Monday, May 28, 2018

Insourcing....Budget busting home made coconut yoghurt...

Coconut yoghurt. It's yum but expensive. Well...not any more. Because I'm about to share an economical way of making your own coconut yoghurt.
I know.
You're excited, right?
Me too.
Coconut yoghurt usually comes in a 500gm tub, and here, costs about $6, meaning at $1.20 per 100gms, it's the MOST expensive yoghurt by far.
Normal dairy yoghurt costs somewhere between .35c for the no-name brands and up to .65c per 100gms for the premium brands. My home made stuff costs about .20c per 100gms. No joke. Recipe for home made dairy yoghurt here.
So coconut milk yoghurt is like gold in a family home where there are food sensitivities.
Sadly, the fam don't acknowledge the likenesses between the price of gold and the price of coconut yoghurt, preferring to splash it around like the normal stuff. This could easily put our families Yoghurt Bill at about $60 a week if they had their way. Second mortgage for yoghurt, anyone?
Recently, I'd taken to portioning it out into clip top jars like little café` breakfast parfaits.

Note the delicate portion sizes. Bought yoghurt tubs are a similar size. Don't fall into the trap of filling the jar up because you can. That won't be a money saving at all!
That stemmed the haemorrhaging of coconut yoghurt for a moment.
But still.
I'd had this idea for ages that I could modify the home made dairy yoghurt recipe for a coconut milk one. I just kept putting it off.
No more!
Last night, I had a moment. Sadly, it wasn't a moment where I could locate my Easi-yo thermos flasks as 'someone-not-me' had moved them for reasons best known to themselves. But I improvised. I improvise a lot. Don't you?
Now the basis of this yoghurt is the same as my home made dairy yoghurt. So I used the Easiyo Greek Yoghurt starter as I always have it on hand. If you are completely lactose intolerant, use an equivalent amount of store bought coconut yoghurt as your starter. I've read that you can also use the contents of 3-4 Acidophilus capsules as starter, but I haven't tried that. 
So here's the recipe:
You'll need:
1 x 400ml tin Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons of Easiyo Unsweetened Greek Yoghurt Powder OR 2 tablespoons of supermarket bought coconut yoghurt to use as starter
1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatine dissolved in a few teaspoons of warm tap water
(see notes below for a vegan version)
2 tablespoons of sugar, or sugar or other sweetener to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence (optional)
You'll also need an airtight jar or container for your yoghurt, and an Esky (chilly bin/cooler box) and some blankets. Naturally if you have an Easiyo system, you'd use that.
Then just:
Warm the coconut milk in the microwave until it's barely body temperature. You don't want it hot, or it will kill the bacteria that ferment the yoghurt. You just want a nice warm environment for them to thrive.
Whisk together the warmed coconut milk and the dissolved gelatine until well combined. Adding a bit of the coconut liquid to the gelatine and combining well first, helps it amalgamate.

Add the vanilla paste or essence, the sugar, and the yoghurt starter, be it Easiyo, store bought yoghurt or Acidophilus powder...

Pour this into your airtight container.
Place the container in your Esky (chilly bin/cooler box), and add a hot water bottle and some blankets to keep it all nice and cozy. Place in a warm, draught-free spot for about 12 hours.
If like me, you have an Easiyo thermos, proceed as you would for normal yoghurt.
I like to make my yoghurt ahead of time before we run out, so I tend to do this at night, chill it the next morning, and eat it the day after.
You can avoid this by getting your yoghurt ready in the morning, allowing it ferment during the day, and chilling it overnight for breakfast on the following morning.
All things going well, you should be rewarded with something that looks like this....
Mine lower left, store bought upper right...
...very little difference, right?
Mine on the left, store bought on the right, above...

Mine upper, store bought, lower.
The flavour is practically identical, especially if you use Vanilla Bean Paste and not Vanilla Essence.
The texture of mine was more creamy and liquid, whilst the store bought (Cocobella Vanilla) was more pudding-like.
I decided to add a little more gelatine to mine to firm it up slightly. I whisked a teaspoon of gelatine into a couple of teaspoons of warm tap water till dissolved, tipped my coconut yoghurt into a bowl, and whisked it through again. I ended up with a couple of lumps of undissolved gelatine in the yoghurt but I just fished them out with a teaspoon.
Back into a tub it went, and into the refrigerator while I composed this post and hung out a load of washing.

