT cut it!!! We also don't have a coconut yogurt available here. Can you pin this recipe so I can add it to my board? I tried to pin it, but the image will not be found!!! 🙂 It looks so lovely! Yum!

Would you compare the consistency to a regular yogurt or more of a Greek-style?

Thanks for this!

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Lexie March 12, 2012 at 2:13 am

Dawn … pinned : ) You can find it on this board:

http://pinterest.com/kulia/breakfast-gluten-free-dairy-free-egg-free/

This comes out to be the texture of So Delicious Coconut Yogurt. Not dense and thick like a greek yogurt. Hope that helps : )

xoLexie

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Dawn March 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Thank you!!!! 🙂

BTW – do you know if you can use the insides of a probiotic tablet to make the yogurt? I'm concerned I might not be able to find yogurt starter in my area and the vendor you recommended does not ship to Canada. 🙁

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Lexie March 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Dawn,

Okay, so here in the United States, the USDA clearly defines yogurt as:

§ 131.200 Yogurt.
(a) Description. Yogurt is the food produced by culturing one or more of the optional dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (c) of this section with a characterizing bacterial culture that contains the lactic acid-producing bacteria,Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.(1)

Probiotic capsules taken as supplements may or may not contain these two cultures: Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. That's not to say that using a capsule is harmful, you just may not be making true yogurt. Different bacteria are used for culturing different foods (kefir, piima, yogurt, etc). That said I am not even using a dairy milk to make yogurt! Ha! I would say it all depends on your comfort level. My friend Kelly over at http://www.thespunkycoconut.com took my yogurt recipe and began making it with capsules. So take a look over at her site. I still prefer using a bacteria mix specifically designed for yogurt making. But then I am one of those people that throws out leftovers after day three : ).

Solaray Multidophilous (which Kelly uses): Does not contain the Streptococcus thermophilus which here in the U.S. is a required bacteria in yogurt. Solaray contains: L. Acidophilus (DDS-1 Strain), L. Acidophilus, B. Bifidum, L. Bulgaricus. During fermentation, do these other bacteria work against or with each other? I do not know. I have tried her technique and it tasted fine … so it's a fermented food of some kind.

Cultures for Health Vegetal (which I use … and I am sorry you cannot get in Canada): Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Streptococcus thermophilus

This is where I leave it up to you : )

xoLexie
(1) Source: Food and Drug Administration’s Standard of Identity for Yogurt
(21 CFR Part 131.200)

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Tami March 24, 2012 at 2:47 am

how can i make this using straight coconut milk?? My son needs all the calories he can get right now, and Loves coconut yogurt we buy at the store but it gets pricey buying it.

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Alyssa March 28, 2012 at 12:08 am

I just made my first batch of coconut milk and it turned out great!!! Put it in a 100 degree oven and left it for 9 hours. Let it cool for another 8 and boy do I have yogurt. Can't wait to have some for breakfast 🙂 Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

xo Alyssa

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Lexie March 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Alyssa,

YES YES YES!!! Success! Thanks for letting us know : )

xoLexie

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Victoria March 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Can you explain why you recommend not allowing it to ferment any longer than 9 hours? Does it break down or something? I like doing it for 24 hours.

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Lexie March 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Victoria:

The folks at GIProstart and Cultures for Health have been very helpful in my yogurt making journey. In conversations with them we’ve discussed fermentation time for nut and seed milks and both agree that 8-12 hours is the recommended maximum for these milks. With different milks (non-dairy and cow’s) there are different levels of fat, sugar content, etc. As insignificant as each element may seem, they must be kept in mind when making yogurt. Scientifically, I do not have an exact answer for you, but I am thinking it may be due to the varying sugar and fat ratios. The SCD time for culturing dairy yogurt is 24 hours. Perhaps the lactose in animal milk is enough to feed the bacteria for a full 24 hours. Perhaps nut milks do not have enough in them to feed the bacteria for that length of time. When I have cultured almond milk for over 12 hours, 50% of the time the batch begins to grow bits of pink slime or mold. This, to me, indicates that the bad bacteria were beginning to gain the upperhand in the colonization process.

