HOW TO MAKE COCONUT YOGURT THAT NEVER SEPARATES
Posted on May 29 2018
If you are dairy intolerant, you can get all the awesome probiotic benefits of 24 hour yogurt, making it from coconut cream.
This isn’t any ordinary coconut yogurt you can buy in the store by the way. Based on the science of the Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD), 24 hour coconut yogurt is a powerful healing food that must be homemade. Read a description of the many health benefits of SCD yoghurt here and here.
With the addition of one super ingredient, the steps are virtually the same as the dairy variety and just as easy. I say ‘easy’ now but I didn’t always consider coconut yogurt that way. I have been on the hunt for the perfect, failsafe recipe for years and through batch after batch of runny attempts, I know homemade coconut yogurt to be a tricky beast.
Here’s the problem; during fermentation coconut does not thicken like dairy yogurt. To my surprise there are no shortage of recipes on the web but most include gums and starches to achieve this desired creamy texture. I, however wanted to make the purest, gut loving, health promoting, coconut yogurt possible.
Success! I discovered the wonders of gelatin. (For a vegan alternative, agar agar works just as well, see the end of this post for instructions). Don’t use any old gelatin though, quality matters. We recommend Gelpro gelatin in Australia.
WHAT KIND OF CANNED COCONUT SHOULD I USE?
This recipe uses canned organic coconut cream without any additives, however, a quick word of warning; coconut cream a la natural won’t behave! Without additives canned coconut cream (and milk) will separate. In cool weather coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the coconut water. Depending on the brand of coconut cream, you might even get a solid layer of coconut oil right on top of the cream. We have a tip in our method to remove the oil.
Also, watch for BPA (an industrial chemical used in plastic). Like almost all canned foods, there is usually toxic BPA in the lining of canned coconut cream. Many state BPA free these days which is great.
You will need a yogurt starter culture to introduce the fermentation of bacteria to your coconut cream. Use the amount of starter culture indicated on the packet. A good multi-strain probiotic or the contents of a capsule may also be used. For more on probiotics click over to 24 hour yogurt Vs a probiotic pill.
FEED THE BACTERIA SUGAR
In traditional dairy milk yogurt, the bacteria in starter culture thrive on the sugar (lactose) content, naturally found in milk. The bacteria populating your coconut yogurt must have something to feed on to allow the culturing process to take place. A little bit of sugar is enough to kick start fermentation. Don’t be afraid of this, the sugar is not for you, and it will be consumed by the hungry, healthy, bacteria.
COCONUT YOGURT RECIPE
Thoroughly wash or sterilize your yoghurt container, whisk and other utensils with boiling water.
INGREDIENTS3 x 400ml cans of coconut cream (organic BPA free and additive free)
1 teaspoon of white sugar
1 tablespoon (10 grams) of premium gelatin powder
Yogurt starter culture or probiotic capsule
- Place the cans of coconut cream into the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to set the layer of coconut oil on the top of the can.
- Open the can. Pierce the solidified oil with a knife to cut it in half and then prize it off. Scrap away the traces of cream attached to the oil and return to the can. Don’t throw the oil away - coconut oil is a fabulously healthy oil to cook with. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.
- Spoon the coconut cream from one can into a large saucepan but leave behind as much coconut water as possible. The water is required in step 5.
- Pour the coconut cream and water of the remaining 2 cans into the saucepan also.
- In a small ceramic bowl combine the gelatin powder and the reserved coconut water (approx. 1/4 cup is required). Stir and set aside for 3 minutes to swell.
- Add the swollen gelatin mixture and sugar to the saucepan.
- Place the saucepan on the stove top and gently warm to 35⁰- 40⁰C (95⁰-104⁰F) to activate the gelatin. Stir with a wire whisk to ensure the gelatin has dissolved. Do not boil.
- Remove from the heat and pour the coconut cream into your yogurt making glass jar.
- Add your preferred starter culture and gently whisk it in. NOTE: if you over heated the coconut cream you must wait until the temperature is within the range above. Adding live cultures to hot liquid will kill the bacteria.
- Put the lid firmly on the glass yogurt jar and place into your yogurt maker.
- Pour water slowly into the base. (The water must not be filled over the ‘tall line’ indicated on the inside wall of the maker). Then place the cover lid on top.
- Use the digital control panel to set the temperature to 38° C, the time to between 12 - 24 hours. (depending on your desired tartness - a longer fermentation will have more friendly bacteria) and then press ‘confirm’ to begin incubation.
- When complete, the yogurt will be warm, runny and separated. Place the jar in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set. The gelatin will set the coconut water and cream into two layers.
- When the yogurt has chilled, whisk with a spoon or a stick blender to incorporate.
- Serve and enjoy
Substitute gelatin for 1 teaspoon of agar agar. Gently heat the coconut milk to 190⁰F (87⁰C) and hold the temperature for 10 minutes. Do not boil. Watch it closely; coconut milk heats faster than regular milk. Remove from the heat and then cover and let cool to below 108° F (42° C) before adding your starter culture.