Happy #fruitsandveggiesmonday to you all. Hope you all had a lovely weekend. We did absolutely nothing and it felt great. I think we both needed some family home time to relax and unwind. So that's what we did yesterday. Yeah, for lazy Sundays.
After months of living separated during the week, things might change again in the near future. If all goes well our little family will be reunited in April. My hubby got another job offer where he could work more from home instead of going 5 days a week to the capital. So life might get a little less hectic for us pretty soon!
But enough about us, let's talk homemade cultured coconut yogurt.
DIY CULTURED COCONUT YOGURT
Homemade coconut yogurt is a super delicious, dairy-free, and vegan alternative to regular or Greek yogurt. It's jam-packed with health-promoting probiotics to keep your belly healthy and happy.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system. Having the right gut bacteria is not only good to improve digestion but it is also linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss, enhanced immune function, healthier skin and a reduced risk of many diseases.
Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. Today, I will share with you how to make yogurt that is tasty, dairy-free and packed with friendly or good gut bacteria to boost health and happiness.
And the best part... it's super easy to make.
- 2 cans full fat coconut cream (BPA-free)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional, for thicker consistency)
- Yogurt starter (pick one option from the list below)
FYI: I tried to make this with homemade coconut milk in the past, but until now I haven't been too happy about the result as I don't really like runny yogurt. That's why I use store-bought full-fat coconut cream for this.
Yogurt Starter Options
2 probiotic capsules
1 tsp probiotic powder (around 50 billion units)
2 to 4 tbsps coconut yogurt from your previous batch
Refrigerate the can of coconut cream for a few hours so the cream rises to the top. Only use the cream to make the yogurt and use the water to make a delicious coconut flavored smoothie. If you don’t mind a runny yogurt use everything, cream, and water.
Combine the coconut cream, yogurt starter, and maple syrup (if using) into the clean jar. Mix well with a metal or plastic spoon. If using a freeze-dried starter you might have to activate it with a little coconut milk before use. Read instructions before using. If using capsules, open them up and add the content to the cream.
Put the jar (with the lid loosely screwed on) in the oven with the light on. Place as close as possible to the light. This will generate enough heat to make the yogurt. Do NOT turn your oven on. Do not screw the lid on too tight or open every few hours. Air needs to be able to go in there. Cheesecloth or coffee filter and a rubber band work too.
Leave, undisturbed, for 24 to 48 hours, depending on how sour you like your yogurt. The longer you incubate, the more it will thicken.
Refrigerate for up to a week or more and don’t forget to save a few spoons to make your next batch.
If you have a yogurt maker, pour the mixture in the little jars and incubate until desired consistency and thickness. Making the yogurt in teh yogurt maker might go a little faster so make sure to check after 12 hours.
How fast the yogurt goes will all depend on the climate you live in. When we lived in Belgium, fermentation was always a bit slower than here in teh tropics. After a few times of making yogurt, you will exactly know how long it takes to create your perfect level of tartness and thickness.
So the first few batches you might have to do a few taste tests while incubating to discover your perfect time frame.
I have used both methods in the past and they both work fine.
- Use clean glass jars (washed with hot water or in the dishwasher)
- When it is incubating bubbles appear on the surface, which is normal and a good sign that the bacteria are multiplying.
PROBIOTIC PINK DRAGON FRUIT SMOOTHIE
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2-3)
1/2 big (or 1 small) pink dragon fruit
1 big banana
1 cup papaya (from the garden ;) )
1 cup pineapple
2 cups bok choy
1/2 cup cultured coconut yogurt
Water as needed
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
Optional topping: hemp hearts
Blend bok choy and water until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. If the smoothie is too thick, add more liquid base. If you have a high-speed blender, throw everything in at once.
Optional: top with toppings/superfoods of your choice. I used hemp hearts this time.