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How To Make Thick Coconut Yogurt and Keep a Continuous Culture Thriving

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You are going to see a lot of new recipes featuring this rich and creamy coconut yogurt.

A collage of bowls of creamy coconut yogurt with text overlay.

I just can’t seem to get enough of this tangy, thick, fermented coconut yogurt. It is full of healthy satiating fats and great gut-friendly probiotics, plus it is completely dairy free! I love my raw cow’s milk yogurt but having a second creamy fermented yogurt is a lot of fun to work into new and exciting recipes. It’s also extremely easy to keep a continuous culture going so you will always have coconut yogurt on hand.

A bowl full of rich and creamy coconut yogurt.

Making Coconut Yogurt With Capsule Probiotics

I’ve tried the capsulated probiotic method for making coconut yogurt and never had great success. The yogurt was always runny and never got the effervescence of the store-bought coconut yogurts.

So inevitably I was buying the expensive, tangy, beautiful little glass jars of sparkly cultured coconut yogurt from the health food store.

and then it hit me…

I decided to try using the store-bought coconut yogurt as a starter. I have had great success using store-bought yogurt to culture raw milk so why not coconut milk!

A close look at the thick and creamy texture of this fermented coconut yogurt.

Using and Maintaining a Strong Culture

I chose my favorite brand of coconut yogurt (the one with the greatest fermented fizz) and added 2 tablespoons to 2 cans of organic guar gum-free coconut milk. I mixed it well and let it ferment overnight on the counter with a loosely fitted lid. The next morning I stirred the cultured coconut milk until it was smooth and placed it in the refrigerator where it continued to ferment and thicken. After about 24 hours the yogurt has visible bubbles and had the pleasing effervescence that I was looking for!

I ate that jar of coconut yogurt pretty quickly over the next few days. Before I had eaten it all, I started a new batch the same way I had started the original. The next batch fermented just as well as the first and so did the next few batches after that one. I have no idea how long the continuous starter will last but if it ever fails or wanes in effectiveness I will update you on when and why (if I know).

Try These Recipes That Use Coconut Yogurt

Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Curry Soup

Two steaming bowls of super creamy Coconut Cauliflower Curry Soup. #keto #lowcarb #dairyfree #nourishing #realfood

Probiotic Coconut Mango Lassi Popsicles

A colorful plate of mango lassi popsicles.

A bowl full of rich and creamy coconut yogurt is a great source of gut friendly probiotics and healthy fats!

Thick Coconut Yogurt

Yield: 1 Quart
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Fermenting Time: 2 days
Total Time: 2 days 5 minutes

This super culture will be the mother to many batches of thick, creamy, healthy, probiotic coconut yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (13.5 ounces each) organic coconut milk (guar gum free)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut yogurt (either store bought or prevous batch)

Instructions

  1. Mix the coconut milk and coconut yogurt in a quart-sized jar.
  2. Add a loose-fitting lid and ferment at room temperature overnight.
  3. Stir the yogurt well and refrigerate the jar for at least 24 hours.
  4. Eat the yogurt in smoothies, with fruit, as a topping or dressing, and more.
  5. Remember to save 2 tablespoons to start your next batch!

Notes

There may be a tiny bit of separation at the bottom of the jar. This is normal and you can use the liquid portion in smoothies or just stir it back in. 

A bowl of creamy coconut yogurt with text overlay.

Heather

Saturday 4th of May 2024

Hi! I made this but it didn’t turn out right. I used coconut milk without guar gum and when I added the culture to it there are chunks of the coconut oil. I used my little yogurt maker which kind of warms it so the fat melted but there was a lot of water at the bottom although it was nice and tangy. I tried to stir it/mix it well but it just made a giant raft of fat at the top over water stuff once refrigerated. I tried blending it but it ended up totally separating as I think I over did it. Any ideas of how to make the fat and water all homogenized?? Thanks!!!! Heather

Butter For All

Monday 3rd of June 2024

Hi Heather,

Unfortunately, if the fat melts it's very hard to redistribute. This can even happen with coconut milk that has separated during transit. Your best bet is to keep the coconut milk as stable as possible. If I have this problem, I typically use the runny yogurt in smoothies. Hope this is helpful!

Courtney

Nikki

Sunday 24th of March 2024

Uh oh! I screwed up from the get go - ha! I skipped the “ and ferment at room temperature overnight” and went straight to the fridge because I somehow missed that when I was reading 🤦‍♀️ Can I redeem it or just throw it out and start over?

Nikki

Tuesday 9th of April 2024

@Butter For All, so after my mess up, I ended up leaving it out for 2 days and oh my gosh, so amazing!!!! Thank you so much!!

Nikki

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

@Butter For All, thank you so much!!

Butter For All

Monday 25th of March 2024

Hi Nikki! It'll be just fine. Pull it out of the refrigerator and warm it in a sink full of warm water. Then leave it out for 12-24 hours until it's starting to ferment and get tangy.

Good luck!

Jordan

Monday 19th of February 2024

I tried this recipe and 2 days later my yogurt is still super runny :( I’m not sure what I did wrong.

Butter For All

Tuesday 20th of February 2024

Hi Jordan, You might need to add a little more heat to get things to firm up. Try filling your sink with warm water and submerging the jars up to the rim for several hours. If they still haven't set up, repeat this process. Let me know how it works out! Thanks for stopping by, Courtney

noel

Wednesday 6th of December 2023

i noticed the cocojune brand uses cassava root (maybe as a thickener?) So i was thinking about experimenting with that or maybe getting some pure coconut flour and adding it to coconut milk to see if it would turn out. What didnt work for me was using coconut milk from a carton. i dont think cartoned silk coconut milk contains enough fats for the enzymes, or maybe because it has additives... i tried canned coconut + 2 tablespoons of coconut yogurt from store as starter and it worked, but the canned coconut has a weird taste to me, and the fermentation process didnt change the taste much. think the best way might be using fresh coconut meat blended into a slurry, so thats what i'm going to try next. I suspect thats how the Cocoyo brand makes theirs and that stuff is addictive with some pomegranate mixed in.

Courtney

Sunday 24th of March 2024

@noel, did you use the Cocojune yogurt for your starter? I’m going to try the same thing.

Butter For All

Tuesday 12th of December 2023

Hi Noel,

I like the way you think. Experimental cooking is so much fun. Please come back and lets us know the results of your efforts!

Billie

Tuesday 14th of November 2023

Let me start by saying I have milk allergy and my house is always cold and the oven will not go above 70 with light bulb on. I can make yogurt in the bathroom by closing door and turning up heat. This is expensive. So, I am thinking of buying a yogurt maker. Is there any reason an automatic yogurt make will not work since the coconut yogurt is the same as for cow's milk yogurt recipe?? (On of the makers give recipe for soy yogurt, but no other uncommon milk.) Thanks.

Jerry McIntire

Wednesday 24th of April 2024

@Billie, The oven will work if you turn it on, heat it to the lowest temperature, then shut it off. Put your coconut or any milk, plus a culture mixed in, in a container with a loose lid and then wrap it in a towel and place it in the oven on a trivet or hot pad. Leave it in the warm oven overnight. Works well for me.

Butter For All

Tuesday 12th of December 2023

Hi Billie,

I get it a cold house can really hinder fermentation! I don't see any reason why a yogurt maker isn't a great solution for you. It may take a little playing around with to figure out the right time and temperature but I'm sure that it can be done successfully!

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