Friday, 20 November 2015
My first attempt at making coconut yogurt.
I don't make my own fermented foods as not to many in my family like them or want to eat enough of them so I just buy them, but I really wanted to give it a try. I figured if I was able to make small batches for just me or one of another kind that I knew someone else liked then I should give it a try. I have also done a small batch of veggies but they are not ready yet. If they turn out I'll probably post them out of excitement. :)
Through my studies which are a few years back now I came to learn about probiotics, fermentation and all the multitude of health benefits. I made sure to include them in my diet. When I started drinking kombucha and liking it lol. Gotta admit they all aren't great, but I do have several I like now. I really wanted to start making my own. When I over heard a conversation about someone giving kombucha a try by using a scoby from a friend and then getting really sick. I was done right there. Got me a bit spooked about messing around with bacteria. I thought I'd just leave it up to the professionals and I'd stick with buying these items.
However the thoughts kept creeping into my head to giving it a try.
Coconut yogurt was what I wanted to start with. So here the journey begins. At least I think, time will tell. :)
After doing lots of research, I learnt that full fat coconut milk is the way to go to receive a nice thick consistency, however I never use full fat coconut milk as there is enough fat in my diet. Good fat or bad fat, fat is fat and to much is never good. Don't want to consume my daily amount all in one meal, because then I'd have to make sure the rest of the day was fat free. No fun thanks. :) So I was determined to use the 72% less fat in this experiment. It turned out fantastic and I love it!. Yes it's runny and I'm completely fine with that. For me I feel like I am drinking kefir. Without the kefir of course. It's just the right amount of sourness too. It's all about ones preference in thickness, ingredients and technique. To be honest I kinda think this turning out was a huge fluke. I really didn't expect it to turn out! Especially on my first try. I'm thrilled it did. Two ingredients and 12 hrs later to yum!
It did take looking at several websites and learning about all the techniques and equipment for me to find what was simple and quick. Considering I thought about making this on the spur of the moment without any starter kits or equipment. I needed to be able to use what I had and that was what I used in this jar of coconut yogurt.
The biggest concern for me was how would I know if my yogurt was safe to consume. My thoughts of course reflecting on the kombucha story. What signs to look for if it wasn't. After all I wasn't following any particular recipe and technique. I was kinda just taking a bit from a couple of websites.
I spent most of my time researching this. After all we are wanting the health benefits not new health concerns.
See website for those helpful tips at the bottom of the blog.
Here is the simple and easy recipe and technique I used.
1 can 72% less fat organic coconut milk
1 100 billion live cultures probiotic capsules ( you will find these in the refrigerated section in your health food store )
Turn oven light on
Wash and dry a 1/2 quart ( 1 pint ) mason jar and lid using clean hands and towels. Set aside
Open the can of coconut milk and pour it into a bowl
Open the probiotic capsule up and add to the milk and whisk or stir till it's well incorporated
Pour into the jar and seal the lid on tight
Place the jar in the oven making sure the light is on and leave in for 12 hours
I made mine around 6:30 pm so it could sit all night. I chose this time because I knew for sure I wasn't going to be needing the oven. The longer it stays in the oven the more sour the taste will be. So set your time when it makes sense for you to be able taste the yogurt at about 8hrs. (8-12 hrs is the recommended time for this technique). If the taste is right for you then remove it from the oven at this point. If not then leave in till you think it's ready.
Once ready remove from the oven and let the jar sit to cool at room temperature.
Place in the fridge and enjoy!
I've been drinking a shot of this each day since I made it first thing when I wake up, but you could drizzle it over some fruit, cereal, oatmeal or even add it to your shakes or smoothed too.
Another thing I'd like to say is I'm certainly no expert on making fermented foods as you now know, but I do know that the health benefits are huge when it comes to consuming fermented foods. Proper balance of bacteria in our gut is very important to our good health. It's amazing how probiotics cure many of our ailments that we think we need medication for. I do encourage you to read about the importance of probiotics if you are not familiar with them.
Here are a few sites to start you off. I also posted an article on the blog a few weeks ago. You can check that out under the "Articles" heading if you wish.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
I hope if you choose to make your own fermented foods to do some research, take a class or purchase books to ensure you make the best out of all your efforts and time but especially learn to know the signs of contamination if it occurs. Don't be discouraged if it takes a few or several tries to get it done right. I do know my time is coming because this fluke may not happen twice. Even though I hope it does. :) Mostly may you be Nutritionally Well.