You Put the Coconut in the Yogurt and Shake It All Up

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Okay, not really, but I couldn’t think of a clever title. I’ve been editing not one but two nasty manuscripts today, and my brain is tired.

Anyway, in my never-ending quest for culinary adventures, I’ve been looking into nondairy yogurts. In my journey, I ordered a vegan yogurt starter kit from Cultures for Health. I’ve ordered several things from them and have always had good luck with one exception. I couldn’t get their rye sourdough starter to work. Although you can order just the starter, I opted for the kit since you can’t find Pomona’s pectin or a nut bag around here. And I can always use another thermometer.

The instructions suggest a variety of milks to use for your yogurt. I knew I could get almond milk at the store, but it says not to use commercial almond milk. Well, I knew I could get coconuts, and I had a can of usable coconut milk. So coconut milk it was. I began by draining the coconut water and scooping out the meat. It and some of the milk went into the Vitamix and went whirring.

Something I didn’t know before I started this adventure was that when using nondairy milk, you need to use a thickener. The kit comes with Pomona’s pectin, but the instructions provide other suggestions. I later found a recipe that uses chia seeds for thickening. If using the pectin, you add the recommended amount, whir, and see if it thickens. Mine did, so I was good to go. If it doesn’t, you simply mix up some of the calcium water, which is included with the pectin, and add it to the mixture.

Strain the mixture and then, like making most yogurts, you heat the mixture and then put it in your yogurt maker. And wait. The waiting process was a bit longer than making dairy yogurt. Instructions warn that it will not thicken until it gets cold, and it seemed to take quite a while.

Was it worth it? Yes. The taste is really good. As you may be able to tell from the photo, I used too much Pomona’s. The instructions say to play around with the amount of thickener, and that is true in my case. So next time, I’ll go with a little less. If you’re not a huge fan of coconut flavor, it seemed pretty subtle. Mine didn’t have the tang I like, but it was fine. I couldn’t help but think how good it would be frozen.

Something to keep in mind. One of the motivators to making your own yogurt is using some of the previous batch to make a new one. According to the instructions that came with the kit from Cultures for Health, that can’t be done with these starters. In doing research, I read that some people do it successfully, but it’s usually not as effective as when using traditional milk.

Go wild. Be adventurous. Try something new.

© Copyright 2016 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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