My son has a dairy allergy, and my sweet little nephew is allergic to dairy AND soy which leaves my sister up shit creek without a paddle when it comes to yogurt choices. Store bought coconut milk yogurt is delicious, but at $2 for 4-5 oz is very much out of our price range.
For the coconut milk, I use Turtle Mountain's refrigerated product which is sold under the brand name "So Delicious". When switching my son from all breastmilk when he turned 1 year old, I did a lot of research to find the perfect alternative milk for him. Almond milk was out (nuts), rice milk doesn't have the fat content I was looking for to develop his young brain, and too much soy isn't great for males. Refrigerated coconut milk seemed to be the best solution. It is comparable to whole milk for fat content, but has a surprisingly much lower sugar content.
It did come with a bigger price tag ($4.49 for half gallon), but Fred Meyer grocery store usually runs two-month long sales where it is $2.99. So Delicious and coupons.com usually offer $1 off coupons which make it a more economical alternative.
The magic formula
- 5 cups of coconut milk (click here for coupons and locations on where you can buy this stuff)
- 1/2 heaping cup of coconut flour (I use Bob's Red Mill. We've had a bag in the house leftover from Jack's wheat allergy. It's wicked expensive, but a little goes a long way. And it's chock full of fiber).
- 1/2 tsp of Xantham gum. Yes, I know that's a controversial ingredient, but for now it is a necessary evil. If your grocery store offers bulk bins buy the xantham gum there. A package is about $17 for 6 oz, but I was able to get enough for 7 months for $1.75 via a bulk bin!
1) Heat coconut milk in a large and VERY clean pot. In small bowl, whisk a little coconut milk and the coconut flour and xantham gum until it's smooth.* Add flour and milk mixture to the main pot. Stir very well until milk is steaming and reaches 185 degrees.
*I didn't do this and I'm kicking myself for it. I ended up having to use an immersion blender to smooth out the lumps.
2) Once the milk hits 185 degrees, remove from heat and cool until it reaches about 110 degrees.
3) Add 3 heaping TSP of your starter (store bought coconut milk yogurt or yogurt from your last batch) in to one of the yogurt maker cups.
4) Add a little (1/3 cup?) of the cooled milk to the cup with the starter. Stir very well.
5) Add the contents of the culture cup back to the pot of cooled milk. Stir very well.
6) Fill the jars with a little more than 1/2 cup of the mixture & place in the machine. Turn machine on for 11 hrs.
7) Once done "cooking", cool for at least 4 hrs in the fridge prior to serving.
8) Give to your sister in an attempt to be your nephew's favorite aunt!
I would say the results are somewhat comparable to the store bought coconut milk yogurt. It's very custardy (that's a word), but the homemade had more of a pronounced coconut flavor. Jack liked it with a little vanilla extract and a tsp of strawberry jam mixed in.
Let's run the numbers!
This recipe made eight 5 oz cups
1/2 gallon Coconut milk - $1.99 (on sale + coupon). I used $1.24 worth
1/2 cup coconut flour - ~$1.00
store-bought coconut milk yogurt - $1.99. I used about $.85 worth
Xantham gum - ~$.10
Price per container: $.39. Even with mega coupons, that sure beats the store-bought brand!
It should keep in the fridge for 10-14 days.