So now my coconut yoghurt looks like this in the container seen above, and below, mine on the left, store bought on the right.
Now MINE is a bit too pudding-like, so perhaps 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatine would be about right. Alternatively, I'm thinking I can make a sort of coconut milk 'custard' thickening with arrowroot first, then adding the culture to that and fermenting for 12 hours. That will be the next experiment, so stay tuned.
Another option of course, is to just accept that your home made coconut yoghurt has a more liquid consistency, and turn it into Coconut Yoghurt Chia Puddings as seen at the top of my post. Ferment your yoghurt, then add 6 tablespoons of Chia seeds, stir well, and decant into containers. Perfection. This too is another great vegan alternative.
Personally, I rather like the thicker texture with the extra gelatine, and the flavour is insanely good.
For $2.50 per 500gms instead of $6, or .50c per 100gms as opposed to $1.20, I think we can call this one a win.
What do you think?
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  1. Ohhh loverrrlly Mimi! I love Chia seed pudding which I make now and then so I will try make this and that , thanks heaps! Love Maria xxx

  2. Yummo. I love the idea of the coconut chia puddings. Think this is something that will be happening here. I dont have the clip lock containers but I do have quite a few small wide mouthed jars. Might give this a go tonight. Thank you.

    1. Meh...I already had the clip top jars Jane. Any glass or jar will

  3. Sounds divine! Maybe closer to summer, I'm into easy baked custards with a bit of dried pear or apple and chai for desert. I do miss my morning yoghurt with porridge but due to a change in medication to take before breakfast, I have to avoid dairy for 4 hours! But coconut milk wouldn't be classed as dairy? Cheers Erin

    1. Hi HAVE to try this. It's utterly lush and so much easier on the tum. Coconut milk is definitely NOT dairy so all good :) Mimi xxx

  4. Mimi, I haven't bought gelatine for years but I do have the rest of the ingredients. Trust you to come up with a cheaper solution :-)

    1. That's always my mission Chel ;-) Mimi xxx

  5. Fabulous Mimi!
    This is very similar to how I make mine, my son prefers the texture of only a half to 3/4 Tspn gelatine, we use a smidgen of the yoghurt culture from an online shop so that may effect the consistency in comparison to the easiyo.
    I’ve found the Aldi coconut milk/cream to be good with no additives (ayam would be my preferred but too exy).
    Also, it’s DELICIOUS (to our tastes) with a tspn of cinnamon along with the vanilla.

    1. Deb, you're ahead of me then! Here I was thinking I'd come up with a genius solution that was unheard! I just bought four tins of the Aldi coconut milk at -89c each, which will make the next couple of batches VERY economical indeed. What a lark. I wish I'd done this two years ago when I first thought of! Mimi xxx

  6. Hi Mimi
    Coconut yogurt is just delish. Agreeably it doesn't come out as thick as we would like it so at the end of the fermentation process I sprinkle on a a very small amount of glucomanan (konjac root) and mix it in while the yogurt is still a little warm and then refrigerate it. The glucomanan thickens it up just right for us. I'm making your bake bean recipe today. Blessings Cookie

    1. Hi Cookie, yes apparently it reacts differently with the bacteria, and won't thicken the same way. I'll look into the Glucomanan. I've not heard of it. Thanks so much! I hope you like the Baked Beans. Love, Mimi xxx

  7. Mimi, this sounds delicious. Thanks for great instructions, Clare T

    1. Watch out Clare. It's addictive! Mimi xxx

  8. Hi Mimi, can you advise why we add gelatin? I thought yoghurt with added gelatin was substandard as many brands promote they don't thicken with gelatin. I don't personally have anything against it, but am curious why the bacteria don't thicken the coconut milk like with cows milk? Cheers Natalie

    1. Hi Natalie. It's purely for thickening. You are right. The bacteria does not react the same way with coconut milk as it does with dairy milk, but without a scientific explanation, I do not know why. For me, it's purely a textural preference. If you don't mind runny yoghurt, or if you plan to only use it to make Chia Puddings, you don't need the gelatine or other thickeners. I think that's why the commercial ones promote the idea that they DON'T. Because they want it known that the thickening is induced by the Acidophilus bacteria, not by adding something. It's no biggie for home made though. Today I'm trying what I assume is the method used by Cocobella. They list Arrowroot as an ingredient. That's just another name for Tapioca Flour, which is basically used the same way as Cornflour (Corn Starch for my U.S. friends), to thicken, like you do for basic powdered custard. Today I'll make up the flavoured coconut milk (without adding the Easiyo powder), and add the Arrowroot, heating it till it thickens. I'll allow it to cool before adding the Easiyo powder to activate the fermentation process. In my head, this will result in a thicker yoghurt straight off. We shall see. I'll report back tomorrow. Mimi :)

    2. Every time I read your posts Mimi I learn something new. I had no idea arrowroot and Tapioca Flour were the same thing. My In-laws have a corn allergy so the ever increasing uses for arrowroot is invaluable info. Thank you again.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you Mimi!

    I have tried to make coconut yogurt but have failed so far. I will give your method a go and hopefully with greater success! We love coconut yoghurt and now we are both vegan this would be so inexpensive compared to the store bought version. I have purchased Agar Agar powder to thicken mine instead of gelatin. I thought about using arrowroot, but wondered if it would work well enough. Have yet to try.

    Guess what I am doing tomorrow? :)



I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx