How To Make Your Own Probiotic Coconut Yogurt
Did you ever have one of those dishes you make that everyone loses their mind over, but you kind of secretly feel guilty because you know how virtually effortless it is? This is one of those. In fact, I'm almost embarrassed to share it because it might mean losing a little credit as a domestic goddess. Nevertheless, your life will be greatly improved for knowing how to create this tangy, healthy treat on a regular basis so I'll swallow my pride and carry on.
I won't name names but there's a very popular, wellness blogger-faved coconut yogurt on the market that's very good, but (in my opinion) ridiculously expensive. When a particularly crafty friend noticed I had purchased said non-dairy treat, she said, "You know you can make that right?" According to her recipe, not only could I make this a similar coconut yogurt, but I could do so at fraction of the price of the cult brand's version. You need only the following ingredients (which I'll go into detail about in the step-by-step instructions below): coconut milk and probiotic capsules. That's it! Read on to get all the secrets to create your own bowl of creamy, delicious, gut-improving, bloat-busting goodness.
Don't ask me why, but some coconut milks work better than others. After some experimentations, I find that full-fat, organic coconut milk works best. The brand that never lets me down is Whole Foods' 365. It's ingredients are simply organic coconut milk, purified water, and organic guar gum. So if you can't find 365 near you, look for one that has these ingredients. If it doesn't or there's an imbalance of these, your yogurt won't set properly.
I use a plain mason jar and fill it with the coconut milk at room temperature, so that the solids and liquids are well-mixed. If they're not, keep the can in warm water until the solids are loose, and make sure to blend together the contents using a fork or spoon.
Stir in one to two capsules of your favorite probiotic, ideally one with lactobacillus acidophilus. I use this Garden of Life blend for women. Don't worry if it won't mix completely in; it will still break down eventually.
The mixture will sit out 24 to 48 hours (I recommend starting with just the 24), depending on your desired level of tartness. Because it needs to breathe for the bacteria to do its thing, I cover it with a bit of cheesecloth which will also keep out any pests. Leave it out on your counter, not in direct light but definitely not in a dark, cool corner because it needs a bit of warmth to make probiotic magic. After 12 hours, uncover and give it another good stir, then replace the cheesecloth. Don't worry if at that point it looks like a bubbly science experiment or if it has become slightly separated. Just mix it back together and let it sit the other 12 hours.
After a full 24 hours, give it one last stir and replace with a sealable lid before popping into the fridge. It should smell slightly sour, just like regular yogurt does. Keep in the fridge for several hours or until the coconut milk has firmed up significantly to the texture of Greek yogurt (see above). The reason this happens is because the coconut solids are hardening back up—much the way that ghee would when you pop it in the fridge. Your fridge needs to be pretty cold for this to happen properly so make sure it's not overcrowded or turned too far down. For me it helps to keep it in the back, where it's coolest.
There's always an option to add a bit of maple syrup or stevia in your recipe at the same time as when you first mix in the probiotic capsule, but I like to leave mine completely unsweetened. Once it's set, my favorite way to enjoy is it by adding some coconut shreds (also unsweetened, fresh blueberries, and a tablespoon of flax seed, but you can add whatever ingredients you like: granola, fruit, a layer of chia pudding, nut butter—the list is endless!