Tinkering with recipes in the kitchen and testing healthier ingredient variations has become a passion project for me – that is, when I have the time (and patience).
That’s why when I stumbled upon a recipe to make vegan coconut yogurt, sans any fancy equipment or complicated ingredients, I jumped at the challenge. Especially if the results yielded what was promised: a tart, thick and creamy (think Greek yogurt-style) coconut yogurt without any of the sugar and filler ingredients found in store-bought varieties.
The process is a bit like a science experiment: mix the powder from probiotic capsules together with full-fat coconut milk, and wait … 48 hours, to be exact. The elapsed time allows the probiotics to activate and the coconut milk to become cultured, which is essentially what creates yogurt.
But there are other elements that play a role in the culturing process. Specifically, the climate where you are making the yogurt – and even the material of your spoon or whisk can be factors in whether the coconut yogurt thickens properly. To be safe, and especially if you live in a colder climate, you can set the mixture in your oven with the oven light on (don’t turn the actual oven on). This should create a perfect temp for the yogurt to culture.
You’ll want to use a wooden spoon or plastic-coated whisk (as opposed to metal), because according to some experts, metal can interfere with the probiotic cultures and potentially render them inactive.
All of these little nuances aside, making coconut yogurt is great because you can control exactly what you put into it (read: no high amounts of sugar, like what you’ll likely find on the shelves at your favorite health food market). It’s also a solid option for those who are plant-based and looking for a source high in good fats like medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fatty acids, which have been linked to weight loss and increased metabolism.
Homemade Coconut Yogurt To-Go Jars
– 1 can full-fat coconut milk (We used Sprouts Organic Coconut Milk)
– 10 probiotic capsules, emptied (We used Jarro-Dophilus 10 Billion CFU, or colony-forming units.)
– 1/2 cup berries, sliced
– 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
– 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
– 1/4 cup shredded coconut
– Empty 1 can of full-fat coconut milk into a bowl and stir until smooth.
– Add the powder from 10 probiotic capsules. (If you are using a higher CFU probiotic, less capsules are needed.)
– Stir ingredients together using plastic whisk or wooden spoon (avoid metal utensils for this step).
– Pour into a sterilized mason jar, and cover with a thin cheese cloth or paper towel.
– Let sit for 48 hours. Note: If you are in a colder climate, or your house temp dips below 75 degrees, you can set your jar in the oven with the oven light on (do not turn on the oven).
– After 48 hours, put the lid on the yogurt and refrigerate overnight to thicken.
– Add berries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and any sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
– Take it to go and enjoy.
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