Saturday, October 8, 2011

Coconut Milk Yogurt

A big item on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is the 24-hour yogurt, with its much-needed probiotics.  But there is a troubling fact: making yogurt gets rid of the lactose in the milk, but what about the other milk components that are possible Crohn's irritants?  Casein for example.

So I wanted to give coconut milk yogurt a try.  Doing my homework before messing up perfectly good coconut milk, I looked at what other websites offer on the subject. Some websites, including at least one yogurt starter website (don't actually remember which), say it can't be done.  Hey, I like a challenge, and the benefits were just calling to me.  For example, another benefit is, it wouldn't have to incubate 24 hours, because the extra time is needed to make sure the bad lactose is all eaten up by the good bacteria. Coconut milk yogurt would also bring in all the amazing benefits of coconut oil, the relatively complete proteins of coconut milk, and the aromatic flavor of coconuts.  So I just had to find a way.

The problems that made coconut milk yogurt impossible were, 1) it stays liquid, 2) it separates, and 3) it doesn't have enough sugar to feed the bacteria.  To solve 1 & 2, I retained the services of unflavored gelatin.  Of course, if you're only going to use it for smoothies (and it is a terrific smoothie ingredient), or you like liquid yogurt, or you're a vegan, you can just leave out the gelatin.  Just shake before using.  For the third reason I called good old dates, my new favorite sweetener, to the rescue.  So this yogurt recipe needs a blender, to liquefy the dates, but I soon realized that it also helps mix in the gelatin and the starter, making coconut yogurt not only possible, but the easiest yogurt to make!

One more comment: I only use TetraPak (UHT) coconut milk, not canned milk (when I can't make it from the nut). No BPA.  Also, UHT stands for Ultra High Temperature, which means the milk does not need to be brought to near boiling: it is already quite sterile. So there's another time and energy saver.

In fact, this method shortcuts so many of the usual steps of yogurt-making, AND the result is SO DELICIOUS!


4 cups coconut milk (home-made or in TetraPak - no BPA) at room temperature or up to 42 C.
1 package unflavored gelatin
3 to 6 dates (with 6, the yogurt will be slightly sweet; adjust to taste)
1 package Thermophilus/Bulgaricus/Acidophilus yogurt starter

Equipment: a good blender, a plug-in yogurt maker. If your yogurt maker is the type that just insulates heated milk, you'll have to heat the coconut milk to the correct temperature before starting

Assemble all the ingredients near your blender.

1. Pour coconut milk into the blender jar.  Start the blender on a low speed, take off the lid, and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin and the yogurt starter into the middle of the swirling milk.  Turn off  blender, add dates, put the lid on the jar, and process on high for 1 minute, until dates are liquefied.   Pour into yogurt maker and follow your usual yogurt-making steps.  Incubate 6 to 8 hours.

2.  At the end of the incubation period, the yogurt will still be liquid and the cream will have risen to the top.  Mix well, refrigerate one hour, then mix again.  The gelatin will be starting to set, which will keep the yogurt from separating again.  After a few more hours of cooling, the gelatin will have set to a soft gel.  One pack of gelatin usually sets 2 cups liquid to the firm "Jell-O" consistency we all know.  Here we're doing 4 cups liquid, so it won't be as firm.

My yogurt maker is an old crockpot with a cracked bowl, plugged into a dimmer plug.  The yogurt goes into a glass jar (mason-type) that fits nicely in the crockpot.  I put a potholder under the jar to keep the temperature even, and the lid on the crockpot.  It didn't take long to figure out the right dimmer setting to get an even and continuous 42 C for incubating the Thermophilus/Bulgaricus/Acidophilus yogurt.


  1. What brand of coconut milk do u recommend? I've tried (and failed) with so many coconut yogurt recipes! Also, what temp is it in degrees F?

  2. I recommend Aroy-D coconut milk in tetrapaks. It is much, much better than canned.

    The temperature is 108 to 112 Farenheit but follow the directions that come with your starter.

    If you try the recipe, please let me know how it turned out!

  3. 3 Researches SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally kill fat by consuming coconut fats (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from large medical magazines are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!