For those on a dairy-free diet, or a paleo diet, coconut milk yogurt is a reasonable alternative that can be made easily at home for less money than store bought yogurt. Coconut yogurt is naturally sweet with a pleasant but mild coconut flavor and a slightly sour taste. You control the flavor by how long you allow your coconut milk to ferment.
For coconut milk:
2 2/3 cups of coconut, shredded, unsweetened (8 ounces)
4 cups of water, boiled and cooled so that it is no longer steaming
For coconut milk yogurt:
4 cups of homemade coconut milk or canned coconut milk
¼ cup coconut yogurt, cow’s milk yogurt, or 4 probiotic capsules
2 teaspoons bovine gelatin (or 1 teaspoon agar agar)
Make the coconut milk
Place 2 2/3 cups of coconut and 4 cups water in a blender with a lid or Vitamix. Blend on high for 3 minutes until the coconut is finely blended and resembles crumbs.
Use caution at this stage. Blenders such as the nutribullet and Magic bullet can explode from the heat of boiling water. (Speaking from experience.) An open blender where the pressure can be reduced is a better choice for this step.
Strain the coconut milk through a fine sieve. After straining, place the coconut in a nut milk bag, and squeeze to retain as much liquid as possible.
Retain the coconut milk. The coconut meat can be used for granola or dried for coconut flour .
Place the coconut milk in a one quart mason jar. Allow it to cool to about 90°F.
There is no need to heat the coconut milk for this recipe. Place the coconut milk in a mason jar. It should be no more than 90°F. Add ¼ cup of yogurt or 4 probiotic capsules to the coconut milk. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Place the jar in a bowl of warm water and place in your oven, with the heat turned off. Turn on the oven light to maintain the temperature. Leave it 6 to 8 hours or overnight. The coconut milk will taste slightly soured and begin to separate.
Remove from the oven. Remove ¼ cup from the coconut yogurt mixture for a starter for your next batch.
In the remaining yogurt, stir in the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. Stir again until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for 2 hours. The yogurt will thicken like Greek style yogurt.
You can use a yogurt maker with this recipe or a crock pot as well.