For lactose intolerant people, finding a dairy-free yogurt alternative can be helpful. While it possible to make dairy free yogurt, the process is a little different. This is a guide about making yogurt without milk.
For those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, you can make their own coconut yogurt for about a fifth the cost of buying it from a health food store, and I think it's a better product.
Approximate Time: A few minutes prep, and 8-12 hours to set.
Yield: 400 ml yogurt
1 can coconut milk (around 400 ml or 2 cups)
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or blitz dried coconut until fine in a blender or food processor)
2 Tbsp sugar
dairy free yogurt culture* (can buy online)
*You can use probiotics (not technically yogurt, if you just use probiotics)
If you have not made yogurt at home before, it's really important to keep everything clean and sterile. I suggest if this is your first time, get someone more experienced to help you the first couple of times, and read a few articles by Green Living Australia and Cultures For Health who both sell yogurt cultures online.
You will need a yogurt maker, or something to keep the yogurt warm overnight. Some people swear by a dream pot, or a ceramic pot that's placed in a warmed oven over night (switched off oven). I personally stick to a basic yogurt maker that keeps the yogurt warm overnight by using boiling water (I use the EasiYo maker). Other people use the Thermomix system.
Place the coconut milk, coconut flour and sugar in a saucepan, stir together thoroughly, preferably with a clean whisk. You just want the ingredients to reach blood temperature, and be mixed and warmed through.
Pour the saucepan mix into the container that the yogurt will be incubating in over night (you may need to experiment with times, I usually leave it over night 8-12 hours).
Add yogurt culture or probiotics if you want to make a probiotic coconut yogurt. Or just use probiotics, but technically that's not yogurt. Screw on lid, and place in yogurt maker.
Leave overnight. The next morning, place the yogurt in the fridge to cool for a few hours and then it's ready to eat.
You can add more, or less coconut flour until you find a consistency you like. Should keep in the fridge for up to a week (can freeze and the culture will still be active).
Does anyone know if it is possible to make yogurt from any kind of milk other than animal or soya? I have tried to make it from rice milk but it didn't work. Any ideas? I cannot have soy or dairy (including goat's milk).
For a yogurt alternative, try making a non-dairy pudding (Look it up online. The recipe should only take about 5 minutes). Cool it in fridge, then add a powdered probiotic, blend in about a 1/2 to 1 tsp per cooled pudding batch (or more if you find you like it that way). Mix in and let this set in the fridge a day or two. This can also increase its healthy acidophilus/healthy bacteria count even more and be so much more beneficial than any regular store bought yogurt anyway.
The great part about this pudding idea is you can add fruit purees to the vanilla pudding and make it like fruit-flavored yogurt. Be aware that some probiotics are not helpful as the cultures are dead (either not refrigerated or heated up while processed). Do your research before buying.