#Coeliac Week Recipe: Making Truly #GlutenFree Coconut Yogurt

Finding proper plain yogurt without nasties in it such as carageenan/vanilla flavouring/corn starch etc is a bit of a nightmare, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have some. There are makes, like Sojade (soya, so out for those on the Barrier Diet), but, to be honest, it’s often cheaper to make it yourself and then you always have some to hand.

Making Truly GlutenFree Coconut Yogurt

You can make yogurt out of any kind of milk really, but let’s concentrate on coconut for now. CoYo have in fact made the first commercial coconut yogurt and it looks – and apparently tastes – great. BUT the culture they use for growing the probiotics is from rice. Bum.

The cheapest and easiest way to make yogurt is in a flask overnight. But, of course, I have a penchant for gadgets and pretty glass jars I can get out of my fridge when I fancy one, so I bought a yogurt maker with glass jars (none of your plastic nonsense, please!) You can see the one I use in my Favourite Products in Other Eco and Healthy Lifestyle Stuff We Like. 

To make the yogurt, heat the milk up until you can put a (clean!) finger in it for 10 seconds without it being too hot. You can use a thermometer and follow the instructions on your particular machine – usually it has to be kept at around 110 degrees fahrenheit.

Avoid any coconut milk with carageenan in it. I use Biona Coconut Milk Light. You can even blend fresh coconut with water to make your own, if so inclined. 

Take it off the heat, pour a little into a bowl and stir in either some plain yogurt from a previous batch or about a teaspoon (or capsule) of probiotic. For this, you need a good strong one like Biocare Bioacidophilus or something containing thermophilus eg. Allergy Research Group Symbiotics with FOS or Biocare Bulgaricus. This makes your yogurt a bit more expensive, but very live!

Coconut yogurt doesn’t thicken that brilliantly so it makes a kind of pouring yogurt, which is fine for dips and on top of curries. If you like your yogurt thicker, try adding a little tapioca starch and apple pectin as CoYo do. Or you could use some guar gum to thicken it if necessary (this is derived from guar beans and is therefore a lectin so don’t go mad.) There is some guar gum in the Biona coconut milk, which might help. Alternatively, some agar agar would work.

Stir that mix into the rest of the milk and pour into your flask or jars. Leave overnight sealed tight and switched on to maintain the right temperature if using your machine. It will keep warm anyway in a flask.

I have found that the yogurt produced varies so if it isn’t setting after about 4-5 hours, add a bit more probiotic. It can take up to several hours to make, so I generally make mine overnight, but it can take 24 hours; it’s not an exact science! The texture varies too depending on the milk and how much probiotic you use. Mine normally comes out like a set French yogurt when I use a whole capsule or teaspoon.

Either way, what you get is a beautiful plain yogurt you can use for sweet and savoury dishes. Then, when you are ready to make some more, you can use the yogurt you made as a starter and add less probiotic as needed, making it cheaper. I make a completely new batch using just the probiotic every third time to keep it as live as possible.

Once you have your yogurt, simply add honey or fruit to it, chopped cucumber, spices or whatever and use it as a dip, or on top of chilli or curry. SO useful.

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23 thoughts on “#Coeliac Week Recipe: Making Truly #GlutenFree Coconut Yogurt

  1. Micki, Thanks !!! Cannot tell you how long I have been trying to make an alternative to soya yoghurt. I was using Kara drinking coconut milk which was just too watery. Hope this biona is a thicker base to start with. Lab coat on and off we go !!!!

    • Good luck! Let us know the result of your experiments!

      • I have made very successful coconut yoghurts using just Artisana coconut butter, water & probiotics (no sugar needed) & it comes really thick & creamy without having to add any thickeners. It is however, very expensive but a yummy treat.

      • Sounds yummy, how did you make it then pls so we can all have some?

  2. […] #Coeliac Week Recipe: Making Truly #GlutenFree Coconut Yogurt (trulyglutenfree.co.uk) Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted on May 19, 2012, in Books in the Burbs News and tagged Baking, cookbook, cookbook giveaway, gluten free cookbook, Gluten-free diet, mom's healthy eats, Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]

  3. Hi Micki, This looks great! I’ve been looking for a soya yog replacement and haven’t had much success with almond milk. What strength probiotic do you use?

    • Glad you like it, Clare. Just following the links and those are the products I use. Bioacidophilus 30 billion, the lowest ones. Let us know how you get on, good luck!

  4. Thanks Micki! As per Helen – lab coat on! 🙂

  5. Hi Micki, I came across this article while I was looking a recipe for an alternative to the home made soya yogurt, which I want to reduce as much as possible. I’m used to use Sojade as a starter but I’ll buy the BioCare Bio-Acidophilus Forte 7 capsules and I’ll give it a try. I like the pouring yogurt so the coconut milk would do the job. I’d like to mix it with rice milk (Filtered water, rice (14%), cold-pressed sunflower oil, sea salt). Doing so I’d reduce the percentage of fats and I’d boost the sugars required for the bacteria to grow. What do you think?

    • Hi Frederico, sounds great if you are not a grain-sensitive coeliac (the rice?). Extra sugars would probably help yes, although I think the acidophilus caps comes with inulin FOS which is why I thought that would be a good one as it will feed the bacteria. How did you get on, did you make it? Don’t worry about the fats – the mono-unsaturated fats in coconut milk are positively beneficial for you. Let us know how you get/got on then.

