Coconut milks and creams vary hugely in their fat content which really tells you how much water has been added. I’ve used unsweetened coconut ‘cream’. Higher fat coconut cream will give a thicker, richer yoghurt,of course, you’ll get a less thick yoghurt with a lower fat coconut milk. Don’t be deterred by the high fat content, the saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it’s high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss. Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut can help boost the immune system.
You will need a good thermos and a thermometer. You can also make this recipe with regular milk instead of the coconut cream. If you do not have a thermos you can pop the yoghurt in a covered pot in the oven with just the light on- no heat.
2 cans coconut cream/or milk (about 500ml)- I used the AYAM brand as it has no added crap
1 tsp agar agar powder or tapioca flour (optional to thicken)
1 tbs honey/agave (to give the bacteria some food to flourish)
3 tbs good quality Natural Yoghurt (use a non-dairy alternative if required)
In a clean bowl, add the yoghurt and allow to come to room temperature.
Combine coconut cream and tapioca/agar agar in a medium saucepan. You’ll have some lumps.
Gently heat to 43C and turn the heat off. I did not add the thickening agent to mine and it had the consistency of regular (non-Greek style) yoghurt. I would add some thickener next time to get a thicker consistency.
Place 2-3 tablespoons coconut mixture in the bowl with the yoghurt and stir until it forms a paste. Add this back into the main saucepan and stir well for a few minute without the heat on to combine well.
Pour into a thermos and leave in a warm place for about 12hrs. If you don’t have a thermos, cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven with just the light on, no heat. This will be enough to keep it warm for the 12hrs.
After at least 12hrs pop in the fridge and leave for another day before eating. If your yoghurt is not as thick as you would like, strain it through a clean chux or muslin cloth. Keep the whey that runs off for smoothies, baking etc, you can freeze it if you like. ** UPDATE – I added some chia seeds to my yoghurt and they did a great job of absorbing the excess moisture and made it really thick!
You can now flavour your yoghurt with some fresh or frozen berries or whatever you like to add some additional flavour if you want to. Add some honey if you like your yoghurt a bit sweeter or some LSA and nuts.