Have you ever thought about going dairy free? Or vegan?
I have…for about 3.2 seconds.
But seriously, I really don’t want to cut out all the foods that I love but, lately, I haven’t been able to digest meat and poultry and I just found out I’m lactose intolerant.
So, because I love to be in the kitchen, I started changing a few things about how I eat. I always have a veggie or fish option for my dinner (the rest of the fam are big time carnivores) and I started experimenting with some vegan options as well (if you’re interested, check out this post for vegan queso and mac and cheese!!)
But, my bigger problem is that I love cheese (real cheese!) and dairy. Not so much ice cream or cheese cake, but I want real milk/cream in my coffee and I sometimes want yogurt parfaits for breakfast. The tiny bit of milk in my coffee doesn’t seem to bug me but the yogurt often does. So, out I went to buy coconut yogurt.
First, there are so many brands and some of them suck. Seriously.
Also, it’s so expensive that you have to sell one of your children to buy a tub. Seriously.
That’s when I thought “hey, can I just make this myself?”.
And then myself said, “sure you can lady!”
All you need are two things…a can of coconut milk and some good quality probiotics.
If you want to have success the first time, try the full fat – it almost always gets thick!
What you don’t want when you’re buying the milk is water and coconut extract (like below). If there’s no coconut milk, it probably won’t work.
Once you get the process going, you should notice some action…like the bubbling in the pic below.
But, even if it doesn’t get super thick, you can still use it and get the benefits of fermentation. The one I did below was from the blue can above so I tried to thicken it with some chia seeds and a touch of maple syrup…it was like a yummy kefir. Still super healthy for your gut!!
This can below was amazing and made coconut yogurt that was almost as thick as butter (but I admit that I think I used 3 pills!). I’m not showing you brands because I don’t want you to go crazy finding a brand…just look for the right ingredients.
See how thick!?!?!?
Remember, if at any time the mixture takes on a weird colour or smells “off” (it should smell like fermentation but not like mould or anything rotten!!), just chuck it. Once 48 hours has passed, put it in the fridge (even the lite yogurt, that might be a bit runny, will thicken up in the fridge).
And a note about the probiotics – always use refrigerated brands (the ingredients are most active) and I only use ones that have 50 billion cells (you can try others, I just haven’t).
Once you have a favourite brand, watch for the milk to go on sale and stock up! Then you can keep all of your children and have your coconut yogurt too 😉
And then you can even make glorious things that are dairy free (like this incredibly yummy and healthy birthday cake I made for my daughter on the weekend…it’s definitely going in the cookbook!!)….
…or these fluffier than fluffy yogurt pancakes!!
Please let me know if any of you are
- 1 can coconut milk (make sure the ingredients are "clean"...see above)
- 2 capsules probiotic (for best results, use a 50 billion cell probiotic and one that is refrigerated)
- Paper towel
- Shake the can vigorously and open with a can opener.
- Pour contents of coconut milk in a jar (a mason jar works well for this).
- Open the probiotic tablets and add to jar; stir well.
- Cover with a paper towel (so nothing gets in it) and leave on the counter out of direct sunlight.
- It should show signs of "activity" within the first few hours, like bubbling.
- Check jar after 24 hours - sometimes, depending on the type of probiotic, it might be thick enough for you.
- After 48 hours, it should be thick (if using full fat milk, it should resemble Greek yogurt).
- Place in the fridge and use within the next two weeks.