Since divorcing dairy, I’d really been missing the creamy tang that only yoghurt can add to a meal. I experimented with the commercially produced coconut and almond yoghurts available in stores and discovered they vary widely in texture, taste and in price. I eventually settled on one variety, mainly for economic reasons, but also because the thick, creamy texture was enjoyable and the tang was pretty good.
After some time consuming my chosen creamy goodness, the costs started to add up in more way than one. I became acutely away of plastic tub after plastic tub being thrown into the recycling. I wondered how much effort would be required to reduce this specific waste that was being created in my life. I understand the basics of fermenting, and was determined to give culturing coconut yoghurt a good, solid try.
The Instagram of my second attempt was popular, with lots of friends asking for the recipe. Clearly, this had been on the minds of other people too. Even though I consider this method a work-in-progress, I wanted to share it so that others can pick up where I’m up to, experiment and challenge themselves to learn a new skill. The beauty is, mistakes aren’t really mistakes when you’re making yoghurt. As long as it ferments well, it’s edible. Smoothies and dips are incredibly forgiving.
Without a doubt, the best thing about making my own coconut yoghurt has been the taste. The culture that I am using makes a really good tasting yoghurt, that lends itself beautifully to the sweetness of coconut. See the recipe notes for the culture details. I look forward to coming back to this post with further tips and adjustments as I discover them.
4 cups coconut chips
4 cups of boiled filtered water (cooled until no longer steaming)
Blend the chips and the water in a high speed blender for 3-4 minutes
Allow to cool so that the liquid can be handled
Pour through a nut milk bag and squeeze out all of the liquid***
Make a custard!
About 1 litre of coconut milk
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup tapioca starch
Make a roux in a medium saucepan with the oil and starch. Mix over moderate stove until smooth and allow it to start to bubble. Add the coconut milk slowly, mixing well to keep it as smooth as possible. Once all of the coconut milk is combined, continue to stir and heat until it thickens.
Allow the custard to cool to wrist temperature. This is very important so you don’t kill your culture. Clean jars in hot soapy water, rinse, and sterilise if you want to (I don’t do this). Once the custard is cooled, add your culture and stir well to incorporate. Pour into jars and seal by hand. Don’t overfill the jars, leave the neck space free. Place jars in your incubation device at 44 degrees Celsius for 24 hours. The yoghurt mixture completely separates during this time. Gently shake jars to combine. Refrigerate for 6 hours to set before eating.
Recipe by Amy Tyson.
* I used Green Living Australia Non-Dairy Culture. Available in the Co-op Big Little Shop. You can use probiotic tablets. You may want to research different types of culture and their incubation time. 24 hours worked perfectly for the culture I used.
** I used an Excalibur dehydrator with most of the shelves removed. You can use a yoghurt maker, a low oven/oven light, an esky, a thermos. Google away. There are many methods to try.
*** You can dehydrate the coconut pulp in an oven or dehydrator and blend it into coconut flour. Here is a fabulous cake to make with it.