Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

This recipe is from the blog "Small Footprint Family" (as of this posting, 6/7/2011, the website has been hacked so I'm going to share the original recipe here, with my notes in pink)

Ingredients

(3) 14-oz. cans Organic Coconut Milk

1/8 tsp. Dairy-Free Yogurt Starter (OR 1/4 cup plain store-bought coconut milk yogurt OR 1/4 cup homemade coconut milk yogurt from previous batch) (Heidi here, I use GI Prostart Dairy-Free Yogurt Starter)

1 - 2 Tbs. Honey OR Maple Syrup (I use Agave or Coconut Nectar)

1 - 2 Tbs. Unflavored Beef Gelatin, Agar Poweder, Pectin, OR Guar Gum (optional, use if you want a thicker yogurt)

Tools

Candy Thermometer (very important)

Glass or ceramic containers with lids (do not use metal).

Directions

  • Sterilize the yogurt containers, mixing spoons and other utensils with boiling water.  This will keep bad bacteria from competing with the good bacteria.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove from heat (DO NOT microwave).
  • Cover and cool to 100 - 110 degrees Fahrenheit (it is VERY important that you allow the temperature to drop so as not to kill the bacteria culture that you are about to introduce).
  • Add sweetener of choice and stir thoroughly (the sweetener provides the food for the bacteria and will be mostly consumed by the time the yogurt is done).
  • If you prefer a thicker yogurt, you can experiment with adding a tablespoon or two of gelatin, pectin, agar or guar gum (I use 1 Tbs. of Great Lakes Gelatin, 2 Tbs. was too much for my preference).
  • Remove about 1/2 cup of the cooled coconut milk and add 1/8 tsp. of yogurt starter (or 1/4 cup of plain coconut milk yogurt), stir well
  • Mix the inoculated batch back into the remainder of the cooled coconut milk.
  • Pour the cultured milk into any appropriately sized, shallow glass or enamel containers.  Cover and let stand at 100 - 105 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 - 24 hours (maximum of 29 hours).
  • To keep the correct temperature for the culture, you can place the yogurt in a dehydrator, set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can also use a heating pad or a crockpot (or put a 60-watt bulb in your oven and leave the light on (no other heat is needed).  Remember, too high a temperature will kill the bacteria and too low a temperature will prevent proper fermentation.  You will know you have done it right by the proper "yogurt-sour smell and taste." (I use the Yogourmet Yogurt Maker and I love it...very simple).
  • After 18 - 24 hours, remove from heat and stir to an even consistency.  Refrigerate for 8 - 12 hours.  Homemade yogurt is usually thinner than commercial varieties that have a lot of added thickeners, but the homemade version will thicken up a bit once cooled (I have found that my gelatin-thickened yogurt gets thicker the longer it chills, and I always refrigerate mine for at least 12 hours).
  • Your yogurt should smell sour.  If you notice any "off" or foul odors, mold or pink splotches on the surface, discard and try again, making certain that all your implements are properly sterilized and you've heated/cooled the coconut milk to the proper temperatures before adding the yogurt culture.
  • Once fully cooled, you can stir in fresh berries or other fruit, vanilla, nuts, coffee extract or any other flavoring you desire.
  • Enjoy daily for maximum benefit!










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