I remember the first time I tried making my own homemade yoghurt, it was before I was vegan. I’d make normal dairy yoghurt to share with my family, mainly to give my twin sister as a probiotic-rich food to help with with her gut, as she was suffering with painful acne at the time. She couldn’t stomach dairy in its raw form, but if I made it into yoghurt, she was able to digest it better.
I found out during this process that there are about a hundred different ways in which you can make yoghurt…
You can use a yoghurt starter (containing live cultures) to kick-start your yoghurt; or use already made yoghurt and pop some of that into the milk to begin the yoghurt-making process; or use a heating pad, yoghurt maker, crockpot, dehydrator, even an oven to act as the incubator.
I didn’t have a yoghurt maker to work with, so I simply used my mum’s crockpot (bless her) to make the yoghurt, and it worked so well!
Most pre-made supermarket yoghurts have additives like sugar, and the cultures used in them tend to deteriorate over time, meaning you often don’t receive the full benefits of the probiotics contained in the yoghurt due to processing and handling along the way. If you do opt for a pre-made yoghurt, look for one that only contains milk and probiotic cultures, nothing more. Plus, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for packaging labels that say “active” AND “live cultures”, not just “live” as this can mean the cultures may not be able to provide all the benefits to your gut that healthy cultures can bring.
Nowadays, I make coconut yoghurt instead of dairy, and use a different process (which is even simpler!). I add vanilla bean to my coconut yoghurt to give it a little more flavour, but it’s totally optional.
Before we get started, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Opt for full-fat coconut milk, as it produces that thick, creamy texture in the yoghurt, while light coconut milk may produce a more liquidy finish.
- Source a high quality probiotic containing a minimum of 50 billion live cultures, and make sure it does NOT contain prebiotics. I had the most success with: 1 can Macro Full-Fat Coconut Milk + 2 Renew Life 50 Billion Probiotic Capsules.
Before we get started in learning how to make this super creamy, Greek-style coconut yoghurt recipe – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
If you make this coconut yoghurt, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!
Homemade Coconut Yoghurt
This creamy, almost Greek-like yoghurt goes so well with some homemade fruit compôte… like WOW.
If you want to thicken your yoghurt even more, place two layers of cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer, which has been set over a large mixing bowl. Carefully pour in your coconut yoghurt, then loosely cover the top (with a lid or a few layers of cheesecloth), and let it drain overnight (or longer) until it reaches your desired consistency!
Note: If your yoghurt develops odd colours or smells, throw it out. Something has gone wrong. It should taste tangy, but not spoiled.
- 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
- 2 capsules of probiotic (50 billion live cultures) OR yoghurt starter OR 1 cup store-bought plain yoghurt with live active cultures (dairy, soy, coconut, almond—all okay to use)
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
- 1/2 cup homemade fruit compôte
- Shake the can of coconut milk well before opening. Once opened, pour the milk into a clean, sterilised glass jar. Depending how thick you like your yoghurt, you can choose to scoop out the solid cream at the top, and add in some or none of the coconut water. To sterilise the jars, rinse thoroughly with boiling water and let dry completely. Make sure to let the jars cool back down to room temperature before adding the ingredients.
- Take your 2 probiotic capsules and pull the capsules at each end, emptying out the powder into the coconut milk (discard the pieces of capsules). If using yoghurt starter or a cup of plain yoghurt, add this into the coconut milk. Use a wooden spoon to stir as a metal spoon can react negatively with the probiotics. Stir the coconut milk until creamy and smooth (and the probiotic has completely dissolved).
- If using, cut your vanilla bean in half and scrape out the vanilla inside with a spoon, then add it to your coconut milk. Stir in the vanilla until it’s mixed through evenly. If using vanilla extract or honey, add in here and stir through well.
- Cover the mixture with a single layer of cheesecloth (or a very thin, clean dish towel), and secure with a rubber band.
- Let the yoghurt set in a warm place. I usually wrap a tea towel around the jar, secure with rubber bands, and keep it sitting in the oven turning just the light on (no heat settings) for 24-48 hours. When the coconut yoghurt is finished it will taste sour and the yoghurt will be a little thick (it’ll thicken more once you refrigerate it).
- After 24 hours check on it to make sure it’s starting to thicken. It should have a thick layer on top. Mix the top layer of the yoghurt in and stir to help redisperse the vanilla and other contents of the yoghurt that may have settled at the bottom.
- Secure the cheesecloth back on the jar and let sit for another 24 hours.
- Once set, remove the cheesecloth and spoon the top layer; it should be thick and creamy. Stir in the top layer evenly with the bottom layer, then cover the yoghurt with a lid and place in the fridge to thicken up for 4-6 hours. Enjoy plain or top with some berry compôte.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
Have you made yoghurt before? How did it go?! Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,