Raw, Vegan Vanilla Coconut Yogurt (Made with Young Coconut Meat)
4.67 from 3 votes

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The last time I made coconut yogurt, I fermented it with probiotic powder. The process was easy enough, but it involved leaving the yogurt underneath my radiator for at least 24 hours, then skimming off the “skin” that formed on top.  Hardly a savory procedure! Today, I’m sharing a shortcut version of coconut yogurt. It’s not fermented, so it isn’t bursting with all of those friendly bugs we love , but it’s quick, easy, and incredibly delicious. If you can get past the part where you have to hack open young Thai coconuts, you’ll be delighted at what results. I promise.

Thai coconuts are one of my favorite ingredients, but I don’t use them very often because I kind of dread opening them. Each time I purchase one, however, I realize that the process wasn’t nearly so difficult as I imagined it to be. I have ironically written a whole tutorial on how to easily get these delicious little drupes open, so perhaps I should take my own instruction more often. For details on how to open a young Thai coconut, then scoop out the flesh for yogurt (or pudding, or smoothies, or sauces), check out this post.

And once you do that, it’s time to get moving with this incredible recipe. It’s highly reminiscent of the creamy, thick consistency of Greek yogurt, and it involves only a few ingredients. So, so good.

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4.67 from 3 votes

Raw, Vegan Vanilla Coconut Yogurt (Made with Young Coconut Meat)

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 4 servings


  • Flesh of 2 young Thai coconuts about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend till totally smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes in a blender; the food processor may take a little longer). Enjoy with fresh berries or fruit of choice.

The yogurt will be wonderful with berries or fruit:

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…or you can dress it up with some of your favorite granola (or raw-nola)! It would be great with some of this raw-nola (my go-to recipe). I served it this week with a new favorite raw-nola recipe, which is infused, appropriately, with coconut. And that will be coming to you soon 🙂

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Young Thai coconuts can be purchased at health food stores and Whole Foods. The best place to shop for them, though, is your local Asian grocery. They will be much, much less expensive, and they’re often sold by the case. The flesh of the coconut can be either thin or thick, and a slightly purple hue is fine. They’re a wonderful source of healthy fat, and they can be used in so many different ways.

Before I go, a big thank you for all of the thoughtful comments and insights shared in Monday’s post. I am so grateful. I also wanted to mention that the issues we were discussing are given an individual voice–and a very articulate, thoughtful voice, at that–in Laura C’s Green Recovery story. This is a great one to revisit or discover, if you are so inclined.

And speaking of Green Recovery, the door is always open for submissions. If you are a little nervous about sharing your story, there are lots of ways that we can work together to make it more comfortable for you. I can give you a pseudonym, keep your name anonymous, or just list your first name. Photos are certainly not mandatory. And if your recovery is still ongoing, you can submit a “recovery-in-progress” story, too, detailing the steps you are taking toward a recovered place. Of course, this isn’t something you should ever rush: these narratives should emerge when the time is right, and only then.

Till tomorrow, friends!


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Categories: Breakfast, Vegan Basics, Snacks
Method: Blender
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Raw, Soy Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less, Quick & Easy

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Recipe Rating

  1. 4 stars
    Made this today. It was, of course, delicious! but i would say more of a pudding than a yogurt.
    But I had Peruvian coconuts that were starting to brown. The meat was mostly tender, but some harder. Still it was super yummy with this ratio. I love maple syrup, and i added lots of cinnamon too.
    I used a machete to open the coconuts [mine with green shell still] – it is an art that takes a little practice to do easily. Tip: cut off outer green casing at angle to make a point at the tip, then cut off tip going deeper each time [straight horizontal cut or tipped with end up to avoid water coming out] until you hit the shell/water.

  2. I am so going to try this! How long does it last in the fridge? Has anyone tried to add probiotics to it?

  3. Question. I am making a dessert that calls for “meat of 2-3 young coconuts”. Can I substitute something for that? Like would coconut milk in a can be good? Raw coconut flakes? Would they need to be soaked? I am making raw cool whip using almond milk, frozen bananas and this meat from young coconuts. Please help!!

    • Hi Barb,

      Sadly, in that recipe, I think that the Thai coconut meat is probably hard to replace, but I think the best option would actually be a cup of soaked cashews. I hope this helps!


  4. this is amazing! do you have any good topping recommendations to add protein to this yogurt? I just made it and am in love!! Trying to be conscious of my protein intake.

  5. Hi, thank you for such a great recipe! Before I thought that we can make yogurt only with adding probiotics and storing it for a while, but your version is much quicker, and I just like it better!))) I have a question about the coconuts – do you know how long you can store them in a fridge? The ones from the Wholefoods that are already opened do not last long, but what about the ones from the Asain stores? Just wondering if I can buy many of them and store them for a while… Thanks!!

    • I’d say at least a week is fine, Maria. I’ve gotten away with two, but don’t want to promise that that’ll work!

