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Recently, I posted a few pictures of a homemade vegan keto yogurt to my Instagram account, and you guys seemed intrigued! I got a few comments, emails and DMs asking for a recipe, so I thought I should type one up, so I could explain all the little things that go into it. I wasn’t kidding when I said that this yogurt recipe makes the best coconut yogurt I have ever had. It’s creamy and tangy and coconutty, and just so tasty. It’s also low carb, vegan, soy-free and nut-free.
If you follow me at all on Instagram, you probably know that I’m obsessed with fermented foods. I love the tangy taste of lacto-fermented foods, and the health benefits are just the icing on the cake! I also think that those of us on a vegan keto diet should really try to sneak something fermented into our diets each day. As you guys have probably discovered, it’s pretty much impossible to find a widely available low carb vegan yogurt. In fact, the one I used to eat a lot recently had a recipe change, and now has added maltodextrin (why???) and twice the carbs per serving. So, armed with some fermenting experience, and a drive for vegan keto yogurt, I got to breeding some bacteria.
If the process of fermenting something in your own house is a little weird, you’re not alone. The first time I made sauerkraut, I was convinced I would kill someone. Same with a sourdough poolish – it just seemed like it shouldn’t be possible to make this stuff at home. And don’t get me started on kombucha – that SCOBY added an entirely new level of weird to the whole affair. But as time went on, and I kept making food that was delicious (and not deadly!), I realized that making your own fermented foods was actually really easy.
This vegan keto coconut yogurt recipe is just that – really easy. The basic steps involve blending a probiotic with coconut milk, and then leaving it. That’s it. It’s so simple!
Tips For Making Vegan Keto Coconut Yogurt
- Fermentation tools: Don’t be alarmed! This is actually an absurdly short list. It’s also not hard and fast – you can use whatever glass container tickles your fancy, so long as it can be covered by something porous. A lot of people use mason jars with cheesecloth secured over the top, but I don’t love working with cheesecloth. Instead, I use wide-mouth pint jars and sprouting lids designed to fit over them for my little keto fermentation station.
- This is a super simple recipe, using probiotics and canned coconut milk, not a yogurt starter. I have future experiments planned for that!
- My kitchen is about 68 degrees (Fahrenheit) at the absolute warmest, and I manage to ferment things all the time! I find that keeping fermented foods near the stove is helpful, as heat from the oven and burners radiates out and keeps my little science projects warm.
- It’s important to use clean jars, utensils, and lids for this project, so as not to culture anything weird.
- I have succesfully doubled this recipe with great results!
- I tried this with several brands: 365 (Whole Foods Market), Simply Organic (from Target), Thai Kitchen, A Taste of Thai and Native Forest. The Native Forest and 365 worked the best, followed by Thai Kitchen, followed by the Target and A Taste of Thai brands. The last two were a little soupier than any of the others.
- The Trader Joe’s brand is really difficult to make work, as it contains no additional binders. If you have this one, I recommend adding a pinch of either agar agar, xanthan gum, guar gum, or glucomannan powder.
- Nutrition is calculated based on the pre-fermentation sugar numbers. While the fermentation process actually consumes some of the sugars present, I always pre to err on the side of caution when calculating net carbs.
Troubleshooting Vegan Keto Coconut Yogurt
Why is my coconut yogurt separating?
A little separation is totally normal and the yogurt can just be mixed up before storing in the refrigerator. However, if you use a brand of coconut milk without any additional binders, it’s likely that the yogurt will stay separated. As I mention in the recipe notes, using a brand with guar gum, glucomannan powder or another binder is key for making sure this stays together. Brands that are just coconut milk will not thicken, and you will have to use just the coconut cream portion, draining off the excess liquid, to use for making coconut yogurt.
Nothing happened! What gives?
This can occur for a bunch of reasons, including:
- Your kitchen was too cold and fermentation didn’t take place – try to find the warmest part to place the jar in
- Not enough time has passed – if all other conditions are met, try waiting another 12-24 hours
- Your probiotics are out of date, and won’t ferment
- The probiotics got too hot and won’t ferment- this happens less frequently, but if you try to warm the mixture on the stove to bring it to temp, it can get too hot
It’s not as thick as yours – why?
This can be because of the brand used! As I noted above, the canned coconut milk from Whole Foods Market seems to produce the thickest yogurt (pretty much Greek yogurt), while those from Thai Kitchen and Simply Organic (from Target) produce a slightly thinner yogurt.
Can I Make Vegan Keto Coconut Yogurt In An Instant Pot?
This is by far the question I get the most often about this yogurt recipe, and I finally have an Instant Pot and can answer it: yes! The directions for making this in the instant pot are as follows:
- Combine coconut milk and probiotics and pour into a clean jar (I use a pint jar).
- Place the steam rack in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
- Put your jar(s) on the steam rack inside the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid (I turn mine to “vent,” but this isn’t totally necessary), and hit the “yogurt” button. Set the time for between 18-36 hours. You will have to play with this to get to your preferred level of tanginess. I find 18 is just slightly tangy whereas 36 is very tangy. 24 hours gives me about what a normal store-bought coconut yogurt tastes like.
- After the yogurt is as tangy as you would like, turn off your Instant Pot, cover your jars and chill. The yogurt should keep for up to 10 days.
- Keep in mind, the brand of coconut milk and type of probiotics will impact your final product.
Keto Fermented Foods: Low Carb Vegan Yogurt - MeatFreeKeto.com - this dairy-free, soy-free, keto-friendly yogurt recipe requires just two ingredients and makes the best vegan yogurt I have ever had.
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (see Notes)
- ~30 billion bacteria worth of probiotics, 4 capsules of this brand (see Notes)
- Pour the can of coconut milk into a blender. If it is not already liquid, blend for about 30 seconds until the fat and water have completely combined. Turn off the blender and break open the probiotic capsules, emptying the contents into the coconut milk. Be careful not to drop the capsule in!
- Pulse this mixture a few times and transfer to a clean pint jar. Secure the sprouting lid (or cheesecloth), and place in a warm, dark spot.
- Leave to ferment for 24-48 hours, checking for texture by carefully stirring the mixture with a clean spoon. If you want to taste the mixture now, just be careful not to reintroduce the spoon to the jar after it's been in your mouth!
- Once the yogurt reaches the desired consistency/taste, replace the sprouting lid with one that seals and refrigerate for up to a week. Any longer than this, and I've noticed the yogurt becomes a little too sour.
I've succesfully made this with A Taste of Thai, Thai Kitchen, 365 (Whole Foods Market private label), and Native Forest. The WFM brand and Native Forest tend to make the thickest yogurt. For probiotics, I used 2 servings of this probiotic, which has 14 billion bacteria per serving. I recommend no less than this! No matter what brand you use, aim for around 30 billion total bacteria. Where did I come up with this number? Trial and error!
*** Even though carbohydrates are consumed during the fermentation process, I wanted to list the full number of pre-fermentation carbohydrates. This number is actually inflated, so when you eat this yogurt, it has far fewer grams of net carbs. But, I like to err on the side of over-estimating. 🙂