Why homemade coconut yogurt is the winner:
I am a big fan of yogurt, but overall not a big fan of dairy and in particular, cow’s milk. I tried coconut yogurt that they sell in stores and honestly was not impressed with the flavour, taste, added ingredients and the price. After trying to make coconut yogurt from frozen coconut, I was also not impressed as it just had an off taste. So no matter how easy that recipe was, it didn’t really do anything for me. So I was pretty skeptical to try another homemade one, but after seeing some interesting versions online, I thought I would give it a go and I was not disappointed. This version is creamy, easy to make, affordable and tastes delicious, try my easy homemade coconut yogurt today!
Is dairy the devil?
What is the deal with dairy? I am not anti-dairy, I still enjoy some cheese every now and then, but for the most part I try to avoid dairy altogether. But why? Isn’t dairy a great source of calcium? The dairy industry sure wants you to think that. But when you look a little bit further, you can find out some pretty interesting facts about dairy and why it may be best to leave it off your plate.
First, dairy is one of the most allergenic foods out there, especially cow’s milk (and the cheese/yogurt products made from it). Many times, when people just cut out dairy from their diet, they can be relieved of many symptoms including: bloating, indigestion, eczema and other skin issues, IBS and the list goes on and on. I am not saying that this is the only problem with some people’s diet, but it is a huge allergen to watch out for. Apart from just the allergen component there are some other reasons to give dairy the boot.
A second reason to avoid dairy is that it causes inflammation for a lot of people because of the protein called casein that is found in milk. Inflammation in the body can impair insulin sensitivity and damage the hormone-signalling of ovulation, while also making hormone receptors sensitive to androgens (such as testosterone), this is something you definitely want to avoid if you are dealing with PCOS.
A third reason to avoid dairy is that it is not a beauty-boosting food at all! Similar to other inflammatory foods, dairy will not be of any benefit for your skin health. Your skin is your largest organ after all and it will be the first to show any signs of distress going on inside the body. If your liver and digestive system are not able to do their job, this will show on your skin in the form of redness, splotches, acne or just an overall lacklustre appearance. And I am pretty sure you don’t want that, do you?
Luckily, there is a tasty solution to many dairy-filled recipes and with yogurt, coconut milk is just the right ingredient. The only hard part about making this easy homemade coconut yogurt is the waiting. But the reward afterwards is totally worth it.
Why probiotics are so necessary:
So before I get to the recipe, I wanted to touch a little bit on the importance of including fermented and probiotic-rich foods in your diet.
Our gut contains tons of bacteria, both good and bad. What we eat can directly affect this relationship or ratio of good to bad bacteria. There are numerous things that can throw off our gut flora, such as antibiotic use, high sugar intake, poor digestion/absorption of nutrients, stress, disease, candida and many more. Now when we eat fermented foods we are supplying our digestive tract with living cultures (the good bacteria) that are important in breaking down the foods we eat. This helps to ensure that what we eat can be properly broken down and assimilated and thus used by our bodies. The connection of our gut to our brain is actually quite remarkable and so by including more cultured foods, we are also helping with brain health as well. There is so much more to the gut-brain connection than this and for more information, feel free to check out Dr.Permutter’s book, Brain Maker.
Most people don’t realize how much energy digestion takes or how complicated the process of digestion actually is. So many things can go wrong with digestion, which then can lead to indigestion as well as the inability of your body to actually assimilate and use the nutrients you are supplying your body with. The saying goes, you are what you eat, but it should be you are what you digest/absorb. You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you can’t digest it (for whatever reason), what good is it? Now, eating foods that are pre-digested such as cultured foods, you are easing some of the stress and thus increasing your own energy.
Improved skin health:
As I stated already, your skin being the largest organ, it is one of the first areas to show when things aren’t going right internally. By including more good bacteria you are in turn creating a healthier internal environment to break down food, absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. When we have more bad bacteria than good, inflammation can rear its ugly head and can cause acne or other skin problems. So if you want to have healthy, glowing skin, you really do start with your gut first.
Now, let’s move on to the details on making your own easy homemade coconut yogurt. It tastes delicious topped with some homemade granola (just sayin’).
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- You will need a sterilized glass jar (like a mason jar).
- A wooden or plastic spoon (not a metal one)
- 1-2 probiotic capsules of your choice
- Access to a warm place, such as the oven with just the light on for at least 18-24 hours
- Refrigerate your can of coconut milk for a couple hours. This helps to have the fat rise to the top, if you want a super thick yogurt, you can just use that part and save the liquid for something else. Personally if you do this, you won’t end up with much yogurt, so I don’t suggest it. I use the whole can.
- Open your can of coconut milk and using your wooden spoon pour it into your mason jar.
- Add the optional vanilla extract or vanilla bean (I use about half a teaspoon of vanilla extract).
- Add 1-2 capsules* of your probiotic. To do this, simply open up your capsule and add just the powder to the coconut milk, not the entire pill on its own. Stir it all up with your wooden or plastic spoon.
- Cover your jar with a lid and move it to your warm place. The oven with only the light on works great for this.
- Wait at least 18-20 hours before taking it out to taste it. If it tastes too sweet then it’s not ready yet as it should taste a bit tangy similar to regular yogurt. I found that when I left it for just over 24 hours, it tasted the best.
- Once it tastes tangy, it’s done; you now can move it to the fridge where it should stay to thicken up. Ideally leave it to thicken in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. I left mine overnight and the next day it was nice and thick. Keep in mind, it’s not nearly as thick as Greek yogurt is, but I like the consistency. If you want it thicker, just don’t pour in as much or any of the liquid from the coconut milk can.
- It can stay in the fridge for about a week.
- Enjoy it as you would any other yogurt.
- *I found that 2 probiotic capsules worked the best as well as leaving it for the full 24 hours.
- It will look runny when you take it out of the oven after the 24 hour mark, however, it will thicken up nicely once it is refrigerated.