Homemade Creamed Coconut Yoghurt
What is yoghurt
Yoghurt is a top source of probiotics, if it is made of milk from a raw organic animals or plants.
Yogurt is fermented milk, which is believed to originate in Central Asia, where it is also known as the Bulgarian beverage. It was only in the early 20th century that yogurt became known and loved in other parts of the world after the Russian biologist Iljitj Mekhnikov popularized the drink as the way to a long life. With the spread of yogurt to other owns, there has been a large variation in the lactic acid bacteria used to acidify the milk and hence large differences in taste and consistency.
In order for a buttermilk product to be labeled "Yoghurt", the product must contain at least the lactic acid bacterial strains; Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus termophilus, otherwise the produce can not be marketed as yogurt, although both the taste, texture and good qualities are very similar to yogurt
Good to know before you start making plant based yoghurt
This is my coconut yoghurt recipe, but nearly any non-dairy milk can be cultured, including, nut, seed, hemp, or coconut milk. While store-bought milk may be used, I recommend using milk with as few additives as possible.
The sugar issue
Because most plant milks have less sugar than dairy milk, it can help to add sugar to promote fermentation. Approximately 1-2 teaspoons sugar or raw honey per cup of milk is recommended. Rice milk doesn’t need additional sugar.
Vegan Yogurt Starter Culture
To make a completely dairy-free yogurt recipe, use a vegan yogurt starter with at least the strains Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus termophilus.
While non-dairy milk will culture without a thickening agent, it usually will not set. To create a spoon-able, fairly thick yogurt, you'll need to choose a thickener that meets your dietary needs. This is what works for me:
Homemade coconut milk has the tendency to separate. Tapioca, arrowroot powder and coconut butter are great for preventing that and to thicken the yogurt.
Here are some common ways to incubate your yogurt:
On a heating blanket on low setting with towels
In a pressure cooker with a yogurt setting
Proof setting on your oven if you have the setting
I use a yogurt maker – works every time
Yogurt maker or a similar appliance to make yogurt (see above)
Blender bottle (nice to have)
4 ¼ cups full fat coconut milk
4 tbsp. coconut butter
2 tbsp. coconut nectar or maple syrup
½ tsp. yogurt starter
If you plan to use your yogurt in future batches, you should sterilize the equipment you’ll be making your yogurt in, including spoons and the container you will incubate the yogurt in, to prevent bad bacteria to enter.
Pour boiling water over your equipment before using it. Or you can run your equipment through the dishwasher.
Pour ¾ of the coconut milk into a saucepan.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin or agar agar over the milk as you heat it.
Heat the milk to 85°C /185°F. This will sterilize your milk and prevent bad bacteria from cultivating.
Mix 2 ½ tbsps. tapioca flour / arrowroot powder with the rest of the coconut. Whisk with a fork or use a blender bottle until incorporated.
Pour the arrowroot mixture into the saucepan and whisk to combine.
Remove from heat.
Decrease temperature to 40°C /104°F.
Once your milk has reached 40°C /104°F, it’s safe to add the culture. Anywhere between 100 and 110 degrees is the sweet spot.
Incubate your yogurt at 40-42°C /104-108 °F for 6–8 hours.
Then cool in fridge to thicken.
The yogurt will separate during the incubation and cooling time, so use a stick blender to combine it.
Keep your yogurt in the fridge 5-6 days.
Mango Flavor tip:
Add cubed mango, sea buckthorn, a little raw honey and a tbsp of the yogurt to a small blender or food processor and purée until smooth, and add it to your yogurt along.
Whisk/stir to combine (this is most easily done in a mixing bowl). Taste and adjust flavor as needed. (Reserve any leftover mango purée for serving with yogurt or for smoothies.)
Enjoy immediately or place back in the fridge to thicken for about 4-6 hours.