Again, I am no expert … I base my culturing times on my own experimentation and knowledge provided by those selling the cultures I have used. Hope that helps:

Some links that are helpful:

http://www.giprohealth.com/makingyogurt.aspx

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/vegan-dairy-free-yogurt-starter.html

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/alternative-milks-for-making-yogurt

xoLexie

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Victoria March 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm

So it seems as if the nut/seed yogurts simply cannot have the same amount of natural bacteria per volume that mammal yogurt does?

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Lexie March 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Victoria … something along those lines would be my guess. I would love to be a fly on the wall at Amande or So Delicious … to see if the way I am doing things in any way parallels there's. I add thickeners pre fermentation … most sources recommend post. It's all been trial and error for me. Just sharing what "seems" to be working out for me. xoLexie

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Victoria March 31, 2012 at 12:10 am

I think it'd be interesting to find out exactly how much bacteria per volume is in each. It'd be nice to know and not have to take probiotics anymore!

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Lexie March 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

Victoria, I agree! I'd love to throw some of my yogurt under a microscope and count the buggers. The probiotics we buy are tops, but come at a VERY hefty price. Plus the thing with probiotics is they can say 60 billion (or whatever), but how many of those 60 billion are actually still alive or potent enough? I wish I knew a food scientist : ) I'd have a slew of question for them.

xoLexie

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Judy April 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

Well, I got very excited reading you recipe for coconut yogurt because I miss yogurt so much. I've been allergic to dairy now for 10 years. But there is another problem for me. I have Candida and I cannot use very much sweetner, like sugar cane or honey. So, of course there would be no way for the bacteria to grow, would there?

I guess I'm out of luck, yet again!

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Nancy May 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Hi Lexie – again, another great post. Thanks! Question – I'm going to purchase a yogurt maker. Is there a make/model you like? I'll be making this recipe with it! 🙂

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Lexie May 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Nancy, I have a Yogourmet (link below) and really like that I can make 2 quarts of yogurt in one container vs several individual containers. That's a personal choice. Really I don't think you can go wrong with any machine. But I like making it in volume : ) I always recommend checking your local resale or thrift shop … some really nice, lightly used machines, end up their. I have a second Yogourmet I purchased for $2 at Goodwill. I eventually replaced the plastic fermentation jars with glass … picked those up at Sprouts in the bulk section or online:

Here is the machine: http://astore.amazon.com/lexieskitchen-20/detail/B0016HM77A

here is the insert: (At Lucy's Kitchen Shop) http://www.lucyskitchenshop.com/yogourmet.html

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Nancy May 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Thx Lexie!!

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Karen May 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I've just come across your recipe and am wondering-do you purchase more yogurt starter every time you make this? Seems pretty expensive! Is there any way to eventually use some of your own last batch to start the next, or will this method not work well with coconut milk? Thanks!

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Lexie May 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Hi Karen, Alternative milks like almond, coconut and rice are most successfully made using the direct-set method (adding powdered culture). Dairy milk cultures great using 1/2 cup of yogurt, but all my reading has pointed to using powdered culture for every new batch. A scoop of yogurt just is not effective … and if the bacteria is not the perfect balance and proliferates as it should, the bad bacteria can colonize and ruin the batch.

My source for yogurt starters is Cultures for Health. Their website provides a wealth of information on the topic of yogurt making. They offer one non-dairy, vegan starter and a plethora of heirloom cultures for making dairy yogurt.

It is more expensive. Another option is to use non-dairy probiotic capsules. Therbiotic Complete probiotic from Klaire Labs (but is available only thru doctors … you can buy it from Amazon, but the mfr says not to buy from them as those sellers may not be storing the probiotic in refrigeration which is critical … it's expensive and who wants to spend that kind of money and it could possibly be dead) makes a really nice yogurt and contains what the USDA defines as yogurt containing "Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus." These are the strains you want to look for on the back of the bottle. Use about 25 to 30 billion per 2 quarts. I cannot guarrantee results when using probiotics … they all vary but most I have made have worked. I hope that helps.

xoLexie

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Amanda June 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Hi, Lexie! I just found your recipe, and I am in need of some help. It seems like you've experimented with non-dairy milks quite a bit, so I'm hoping you can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong 😉 I first tried using the recipe on the Cultures for Health site, and it didn't set up at all, even after 24 hours of culturing (I tried it first for 8-12 hours, then did a second batch for 24 hours). Last night I tried your recipe in my new yogurt maker (the batches I tried before were made using MacGyver methods). It definitely set up better, but I still don't really like it. It's kind of watery, and way too tart. It looks nothing like your picture, though. Maybe I'm delusional in thinking I can create something similar to So Delicious yogurt! Do you think it's possible I have a dead batch of starter? I'm considering trying to use some cow's milk just to see if it works with that. Thanks in advance for your help!

