GAPS Coconut Milk Yogurt! (dairy free)

Yum Yum yum.

GAPS coconut milk yogurt is the answer to your dairy free yogurt dreams!

Here is a recipe I know a lot of you have been waiting for. Thanks for being so patient!


The road to the perfect recipe…

I have been experimenting with coconut milk yogurt for quite some time. After trying recipe after recipe, I decided to just go with my gut, and do what I thought would be best. Coconut milk yogurt experimentation should not be taken lightly! I don’t know about you, but for me, gelatin is hard to  get the hang of. Its tricky to find the exact consistent you want and you won’t know until many hours after you add it into the yogurt. I know that on GAPS many of you still cannot have dairy, even though it is fermented. It can take many months to heal your gut so you can have dairy again. In the mean time, don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods! If you were once like me and loved your big bowl of yogurt and fruit, then giving yogurt up was hard! This is where coconut milk yogurt soars into the rescue 🙂

My big coconut milk yogurt flop!

I tried all types of dairy free yogurt but they were all filled with wired gums and goos. I thought to myself..why not make my own?! Well the first few times it was a big flop. I didn’t know that coconut milk doesn’t thicken like regular yogurt, so mine turned out exactly like cultured liquid coconut milk. I tried putting it through a cheesecloth..and well I got like 1/2 cup worth. I then brought out the Unflavored Grass fed Gelatin, and voila, this recipe was born. *confession: I actually put too much gelatin in and I didn’t want to waste it so I used beaters to see if anything would happen…YEP it made the perfect yogurt! I hope you like it as much as my friends and family do 🙂 Your effort will be well worth it.

Is coconut milk good for you?

YES! Coconut milk is one of natures best foods for your body! Think about the old days where you would find a coconut in a tree and it could be a whole meal. No wonder why there are so many different coconut products!

Coconut milk is filled with…

  •  lauric acid which is a fatty acid that is found in mom milk.
  • It promotes brain development and healthy bone growth.
  • It is a super anti viral, anti fungus, anti microbial. That means it can kill off the bad guys that make you sick or give you candida.
  • Coconut milk helps to control you weight, because fat does not make you fat.
  • It is filled with minerals so your skin, hair and even attitude should be better.
  • You bones will benefit from the phosphorus and iron will pump into your blood…and I am just getting started 🙂
  • Better yet coconut milk is great for the immune system and it easy on the gut. So if you are sick or on GAPS, coconut milk is a good choice.

Ferment it!

Whats better than plain coconut milk you ask? Fermented coconut milk. When you make this yogurt you are adding cultures to it. Anything fermented is always easier to digest for your body. Adding the grass fed gelatin is just an extra bonus. Really, this is one of the perfect GAPS foods. I consider this a truly gutsy food 🙂

Recipe Update: I want to make an update on this recipe. Many people have expressed how this recipe is time consuming, which I would have to agree. I have found that you can completely skip the fresh young coconut part and just used canned coconut milk, gelatin, an a starter or probioitc powder. Steps 7-12 are optional. I find that the young coconut just adds more nutrients and minerals but it actually tastes almost the same. I hope this helps 🙂


* I list using both coconut milks in this recipe because I find that the canned stuff is creamier, but more expensive. So I mixed the two. Feel free to just use one if you would like.

4 cups homemade coconut milk

1 ½ cans / (20.25 oz) / 2.5 cups :  coconut milk (BPA free) or this brand (no additives)

1 pureed young coconut meat (optional)-  This doesn’t really change the texture much. I like to use the water for young coconut water kefir, so I always have left over meat. Adding the young coconut meat also helps feed the fermentation process.

pinch of sea salt

3 TBS organic sugar or raw honey

8 tsp Unflavored Gelatin (grass fed)

1 T vanilla (optional)

(Bacteria options): 1 packet of vegan yogurt starter, ½ cup premade coconut milk yogurt, open a few probitoic capsules or few scoops of this powder.



1.  Make homemade coconut milk


2.  Heat the 4 cups of homemade and the 1 ½ cans of canned coconut milk together in a stainless steel pot on the stove. Heat to 180 degrees. Use a candy thermometer.


3. Take out 1 cup of the warm coconut milk, sprinkle the gelatin on the milk, and stir the gelatin until dissolved all the way. (This step is important so you don’t end up with gelatin clumps).

4. Add the 1 cup of dissolved gelatin/coconut milk back into the pot of warm coconut milk.


5.  Add the sugar into the warm milk and stir until dissolved.

6. Let the milk cool down to 100 degrees. This takes a few hours, so I just left it on the stove to cool. Don’t put it in the fridge or ice bath because remember it has gelatin in it, and if you forget it, it will gelatinize.


7. (optional step) While the coconut milk is cooling, crack open a young coconut. Learn how here!


8. (optional step) Take 1 cup of the cooling coconut milk in the pot. (It doesn’t matter the temperature) and pour it into a blender.


9. (optional step) Spoon your reserved young coconut meat from step 7. into the blender as well.


10. (optional step) Blend away until smooth. It will be liquidly and easy to pour. DSCN2422
11. (optional step) Once the big pot of coconut milk is cooled down to 100 degrees, add the blended coconut meat minxture from step 10.


12. (optional step) Stir.



13. Sprinkle over your culture starter (or premade coconut milk yogurt) into the coconut milk. I like to pour my coconut milk out of the pot and into a bowl with a spout.


