Coconut Cream Cheese - Vegan Coconut Yogurt Cheese

I have been making coconut yogurt for 10 years. Way before the blogosphere had very many options and before Pinterest recipe boards were a thing.
Way before it was possible to buy any thing but soy milk yogurt at a commercial grocery store. Way before there was an Instant Pot with a yogurt setting.
I searched the world wide web until I finally found someone else who had had success making yogurt from coconuts. And when I say coconuts I mean they were cracking coconuts with a mallet.
I figured it was not that hard, so I ordered in coconuts to our small town grocery store, I purchased an appliance I had never heard of before called a yogurt maker on Amazon and I special ordered the dairy free yogurt starter powder from another country.
By the time I was ready to start I was $150 in and I did not have any yogurt yet.
Luckily my yogurt did work out fabulously though cracking into coconuts is ridiculously difficult and messy. It was delicious, thick creamy and different than any yogurt I had ever purchased or tasted.
I would wait for the yogurt starter to go on sale once a year and buy 2 bottles. Then when I ran out I would go without until the next annual sale.
After a few years other dairy free yogurt options started showing up on the shelves of the grocery stores that I would shop at and I was able to buy it. Making the time without the starter easier.
Then we moved and I got rid of the yogurt maker in an effort to downsize. With the hopes of making yogurt in a different way.
 Luckily I succeeded in using my Excalibur Dehydrator to make yogurt replacing my yogurt maker. I was fortunate to find a local pro-biotic that replaced my special ordered international yogurt starter and I trialed using canned coconut milk.
Today it is really great that we can offer a yogurt starter that is easy to use with an Instant Pot or a yogurt maker, or any other appliance or method you can come up with for heating your yogurt. If you search for how to make yogurt without a yogurt maker you will see quite a few creative options.  Such as using a thermos, an oven on the proof setting, a heating pad, or simply the sun in the summer time.
Prepare the yogurt by following the instructions and with your chosen heating method, and refrigerate. Then eat!  But while I love eating yogurt with home made granola. I have never enjoyed yogurt as much as when the granola comes fresh and warm out of the dehydrator. But sometimes I want to eat it in a different way or I end up with too many jars of yogurt and it needs to get eaten in the same week.
Savory or sweet or as it is. It's common to strain yogurt made from cows milk in order to get a thicker Greek texture. Using the same method we can strain out excess whey from coconut yogurt.
What we are left with is the coconut creamy fat and none of the coconut water. Making a thick creamy spread. It is too thick to be considered greek style, so I consider it cheese style. It is nearly the texture of cream cheese.
Straining takes some patience and time, so take advantage of time when you are sleeping and strain your yogurt. You can strain right on the counter or in the fridge, But if your fridge is anything like mine, I never have enough space to fit a bow and a strainer.
After it strains, stir in the juice of a lemon or some apple cider vinegar. OR, if you happen to have some citric acid powder around like I do, you can use that. It gives it a great tang without the lemon flavor and it keeps the yogurt cheese thick since it doesn't add any liquid back in.  The salt is optional, but I just can't eat it without salt. I think of cream cheese as salty and tangy and so I add a sprinkle of salt. Refrigerate the cheese again and keep it cold. It will be firm within 2-4 hours but will get even more firm after 2-3 days. It will also age a bit more and become even more tangy.
My favorite way to eat this yogurt cheese is adding other flavors and mixing in herbs and garlic or some dried strawberries or strawberry jam. When I was a kid my mom always had strawberry cream cheese. This is reminiscent of it without the flavors or colors. For these flavors look below the recipe below and stir in the ingredients at the same time when you mix in the lemon and salt.

To make Herb and Garlic yogurt cheese: 

1/2 clove garlic zested or grated on a micro plane
1/4" red onion zested or grated on a micro plane
1/4 tsp dried basil
4 fresh parsley leaves minced or 1/4 tsp dried

To make Strawberry yogurt cheese:

2 tsp freeze dried strawberry powder
1 tsp strawberry jam

Add the ingredients in while you add the lemon and salt.