Note: I ordered vegan yogurt starter from Cultures for Health. Their website also offers a wealth of advice that I found extremely helpful while experimenting.
About the author: Molly Sheridan feels about mason jars the way most women feel about shoes. A music journalist by day, she traces her love of weekend DIY kitchen projects back to the science experiments she ran with her dad as a kid. She is the author of Wonderland Kitchen and tweetledees @WonderlandK.
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- 4 cups unsweetened dried coconut flakes
- 4 1/2 cups water, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- Direct-set vegan yogurt starter (see note above)
Place dried coconut in blender carafe and add 4 cups just-boiled water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes and then blend on highest speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Once cooled, strain through a nut milk bag or fine sieve into bowl. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. If not ready to proceed immediately, milk can be stored, covered tightly, in the refrigerator. Otherwise, continue with next step.
Place milk in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until bubbles just start to appear around edges. Reduce heat to lowest setting. Add tapioca starch and whisk until well dissolved. Meanwhile, in a second saucepan, bring 1/2 water to a boil and add agar agar powder. Whisk and simmer until well dissolved, then pour into the heated coconut milk.
Allow to cool, whisking occasionally, to 110°F (check package directions on your starter for alternate instructions/variations). Add starter, whisking again to evenly distribute, and pour milk into a glass container with a lid.
Place jar in a small cooler and fill with 115°F water to just below the jar lid. Close cooler and incubate seven hours. When incubation is complete, move jar to the refrigerator to chill and halt culturing, at least six hours. Yogurt is now ready to eat. Yogurt can be stored in refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.