  6. HI Gena, yogourt is my number one craving, and coconut my second so I tried to get some fermentation out of the Young coconut flesh. I simply add about half a cup of rejuvelac to the coco mixture and I let it sit in a warm area for about 5 hours. I like the result! Rejuvelac is supposed to be a good probiotic source, and it’s quite easy to make. I like to use it in smoothies or raw soup or dressing, wherever I want a slightly acidic taste. Have you ever tried it?

    • I always make this yogurt the night before and then enjoy it for breakfast because I don’t have a lot of time in the morning and I think it tastes better chilled 🙂

    • Oh, Heather, I am so sorry that you had that experience!!! I’ve had success with a heavy duty knife, but I may change this to specify cleavers only.

          • It’s ok! I certainly don’t mean to place blame on you for my knife issue! I checked out a few online tutorials and they were similiar to yours. They made it look much easier to open the top than it really was (for me, anyway).

  7. This yogurt looked good that I bought a young coconut and followed your tutorial… Which didn’t work at all. I thought the top would pop off like a jack-o-lantern. The coconut meat was way deeper. I ended up chipping my new (and expensive) Japanese knife in the process. So I won’t be doing that again.

    Good news is that I got almost 2 cups of coconut water and 1 cup of meat. Hope it’s tasty…

  8. Oooh I love this short cut idea! I have been wanting to make my own yogurt for quite some time… but kind of dreaded the whole process. At some point, I will have to try and make some by fermenting it, but in the meantime, this will work nicely =)

  9. Yum! We are in Thailand right now, so we are all about the coconuts! Marcus starts his day with one every day. This recipe looks awesome. It bet it would be awesome with some of your beet granola too! It would be all pink.

    ANd for all those who are thinking of posting your Green Recovery, this is really such an amazing place to do it. This community is so supportive. I received nothing but love when I shared my story, and you never know who will resonate and benefit from your journey! <3

  10. Uhhmmm… it looks delicious and I am sure it taste amazing too. However, in light of your previous post regarding ED, I would like to point something out. Raw desserts rely heavily on coconut, which happens to be one of the few vegetable fats aiding the production of bad cholesterol in the blood. Now, I am taking my science from the “agreed” version, not from the handful of studies showing the contrary (perhaps done on the population native to the tropics which is likely to have developed tolerance mechanisms…). High cholesterol is not an eating disorder at all, but it is usually the outcome of bad alimentary habits (of which ED is the last stage). I think the entire raw food movement should have a hard look at the unhealthy effects promoting high consumption of coconut will lead to.

    • The quality and the balance of good and bad cholesterol balance of the cholesterol our bodies are producing is as good as the quality of the protein we are consuming. Most people have a misinformation on the cholesterol issue, thanks to big pharma and the food industry. We should go back to basic and eat a healthy, unprocessed and balanced diet. Also the food source is important. What is my food actually made of and where does it come from. Added some exercise – the results are amazing and the cholesterol issue quickly under control.

  11. Gena, I absolutely love your approach to raw foods. It’s refreshing.

    I really appreciated your Monday post (though I did not comment). I’m going to share on my {MM} post next week.

    I too, have been scared away from Thai coconuts because it’s such a pain in the tush to open. Thanks for the tutorial–I’m going to give it try & we’ll see if I can hack it, literally.


  12. Been looking for something new and different because i’m bored with some of my current dishes. I think i’ve found a winner here. Thanks.

  13. If there’e one non-vegan food I sometimes miss, it’s yoghurt. I’ve been meaning to try a coconut yoghurt so this recipe looks great! Are all coconuts that come with that large, beige outer young thai coconuts? Because I don’t think they are called Young Thai Coconuts here in New Zealand, but I have seen those pointy beige ones being called drinking coconuts. Thanks!

  14. Considering how rich coconuts are in protein, how well they boost your immune system and destroy parasites, I’m always a little shocked at the fact that they are not more of a staple in the vegan diet.

  15. I never actually had the desire to eat yogurt until after I went vegan. Which is quite strange, though I think it was around the time that greek yogurt became the craze that my cravings struck. This coconut yogurt looks just amazing! I love the texture of young coconut meat, and this sounds like pure vanilla bliss.

  16. Yogurt is the one non-vegan food I can honestly say I miss (and crave)! This sounds like a good substitute 🙂

  17. Coming from a lemon-juice enthusiast, it’s good to know that since this is technically a rawgurt recipe, I can maybe add a little more, accidentally of course 😉

  18. Gena, I’m swooning over this yogurt right now. Young coconut meat has the best texture when it’s blended like this, and with your recipe additions- amazing!

  19. This looks amazing, Gena! I’ve been seriously remiss in trying new recipes lately, and now that I have access to a Vitamix, I have no excuse!

    Also, submitting a Green Recovery post is such a dream of mine. I hope to one day feel that I’ve made enough progress to share.