I’ve had my Instant Pot for nearly six months now, and for the most part I love it! There’s one setting on it that I’m super interested in but haven’t tried yet, and that’s the yogurt. Doing a bit of research I came across this recipe for Instant Pot coconut yogurt on the Wholefully blog. It actually looks very easy, and I’m very curious to try it.
Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt
The very first time I dabbled with the dairy-free lifestyle was back in 2014. When my daughter was born, she was pretty quickly diagnosed with a Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI, for short), meaning that even the slightest bit of cheese or tofu eaten by me would come through my breastmilk and cause her incredible stomach upset. Thankfully, most babies grow out of MSPI relatively quickly—Juni was done with it by her six-month mark—and go on to happily eat grilled cheese sandwiches.
But that six months sans dairy really helped teach me something about my own body—it really functions better when I’m off the cow juice. Ever since I stopped eating dairy for Juni’s sake, I’ve been very careful to limit my own intake—and that meant I started experimenting with dairy-free alternatives to my favorite dairy products. That’s how I discovered the amazing versatility of cashew cream. And that’s why I started making my own dairy-free Instant Pot coconut yogurt.
Making yogurt in the Instant Pot (dairy-free or otherwise) is so incredibly fool-proof. If you’ve ever been intimidated by making your own yogurt before, the Instant Pot is your answer. It makes it so hands off and so simple—it’s honestly almost easier than just going to the store to buy premade coconut yogurt.
The one caveat with Instant Pot coconut yogurt—it’s never going to get as thick as cow’s or goat’s milk yogurt without some help. That’s because coconut milk just doesn’t have the lactose and proteins that transform the texture when fermented. If you love good thick yogurt like I do, I highly recommend using any or all of these three ways to get there:
- Use the right coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk from the can (not “Lite” coconut milk or the coconut milk from the refrigerated cartons) is going to give you the thickest, creamiest yogurt. In fact, if you can find straight up coconut cream, you’re going to get the best results.
- Go for a long ferment. Yes, coconut milk won’t thicken like cow’s milk during fermentation, but it will thicken some. The baseline time I recommend to turn your milk into yogurt is eight hours—but that’s not going to thicken your yogurt at all. If you set your fermentation time for closer to 24 or even 36 hours, you’re going to get a naturally thicker yogurt.
- Use a thickener and chill. This is absolutely optional, but I usually thicken my yogurt using unflavored beef gelatin (I’ve also had good results using agar agar for a vegan version). I just add enough to give it a little bit of body—and not turn it into yogurt Jello—and then I chill until completely cold.
Instant Pot Coconut Yogurt Recipe
- 1 quart of full fat canned or boxed coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (do not sub in honey—it has its own bacteria that will fight the yogurt culture)
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt with live active cultures (dairy, soy, coconut, almond—all fine) OR one packet of freeze dried yogurt culture
- OPTIONAL THICKENER: 1 to 2 teaspoons unflavored grass-fed beef gelatin OR 1/2 to 1 teaspoon powdered agar agar
- Pour the coconut milk and maple syrup into the pot of the Instant Pot. Whisk well, then press the “Yogurt” button, and then adjust the setting until you see “boil.” Let the Instant Pot run through the process (it’s getting the milk up to a temperature of around 185°), whisking occasionally. No need to place the lid on the Instant Pot during this stage.
- When the Instant Pot beeps that it is finished, allow the milk to cool until it is between 100°F and 110°F. This can take upwards of an hour.
- If using starter yogurt: When the milk is at the correct temperature, ladle out about 1/2 cup of the warm milk into a small bowl, and whisk with the 3 tablespoons plain starter yogurt until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the Instant Pot and whisk well.
- If using freeze-dried yogurt culture: When the milk is at the correct temperature, sprinkle on one packet of the starter culture and then whisk very well to combine.
- If using a thickener, sprinkle on top of the warm milk, and then whisk very well to combine.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot (no need to seal), and press the “Yogurt” button. Adjust the setting until you see the time display. Set for the desired amount of fermentation time. Eight hours is bare minimum, but I *much* prefer yogurt that has been fermented closer to 24-36 hours. This results in a naturally thick and tangy yogurt—very like regular Greek yogurt. Plus, it has more probiotics!
- When the fermenting time is up, transfer the yogurt to a glass storage container (I use a wide mouth quart jar) and keep in the fridge. It will thicken up considerably as it cools.
That looks incredibly simple! Have you ever made your own yogurt? What ingredients did you put in it?