What happens when you pair a health-conscious, vegan mother of two who has her own diet business with a husband and children who sometimes have other ideas? This blog is a chronicle of my journey to eat and live in a life-affirming way!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easy Peasy Creamy Homemade Coconut Yogurt!

In the past, when I have been craving yogurt, I have either made my Coconut Cream Pudding (see below) or have bought the So Delicious coconut yogurt sold in stores. So, yesterday when we were all having yogurt bowls, I thought, "if I can make my own almond milk, I can certainly try to make my own yogurt!" As are all things that are homemade, it was so creamy and delicious and SOOOOOOO much better than the store-bought variety!

Whether you are trying to eat more dairy-free, are trying to minimize/eliminate the dairy in your childrens' diets or are lactose intollerant, this recipe is so easy and worth trying.

First step is getting all the ingredients you need.

You will need Coconut Meat. You can cheat and buy these great bags of the frozen meat by Exotic Superfoods OR you can purchase 3-4 Thai coconuts at your local health food store or Whole Foods. Watch this short video on How to Open a Coconut.

And, then you will also need:
- 1-2 vanilla beans (approximately 1/2-3/4 tbsp)
- 1/8 cups agave nectar (or more if you like it sweeter)
- healthy splash of vanilla extract
- Coconut or regular filtered water (I used just a bit of coconut yogurt)

Place all of the ingredients except the coconut or regular water and blend. Add water slowly as needed until mixture smooth. At this point if you want you can take part of the mixture aside and have Coconut Cream or Chocolate Pudding (I made both!)

So, here is the coconut pudding (with some delish toppings!). Although the yogurt above doesn't look as white and bright, it is actually just the picture (and the fact that I added more vanilla beans!) Nice thing about this yogurt recipe, is that before you heat up the mixture to make into yogurt, you can put some aside for pudding like this...

And, here is the Chocolate pudding I made from that adding 2 tbsp raw cacao powder and a hint more agave nectar!

Second step: Add in your Probiotics!!!

I used 2 capsules from my favorite probiotics, Innate, by just opening up the capsule and dumping the powder in!

Step 3: Cover mixture and placing in a warm place.

Ideally, this is a dehydrator set at 110 degrees but you can also cover a bowl and place it in either near a warm place such as a space heater or oven OR (and you have to be careful with this) warm up your oven at the lowest temperature possible, open the door for a minute to let the heat escape, turn off the heat and then place the bowl inside the oven to warm it up. (not cook it!!!) The longer you leave it out the more sour and "yogurty" if will taste!

After you take it out of the dehydrator or oven, place it in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy! You will be seeing many concoctions using the homemade yogurt in the days to come!!!

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