We’re a little obsessed with coconut yoghurt around here. I regularly make a batch or two to enjoy with breakfast, in smoothies or to make frozen yoghurt as a not-so-naughty treat. I actually make it so regularly these days that I often make a continuous ferment by using some of the last batch to start the next.
It’s pretty simple to make, but there are a lot of little things that can go wrong, so I have made a wee list of notes below to answer some frequently asked questions.
Gluten, dairy, refined sugar, egg, nut, soy free.
1 can Little Bare coconut cream
1 heaped 1/4 tsp dairy free probiotic powder or 2 probiotic capsules*
1 – 2 tsp honey or other sweetener (just to get the fermentation going)
A clean jar**
1. Gently heat coconut cream and honey until it is just about (but not quite) boiling, then set aside and cool until is warm to touch (approximately 37.5 degrees, which is about the same temperature you would heat a baby’s bottle).
2. Whisk in probiotic powder, then pour into a warm jar (I rinse my jars with hot water just before using), cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place for 8 – 24 hours, until it is as tangy as you would like it! I find about 14 hours on the cup warmer of my coffee machine just right for me as I like it very tangy***
3. Put a sterilised lid on and store in the fridge for up to a week. It will become slightly thicker once chilled, and become tangier in a day or so.
Most probiotic powder or capsules will works. You can find them from a natural health store or pharmacy. I like to use specific strains depending on our needs at the time; it is best to get advice from a naturopath or other health professional for this.
Use only glass jars, sterilised by washing in the dishwasher or standing in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. You don’t have to be uber fussy, but it is important.
DO NOT ferment with the lid on! I have done this twice, and my yoghurt was spoiled by mould both times.
Coconut yoghurt will typically take around 12 hours to ferment. The warmer the place of fermentation (and more honey / probiotics), the faster the yoghurt will ferment. You might be able to get good results within 24 hours at room temperature, however somewhere warmer is recommended, such as a hot water cupboard, yoghurt maker, brewers pad, in front of the fire in winter or a sunny spot in summer (covered in tea towels so it is not exposed to light).
Non-dairy yoghurts are not naturally thick. If you would like to thicken, you can use agar agar, gelatine or tapioca starch. I have tried all of these, but find my yoghurt thick enough with our Little Bare coconut cream as is is naturally thick due to the fat content and quality.
If you notice a super weird smell or any pink/grey spot in the yoghurt, it has been contaminated with mould. Most likely it is from bacteria on the utensils or jar you’ve used; sadly you’ll have to tip it all out and start over. Yoghurt can also been infected with yeast, so avoid making it on the same day as bread and don’t ferment it next to your sourdough or kombucha.
You can reduce the probiotic powder in subsequent batches by adding 2 Tbs of your previous batch when you add the probiotic powder for subsequent batches. I still like to use about 1 capsule / 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp or so of honey to get the fermentation going. Unfortunately this takes a bit of trial and error as it will depend on the bacteria in your previous batch, however it’s definitely worth a go cost-wise if it’s something you want to make regularly.