I’ve been missing yogurt so much lately, and Carrie’s post on coconut yogurt and ranch dressing got me the worst hankerin’ for it that I just HAD to get in the kitchen and try to make it for myself. Since there’s been some controversy over Aroy-D being totally free of guar gum or thickeners (see Chris Kresser’s article called “Three Reasons Why Coconut Milk May Not Be Your Friend“), I decided to try making it using Natural Value Coconut Cream. I’ve used Natural Value coconut milk in the past for other things (pana cotta recipe coming soon) because it is free from any gums or thickeners and Natural Value uses BPA-free cans.
I also decided to use two capsules of Kirkman Pro-Bio Gold probiotics. I’m pretty sure you could substitute any allergen-friendly probiotic, as long as it has about 20-22 CFUs of live cultures. (If you order probiotics online, make sure they are packed with ice to keep the cultures alive.)
I don’t have this in the picture below, but after culturing the yogurt, I used Great Lakes Gelatin (red can, not green) to thicken it up.
The Instant Pot makes yogurt-making a breeze. You basically “set it and forget it” until the timer goes off. I personally do not boil the milk prior to culturing it. For typical yogurt-making using cow’s milk, that step is recommended to kill off any bacteria before culturing. In the case of using coconut milk, I consider it an unnecessary step. As my four-year-old likes to say EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY! It’s so much cuter when she says it…
In case you were wondering, I do not add any sweetener while culturing. Many people will add maple syrup or sugar of some kind to feed the probiotics during the fermentation process. It is my opinion that there is plenty of sugar in the coconut cream itself off of which the bacteria will live and eat until their little tummies are full. If it makes you sleep better at night, however, to add in a little maple syrup for the little guys to feast on, you have my blessing – just do NOT add honey, as it has anti-bacterial properties and should never be used in fermentation.
- Shake cans of coconut cream.
- Pour one can into each Ball jar.
- Add two capsules of probiotic to each jar by opening up the capsules and sprinkling the probiotics onto the coconut cream. Stir well.
- Place Ball jars, without lids, into the Instant Pot.
- Press the Yogurt function on the Instant Pot and the "+" button to increase the time to 10-12 hours, depending on desired tartness.
- Once the timer is finished, open the lid and remove the yogurt.
- Add yogurt to a blender along with the gelatin. Mix well in the blender, then pour back into the Ball jars.
- Place jars into the refrigerator without lids and allow to cool and thicken. After several hours, place caps on jars.
- There may be some separation after the yogurt has completely cooled. I just mix it all together.