Are you lactose intolerant or a vegan? You can still enjoy yogurt and attain a healthy gut by opting for the vegetarian kind. You can get it at your favorite supermarket or simply make one right in your own kitchen. You can make dairy-free yogurt perfect for lactose intolerant or a vegetarian from coconut milk. It’s super easy, fun and cheap — and delicious!
Before we get started, it’s important for you to get your hands on a couple of really important ingredients: coconut milk and non-dairy yogurt starter culture.
These days, you can easily obtain coconut milk at the local supermarket. While there are plenty of canned ones, it is a good idea to steer clear of them. It has something to do with the lining of the can — it contains toxic BPA that can leach into the coconut milk within. Definitely cancels out the health-giving goodness of coconut milk yogurt!
So what is BPA? Short for bisphenol A, it’s an industrial chemical used for making epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastic containers, such as water bottles. And just like what’s mentioned earlier, BPS is also used as lining in numerous canned food products, and some of them are canned coconut milk being sold these days.
Hormonal imbalance, increased blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, obesity, miscarriages, weakened immune system, low sperm count — these are just a few of BPA’s known side effects. BPA is clearly unhealthy!
When shopping for coconut milk that you can turn into dairy-free yogurt, what you can do to avoid BPA exposure is by going for something that comes in a BPA-free can. Or simply go for coconut milk in a box or tetra pack. However, you should also carefully read the label — you don’t want to buy coconut milk that contains all sorts of additives and is watered down. That’s definitely not ideal for making homemade yogurt.
Next, you should also purchase non-dairy yogurt starter culture, something that’s necessary for fermentation. You are not going to have a hard time getting this ingredient as it’s available at most health food stores online and offline.
Can’t seem to find non-dairy yogurt starter culture? Fret not because you may simply go for probiotic capsules — you will need 2 to 3 capsules for the recipe below. However, see to it that the probiotic capsules you intend to use as replacements for non-dairy yogurt starter culture contain bacterial strains like L. casei, S, themophilus and L. bulgaricus. Also, see to it that the probiotic capsules are non-dairy.
Are you excited to make your own dairy-free yogurt out of coconut milk? Here’s how:
- 1 liter of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon of non-dairy yogurt starter culture or 2 to 3 pieces of non-dairy probiotic capsules
- 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of agar-agar flakes
- First things first: have all your tools (saucepan, mixing spoon, yogurt containers, etc.) sterilized with boiling water.
- Place your coconut milk in a saucepan. Heat it up to 180°F. Make sure that your coconut milk won’t come to a boil. Also, ensure that it reaches 180°F to prevent contamination risk.
- While still hot, slowly mix in your 2 tablespoons of agar-agar flakes. You may use less or more agar-agar flakes, depending on the consistency of your liking.
- Cover the saucepan and allow the coconut milk to cool to 95°F to 100°F. This is a very important part because the bacterial culture you will add later will only die if the coconut milk is too hot.
- Get about 1/2 cup of coconut milk and put your bacterial culture in it. Stir very well and mix it into the rest of your coconut milk. Stir.
- Place your coconut milk in small containers and place them in an area in your kitchen where the temperature is 105°F to 110°F. Allow to ferment for 7 to 9 hours. The longer you ferment, the less sweet your non-dairy homemade yogurt will be.
- Once happy with the taste, refrigerate. Let your non-dairy yogurt out of coconut milk chill for at least 6 hours before consuming.