Amanda

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Kathy June 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I love this recipe! After two months of reading and re-reading your recipe, I finally was able to get all the ingredients together and just made my first batch! My son is 8 months old and loves this yogurt. I was unable to find the Cultures for health starter, but I found a great one on the Custom Probiotics website. I used the Yogurt Starter Formula 2. There is no dairy in this starter. It was pricey, but worth it! That and your recipe I think made for a successful first batch of yogurt. I have never made yogurt before. This was easy. Thanks!
Kathy

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Lexie June 6, 2012 at 1:55 am

Amanda,

Real quick. You can control the tartness by culturing for a shorter period of time. Test it as you go … just don't mix it up or disturb it too much. If it is a clean tart taste, your culture should be fine. Then for setting up. If using the agar and tapioca, it should firm up once it is chilled thoroughly. It will be runny before you stick it in the fridge but should set up after refrigeration for 6-8 hours. Good luck! : ) xoLexie

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Lexie June 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Kathy,

Thanks so much for the feedback … and am so glad your little guy is enjoying it!!! xoLexie

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Heather July 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hi Lexie,

I finally had non-dairy yogurt success!!! I made this yesterday and had it for breakfast this morning, so good! It was actually my first time having coconut yogurt because I have never been able to justify spending what So Delicious charges. Well I am never going to find out now that I know I can't make this and it is so easy! I actually used Lite Coconut milk because that was all I could find at Trader Joes and I used my probiotic capsules and just poured one in. (It is all allergy free) but I did buy the one you recommend just waiting for it to arrive. I am so excited thanks so much and now I will try the almond/hemp yogurt again now that I know what the process is supposed to look like. Thanks again and I will always be willing to try any more yogurt recipes you come up with!

-Heather 🙂

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Vera July 17, 2012 at 7:01 am

Can arrowroot be subbed for Tapioca?
Lovely website!

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Lexie July 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Vera, yes arrowroot can be subbed for Tapioca. Just mix the slurry in LAST and simmer/heat through just until thickened. xoLexie

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jackie August 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Can Stevia be used instead of the cane sugar? Same measure?

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Lexie August 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Jackie, no, you must use sugar. Stevia contains no sucrose … the sugar that feeds the bacteria. xoLexie

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Tash September 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

Hi! I just tried this recipe 🙂 I actually did 50/50 almond milk cos that is all i had. It came out quite firm, so i blended it with my stick blender and it went from looking a bit like jelly to thick creamy yogurt. It tastes slightly tart, but nice and creamy. BUT im a scardy cat and im worried how to know if its good or bad… like how would i know if bad bactaria are in there and might make me sick! Im a total newby when it comes to fermenting anything of my own and i have an ingrained refrigerator obsession. I worry about leaving anything out on the bench, so worry how to tell if this is bad/ :S Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge!

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Lexie September 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Tash, I think you've been successful! I am getting the feeling that to a lot of people yogurt=Yoplai (not sure what the equivalent is there in NZ). True dairy yogurt has a definite tang — especially the varieties that culture for 24 hours. With nut and seed milks, I don't culture it as long. After about 10 hours I call it quits … I just don't know if there is enough sugar (compared to the lactose in dairy) for it to go that long without the bad bacteria taking over. ANY way, I think you have made yogurt. My test:

1. Does it look clean and white. No weird texture on top or colors like pink of gray.
2. It should smell clean … with a hint of yeasty or fermentation smell. Not super strong and putrid.
3. Does it taste clean and tart.

If yes to all these, I'd go ahead and try it. When in doubt, try a little bowl and see how it sits : ) But I honestly think you've done it.

