Homemade Coco Yogurt
For everyone who has delicious coconut yogurt available in their local store, I am very jealous. Because even in the paradise that Mallorca is, I haven't found this, but then again no one had kale or had heard of if two years ago either and now I find it several stores, and I grow my own (more about that in another post) . . . so maybe someone will stock cocoyo soon!
Since I can't walk into Whole Foods and buy this amazing stuff, I've come up with a method to make homemade coconut yogurt that is yogurt-y and creamy. Maybe it's not as creamy as the store bought versions I've tried (in the US), but at least I know that the probiotics in it are there and haven't been cooked out as in most factory produced yogurt. (You know you can't eat enough yogurt, at least healthily, to get those lovely vital bacteria, so I take my functional med doctor prescribed probiotic to ensure my intestinal health.)
Why bother when there are other yogurts? Well, firstly it's coconut and I am in love . . . secondly, I strictly limit dairy, and lastly, I'm not a fan of processed soy yogurt. Back in the day when I did drink dairy milk, I used to make litres of yogurt in my yogurt maker, so I pulled out the heater for this coconut milk version because all of my tests with trying to ferment various coconut milks in a glass jar in the oven turned out pretty pathetic. (The yogurt maker keeps an even temperature of about 43 C/110 F degrees for the fermenting to take place.)
I've also discovered that bringing the coconut milk to almost a boil produced a thicker yogurt.
Cheers to your creamy-coconut-delicious mornings ahead! xx, Juli
Two things you'll need:
- Yogurt Maker (or a box style dehydrator in which you can place the jar of coconut milk and can maintain an exact temperature of 43 C/110 F degrees)
- Candy thermometer (important)
- 1 litre full fat coconut milk (I used a UHT Thai brand coconut milk with 60% coconut and no other additives/ingredients, except water)
- 1/2 tsp yogurt starter/probiotic (I used 2 capsules)
- 2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or coconut nectar
- 1 tbsp agar agar (I use 1 tbsp; I’ve tried 2, which makes a thicker yogurt on day 1, but found it altered the taste too much)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (optional)
- Sterilize your yogurt container, mixing spoons, and utensils with boiling water to prevent bad bacteria from competing with the good yogurt bacteria.
- In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to 180 F/80 C degrees, then remove from heat (just under boiling; refrain from using a microwave.)
- While the milk is still very hot, thoroughly dissolve and mix the agar agar into the milk.
- Add the maple syrup or honey and stir thoroughly. (This sweetener not only makes a more delicious yogurt, but it gives the bacterial culture something to feed on and will help the coconut milk culture. Cow milk ferments naturally better than coconut milk because of its sugar content.)
- Cover and cool to about 35 C/95 F degrees. Be patient and wait for it to cool or the heat will kill the bacterial culture.
- When cool, stir in the yogurt starter and mix thoroughly.
- Pour cultured milk into your yogurt maker container or jars.
- Cover and ferment at 110 F/43 C degrees for for 8 - 12 hours, until it’s the sour taste you want.
- The longer you ferment the yogurt, the more sour it will taste.
- When it’s ready, remove from yogurt maker and stir to an even consistency and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. You must refrigerate for the agar agar to set.
You will know it worked if it has that sour yogurt smell and taste. Also, before consuming, be sure to test your yogurt that it isn’t “off" and that it doesn’t have any mold. If you see any in the container, throw out the entire batch. This suggests the utensils and containers were not thoroughly sterilized or the starter cultures died, not allowing the fermentation to take place. If this happens, try try again! Good luck!