This Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt is a perfect dairy-free alternative for those who can’t have cow’s milk. It’s smooth and tangy, yet you control the sweetness added. This is a simple recipe that can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways!
I am pleased to post this Instant Pot coconut milk yogurt recipe! In all of my years of being dairy-free, this is the first time I’ve successfully been able to make dairy-free yogurt. And it’s SO easy! A lot easier than I ever thought it would be.
That said, there are a few tips and things we need to chat about before you dive in headfirst straight to the coconut yogurt recipe.
Use a High-Quality Canned Coconut Milk
To achieve delicious coconut milk yogurt, you must start with good-tasting, high-quality canned coconut milk. I prefer the Aroy-D brand because it’s not only preservative and gum free, but it tastes outstanding (if we’re honest, I could drink it straight from the can). If you start using canned coconut milk that you don’t like the taste of or is gritty in texture (some of the organic brands are), I can assure you, you won’t end up liking the result of your yogurt. Quality is key.
Instant Pot Coconut Milk Yogurt thickeners
- Gelatin– Dairy-free yogurt needs a thickener; it doesn’t thicken as cow’s milk dairy yogurt will, so I call for gelatin in my recipe. If you do not use a thickener, the yogurt will still taste delicious; it will be more of a kefir-like (runny) consistency.
- Chia Seeds– If you can’t use gelatin due to allergies or are vegan, you can try an alternative thickener like chia seeds (so it would be like a chia seed pudding but with yogurt). Start by using one tablespoon of chia seeds. Add them after the yogurt has fermented in the Instant Pot. Stir well to distribute the chia seeds throughout the yogurt evenly and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
- Agar Powder– I have many readers who cannot have/use gelatin, so I also tested a batch of yogurt using agar powder instead. This batch did not thicken at all. I used a teaspoon of agar powder and added it to the yogurt, while I would typically add gelatin. I wonder if it wasn’t enough agar powder or if I was misusing it. I have yet to use agar powder enough to know why it failed, so if any of you can shed some light on that, I would love help figuring it out.
Coconut Milk Substitutions
- Cashew Cream– If you can’t have coconuts, cashew cream might be a perfect substitution.
- Coconut Cream– You can try using coconut cream for a thicker consistency.
- Fresh Young Coconuts– If you can access fresh young coconuts, I bet they taste delicious in this recipe.
Do I Need to Sterilize Canned Coconut Milk
You do not need to sterilize canned coconut milk because it was already sterilized before canning.
How To Make Coconut Milk Yogurt In Instant Pot:
- Fill a sterilized pint-sized canning jar with coconut milk.
- Break open the probiotic capsules and carefully stir the contents into the coconut milk.
- Place a lid on the jar to keep out condensation.
- Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot bowl, then place the stainless steel rack on the bottom.
- Place the canning jar on the steam rack and lock the Instant Pot lid.
- Incubate for 8-10 hours using your Instant Pot’s “Yogurt” setting.
- Remove the canning jar from the Instant Pot and place the yogurt in a blender, along with the gelatin. Blend until smooth.
- Pour yogurt into a clean container with at least 2 cups, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or until chilled.
Coconut Yogurt Recipe Helpful Tips
Please ensure you use fresh, adequately refrigerated probiotics to maintain their potency.
If you make 2-3 jars of yogurt at one time (which you totally can), you might want to remove the handles from the stainless steel steam rack that came with the Instant Pot (I had my sweet hubby do this for me). Otherwise, the jars will only fit on the rack with the handles in the way.
Always, always use clean, sterilized canning jars. You don’t want anything funky growing in your yogurt.
Can I Make Dairy-Free Yogurt Without An Instant Pot
I have not tested any of these ideas.
- Wrap the jar (with coconut milk + probiotics) in a towel, and place the jar in a cold oven. Turn on the oven light, providing enough heat to ferment the yogurt. The exact time needed will vary from 4 hours to possibly overnight.
- Use a yogurt maker.
- If you have a dehydrator with temperature control, set it at about 110-115 degrees (F) and place the jar inside the dehydrator. The exact time needed for the yogurt to ferment could vary between 4 hours to possibly overnight.
- I hesitate to suggest a crock pot, but if you have one with a “WARM” setting, that could possibly work. A crock pot in a “LOW” setting would be too hot and could kill the probiotics instead of encouraging them to ferment.
I hope you enjoy this IP coconut milk yogurt as much as my family does!
Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt Recipe:
- 14 ounces Aroy-D Canned Coconut Milk
- 2 probiotic capsules (I use NOW Probiotic-10, they are gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free & vegan
- 1 teaspoon gelatin, **OPTIONAL; see post above for vegan substitute ideas
- sweetener to taste (honey, maple syrup, palm sugar, stevia, etc.)
- Add the Aroy-D Canned Coconut Milk to a sterilized pint-sized canning jar.
- Break open the probiotic capsules and sprinkle the inside contents on top of the coconut milk; discard the empty capsules. Use the back of a wooden spoon (or another non-reactive material spoon) to push the probiotic clumps up against the side of the jar to break them up and stir them into the coconut milk. There will still be tiny clumps when completed, but this is okay.
- Place a lid on top of the jar without the outer ring to screw it down. This lid only keeps condensation/moisture out of the jar.
- To the bowl of the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water and then place the stainless steel steam rack (that came with your Instant Pot) inside. Next, plug in the Instant Pot.
- Carefully place the canning jar on the steam rack and lock the Instant Pot lid. Next, you can move the vent to seal.
- Push the "yogurt" button, and adjust the time to 8 to 10 hours (8 hours if you prefer you're yogurt less tart/sour, and 9 to 10 hours if you prefer it more tart/acidic). The Instant Pot will begin counting up to the time programmed (instead of counting down).
- When the Instant Pot is done, it will beep several times. Unplug it, then immediately remove the canning jar. Remove the canning jar lid, and stir the yogurt. If it has separated at all, this is entirely normal. Taste the yogurt. If it's not tart/sour enough, put it back in the Instant Pot for another 1-2 hours (on the yogurt setting).
- To thicken the yogurt, place the still-warm yogurt into a blender, along with the gelatin. Blend until smooth. (If you wait too long and allow the yogurt to cool before blending it with the gelatin, the yogurt will not thicken.)
- Sweeten to taste using preferred sweetener (we like to use local raw honey). Pour the yogurt back into a larger container (the air bubbles from the blender may cause it to expand and overflow if you try putting it back into the pint-sized canning jar) and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Check the yogurt 30-60 minutes after placing it in the refrigerator to cool. If it's separated, stir the mixture quickly to blend everything back together (otherwise, it will solidify separated, which you want to avoid if possible).
I *DO NOT* recommend placing this on the counter to ferment. This recipe needs warm heat to work.
There are so many notes and helpful tips for this yogurt recipe that I couldn't fit them into the recipe card. So please read the post entirely (above) before making this recipe.
You can make 1 jar of this recipe, or up to 3 jars at a time (in the 6 quart Instant Pot, you *might* be able to do 4 jars in the 8 quarts Instant Pot). For clarity, I wrote the recipe for one jar of yogurt.
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