I’ve never been a massive fan of dairy products, so I’m naturally curious to try dairy-free alternatives such as nut-based milks and yoghurts. The exception to this is that I love thick, greek-style yoghurt. It’s delicious for breakfasts, in smoothies, added to dips and sauces – basically the list is endless! The health-benefits of it have been widespread, with a much higher protein content, and a lower proportion of lactose present – resulting in easier digestion. Lactose is the sugar present in Cow’s milk, and the enzyme lactase that is required to break down the sugar greatly diminishes or ceases to be produced by the body after the age of 7 in many individuals.
However, for those that would like to try dairy-free yoghurts, but not miss out on the creamy, high-quality products, there are now great options available! Dairy-free yoghurts have predominantly been soy-based up until very recently. I personally don’t like soya products, and there has been a plethora of discourse and research surrounding the ill-effects of its consumption on all diets. But aside from the health effects, I find the taste of soya milk and yoghurts really appealing at all!
Enter…. Coconut yoghurt.
Coconut yoghurt has exploded in the past couple of years, with many bloggers and nutritionists touting it as a wonderful alternative to dairy-free yoghurts already on the market. As a student however, I couldn’t help but notice that such products were considerably more expensive i.e. Out-of-Budget for myself and many others in a similar situation. Soooooooo, what was I going to do about this then?
I moved back to Sligo a few days ago, after finishing college and now I finally have the time and energy to devote to blogging and cooking new recipes as I wish, which is a lovely feeling. I went into my local health-food shop, and purchased Probiotics – which are typically found in the fridge, but just ask in your health food shop of choice and they will be able and happy to help! Certain strains of bacteria will need to be present in order to culture the coconut milk – Lactobacilus bulgaricus, bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacilus acidophilus or Streptococcus thermophilus.
The consistency of the finished yoghurt will depend on how much of the coconut cream vs. coconut water is used – as I like thicker yoghurts, I have added in additional coconut cream.
This will keep for a week in the fridge, if it even lasts that long. You can use the end of a jar of your yoghurt to act as a starter for the next batch – just add coconut milk!
Happy culturing everybody
- 1x 400g tin full-fat coconut milk (if using tetra pak approx. 310mls) or 1x pack coconut cream
- 2-3 probiotic capsules (depending on how tangy you like your yoghurt)
- 1x jar sterilised (directions below)
- Squeeze honey, agave syrup or maple syrup to sweeten
Sterilising your jars
Get a large pot of boiling water, add in the lid of your jar first as the metal works as a conductor, then add in your glass jar and leave for 3 minutes. Turn off your cooker, carefully remove jar and lid using tongs and place on a towel or wooden chopping board until completely cool to touch.
1.Empty the tin of coconut milk into a bowl and whisk until the cream and water have mixed together resulting in a smooth consistency.
2. Add in the coconut cream and continue to whisk until it is all combined
3. Open the capsules of probiotics and sprinkle the contents into the coconut mixture
4. Whisk until combined.
5. Pour into cold, sterilised jars and seal.
6. Leave in dry, warm place for 24 hours (ideal temperature between 30 and 40°)
7. Place in fridge for 8 hours before eating!