Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Coconut Milk Yogurt and Sour Cream (Paleo & SCD)

I have a lot to say today!  Hope you’ve got a minute!
Firstly, I had my check up colonoscopy.  It’s been 2&1/2 years since my last one, which was done after the huge flare that led to my diagnosis of moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease.  (More info under the My Story tab if you’re interested.)  I quickly started healing after starting SCD 2&1/2 years ago and have had fabulous blood test results ever since.  BUT, my GP still wanted me to have a colonoscopy to have a look.
I’m so excited to say that I had PERFECT results!  My Crohn’s is ‘inactive’ (I could have told them that!).  I asked the doctor if they could take some photos of my innards and the comparison of the BEFORE and AFTER SCD pics are amazing.  The before shots showed the horrible cobblestoning and ulcerations of Crohn’s and the after shots are smooth and pink.  (There is a little scarring showing where damage was done 2&1/2 years ago, but nothing to worry about.)  I’m so pleased.  All of the discipline of SCD has been worth it for me to be well.  Woo Hoo!
Let’s talk about yogurt…. :
Most people following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS start eating yogurt very early in their healing journey.  I did too, but I learned I don’t tolerate cow or goat milk so I’ve just been taking daily probiotic capsules instead.  After reading the GAPS book, I have a better understanding of why I need to repopulate my system with good bacteria.  So as well as making fermented veggies (recipes coming soon!),  I’ve been trying to make coconut yogurt for many months now.   I’m happy to say I’ve finally found a method I’m happy with.  My notebook is full of different versions, with many cross outs and ‘Yuck!’s  written next to them.  I’m SO pleased I’ve found a version that is delicious.   Really, it’s not very hard and I don’t know why it’s taken me so many tries to get this result!  Actually, I do.  It’s because I’ve tried many different starters, milks and whether or not to include gelatine to help with setting. 
More on my experiments after the recipe if you are interested….

So here it is!  (Coconut Sour Cream Recipe at bottom of page.)
Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt.
Makes 1 cup. (Multiply as necessary).


1 cup coconut milk (no additives)  I like Ayram brand from the supermarket. 
1 Tablespoon yogurt (my favourite is Jalna Greek yogurt, but you can also use commercial coconut milk yogurt)


  • Open your can of coconut milk (mine measures about 1 cup) and tip it into a clean, sterilised glass bowl. (Just rinse it with boiling water.)
  • Scoop in 1 tablespoon of your commercial yogurt.
  • Whisk them together with a plastic whisk, making sure they are thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the mixture into containers then put into your yogurt maker.
  • Leave to process for around 9 hours.  (More or less for a milder or tangier yogurt).
  • Refrigerate when done.
  • Stir before eating.

If you don’t have a yogurt maker, try one of these methods:

Processing times:

Most yogurt recipes heat the milk to kill any bacteria before letting it cool slightly and adding the starter.  This gives you a warmer mixture to start with and if you don’t have a yogurt maker, I’d recommend using this method so you start with a warm mixture.  (Only add starter when the milk feels just warm on your skin or else you will kill the bacteria in the starter and your yogurt won’t work).
I’ve found I can skip the heating of the milk before adding it to my yogurt maker; just let it process for a bit longer than if you start with a warm mixture.

There are many different ways to make yogurt.
If you like experimenting, you can try:
Using a probiotic capsule as the starter – I found it too strong in taste.
Adding honey or sweetener to your yogurt – I didn’t like it and am trying to keep my carbs low.
Add some gelatine to help set. - I tried this with homemade coconut milk (recipe coming soon) but it wasn’t a success.  The canned coconut milk doesn’t need gelatine to get the right consistency.
Instead of using coconut milk, try using coconut cream and adding a little water.  (The coconut milk is the same as the coconut cream but with some water added.  For the same price, you’re better off to buy the cream and add a little water).

Coconut Sour Cream

You can make coconut sour cream from coconut cream and adding lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.  However, I like this version better if you have time:

  • Follow the recipe above for Coconut Milk Yogurt, just substitute Coconut Cream for the coconut milk.  

You get a thicker result which you can use for sour cream in all your favourite recipes.  This has opened up a whole world of possibilities for me!  I’ve made the same Vegetarian Lasagne three times this week using the Sour Cream as the topping.  It’s divine and I’ll post the recipe soon. 
Happy yogurting!


  1. Thank you for these recipes, and I'm so happy to hear about your excellent health! :-)

  2. your recipe has coconut milk but photo is of coconut cream. Which should be used in recipe?

    1. Sorry for the confusion, Heather. To make yogurt use coconut milk, to make sour cream use coconut cream. :)

  3. Hi Deb, I haven't been here for ages........trying the Ketogenic way. I did it for 3 months religiously so I could get a good resulting blood test. The diabetes test was very good but I found I had to keep carbs under 20grams to get that result and that was very hard. I've come back here to find your coconut yoghurt and I'm so happy! I'm going back to SCD which I find works best for me. I did have a quite bad Crohns flareup a month or so ago, so I really need to get back on the safe regime.

    1. Hi Kat,
      Thanks for the update. :). Sorry to hear about your flare but pleased to hear you're back on SCD. I've found keeping up the sauerkraut and yoghurt are very important. We truly need them every day to be our best. Xx

  4. Hi Deb,
    To make your next batch of coconut yoghurt do you keep back a tablespoon , or start again with the Jalna?
    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Suze,
      I just use the Jalna for each new batch. :)

  5. Also Deb, does it contain the right probiotics? i have had a look on their website but they do not list the ones they use,
    or are you not worried about which strains?
    Many thanks

    1. Good question, Suze.
      SCD is very strict about which starter to use. It shouldn't have any of the Bifidus strains. Also with any probiotics you take.
      I must admit, I haven't followed these guidelines and take a probiotic with Bifidus included.
      Do some googling and reading on this if you're interested.