      • I didn’t mean to go off-topic with the rice. I’m not coeliac indeed, but I’ve always seen the gluten-free claim on rice milk boxes. I ordered the caps and hopefully later this week I’ll do a new batch with it. I’d like to try 3 different combos (6oz soy, 2x 6oz coconut/soy, 6oz coconut/rice) and see how it goes. In order to do that, how many caps should I use for a 24oz batch? Further, can I split the content of one-two caps in 4 different jars?

      • Not sure, you’ll have to play with the amounts as things thicken differently. Can split caps, yes. I do that. Let us know how you get on!

  6. I know I said I would have done three batches, but I did only two (rice-coconut and soya). The rice-coconut didn’t turn out into yogurt, while the soya did.

    This is what I did for the rice-coconut. I mixed together 400ml of coconut milk and 200ml of rice milk. I brought to boil and I left it cooling down to 110F. I stirred one capsule and I poured the mixture in four yogurt maker jars. After four hours I noticed that the mixture curdled, so I shook the jars and I split another cap into them. Two hours later it didn’t set yet, but it curdled again.

    I followed the same procedure for the soya and it turned into yogurt in 8 hours. Very thick by the way.

    Should I put some thickener into the coconut milk to avoid the curdling, or is there anything wrong in what I did?

  7. I forgot to mention that I used the same coconut milk as yours, but next time I’d like to try to blend my own one as it’s quick and cheaper. Is it so bad if the desiccated coconut contains sulphur dioxide?

  8. Don’t know why it curdled Federico, but I wonder if using the full fat coconut milk (as in your own or non-light ones), would do it. I would try rice on its own, coconut on its own and see if they work, that would tell you if it was the combination or which milk is the problem. Happy trying, let us know!

  9. I did a new batch. I started from scratch doing my own coconut milk with 1lt of water and 200gr of dried unsweetened unsulphured coconut chips, that yielded 700ml or so of it. I brought 600ml of coconut milk to 190F and I dissolved 2gr of agar powder in it. Then I removed half cup of hot milk, I stirred 10gr of muscovado into it, I dissolved it thoroughly and I mixed it back into the rest of the milk. I let it cooling down to 110F and I stirred 2 caps of probiotic cultures into it. I let fermenting the mixture for 10 hours in the yoghurt maker and I refrigerated overnight. Next morning this was the outcome


    http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/8232/yog2.jpg.

    As you can see in the first snap, once opened it’s very thick. Even though you can’t see the separation from outside the jar, it is there and you have to give it a stir. After that the yoghurt it’s quite runny though. I guess more agar would do the job. I’ll try one gram more next time and I’ll do the same as for the sugar, that is I’ll remove half cup of hot milk from the whole batch and I’ll mix it back after the agar is thoroughly dissolved.

    Nonetheless I guess I’ve finally succeeded, haven’t I? It’s tart and it does taste of coconut, yet it’s not sweet at all.

    I don’t know what went wrong the first time, but this is the lesson I’ll take with me:
    Don’t mix different types of milk, but mix two yoghurts as alternative.
    Use full fat coconut milk (homemade is easy, cheaper and safer).
    Don’t hang back on both sugar and thickener.

    I hope this’d be useful to others.

    • Well done, Federico, that’s great – looks like nice yogurt! Thanks for the tips. I wonder if anyone has done it using honey?

      • I don’ use honey because I’m vegan but I came across a recipe that calls for it as substitute for maple syrup and many comments attest that it works very well because it’s not antibacterial enough to harm the probiotics. I’ve also read about people who have succeeded in using stevia, agave and barley malt.

        As for the probiotics I stumble upon an offer for 30 caps branded Udo’s Choice Super 8 Hi-Potency http://www.udoschoice.co.uk/udos_choice_probiotic_range. Any experience with that? Would you recommend it as substitute for the BioCare Bio-Acidophilus Forte?

      • Don’t know Federico, you would have to make sure they were dairy free and the fermentation was not done with a grain eg corn. I can’t see anything about that on the website so I would assume cultured with dairy.

  10. I thought that the dairy-free claim would be enough and I didn’t think about the manufacturing process. The Udo’s Choice probiotic range is not suitable for vegans because milk and whey are used and some trace might be found in the final product.

    I found a probiotic branded Nature’s Own that is suitable for vegans. It’s cheaper than Bio-Acidophilus Forte and provides 9 strains (against 4 of BioCare) of bacteria, including Thermophilius http://www.natures-own.co.uk/Probiotic-Plus-D003/. It also contains FOS, but each cap has 3.5 billion bacteria (against 30 billion of BioCare).

    The logic suggests that the substitution ratio is 8:1, so the value for money would be gone, but I wrote an enquiry to Nature’s Own and it replied that two capsules should be sufficient (that is not as same as effective though) to make a pint of yoghurt. They also offer me a 7 caps sample.

    What’s your thought about it?

    • Thought as much re Udo’s. Nature’s own would make it much less live but you could have enough to actual make your yogurt, Depends how much goodness you want from it. Also, I see it contains ascorbic acid (most likely from corn) and potato starch. You also don’t know what the FOS is derived from…

  11. From Chrissie: Well, pumped with the success of my soya yoghurt, I made coconut yoghurt this weekend which was an absolute failure. It failed to set even after 24 hours. Research however tells me that coconut milk needs a thickener,( as there are no proteins or sugars in the milk?) and recommended thickeners are arrowroot or tapioca starch (about 2 tbsp to 900ml full fat coconut milk) or 1.5 oz (40g) egg white powder. You add the thickener to the coconut milk before heating to 43C then proceed as normal. Hope this helps.

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