5 Secrets to Creamy Coconut Milk Yogurt

Why am I sharing my 5 secrets to creamy coconut milk yogurt?  Don’t all plant-based foodies dream of creamy non-dairy yogurt?  I don’t know — but I can say that finding a delicious, healthy dairy free yogurt is something I’ve been engaged in for many years. Now, you name the brand and I’ve likely tried it! Unfortunately, great tasting dairy free yogurts usually have a couple of problems… they are:

  1. filled with sugar
  2. incredibly expensive and/or
  3. hard to find

Making delicious, nutritious DIY dairy-free yogurt tested my skills as a recipe developer! I made tasty yogurt that was super runny… thick yogurt that lacked taste or has a weird texture… and everything in between!  Nothing goes to waste, because — smoothies, lol!  Smoothies are a great place for DIY yogurt fails to be utilized!  But, I’m going to save you time and trials with my 6 secrets to fail proof creamy coconut milk yogurt (5 in the list below and a BONUS in the Notes!)

The Secrets to Success

  1. Use full fat coconut milk.  Aryo-D Coconut milk is what’s worked best for me.  You can purchase it on Amazon https://amzn.to/30z9glN 
  2. Use a starter that is designed for non-dairy milks.  I tried several, but settled on one which has a small amount of rice starch that acts as a thickening agent.  Non-dairy milks lack the protein structure to develop the same texture as dairy milk.  A small amount of thickening agent really helps, and while you can add this separately, I find it more efficient and cost effective to just buy an all in one starter.  If you have a corn allergy, please note that most non-dairy starters use corn starch as their thickener.  My favorite, and the one you can grab at this link on Amazon, uses rice instead of corn.  https://amzn.to/3cVKaQy
  3. Feed the bacteria!  A little maple syrup is just the right thing to feed your starter and help the bacteria flourish.  Dairy milk has an abundance of lactose that bacteria uses to fuel growth.  Non-dairy milks lack the simple sugars, so just a touch of maple syrup is key.  You may wonder about adding honey.  I advise against it simply because honey is beautifully antibacterial and actually prevents the culture from growing well.  If you like the flavor of honey, hold off and use it as a drizzle once your culture is ready!
  4. Be consistent.  Temperature fluctuations will stall the growth of your culture and in some cases, really make the process miss.  A crock pot, dehydrator, Instant Pot or yogurt maker will offer you a consistent, warm environment for the culture to develop!
  5. Be patient.  Unlike dairy yogurt that seems to set up in a few hours, non-dairy cultures require more time.  In my trials, I tested at 4 hour intervals and found that my preferred texture is developed at the 30-36 hour mark.  If you prefer a looser yogurt, try a spoon after 24 hours and see where things are at!

Sarah’s Creamy Coconut Yogurt Recipe

32oz Aryo d coconut milk or Aryo-D Coconut Cream

1 sachet Country Trading Co. Non-dairy starter OR 4 Bio Kult probiotic caps (opened – you want the powder, not the capsule!)

1 Tablespoon maple syrup (the real stuff, not a sugar syrup maple flavored substitute)

  1. Whisk everything together and pour into 3 clean quart mason jars.
  2. Place these onto a trivet in your instant pot.
  3. Cover and hit the button for your yogurt setting; use the plus button to adjust the incubation time.
  4. You need at least 8 hours but can go 24-36 hours for thicker yogurt!
  5. After incubating, remove your jars. Cover them and place them in the fridge.

Your non-dairy yogurt will get thicker by the day.

 

NOTES

  • The Aryo-D coconut cream makes a naturally thicker and creamier end product and does fine with Bio Kult instead of the non-dairy starter.  If you prefer to make your yogurt with any added thickener, this is definitely the way to go!  Also, Bio Kult capsules are economical and can be used as your daily probiotic.
  • For Greek style yogurt, I’ve got one final secret for you… When you’re whisking in your starter or probiotic powder, also mix in 1/3 cup Laird Superfood Creamer powder!  I have the best results when I blend 1 cup coconut milk with the creamer in my Vitamix and then whisk that back into the rest of the coconut milk.  The creamer is powdered coconut milk and, just like those dairy recipes that call for powdered milk to make them thicker, we’re calling on coconut milk powder to work a little more magic here.

The Simple Formula for Perfect Smoothies Every Time

My mornings are smooth sailing when I just go with what I know and blend up a big smoothie for me and my crew.  I mean, it doesn’t get any easier!  Plus, when I set aside my recipe creation experiments, I have a foolproof formula that always yields delicious and nutritious smoothies!  The recipe below makes 2 liters, so you can have enough smoothie for sharing or pour half into a mason jar and store it for a quick sip in the afternoon (or even tomorrow morning!)

My Go-To Smoothie Formula

4 bananas, peeled
6 Tablespoons of hemp seeds (or a peeled, pitted avocado or chia seed gel)
1-2 stalks of celery
about 1 cup of citrus fruit (1 big orange usually does the trick)
4 cups packed greens (baby spinach or baby kale are nice, but romaine is mild and lovely too)
3 cups water

Put all the ingredients into your high powered blender and blend until smooth!

Store in the fridge up to 48 hours or enjoy straight away!

Tips

  • To make a smoothie bowl, omit the liquid to start.  Only add enough to get a smooth blend.  You will have a thick, bowl worthy, spoonable delight!  Just add toppings and dig in.
  • Glass mason jars make great storage containers for smoothies.  You don’t need to worry about BPA or other yuck leaching out of glass like you would with plastic. Plus, glass doesn’t retain odors, so your smoothie will taste as lovely tomorrow as it does today when stores in glass.
  • If you are going to store your smoothie, be sure your container has an airtight lid. Your smoothie won’t taste fresh if it’s stored without a lid, even if it’s in the fridge!  Just like when a cut apple or banana goes brown if left out in the air, so too will your smoothie change color and be terribly affected if it’s not properly covered.  Take my word for it —

Fruit and Granola Parfait

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Fruit and Granola Parfait
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Course Breakfast, Snack
Servings
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Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Fruit and Granola Parfait
Amount Per Serving
Calories 121 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 0.4g 2%
Trans Fat 0.4g
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1%
Iron 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Orange Smoothie

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Orange Smoothie
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Prep Time 2 minutes
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Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust consistency by adding more liquid if needed.
  3. You can add a few ice cubes to make your smoothie nice and cold, just blend them in until smooth!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Orange Smoothie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 372 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 268mg 11%
Potassium 1455mg 42%
Total Carbohydrates 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 16g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 747%
Vitamin C 559%
Calcium 51%
Iron 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Immune Smoothie

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Immune Smoothie
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Prep Time 2 minutes
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Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to your blender. Blend until smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding more liquid. You can add a few ice cubes and blend to make your smoothie colder!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Immune Smoothie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 172 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.03g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.004g
Sodium 180mg 8%
Potassium 389mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 29%
Vitamin C 28%
Calcium 3%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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