Homemade coconut milk yogurt is a rich and creamy dairy-free yogurt. Unlike other vegan yogurts (soy milk or almond milk) coconut milk yogurt can be as thick as you want without any additives. Just use a good quality preservative-free coconut milk (affiliate link) that contains some coconut cream.
The thickness of the coconut milk will determine how thick the yogurt is. Personally, I like to use coconut cream or a blend of coconut milk and coconut cream for thick and creamy vegan yogurt.
What to do with homemade coconut milk yogurt
If you’re interested in making coconut milk yogurt, then it’s probably because you already love it! But coconut milk yogurt is not just a delicious vegan alternative, it’s also a great way to get more probiotics into your diet.
- Mix it into smoothies or popsicles.
- Have it for breakfast with granola.
- Serve it with Thai pumpkin curry soup or an Indian Mung bean curry. If you add it after serving, then you won’t accidentally kill the probiotics.
- Add some fresh berries for a delicious snack!
Culturing coconut milk
Choosing a culture for coconut yogurt isn’t easy. The issue is that the type of fat in coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial. Which means that it naturally prevents bacterial growth. However, I have successfully cultured coconut cream many times. The only trick is that you should start with fresh culture each time you make yogurt. Reusing your homemade coconut milk yogurt will quickly result in a diminished culture.
What is the best culture for coconut yogurt?
Here are a few options for culturing coconut milk, including some advice for each type of culture.
- Store-bought vegan yogurt: I have tried several different vegan yogurt brands, and they all made delicious coconut yogurt. In fact, I find that vegan yogurt brands work better than dairy yogurt for culturing coconut milk. Vegan yogurts tend to contain thermophilic cultures and will need to be heated to 110 F (40 C) for culturing. If you want to use vegan yogurt, then I recommend dividing the tub of yogurt into small containers and freezing them so you can make lots of batches with a single tub of yogurt.
- Powdered vegan yogurt culture: Buying a vegan yogurt culture (affiliate link) is the best way to get really active lactic bacterial culture. If probiotics are your main goal, then I recommend this option. And considering the price of vegan yogurt, it’s actually quite affordable.
- Dairy yogurt culture: I have found that it takes longer for dairy yogurt to culture coconut milk, however, it will eventually sour. Just like regular yogurt, coconut milk will need to be kept at 110F (40C) for culturing.
- Milk kefir: Coconut milk kefir is really easy to make. I don’t recommend it for your main kefir grains, but if you want to make cultured coconut milk with a kefir baby, you should be able to get a few batches. This is my main way of making homemade coconut milk yogurt because I always have extra kefir grains.
- Probiotic supplement: Unfortunately most probiotic supplements aren’t full of vigorous strains of lactic bacteria. I’ve tried to culture several expensive brands without much success. Unless you want to test the efficacy of a probiotic supplement, then I don’t recommend using it to make yogurt.
- Kombucha and other SCOBYs: I haven’t personally tried to use kombucha to make coconut milk yogurt, however, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be able to culture coconut milk. Here’s a recipe if you’re keen to try it.
Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
Coconut milk yogurt is the easiest dairy-free and vegan yogurt option. It can be made from a number of different types of culture, including vegan yogurt, milk kefir and kombucha. See the section above for more details.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Fermented
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 can of coconut milk (preservative-free)
- 2 tbsp of culture (see the section above)
- Mix the coconut milk with the culture in a glass jar.
- The section above provides details on six different types of culture that can be used for making coconut milk yogurt.
- Mesophilic cultures (milk kefir or kombucha) will ferment at room temperature. When using a mesophilic culture leave the yogurt out on the counter for 24 hours.
- Thermophilic cultures (vegan yogurt, dairy yogurt or a probiotic supplement), need to culture at 108-110 F (40 C). When using a thermophilic culture, heat the coconut milk to 110 F (40C). Stir in the culture and maintain the temperature for 10 hours. See notes for more information.
- Canned coconut milk often contains sulphites to keep it bright white. Look for cans that are labelled preservative-free or use an organic brand. Otherwise, the sulphites will slow down or stop the fermentation.
- There are lots of different ways to keep coconut milk warm for culturing. I have always found placing jars above my hot water tank to be quite effective. However, here’s a post on how to make yogurt without a yogurt maker.
Keywords: probiotic, keto, paleo, candida diet, whole 30, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, gluten free, easy, quick, breakfast, dinner, dessert
This looks good! Do you have to refrigerate it after you make it?
Yes! Ferments need to be stored in the fridge to slow the fermentation.
lorraine elizabeth royal
? I left some coconut milk in fridge and it has soured, is it ok to eat?
I’m guessing that you didn’t ferment it… so I can’t recommend eating it. Sorry!
I made coconut yogurt in my instant pot overnight. It is runny and it does not taste sour at all. Not sure if I did something wrong. I used two cans of coconut milk/cream and one packet of yogurt starter. Can I re-culture it with another packet and maybe a thickener?
Hi Kelly, Non-dairy yogurts won’t thicken. It’s the particular proteins in milk that causes it to thicken. The best way to get thick coconut yogurt is to use a thick coconut milk or coconut cream. (I usually use Thai Kitchen). If it doesn’t taste sour, then you may want to try again. There are a few things that could have gone wrong: 1. Coconut is naturally antibiotic, so you need a really good culture to get it to ferment. However, a store-bought pack of yogurt starter should be high-quality and able to ferment coconut milk. 2. Is there any chance your instant pot was on high? It needs to be on medium otherwise it can kill the yogurt culture. There’s no need to boil coconut milk. 3. Coconut milk often contains sulfites, which will prevent fermentation. Look for brands that are labelled Preservative Free. Depending on where you live, sulfites aren’t required to be labelled in the ingredient list.
Hopefully, this helps!