This coconut milk is so well cultured that it enjoys going out to the symphony and art gallery. It is rich and thick with a hint of sourness. You can used it just like yogurt. Mix it into smoothies, turn it into a frozen dessert, serve it with fruit and jam, or as a topping for pancakes. Cultured coconut milk also shines in Asian cuisine. I like to stir it into curries, soups and stir fries.
There isn’t a specific culture that eats coconut milk. Which means that you can use any yogurt or dairy culture that you want! It also means that the culture you use won’t be happy in coconut milk, so you will need a fresh culture for each batch of coconut milk.
Kefir: Milk kefir (not water) will make a nice thick coconut milk. Just be sure to refresh the kefir grains in milk after every batch of cultured coconut milk. Kefir is great because it can be made at room temperature, however, it’s not OK for people looking to avoid dairy contamination.
Dairy or Vegan Yogurt: Both dairy and vegan yogurt cultures can be used to culture coconut milk. Just make sure to use a healthy and active culture source.
- 2 cups of coconut milk (preservative and additive free)
- 2 tbsp of vegan or dairy yogurt (or 1 tbsp milk kefir grains)
- With milk kefir grains: simply combine the grains and coconut milk in a glass jar and allow to ferment at room temperature for 24 hours.
- With yogurt culture: heat the coconut milk up to 108-110, stir in the culture and maintain it at that temperature for 10 hours.
-Currently I use a Brød & Taylor Bread Proofer & Yogurt Maker to keep cultures warm. Before I had my bread proofer I just wrapped up my jars in a warm wool sweater and left them in a hot part of my house (above the fridge, or beside my hot water heater). It took a little longer, but it worked! Of course you could also use a yogurt maker.
-Vegan yogurt culture won’t thicken as much as a dairy culture. If you want to thicken it you can add a thickener directly to the warm coconut milk before culturing. Use approximately 1 tbsp of corn starch, tapioca starch, ground flax meal, ground chia seed, arrow root, or guar gum.
Here’s a photo of a spoon full of coconut milk culture with kefir. You can see how thick it is!