What I want to share with you today is really fabulous. It’s dairy-free yogurt! I know you can just go to the store and buy it, but just imagine that you can make a very potent, coconut yogurt. That’s a completely different story, right?
I was searching and trying out different recipes and it finally worked out. The main struggle was to get that Greek-yogurt texture and flavour and I was so happy when I finally got a jar of lovely and completely fabulous dairy-free yogurt.
All those failed attempts had one thing in common – I was not using the key thing that gives the yogurt the velvety texture and light flavour. You will need to find probiotic capsules of one particular bacteria called acidophilus. But when buying these (you can find them in any health food store), look for those from the fridge, don’t buy them over the counter. And when you buy them, keep them in the fridge before you use them.
The next thing you need is coconut flesh. There are a couple of ways to get this. I live in Bali and coconuts are abundant here. What I do is buy a number of young Thai coconuts, I drink coconut water (you can either drink it plain or add to smoothies and milkshakes) and then shred the flesh and freeze it. I cannot eat coconut flesh everyday, so I store it for future use. Besides dairy-free yogurt, you can use coconut flesh to make dairy-free sour cream if you are allergic to cashews or ice cream that we make in our online cooking classes.
If you don’t live in Bali or Australia, you can buy frozen Thai coconut flesh or even good-quality, canned coconut cream. With the cream, you just need to keep it in the fridge and then just scoop it into your blender.
I prefer having fresh coconuts because I can use coconut water as well. Anyway, it’s your choice which is more convenient for you. So, if you have frozen coconut flesh, defrost it and strain the water. When the coconut flesh is ready, add it into your Vitamix or regular blender and blend until it becomes super fine and creamy. Then open and add your probiotic capsules and blend for a minute to make sure that the bacteria have been incorporated into the coconut cream.
Transfer this cream into a glass jar, cover with a towel and keep it somewhere warm overnight. In the morning, you will see that your dairy-free has grown. And you should know that the hotter it is, your yogurt grows more. Keep this in mind when you choose the container for your yogurt. When you see some bubbles in your dairy-free yogurt, you will know that you did everything right. Now you need to store your yogurt in the fridge and it will keep for about 10 days.
Make it, use it with granola in the morning, with pancakes instead of ice cream or eat it plain. It’s fabulous no matter how you decide to eat it.
Chef Cynthia Louise xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.