I like blending mine, too for a real creamy result.

xoLexie

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Tash September 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

Thank you so much for your quick reply 🙂 When i first opened it up it has kind of set bubbles on top, and there was no discolouration. Just nice and white, maybe a few flecks from the almond skins after straining. I had a small amount last night and was fine 🙂 So had some more today. Its nice and creamy, but i think i didnt quite dissolve the agar well enough as there were a few bits of it through there, also a few small bits of white as well…. but im guessing that is just normal? It definately tastes tangy, not sour or anything. How exciting. I left it overnight in my easiyo maker (just a flask thing you fill with warm water and put yogurt jar inside) so was in for 10 hours. So how long do you think it will last in the fridge before going 'bad', im a bit of a worrier when it comes to knowing how long things are ok for so have some learning to do when it comes to yogurt making haha. Ive only been dairy free for 3 weeks, just for my 7 month old baby and its going really really well so far, im quite proud of myself 🙂

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Nancy October 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I see the Vegan culture is processed in a plant with a lot of no-no's for me. I would love to try the coconut yogurt but am leary of the starter you use. Any body have trouble with it because of cross contamination?

_______________________

Nancy, thank you for bringing this to our attention!! I am investigating and will report back REAL soon!! xoLexie We have not had any issues with it, but that's not to say someone else wouldn't.

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LAUREL October 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Lexie, I have given up trying to make Almond Milk Yogurt. I have been using the Cultures for Health starter and the results are always inconsistant. I would like to try the Coconut Milk yogurt but would like to make my own coconut milk as I have done with the Almond Milk (per your method). Does the homemade coconut milk set as well as the canned variety?

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Lexie October 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Laurel … I have only used canned. I would try that first … and then experiment with making it with fresh coconut milk 🙂 Sorry your almond yogurt wasn't turning out.

xoLexie

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Mary Condon October 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Lexi-

I am lost…how many capsules of probiotics do I use if they say 1.5 microorganisms per capsule…would that be 20 capsules to equal 30CFUs? I cannot find any information on how microorganisms equates to CFUs are they the same thing?

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Lexie October 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Mary, I think that would NOT be correct. What brand are you using? Send me the link and I will try to help you. xoLexie

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Trace December 8, 2012 at 4:23 am

Thanks a lot for this recipe, it actually worked out lovely (a bit of a grainy consistency but not enough to put us off). I used the inside of a probiotic tablet-still works out cheaper than coconut yoghurt in the health food store. I have been looking for a successful vegan yoghurt recipe for a long time, so thanks a lot!

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Nidaba December 18, 2012 at 4:55 am

Your recipe looks wonderful! I'm curious, is it possible to use the coconut milk sold in the half gallon sizes (e.g. Soy Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk (original flavored)?

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Lexie December 18, 2012 at 5:05 am

Nidaba, I really don't think so. sorry. xoLexie

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Nidaba December 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

Thanks Lexie for the quick reply! I will give it a try using the canned coconut milk. 🙂

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Katy January 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Lexie-help! I made this a couple of months ago and was so excited, I followed the instructions (only varying by using SoDelicious plain coconut milk from a carton) and it looked like it set up. However, it had NO flavor…I love the taste of the SoDelicious 'plain' coconut yogurt and so do my girls; this, though it gelled, had as little taste compared to it, as fat free milk does to whole milk. Do you have any tips? Should I add coconut meat or am I using the wrong type of coconut milk? Nothing on the container said it was "reduced fat" and I spent so much on this, I don't want to goof up again (though it looks like it's part of the process based on the other comments). Thanks for any advice you may have.

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Lexie January 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Hi Katy, Yikes. No, do not use commercial prepared milks like so delicious. You want pure coconut milk. The recipe calls for 2 cans of full-fat Thai Kitchen coconut milk. I am surprised that it even turned out for you. The carton milks have a number of additives that can interfere with culturing IMO. This is what you want to be using:

http://www.thaikitchen.com/products/coconut-milk/coconut-milk.aspx

I hope that helps : )

xoLexie

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Katy January 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Hi again Lexie-thanks so much for your quick reply about the Thai Kitchen milk. I purchased some and made coconut yogurt last night. It is so much thicker and creamier than the So Delicious and set up perfectly. However the taste is a little more watery/plain at the start, and then a blast of coconut aftertaste…not such a smooth in-between taste like the commercially prepared stuff. I know homemade always tastes a bit different (I used to make cow's milk yogurt all the time) and am wondering how much flavoring is safe to add prior to culturing. Specifically if I add vanilla…do you think the alcohol in the vanilla extract will affect the culturing? It was always fine w/cow's milk. Looks like other people have experimented w/maple syrup, & honey as well….as much as I want to keep this very low-sugar, I also need something my kids will eat! We tried adding a dab of honey to one bite, and maple syrup to the other, and it still tasted weird, but I know adding flavor prior to culturing can bring out a mellower flavor than stuff added after culturing. Any flavoring suggestions? My kids LOVE coconut yogurt and contrary to how this email sounds, they are not sugar fiends! 🙂