14. Stir



15. Pour coconut milk into 2 quart ball jars and screw on metal lids.


16. Keep at a constant 110 degrees for 7-10 hours to ferment it. I put mine in my Excalibur dehydrator. But an oven would work too. You need the heat so the bacteria grows.

17. Check and taste after 7 hours to see if the sugar has been eaten up. It should not be as sweet anymore. If you want it sour, keep it going a few more hours.


18. After it has been fermenting, you will see the liquid separated at the bottom. You will also see that it has not thickened. This is normal.

19. Refrigerate for 7-10 hours until firm.


20. Take out of the fridge. The coconut milk should be solid like Jello. This is good!


22. Spoon both coconut milk yogurts into a bowl.




23. Beat the jello consistency coconut milk, until it is smooth and has no more clumps. This takes a few minutes. It will go through stages. Jello cubes, chunky, and then creamy.


24. If yours creamy enough? If not keep beating..

24. Transfer the fluffy smooth coconut milk yogurt (should be a pudding texture) into a bowl (to eat) or back into the jars (to save for later)–> I like to use these single serving jars. It will be a little thicker once it has been refrigerated again for a few hours!


25. Enjoy your yummy hard work!

Topping ideas:



~Stay Gutsy, Caroline


disclosure 3


  1. A great recipe, thank you, have shared it on my Facebook page..

  2. Crystal Anulao says

    Would it be possible to use apple pectin in place of the gelatin in this recipe?
    Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    • I am not sure because I have never used apple pectin, so sorry! You could try it with a little coconut milk to see if it sets up in the fridge and then try blending it..just a thought

  3. Thank you for this! I’ve tried it many times myself with less that ideal results. I’m definitely down to give it another shot!

  4. Willom Samuel says

    I can’t find anywhere on your page instructions for making homemade coconut milk. Or do you assume we all know how?

  5. What brand of canned coconut milk do you use? Thanks!

  6. Rebecca says

    Hi Caroline
    I’m wondering if the canned coconut milk is necessary and if you have tried the recipe without this?
    Looks delicious!

    • I use the coconut cane milk because it is creamier, though maybe you could concentrate the homemade coconut milk more with adding more coconut flakes…I will try it this way. I bet it would work though!

  7. Where do you buy your grass-fed gelatin?

  8. This sounds so much better than the thin mess I made last time! Quick question about step 17. So it to be GAPS legal it’s still okay to ferment it for 7 hours as opposed to 24 hours? Did you already answer that and I missed it? Thanks!

  9. Jill G says

    Hi Caroline,
    Have you made this with only canned coconut milk (using the canned amount called for + subbing canned for the homemade amount)? I’m always looking for (& in need of) acceptable shortcuts.

  10. I’ve been looking for a recipe for this, thanks! I see the starter referenced here contains rice maltodextrin. Is this okay on a grain-free diet?

    • yes, if you are not sensitive to rice or a wee but of starch, that is all it is. It helps get the starter going and it is eventually all eaten up in the process.

  11. Michelle says

    Hi! Can you make this is in a yogurt maker? If so which one
    Do you recommend?? Thanks?

    Oh and is guar gum ok in the Canned milk??


    • Michelle GAPS does not really allow Guar gum but some people are ok with that tiny amount. There is a brand (Natural value) canned without guar gum. I don’t have a yogurt maker sorry!

  12. Mollie Bryant says

    This might sound silly, but do you scoop ALL the contents out of the jars, or just the white stuff?

  13. So I could use all homemade milk for this recipe? If I don’t take the cream off the top it won’t be low fat which I think could be a concern for some people.

  14. Thank you for such a clear set of instructions! Doing GAPS with a casein (milk protein ) allergy means fermented dairy is completely out so I will definitely be trying this recipe instead!

  15. Anything made with coconut milk IS NOT a substitute for milk products. 1 cup of coconut milk has only 1 gm of protein. Yogurt should be a source of protein. this recipe is not.

  16. sharon says

    Thanks you for a great website the only question I have is that my yogurt separated like in your picture above but the bottom part was liquid not like jello any suggestions is this a problem?

  17. Thanks for this recipe! I have tried my hand at coconut yogurt for a few years now and never had any that we could eat, clumpy, runny, and gross was all I ever got from my attempts. I have the dairy yogurt down and love it for me, but my Son with Autism hasn’t been tolerating it well. I want to still have him eat the beneficial bacteria with out the milk protein he can’t digest yet.
    Thank you

  18. Julie Gillette says


    I am excited to try this recipe. I tried one before and used coconut manna and it had a texture to it so my son wouldn’t eat it. I ordered some coconut cream to make some more but do you have any idea how much water I need to add to it to make it work for this recipe?

    Thank you!

    • I usually make coconut milk with coconut flakes and water, i have a recipe on my blog. Or I use the can. I have not tried it with coconut manna or “coconut butter”… but I have made coconut butter and yes it does have texture. That is because it is not strained.

  19. Hi! Can I use refrigerated probiotic capsules opened up in place of the yogurt starter? If I did that, how many grams in weight is the starter? Thank you! I’m excited to try the recipe.

    • Yes that is an excellent idea, because the starter does not actually help the coconut milk gel (the gelatin does that) I would use a few capsules (maybe 4) so each serving gets a dose.

  20. amanda says

    Could I use watered-down coconut butter somehow as a substitute for the milk? Thanks!


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