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By: Jessica

If you’ve been looking for the best homemade dairy free yogurt, rest your weary head child and look no more because boy do I have not just one, but TWO solutions coming your way today!  I have been sitting on this recipe for probably almost a YEAR now (don’t hate me!) out of pure complete and total resistance to writing down the recipe…isn’t that TERRIBLE?  I mean I’ve been enjoying the fruits of this dairy free yogurt saga the entire time, and just haven’t shared my findings – what kind of person does that make me?!

I have officially gotten my act together, and I’m currently Marie Kondo-ing my to-do list, and this task, “publish coconut yogurt recipe” HAS GOT TO GO.  The best homemade dairy free yogurt I’ve ever made most definitely brings me joy, but that unfinished task staring me square in the face every single day, most certainly does NOT.  So here I am, only 9 months later, about to get the immense satisfaction of marking a deep black line through that bad boy!

Let me say this, I have absolutely nothing against a great grass-fed full fat cows milk yogurt – but my stomach might argue otherwise!  I love the taste, texture, and health benefits of a dairy filled yogurt, but if I eat too much…let’s just say it’s not good and leave it at that, shall we?!  Enter my quest for the best dairy free yogurt money can buy.  I’ve tried them ALL you guys.  Every.single.brand. now and I can safely say that my favorite brand EVER was Coconut Cult.  Where do begin….this yogurt you guys.  THIS YOGURT.  Thick. Creamy. Dairy Free.  FILLED with healthy probiotics.  But that price tag has made regular consumption of Coconut Cult a total extravagance!  There is nothing like it out there (the closest I could find was Culinay which was very good!), and I’ve been jonesing for that consistency ever since!

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Disclaimer: I have no idea how they do it with straight up coconut milk.  I’ve tried LOTS of variations and can never quite get the texture they’ve achieved, so I just throw my hands up and say it’s some sort of wizardry, because hundreds of dollars and brands worth of coconut milk later IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE.  I have, however, found a way to get as close as humanly possible with one secret ingredient that still results in the best homemade dairy free yogurt I’ve ever had.  CASHEW CREAM.  Have you ever tried it?!!  Cashews can literally become anything….ANYTHING.  Cheese, Alfredo sauce, milk, flour….cashews are a dairy free girl’s dream, and they did NOT disappoint this time around either!  I have two versions of this yogurt, one is more like a traditional yogurt in texture and consistency, not quite as thick, but what I would consider normal to find in your standard grocery aisle.  Don’t worry, for those of you out there that like your yogurt less on the thick side, I’ve kept that version for you too!

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For those of us that are #teamthick, I GOT YOU BOO.  This is the version that takes a little extra work, and requires some cashew cream, but is totally WORTH IT.  Even my husband liked it, who normally isn’t a fan of yogurt in general.  It’s extra thick, almost like frosting, and maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  Ok, are you ready for the best homemade dairy free yogurt you’ve ever had?!

Ingredients

For THICK Version:

  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen organic)
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tbsp gelatin
  • 1 packet of yogurt culture (I use THIS one) OR 3 50 billion probiotic capsules (I used THESE)

 

For REGULAR Version:

  • 2 cans (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen organic)
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tbsp gelatin
  • 1 packet of yogurt culture (I use THIS one) OR 3 50 billion probiotic capsules (I used THESE)

**My version uses a yogurt maker THIS one.

**I have only tested this recipe using Thai Kitchen and Aroy-D.  The brand and consistency of coconut milk WILL affect your outcome.  I’ve heard the 365 brand from Whole Foods will work too. Do NOT use the Trader Joe’s brand.

**You can leave your yogurt longer for a tangier, stronger tasting yogurt.

**For the REGULAR version, simply omit the steps below for making cashew cream, and add another can of coconut milk instead.

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Step by Step Instructions (THICK VERSION)

Step 1

In a medium sized bowl, add your cashews and fill the bowl until the cashews are just covered with water.  Cover, and let sit in fridge overnight to soak.

Step 2

In the morning, drain cashews, then place into a blender with 1/2 cup water, and blend together until completely smooth.  This may take a while, be patient as we don’t want chunky yogurt! Once completed, set aside.

Step 3

In a medium sized sauce pan over low-medium heat, combine can of coconut milk and cashew cream, and maple syrup. Whisk well to combine.

Step 4

Using an instant read liquid thermometer, heat the milk to between 160-180 degrees F, whisking the entire time to prevent burning.  Maintain this temperature while whisking for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Step 5

Pour mixture into a bowl to prevent further cooking, then remove 1 cup of the mixture and place it into a separate medium sized bowl.  Sprinkle gelatin over the separated mixture while whisking (to prevent clumping).  Then reincorporate this gelatin/milk mixture back into the main bowl by slowly pouring it into the bowl while whisking.

Step 6

Allow the mixture to cool to 110 degrees F, using your instant read thermometer to check periodically.  Once the mixture has cooled to 110 degrees, add your yogurt culture packet or open your probiotic capsules and sprinkle over the mixture, while whisking to incorporate.

Step 7

Once you’ve incorporated your starter or probiotic, add the mixture to your yogurt maker, and follow your machine’s instructions.  Our yogurt fermented for 36 hours (to get the tanginess we liked!).

Step 8

Once your yogurt is done fermenting, allow it to cool to the touch, then place it in your refrigerator to thicken up.  Ours took a few hours to set.  

Step 9

When you’re ready to eat, simply stir your yogurt and serve with whatever toppings you’d like!  You can add sweetener to your preference as well.  We love ours with some additional maple syrup, and smashed berries!

Step 10

To get a more traditional or REGULAR version, simply omit the above steps for making cashew cream, and substitute the cashew cream with another can of full fat coconut milk. 

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