Also I was thrilled to find you really don't need a fancy yogurt maker for this! Just as in my dairy days, I use a hard-sided cooler lined with dish towels, with a plug-in heating pad (like you use for aching muscles) at the bottom under the towels. I add my closed jars of yogurt, 1 closed jar of very hot water, cover with another layer of dish towels, close the lid, and it works as well as any commercial maker I've ever used.

Probiotics: I just use the powder supplement that we take daily anyway: either Metagenics Ultra Flora Plus DF (1/4 t contains 15 billion "live organisms") or Pharmax HLC intensive capsules (1 capsule contains 25 billion "viable cells").

Thanks!

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Jenn January 24, 2013 at 1:11 am

Making yogurt for the first time tomorrow. Forgive the novice questions. If I want to make 2 quarts, do a double the Agar Agar powder and the Tapioca Starch? Also, do I open the container following the fermentation period to check on color or do I wait until after it is refrigerated? Thank you!

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Lexie January 24, 2013 at 3:59 am

Jenn, this recipe makes close to 2 quarts (around 6 cups). I would just follow the directions as is for the first go. And yes, you can check it before putting it in the fridge. I will be runny. Again, follow directions and you should be good to go 🙂 xoLexie

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Marie January 29, 2013 at 6:56 am

I'd love to try to make this yogurt for my son, who loves SoDelicious brand, but it is so expensive (and hard to find in AK)! He does like the flavored yogurt, thoough, not so much the plain – any tips for this? Is flavoring/fruit added after the yogurt sets in the fridge? Could I just blend in some frozen to thawed, puréed fruit? Jam, maybe? Any ideas? I want to avoid using a lot of added sugar.

Also, could you give a rough overhead of costs per batch if possible? And the costs of your preferred DF starter as well as yogurt maker? Thanks!

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Farzana February 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Hi there ! I have some priobiotic capsules which are plant based (45 billion per capsule). I am not quite sure how much of this capsule should I use ???

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Lexie February 10, 2013 at 3:47 am

Farzana … I'd try "almost" a full capsule. Let me know how it turns out : ) xoLexie

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Farzana February 14, 2013 at 3:48 am

Half of the jars I decided to make vanilla and the other half chocolate (Ovaltine). The vanilla ones just didnt turn out. It was exactly how I left it 8 hours prior . . .BUT, the chocolate Ovaltine ones were absolutely AMAZING and so yummy. My 2 year old devoured it ! I dont know why the vanilla one didnt turn out but the other one did. Hmmmm…

____________________________

Hi Farzana … I am surprised that any of them turned out. I think I need to make it clearer in the post to follow directions to a T … and not to add ANYTHING extra or more or less of any one ingredient. Commercial yogurts are flavored after the culturing. There are so many things that can work against the good bacteria that is trying to populate the yogurt. Don't know what you used to flavor vanilla. The best bet is to just make the yogurt as the recipe states and before putting it in the fridge to chill, mix in the flavorings that you want.

xoLexie

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ABC Food Allergies February 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

Do you have any suggestions for using SO Delicious Coconut Milk instead of the Thai Coconut Milk?

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Lexie February 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm

ABC Food Allergies, too many additives in coconut milk beverages like So Delicious … and quite possibly not enough fat (which the good bacteria will feast on as well as the sugar you add to the recipe). Any full fat canned coconut milk will work … usually the only additive to these canned milks is guar gum which is fine.
xoLexie

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Marilyn February 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I know you said to follow your directions to the letter so I had one little question: I make my own coconut milk that is definitely without the additives. While the can stuff is thicker to begin with I was reading the different comments it seems that someone made their yogurt with almond and/or help milk. Or am I reading it wrong? I'd love to use my coconut milk instead. I get spoiled when it comes to the REAL DEAL.

