How to make coconut yogurt

Coconut Tapioca Yogurt

Due to my food sensitivities, I’ve been on the lookout for alternatives to milk-based yogurts. While you can buy commercially prepared soy and coconut yogurts, all the ones I’ve found are sweetened with cane sugar, which I have to avoid. The only exception is So Delicious Dairy Free Agave Sweetened Yogurt, made from soy milk.

I decided to make my own coconut yogurt based on the method I use to make homemade milk yogurt and this recipe from The GFCF Lady. Since she has to strain the coconut yogurt to make it thicker, I decide to add instant tapioca as a thickener. The result is a tapioca-coconut yogurt hybrid. It has the sourness of regular yogurt from the yogurt culture starter (and all the probiotic goodness), the taste of coconut milk, and the texture of tapioca pudding. Slightly sweetened with stevia, it’s pretty darn good.

Note: Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter does contain skim milk powder and sucrose. If you're looking for a completely dairy free alternative, you may want to try GI ProStart™ Yogurt Culture Starter. I haven't used it, so I can't endorse it. If you have, leave a comment below about your experiences with it.

A note on yogurt makers

Recently, I found a never used, discontinued Salton one quart yogurt maker at a thrift store for under $10. (You can find used units on eBay for $70-90.) I prefer the one quart size to the Salton Yogurt Maker with 7 Glass Jars that I also own. Pouring the yogurt mixture into the glass jars is messy and time consuming. Plus you have seven jars (and lids) to wash instead of one large container. Plus, I’ve broken a jar and cannot find a replacement.

If you are serious about making your own yogurt, invest in a two quart system like the Yogourmet Multi Electric Yogurt Maker. If you’re still experimenting, you can make yogurt in a crockpot or in a quart jar using everything from a heating pad to the sun. Making coconut yogurt is pretty foolproof as long as your starter is good and you don’t overheat your yogurt.

Homemade Coconut Tapioca Yogurt

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:

Special equipment:

  • A candy or milk frothing thermometer
  • Yogurt maker

Directions:

  1. Pour coconut milk into a saucepan.
  2. Add tapioca and stevia to the coconut milk. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or spoon.
  3. Heat mixture to 170 to 180 degrees F.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool down to 110 degrees F.
  5. Mix in yogurt culture starter to coconut milk.
  6. Pour into yogurt container(s) and place into your yogurt maker.
  7. Heat for six hours or until you have the desired consistency and taste. (The longer it cooks, the more sour it will taste and the firmer it will be.)

Nutritional information

1 serving = 1/2 cup

  • 103 calories
  • 7.5 g fat
  • 6.6 g saturated fat
  • 8.3 g sodium
  • 16.7 g carbohydrates
  • 0 fiber

Weight Watchers POINTS = 3 (Nonfat milk yogurt has 2 POINTS)

This Mama’s tips

  • This is a gluten-free recipe.
  • This recipe isn't 100% casein free since the yogurt starter has skim milk in it.
  • You can buy Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter online or at your local health food store.
  • You can use any brand of coconut milk you can find. I chose Thai Kitchen because it’s available at most mainstream grocery stores. Also, you can buy it by the case on Amazon for $1.73 per can.
  • If you’re concerned about BPA or want organic coconut milk, try Native Forest Organic Light Coconut Milk.
  • You can also use full fat coconut milk. I tried both full fat and lite and the results were the same. Your calories and fat will be higher with full fat coconut milk, of course.
  • If you want super thick yogurt, add another tablespoon of instant tapioca. If you want thinner yogurt cut it down to 1 or 2 tablespoons.
  • There’s just enough stevia added to the mixture to give it a pleasant taste. You can add more stevia during the cooking process if you want it super sweet.
  • Feel free to substitute sugar, honey or agave nectar for the stevia, too. All will increase your calorie and carb counts, of course.
  • After the yogurt sets, you can add additional flavorings, like vanilla extract, more sweetener or fruit.

12 thoughts on “How to make coconut yogurt

    1. annemarie Post author

      Maryea, it’s much easier than you think, really! Make it a project with the kids or a friend to get over the intimidation factor.

      Reply
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  2. vegangfcfgirl

    I got all excited… and then I looked at the ingredients of Yogourmet. You claim you’re sensitive to milk and sugar, so I assumed that product would be okay… but milk and sugar are the first two ingredients in Yogourmet! Kind of defeats the purpose of making an alternative yogurt, doesn’t it?

    Reply
  3. pslentz

    Hi, So the ingredients of the starter: Ingredients
    Skim Milk Powder, Sucrose, Ascorbic Acid, Lactic Bacteria (L. Bulgarius, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus). I am allergic to milk casen, so I am making coconut yogurt to avoid the milk, can not put it into my organic coconut milk!!! That would be very redundant! Thought you had a recipie for NON DAIRY coconut yogurt, or why would I bother???

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      pslentz, you make a good point. I can tolerate a little dairy, so I use Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter. However, as I pointed out in my post, there are completely dairy free, vegan, casein free yogurt starters like GI ProStart™ Yogurt Culture Starter. The Cultures for Health website also carries a vegan yogurt starter you could try.

      Reply
  4. someonesmom

    I’ve heard that small canning jars, like the jelly jars, fit in the Salton maker (to replace your broken one), although I haven’t tried it myself.

    Reply
  5. Suzanne

    Great site!! Wish I’d found it BEFORE I tried to make coconut yougart. I used about 6 oz of coconut yougart. First I heated up some coconut milk, let it cool, then added the cup of already made coconut yougart. I mixed it with a whisk. Then I put it in my yougart maker which has made great milk based yougart before. But this time, the coconut yougart didn’t firm up after 8 hours of sitting in the yougart cooker. Is it drinkable or should I toss it?
    Thanks!

    Reply

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