Pressure Cooker Coconut Milk Yogurt
If you search Google for “How to make yogurt”, you will find many results. When I first wanted to make yogurt for my family several years ago, I did this and I was discouraged. Why? The first reason is that most of the recipes called for dairy milk. Two members of the family are sensitive / allergic to diary and two others of us are corn-allergic, so that was a no go. Also, reading the steps involved as well as the need for special equipment made the idea less and less attractive. Add to that the fact that I had never really enjoyed yogurt and the desire diminished. You see, in my teen years, I used to enjoy the fruity Yoplait variety. Taking a look at the label reveals that it is not a healthy yogurt choice because it is loaded with sugar.
Fast forward on our food journey and I started tinkering with the idea once again as I learned more about the benefits of fermented foods. During a trip to my friend's home in D.C. who had been making yogurt for her family using a yogurt maker, she explained how easy it really is and so I thought, “Well, I guess I will revisit my search and take the time to find a recipe that fits my kitchen style”. She shared a starter packet with me and I returned home with the idea that I would get to make yogurt soon especially since I was about to buy an Instant Pot.
Not so fast. When I became pregnant with Baby Foodie, I also experienced the food aversions that I had experienced with my three previous pregnancies, but with a vengeance. It took me about 5-6 months after her birth before I actually made the yogurt because it was during this time that my food journey took another turn. I was diagnosed with an arthritis and I learned through research that for this particular type, the gut is involved. So I began to delve into a modified version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and re-committed to making a yogurt that would be compatible with my family's needs using coconut milk.
There are several versions of coconut milk recipes to be found on the inter-web. I started out with a multi-step version where the coconut milk must be inoculated to 180 degrees F, then cooled to 110-115 degrees F, and then placed in the yogurt maker or Instant Pot to ferment at 110 degrees F. While this is not that extensive, it does require a bit more time than this homeschooling mother of four has to spend in the kitchen. And so I researched regarding the need for the steps to heat and cool. It turns out that the latter is needed if the dairy milk has been exposed to bacteria. Since, in theory, canned coconut milk does not run the same risk as diary milk, I opted to try to make the yogurt without these two steps. The results? No one noticed and I saved time. A win-win!
For my version of this recipe, I minimize the steps in order to save time since anyone with a corn-allergy and / or Celiac plus allergies needs to save time in the kitchen anytime s/he can. Because this is a coconut milk recipe and the fat is different than that of bovine milk, the thickness is different.
2 cans (13.5 ozs.) full fat coconut milk or 1 can full fat coconut milk & 1 can coconut cream
1 -2 Tbps. unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup)
1 packet yogurt starter or 6 ozs. yogurt
-Sanitize Instant Pot insert & whisk by rinsing with boiling water. Place coconut milk in Instant Pot. Whisk in gelatin so as to avoid lumps. Using "Saute", bring to 110-115 degrees F, measured using a thermometer. Turn off Instant Pot. Add sweetener & starter / yogurt. Press "Yogurt" & set fermentation time. Optimally a SCD yogurt should ferment 24 hours or at least 10-12 hours.
Notes: There is no need to cover the pot, however, it is more sanitary to do so. No need to cover the vent as the pot will not steam. For a vegan yogurt starter, check out the brand Cultures for Health.
-When the yogurt is ready, you may use all of it to flavor or choose to set some aside for the next batch. I admit that I do not measure precisely each time, but I tend to save about 6 ozs. with each batch. I store the starter yogurt in a sanitized glass mason jar in the fridge which should be used within a week or less.
Add-ins / flavors: equal parts fruit of choice & yogurt
My favorite combination is 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, 1 banana, 3/4-1 cup frozen pineapple.
Another popular combination is mango & pineapple.
-Pour yogurt from Instant Pot into Blentec or other high-speed blender. Add fruit. Use "Whole Juice" or "Smoothie" setting or blend until smooth. Enjoy & save any leftovers in (a) glass jar(s) in refrigerator.
Notes: I have tried using different amounts of gelatin. For a thinner yogurt, I recommend using 1 Tbsp. gelatin & for a thicker yogurt using up to 2 Tbsp. When the yogurt is warm, it is liquidy & thickens when blended with frozen fruit or when cooled in the fridge.
The reserved yogurt & any leftovers do separate when in the fridge after cooling. This is normal & easily remedied by mixing using a spoon.
I find that this recipe works for me & my Mini-Foodies for 2 breakfasts, so serving mileage will vary according to number of family members as well as amounts consumed.
My favorite flavor combo is blueberries, banana, & pineapple. Here Mini-Foodie A has used almond meal to express her creativity.