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Lexie February 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Hi Marilyn … you sound the like adventurous sort 🙂 In which case I would say go for it with the fresh milk. It should work just fine. I just have not done it myself. I would love your input/report back on how it worked for you!

xoLexie

The instructions to the T part is for those who really stray or cut corners.

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Marilyn February 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

dehydrated coconut flakes makes a decent milk which is far superior to the canned. 1 cup of flakes to 3 to 4 cups of hot water. Either blend for a few minutes in a blend and strain through a nut bag or I wait until the mixture cools (I don't blend) and let my Omega VRT juicer do the work for me. I have coconut flour and milk at the same time. http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/make-your-own-coconut-milk. She uses 4 cups of water and I use less.. I can always add more water. Very easy to do. My juicer also makes almond and hemp milk (sans the skin on the almonds). It's all about the toys!

I'll let you know. Contacted Cultures for Health and not sure their VEGAN CULTURE is in yet. I assume that is what you are using.

Marilyn

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Shawn March 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Hi, can i use culters for health mild yogurt starter?
Thanks
Shawn

__________

Shawn … that should work just fine … if you are super dairy sensitive, then maybe not. I still use their vegan culture although not "certified" gluten free. xoLexie

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Emily March 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Oh, thank you for this!! I do have two questions though. 1: Could I use regular gelatin in place of the agar agar? Agar agar is very difficult for me to find locally and when I do, it's very expensive. And 2: Where can I find the allergy-free yogurt starter (I've never seen or heard of this before)?

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Lexie March 24, 2013 at 2:12 am

Hi Emily! yes, you can use gelatin with no problems. My forthcoming cookbook will offer that option. Try 1 tablespoon gelatin for every 3/4 teaspoons agar powder. And for the starter … read this post. Toward the end you will see the recommendations I can give. I love Vegetal from Culturesforhealth.com, but there may be cross contamination issues. So in that case I would use allergen-free probiotic capsules … again, read this post 🙂

http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2012/10/1/an-apology-for-an-oversight.html

xoLexie

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Shariyah March 26, 2013 at 12:43 am

Hi Lexie,
This recipe looks great! Just wondering, as I am Paleo, if coconut palm sugar could be used instead of cane sugar (I know you've stated not to adjust measurements and ingredients, so thought I'd ask before trying). Thanks!

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Lexie March 26, 2013 at 1:03 am

Shariyah, yes, that should work fine. I just state cane sugar because I don't want any grief from those who go off on their own : ) and trust me, I get it. Honey has worked for me, too. But some people have written in that honey has its own bacteria in it … which could compromise the yogurt. But I have use it and it's been fine. Coconut sugar should work fine, too. xoLexie

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Beth March 26, 2013 at 6:32 am

thank you for the recipe. i have two questions:
1. the agar powder i used was pinkish in color. i bought it from asian store. when i checked my yogurt, i saw the pinkish film on top. does it mean it's bad and contaminated and should i just pitch it as you mentioned under "trouble shooting.", or isn't it just the agar surfacing?
2. i'm using glass jars in a dehydrator. next time, ill try the oven. i"m curious whether to keep the glass open or sealed during fermentation and does it matter? i saw a recipe for dairy yogurt which recommends that the containers be covered with foil and put holes on it. thank you!

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Carolyn April 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Lexie,

I am having a hard time finding a dairy free starter my son can have. Can I adjust this formula, and use coconut yogurt as a base instead?

Thank you for you help.

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Jennifer McClean April 7, 2013 at 6:07 am

Hi! Made your recipe today and it came out great using 4 vegan probiotic florall capsules! So thick and perfectly tart! One question though…approx. how many days in the fridge will it last? Thanks again for a fantastic recipe!

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Lexie April 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing your SUCCESS!! So glad you liked it. I usually use mine within a week. : ) Enjoy!! xoLexie

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Richard April 24, 2013 at 12:57 am

Hoping to get some feedback on what I did wrong. I made coconut milk by soaking two cups of coconut flakes in 4 cups distilled water and then blending for a minute with the VitaMix. After refrigerating for the night (quart jar), there was a one inch thick layer of hard fat at the top. I heated the milk to 115 and followed the instructions for thermophilic cultures at: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/make-coconut-milk-yogurt-recipe/ I let the yogurt culture for 12 hours and then followed the remaining instructions. All seven yogurt jars had a very hard, thick fat layer over a very runny (but good tasting) coconut liquid. Not at all what I was expecting. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Richard

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Lori July 16, 2013 at 4:17 am

I'm wondering if I could use chia seed as a gelatin replacement – where I live they don't have agar agar.

