When I first read the GAPS book, it talked about how consuming a natural, probiotic-rich yoghurt was very important and played a huge role in the process of replenishing your gut flora and helping it to heal.
Most pre-made, supermarket yoghurts have additives like sugar, and the cultures used in them tend to deteriorate over time, and you often don’t receive the full benefits of the probiotics contained within these yoghurts due to processing and handling along the way. If you do opt for a pre-made yoghurt, look for one that only contains milk and probiotic cultures, nothing more, as this means it’s as natural as can be. Plus, you’ll also want to keep an eye put on the packaging labels for ones that say “active” AND “live cultures”, not just “live” as this may mean they may not be able to provide all the benefits to your gut that healthy cultures can bring.
I remember the first time I tried making my own homemade yoghurt, it was before I was vegan, and I wanted to give homemade dairy yoghurt a try. I was quite daunted by it at first, thinking it was going to be this super complicated process involving a hundred different things, but it was actually really simple. I look back now and am so glad I pushed through the fear and did it anyway, because the process was so easy and the results were great!
As I was researching how to make it, I came across a hundred different ways in which you could create it. You can use a yoghurt starter (containing live cultures) to begin making your yoghurt, or you can use already made yoghurt and pop some of that into the milk to begin the process of making yoghurt. You can also use a heating pad, yoghurt maker, crockpot, dehydrator, or even an oven to act as the incubator for the yoghurt. When I first made yoghurt, I didn’t have a yoghurt maker to work with so I simply used my mum’s crockpot (bless her) to make the yoghurt, and it worked a treat!
Now I make coconut yoghurt and use a different process (which is even simpler! As I’ll share with you below). I learnt the recipe from @EarthyAndy and have absolutely LOVED it since trying it out! I add vanilla bean to my coconut yoghurt to give it a little more flavour, but if you’d prefer simple plain coconut yoghurt, just opt to leave out the vanilla bean.
Making Coconut Yoghurt
Before you get started, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Full Fat Coconut Milk:
- I desire full fat coconut milk as it produces that thick, creamy texture in the yoghurt, and I have also found it to work best for me when making yoghurt.
- Full fat coconut milk will give your yoghurt a thick and creamy texture, while light coconut milk may give a more liquidy finished texture.
- Source a high quality probiotic with a minimum of 50 billion live cultures. I sourced mine from my local health food store. Feel free to choose one that best suits you and your yoghurt.
Homemade Coconut Yoghurt Recipe
- 1 can full fat organic coconut milk
- 2 capsules of probiotic (50 billion live cultures – makes all the difference)
- 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
- Cheesecloth and a hair tie, string, or rubber band
- Shake the can of coconut milk before opening. Once opened, pour the milk into a 16 oz (or larger) mason jar.
- Take your 2 probiotic capsules and pull the capsules at each end to pour out the powder in the capsules into your coconut milk (discard the pieces of the capsules).
- Stir the probiotic into the milk until it has completely dissolved. For extra precaution you can pour the milk into you blender and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Cut your vanilla bean in half and scrape out the vanilla inside with a spoon (you can use vanilla powder or extract instead if you’d prefer) and add it to your coconut milk. Stir in the vanilla well until it’s mixed in evenly.
- Take some cheesecloth and cover the top of the jar with a single layer of it (avoid layering the cheesecloth to allow more air flow to the yoghurt). Secure the cheesecloth to the top of the jar with a rubber band, string, or new hair tie.
- Now we wait. Leave the yoghurt on your kitchen counter top for 24 hours or so. After 24 hours check on it and make sure it’s starting to thicken. It should have a thick and airy layer on the top of it.
- With a spoon, mix the top layer of the yoghurt in and stir for about 10-15 seconds. This helps to redisperse the vanilla and other contents of the yoghurt that may have settled at the bottom.
- Secure the cheesecloth back on the jar with your rubber band and let sit for an additional 24 hours (total 48 hours).
- After you have let the yoghurt sit for a full 48 hours, remove the cheesecloth and spoon the top layer, it should be thick and creamy, similar to the texture of Greek yoghurt. Stir in the top layer evenly with the bottom layer, then cover the yoghurt with a lid and place it in the fridge to thicken up and chill for 4-6 hours.
- Once chilled, it’s ready to eat! You can enjoy it with some of your favourite toppings too if you like. You can add in a sweetener like agave, coconut sugar, or maple syrup if you like. For me, I love to add a berry sauce or some fruit. Mmmm mmm! Enjoy!!
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products.
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Have you made yoghurt before? How did it go? What process did you follow?
Wells, Katie. (January 23, 2019). How to Make Yogurt (Easy Homemade Recipe). Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/59276/yogurt-recipe/
Coconut Vanilla Bean Yogurt. (February 06, 2019). Earthy Andy. Retrieved from http://www.earthyandy.com/plant-based-snack-recipes/coconut-vanilla-bean-yogurt