I lost my marbles when I made this yoghurt for the first time. I can’t tell you how many people I have cooked for who say that they know they should be avoiding dairy but they can’t seem to kick the yoghurt, is that ok?
There are living probiotics in dairy yoghurt, so that’s a good thing, but it is still dairy which is inflammatory (excessive inflammation promotes cancer growth, so we try to keep inflammatory foods to a minimum). I usually recommend chia pudding and if they look at me like I’m nuts and get a rebellious bacon and chocolate croissant for breakfast look in their eye, I say maybe a bit of goat yoghurt a couple of days a week to wean yourself off of it would be ok.
Not anymore, suckers! This coconut yoghurt is so damn good and is the perfect replacement. It tastes just like dairy yoghurt with a surprisingly subtle coconut flavour. It is made using the meat of young coconuts (the ones with soft meat, not hard, their husk has been trimmed to look like a straw hut if you’re buying them at the store (as opposed to climbing a tree for them) –check out the picture). the meat is puréed with it’s own coconut water until it reaches your desired thickness. It will not thicken in the fermenting process, so make it as thick or thin as you want in the purée stage (by adding more or less coconut water).
Puréeing it until it is as smooth as dairy yoghurt is important if you want it to resemble its inflammatory counterpart. A high power blender does the trick after a minute or two, and a mediocre one will probably work with a bit of extra time. Be sure to taste it to test for smoothness. Speaking of tasting, it won’t taste sour until after the fermentation process, be patient, it will get there, it’s straight-up magic.
Check out those ferment-y bubbles!
Young coconuts can be found at health food stores or Asian grocery stores. They are tricky to get open, I have used everything from a saw to a cleaver to crack them, which was a pain in the butt when I made large amounts of raw coconut ice cream/curries for clients in the past. The coconut world was flipped on its head when the Coco Jack was invented. I bought one immediately when I saw it demoed for the first time, and it has saved me SO MUCH TIME (and so many swear words). If you get into the habit of making this yoghurt regulaly, it’s more than worth the investment (see discount code below), especially if you’re not comfortable with a cleaver. Some stores sell the pre-shelled, frozen coconut meat in the freezer section, which can be pricey but is very convenient (just don’t forget to buy the coconut water too).
My cousin’s wife is a nutrition nerd buddy of mine and she actually sent this recipe to me after she tried it herself to help out with her family’s gut bacteria. It is a simple recipe, which I love, but you can also make it fancier if you’re in the mood for fruity flavours. I have added puréed fruit before the fermentation process, vanilla bean, and citrus zest, which were all really nice. If you make it plain, you have the option to add fresh, seasonal fruit or a raw peach chia jam when you serve it, like we’ve done here (this raw cherry chia jam would be get too!) OR use it as the base for tzatziki, salad dressings, chili/sweet potato topper, or any sweet or savory place that yoghurt, or even coconut milk would have been welcome before (like here, here or here).
Coconut is warming, so it is a good option for cool mornings, while the electrolytes in the water work for warmer, sweatier weather (and for dehydrating chemo side effects and big workouts). It is full of healthy fats, which will help you to absorb the nutrients in the colourful fruit you serve it with. Coconut contains caprylic acid, a natural antifungal (more intestinal love) and is also a membrane soother and can get things moving if you’re feeling blocked up. And that’s before we even get to the probiotics, which grow and proliferate during the fermentation process, helping to keep you regular and improve your overall intestinal health, which pharmaceutical drugs can be hard on. Your intestines want this yoghurt SO BADLY!
The yoghurt itself is entirely raw, so it is enzyme-rich and easily digested. Be careful not to cook it or warm it too much because it will kill the probiotics (but no stress if you do add it to a curry or something else cooked, you will still get the coconut benefits, just a little less gut flora love).
It is a great way to start the day and it makes you feel so proud, almost like you invented something awesome. Enjoy it with fresh summer fruit while it lasts, in your morning smoothie, and on top of your baked apples and quinoa porridge in the winter. Make some extra to give to a dairy-free friend who misses yoghurt in their life. Could there be a better show of love?
This post is NOT sponsored by the Coco Jack, I am just a big fan, and it makes cracking young coconuts so much safer and easier. I am, however an affiliate and you will get a 10% discount if you use the coupon code crushingcancer. I will also get a small royalty if you use the discount code or click through here to purchase one (which I appreciate, thank you). No pressure though, it is truly amazing, but also very niche and only useful if you find yourself going through lots of coconuts.
- 2 c Young Coconut Meat (about 2 coconuts worth) (see blog for cracking details)
- 1 c+ Coconut Water (from inside the coconut)
- 1 tsp Probiotic Powder (either loose powder, or open capsules)
- 3 Peaches, pitted
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- ⅛ tsp Vanilla Powder (optional)
- Optional: Blueberries for serving
- In a high power blender, blend the coconut meat together with the coconut water until very smooth (you may be able to accomplish this in a just ok blender if it goes for long enough).
- The texture you achieve in this stage will be the texture of the final product, so make it as thick or thin as you wish (with more or less coconut water).
- Add the probiotics and blend until combined (we add the probiotics at the end so that the heat from the blender doesn't damage them).
- Transfer contents to a mason jar, put the lid on top and put somewhere warm for 24 hours.
- Alternatively, if your house isn't warm, put in a food dehydrator set to 100*F for 12 hours OR Fill a pot with warm water (not hot) and put the jar in it (water below the yoghurt line) and put the lid or a cloth over top. If your house is actually chilly, replace the water every few hours (just leave it overnight though, it's just yoghurt, not a baby).
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days (5-6 days if you add a couple of pinches of salt and ½ tsp lemon juice).
- Enjoy as breakfast or in any other savory or sweet recipes that call for yoghurt.
- Blend 2 of the 3 pitted peaches until smooth-ish in a blender or with a stick blender (with vanilla if you wish).
- Add the chia and stir together. Allow to gel for ten minutes or so.
- Dice or slice up the third peach and mix with the chia jam.
- Spoon on top or layer with the yoghurt. Top with fresh blueberries.
- *If your stomach handles cooked fruit better than fresh, cook the peach purée and chunks before adding the chia seed.
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