Do you think I could use some of the So Delicious Greek Yogurt as a starter?? Not certain how to incorporate that…

thank you for your time 🙂

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Lexie July 16, 2013 at 4:45 am

Lori … I really don't think So Delicious Greek Yogurt will work as a starter. For non-dairy milks, a starter is a must. Try the probiotic method. You could make it without the agar. I have tried chia seed and it worked somewhat but the fibers in the ground seed were weird to me. You could just try using the tapioca starch. As I mention in the recipe, for success … the recipe must be followed to a T. But just as I experimented a TON … you could, too. It just can get expensive 🙂 Can you order from Amazon? You can get agar powder there. xoLexie

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Sharon August 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Hi can I use cocnut cream instead of the milk

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Anh January 8, 2014 at 1:40 am

Hi Lexie,

Thanks so much for your informative blog, great recipes and your responsive comments. We live in Singapore and have never tried making our own yogurt before. We followed your ingredient list and instructions exactly except used the liquid inside 1 capsule of Dr. Ohira's Probiotics with only 900 million CFU's/capsule. The yoghurt tastes sweet and mild without much tang. Does that mean that nothing fermented?

Thanks so much,
Anh

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Lexie January 8, 2014 at 2:29 am

Hi Anh,

You need to aim for 30 billion and ensure that they are fresh and alive. If nothing happens with 30 billion, the probiotic may not be live. My guess is that you did not use close to enough probiotic to get it going. This is why I use cultures intended for yogurt making (check Cultures for Health, GiProstart, etc … but ensure they are safe for you). I hope it works for you next time. xoLexie

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brian January 9, 2014 at 8:43 pm

great vegan recipe!

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Sandra January 20, 2014 at 6:23 am

I am just wondering if rather than cane sugar if you could use stevia as the sugar?

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Susan March 21, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Lexie – I discovered your site and the Coconut Milk Yogurt recipe a few days ago. I have been making dairy yogurt for years, and decided to try Coconut Milk Yogurt. It came out well – I used gelatin in place of agar, used Yogourmet CBA starter, and my Yogourmet machine to incubate for 9 hours. I will use less gelatin next time, or maybe none at all.
Question: this does not taste at all like the dairy yogurt I am accustomed to, but I did expect it to be different. When I eat it, I think to myself – is this really yogurt? It is very creamy, and almost bland and without the yogurt tang I am used to. Is this typical of Coconut Milk Yogurt?
I am going to try the Almond Milk Yogurt recipe next, and the Almond Pulp crackers look so inviting. Thanks for giving me some new culinary goodies to experiment with!!

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Bridget March 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Can I use the yogourmet yogurt starter or do I have to get a vegan dairy-free one like from Cultures for health?

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Lexie March 29, 2014 at 3:17 am

Bridget, it depends how sensitive/allergic to dairy you are. Yogourmet starter contains milk powder … no much, but some. I have not tried it, but is definitely worth a try. Non-dairy milks are different from dairy/goat etc in that they require about twice as much starter. So double the measure. Hope that helps. xoLexie

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Kendall Blenkarn June 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm

This yogurt recipe is a staple! I just made a batch now, but there are a few orange marks on the top. Do you think this means a bad culture has taken over? Has this ever happened to you? Thanks!

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Lexie June 23, 2014 at 12:26 am

Hi Kendall, yes that has happened to me on occasion. I have scraped it off and eaten some of the yogurt and didn't feel bad or anything. I suspect that it is indeed an unwanted bacteria. This usually happens when I culture it for an extended time (beyond 9 hours). If the yogurt has no tang then definitely the probiotic/culture was dead or weak. Try adding a little more probiotic/culture next time. But I am glad you love it! 🙂

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Katie July 9, 2014 at 4:42 am

Hi there! I'm quite new to yogurt making (let alone vegan yogurt making). Last week I made a soy yogurt that turned out alright, and I was so excited to try coconut milk yogurt! The first batch didn't turn out, but I realized it was probably because I didn't have organic coconut milk. So I bought the organic, and I tried again, but it is still turning out to be just liquid! The only change I made was using arrowroot powder instead of tapioca, but I followed everything else. Any suggestions? Also, is there anything I can add to it now (after the fact) to make it thick enough to be yogurt? Thank you!

