What’s with the coconut yoghurt explosion you’re wondering? Or perhaps you’re part of the explosion. It’s part necessity for those with allergic reactions to cassein, lactose or both. It’s partly to add another interesting food to the mix. It’s partly because of the rise of paleo and vegan food choices, both groups avoiding dairy.
So, while it’s popular and that’s great, if you wanted to buy it commercially, you’re either bleeding cash (In Australia it’s around $9 for a small, 2 serve tub) OR you’re worried about the environmental impact of yet another single use plastic item in the food trolley. The best solution is to become a yoghurt maker. It’s one of those things that seems like an impossibly complicated thing to start doing in a world gone time starved, and truth be told, the first couple of times will probably be time consuming and fiddly, BUT the reward is money saved, less plastic tubs and a blissful cultured food to add to your immune building stable.
A couple of things before you start on your yoghurt making journey…
1. Trust that you will get this.
2. Know that a batch might not work every now and then for various reasons and that’s Ok.
3. Don’t stress about failed batches if this happens, as that stuff will work beautifully for smoothies to use it up. You could even freeze it into ice cubes to make instant ice creams. FAR from failed result!
A couple of questions answered before we kick off
1. If I can’t do / don’t want to do dairy, do I need to replace the yoghurt at all?
I’m not here to force you, but I’m kind of going to say yes. Cultured foods are imperative in our modern world devoid of bacteria (good or bad!). Culturing is going to help ensure your gut is populated with loads of good soldiers. These lil’ guys are going to keep the bad soldiers in check and out numbered – the ones who are pathogenic and constantly trying to invade. By keeping our guts well populated with the good guys, we protect our immune system – 80% of which is powered by the gut. We also support our brain health with the ever increasing proof that there is a very strong connection between the health of our mental state and the state of our gut health. I NEVER cease to be amazed at how intertwined our body systems are. For so long we all saw specialists for certain parts of the body when really, we should never have stopped looking at things holistically.
2. Can I vary your recipe?
I’d say no. Substituting anything specified below and I can’t guarantee you will get culturing or a setting. Feel free to experiment of course. That’s how I arrived at this method myself.
3. Don’t I need special equipment like a yoghurt maker to make yoghurt?
Nope. You can of course buy a yoghurt maker if you’re worried about the precariousness of ovens being left ajar and on for a long time though.(there’s a good one with glass jars that is reasonable HERE for the Aussies or HERE for the internationals) I do strongly suggest a food thermometer however if you’re not going to get a yoghurt maker, so you can easily monitor your yoghurt the first couple of batches and find out what that perfect 41-45C temp is like at your house – For me it was oven on 80C with door ajar and yoghurt 2/3 of way forward on the rack shelf… The thermometer is what helped me ensure I found that sweet spot and nailed the culturing temperature.
4. Isn’t coconut full of saturated fats?
Yes. AND turns out that’s a really, really good thing for many people. Retired CSIRO scientist and honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland, Mike Foale, says the Heart Foundation has got it wrong. Foale has been studying the coconut palm for more than four decades and believes coconut is a superfood. “There is both scientific and abundant anecdotal evidence of great health benefits, including increased energy, weight loss, natural antibiotic activity and insulin stabilisation,” Foale says. It’s comprised mainly of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that our body uses super easily for energy, thus increasing our metabolism and reducing the amount of fats stored, as is done with long chain. It’s magic for feeling fuller longer, diminishing wrinkles (especially those little feathery ones). It’s also packed with immune building lauric acid – just like a mummy’s breast milk – so it’s a powerful tool in your kit for fighting nasties. Lastly, culturing the coconut cream enhances your body’s ability to process fat efficiently and so cultured foods and fatty foods are wonderful partners when it comes to maximising nutrient absorption and efficient digestion. Love that. Welcome aboard the fat train. The healthy fat train. It’s a delicious place to be.
5. Can’t I use coconut milk instead of coconut cream?
NO! You’re paying for a watered down product. Water it down yourself as I’ve done in this recipe to ensure it’s not stodgy or chalky like commercial coconut yoghurts often are, I’ve made the first step a water step.
Let’s make yoghurt!
For a big family, make a double batch and you’re done for the week. Add it to smoothies, instant ice creams, serve with curries with a little grated cucumber and mint in it, my breakfast crunch from my book available on Amazon or serve as a delicious breakky bowl as pictured below.
How long will it last? 1 week
How many serves is this? 8-12 depending on how big your serving size is at your house
Remember, the first time is the time consuming time! Be patient with yourself in learning the technique that first time. I check over recipes a million times pacing around the kitchen the first time I make anything. Yes, it’s true! If the whole oven fiddling step bothers you, the “set and forget” 8 hour timer on a yoghurt maker will be something you should invest in. You’ll make your money back after 5 batches, with the price difference in commercial coconut yogurt. Definitely worth it!
NOW, I want a promise of tagging and sharing your efforts because this is clever stuff! Here in the comments, on instagram tagging me @lowtoxlife or #lowtoxlife or popping yours on the facebook wall. Let’s inspire others to see how easy it is once you get the hang of it!
Real Food. Happy Bodies.
p.s Got a Thermomix? Here’s that low down
For the first step TM 100C for 4-5 minutes speed 1, with the agar / H2O.
Then add the tapioca, sugar and do 2 minutes speed 2, 100C.
Then add the coconut cream and do another 2 minutes speed 2, 100C.
Then, let it cool in the thermomix to 50C
Then add the powder / yoghurt from last batch and blend speed 6, 5 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Then pour into your receptacles with lids and follow the oven / yoghurt maker step. I’d say the TM would take up too much power on for 8 hours and there’s no 45C setting. Feel free to try, but I haven’t done it 100% in the thermomix.
p.p.s Are there other ways that you can make coconut yoghurt?
Alisha from Naughty Naturopath Mum does a ‘cheats’ yoghurt if you’re time poor and live in a warm climate and don’t mind a runnier result, where this works a treat.