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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.

Becky

Saturday 17th of September 2022

Mine did not ferment after 48 hours. Can I use the coconut milk and try to make yogurt in my instant pot?

Butter For All

Sunday 18th of September 2022

Hi Becky!

It might need a little longer, or a little heat. If that's what you mean by IP, then yes, go for it! What did you use to start the culture?

Christine

Sunday 21st of August 2022

Hello, I love all your advice and responses to the comments.

I've been making yogurt with Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk that's in a tetrapack. I use 1 tetrapack and add 6 CVS brand probiotic capsules, that has 4 different probiotic strains. Leave covered bowl on counter for 24 hrs; then refrigerate for at least 4 hrs. The yield is about 2/3 yogurt to 1/3 liquid. I use the latter in smoothies.

I love the mild taste, but wonder if I can improve upon the thickness without using guar gum, or inulin, etc.? (These types of thickeners are not FODMAP friendly.) I tried a batch with the addition of 1 teaspoon of raw sugar; but it didn't increase my yogurt yield.

I've also tried making it with canned coconut milk, but it had guar gum, and it wasn't an improvement upon the tetrapack variety.

Also, have you had any good experiences using reconstituted organic coconut milk powder, instead of coconut milk?

Thanks! : ) Christine

Butter For All

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

Hi Christine,

You are smart to avoid gums. I also avoid all gums so I typically use the native forest simple coconut milk. Over the last few years all the coconut milk I've tried has gotten more liquid and now my yogurt ends up more like a kefir. I don't mind because I also use it in smoothies.

I think the only way to increase the thickness is to add more coconut meat and coconut cream. It seems these are getting separated from coconut milk and sold separately now. I haven't tried coconut milk powder, it's worth a shot. But I'd be more inclined to hydrate coconut meat in coconut milk and then puree it before culturing.

Let me know what you try!!!

Courtney

Amanda

Wednesday 29th of June 2022

I made it! It was so easy! And 10x easier than when I made it in my instant pot! I wish I could share a picture!

Butter For All

Monday 11th of July 2022

Hey Amanda!

Yay! I'm happy you found it so easy! Enjoy :)

Carolyn

Friday 18th of February 2022

It is cold here in Colorado and I don't know how to keep it warm enough to ferment. I saw one chef online that said to keep it warm in oven (not turned on), but she obviously had a gas stove! (I do not.) Surprised you said it will keep fermenting after putting in fridge. I have never heard of that. I heated my coconut milk (Native Forest/no guar)just enough to blend it but it separated on the counter overnight. I blended it and left out for another day and it did ferment but in the fridge it is a jar of lumps! Ideas? Thank you.

Lp

Thursday 7th of April 2022

@Carolyn, If you want to use the oven to keep coconut yogurt warmer, you leave your oven light on. I leave it in for 24 hours. It thickens in the refrigerator too.

Butter For All

Monday 21st of February 2022

Hi Carolyn!

Yeah, my yogurt will get quite sour in about 24 hours at room temperature. If you use a live culture it should get going after a day or two. Once I put it in the fridge it does slow down but will continue to ferment and build up gasses. It is also totally normal to have the yogurt separate. One thing to consider is if the coconut milk has been heated the oil will come out of suspension and then you will get harder lumps of cold fat. Make it with room temperature coconut milk if you can. If you have to warm it do it in tepid water in the sink. Once mixed leave it on the counter until it's soured. Stir it well right before you put it in the fridge. Then a few hours later stir it again. This should keep it from getting too lumpy. This is dependent on the coconut milk too (I also use native forest/no guar/simple). Some is more watery and will always separate. In that case I use the thickened part from the top as yogurt and blend the more liquid part into smoothies. Hope all this helps!

Best,

Courtney

Isabelle

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

How long does the yogurt last in the fridge? I made some and its great!

Butter For All

Friday 20th of August 2021

Hi Isabelle!

Since it's a fermented product it will last a long time. I would probably choose to eat it within two weeks though to enjoy it fresh.

So glad you like it!

Courtney

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