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Lexie July 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Katie, organic should not make a difference. You are using canned full fat, yes? You are using the agar? Not omitting the sweetener? Is there a tang to the yogurt? Even subtle? If not the culture/probiotics you are using may be dead or you may not be using enough. Did you chill it before enjoying it. The agar firms up once chilled. I hope that helps troubleshoot 🙂 xoLexie

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Tanie September 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Tried it- loved it! Was wondering how long it will keep in the fridge? I use the individual jars if that matters?
Best,
Tanie

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Lexie September 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Hi Tanie! YAY!! Thanks for taking a moment to come back and share your success. It means so much. So I keep mine for up to a week. xoLexie

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Stephanie October 13, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I've made your coconut milk yogurt several times and love it. Yesterday, I decided to do half coconut and half almond milk and it worked too, except that when I tasted it this morning, it wasn't tart at all. I've thought about it all day and I think that I forgot to add the sugar. I'm assuming since there is no tartness, that it's dead so my question is… what to do with dead yogurt? It looks fine and I ate some this morning and didn't get sick. Would you eat it or use it for frozen yogurt? Any other suggestions? I just hate throwing it away 🙂

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Stephanie Rice May 27, 2015 at 12:27 am

I’m in heaven!! I just made this fantastic recipe and it’s the first time I’ve enjoyed yogurt since giving up dairy. I think dairy yogurt is the thing I miss most and now I don’t have to miss it at all! This yogurt is so decadent and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly except that I used 2 8oz boxes of Arroy-D Coconut Milk and one 8 oz pack of fresh coconut milk which I had purchased in frozen form from the Thai grocery near me. I personally hate the weird after taste of normal store bought canned coconut milks so I won’t use them. I highly recommend using Arroy-D coconut milk or fresh coconut milk if available to you — the flavor is so much better. Wondering if I can make the next batch thicker…Lexi — do you think there is any way to make the yogurt thicker without compromising the taste?

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Jeri Sexton October 24, 2015 at 12:07 am

I totally want to make this… been really wanting to know how. However, I can not eat can sugar. Are you saying it would ruin it if I subbed coconut sugar?

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Lexie October 24, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Hello Jeri, when making fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and kombucha, most, if not all of the sugar is consumed by the bacteria. It is their food. I have tried coconut sugar and I did not die … so it’s a possibility. But I can only really recommend what I have learned the experts and that is cane sugar. It’s cheap, buy a small bag and know that the bacteria will eat it before you do 🙂

xoLexie

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Trista Ainsworth December 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

I have a to get or borrow a yogurt maker and give this a try. Thank you for such straightforward directions. It makes me so hungry looking at how delicious and creamy it turns out. Yum!

-Trista @thecheerychef.com

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Lexie December 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Trista, it certainly is a winning recipe—especially if you have to go dairy free. xoLexie

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Jeff July 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Hi Lexie,

Any chance you have the nutrition numbers on this yogurt? I know the carbs can vary based on how long it is fermented… And I’m not sure what the by-product of the consume sugar is. It would be useful to know:) Thanks, Jeff

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Alexa July 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

Hi Jeff, good question and I sorry I do not have an answer to it. I would need a food lab and a degree in bacteriology 🙂

Yes, you are right about the length of time of fermentation determining residual sugar/carbs.

Coconut milk (like canned Thai kitchen) contains 0g sugar. 1 cup of milk contains around 12g lactose.

So for those new to yogurt making, this is why we must ad sugar (18g for this particular recipe) to the coconut milk. The bacteria need it to consume and proliferate. This is also why I ferment coconut milk for less time than cow’s milk. If the bacteria run out of food, then it can give opportunity to any bad bacteria that may have gotten into the mix. In a quart of cow’s milk, on the other hand, you have 96g lactose sugar and culturing for 24 hours is no problem.

Again, Jeff, wish I had an answer for you, but with 18g of sugar in the recipe … most of which I would guess the bacteria feasts on, there is not much sugar/carbs in the final product … at least not enough to concern me 🙂

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