WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coconut Yogurt Homemade

Yummy looking isn't it? Thankfully it was only my second attempt, the first attempt wasn't a good one! :-)

Smooth, firm and tangy- we all agree like a good greek yogurt without the "dryness". Coconut milk has a natural sweetness so it really is a plain yogurt even I with my sweet tooth found appealing!

Abby tried it- despite even my effort in buying a vegan(and not cheap!) culture she reacted. SIGH! Doesn't mean I have given up though. I suspect 1 of 2 things, either the cultures had corn,soy or dairy hidden(likely) or she isn't tolerating fermented, which is also possible. She does get a touch of Braggs apple cider vinegar now and then but usually baked or cooked into various foods.

There are plenty of cultures out there waiting for me to google and purchase them, now that I have this down, I just need to hunt down some more cultures to try.

On a positive, I know I can make coconut yogurt and it tastes thousands of times better then the So Delicious brand in the grocery section! And it is much "cleaner" and healthier eating. I think I will have to make a batch or two of dairy for Derek, he does like a good bowl of yogurt now and then, and it is absolutely terrific in ice cream.

I had ordered the Yogourmet quart yogurt maker a couple weeks ago. It still had not come on Saturday. We were stopping in a few of my favorite thrift shops and I spotted a like new Salton 5 individual serving yogurt maker sitting on the shelf begging me to haul it home. For 4 bucks I figured it would entertain me until the new one showed up.

Here was the recipe I followed;

Coconut Yogurt

makes a little over 3 cups
2 1/2 cans coconut milk or cream, approx 20% fat(more fat the better!)
3 Tablespoons tapioca starch
3 teaspoons granulated sugar(yes you need it! Coconut milk doesn't have lactose to feed the culture, by the time it is done culturing the sugar will all have been used anyway.)
1 packet yogurt culture(Or 2 heaping tablespoons of So Delicious plain coconut yogurt)
1. Combine 2 cans coconut milk/cream and sugar in a medium saucepan.
2. Begin Gently heating on medium heat. In the half of can of coconut milk blend in your tapioca well and pour into pan with the coconut milk and sugar. You will need to stir until it hits 180. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool to between 80-100 degrees- less then 80 and your culture won't start, more then 100 hundred they die- mine was at about 95 when I mixed in my culture.
3. Place a few tablespoons of cooled coconut milk mixture in a clean cup. Add the culture powder or the So Delicious Coconut yogurt and stir until it smooth. Add a little more coconut milk then stir the culture into the main saucepan.(make sure you mix the culture throughout all the coconut milk.)
This is when I used my yogurt maker and followed the directions for the maker. I fermented mine for a full 22 hours! Perfect tang and texture. From reading a number of blogs, many people chose to ferment coconut yogurt for 18-24 hours, which is twice as long as dairy.

6. Pop in the fridge and leave for another day(at least until totally chilled) before eating.
If you want to add in flavors or fruit, don't do it until it has completely chilled.

You don't need a yogurt maker- you can make yogurt in the oven, in a crockpot, folks even in make a "ice cooler" version..

Though I succeeded I am a little frustrated that Abby reacted. Probiotics are the golden rule for anyone who has GI issues from reflux to major issues like Abby. Especially folks like Abby who have more then their share of antibiotics daily probiotics are a must. So far, via my corn-free group, I don't think there is one yet that is free enough of her allergens to give a go. I am hopeful that either she will continue to heal up enough that she might tolerate one of the cultures I find, or a company will produce one that is truly clean and they don't play the "parts per million" game and claim she cannot possibly react to that minute amount..

I have about 2 weeks to figure out how to use the coconut yogurt.. some homemade ranch dressing, some in some homemade ice cream, maybe strain some to make faux cream cheese.. the list is endless. In the meantime, will be on the hunt for safe cultures for Abby.

UPDATE: Abby did fine with the yogurt stared with the So Delicious plain yogurt.


Jenna said...

I hope you are able to find some. I am amazed by all the things that you are making.

Anonymous said...

My name is Jessica and Im a Senior in High School. I have Mitochondrial Myopathy and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I go to Texas Children's at the Medical Center as well. The doctors say that EDS and Mito do NOT go together and I am a very rare case. Like Abby, my main issue is fatigue, and I also have a big problem with regulating my body temperature--mostly when it comes to being able to warm myself up.
I would just like to say that you are amazing for what you do and it's incredible how you do all that you can for Abby. It's hard being in the shoes of us patients, but I don't think people think people try to step into the parents' shoes often enough. <3

Anonymous said...

My kids have a lot of gut issues...and pros were very hard for them...so we used biotin to help the gut flora grow. Does she have candida overgrowth...that has been an issue with folks with gut issues. We ended up using up to 60 mgs per day...I don't know how old Abby is my kids are in their teens. But one more thing....biotin can cause constipation...so needs to be given with magnesium.

Diane said...

Thanks for the tip! No yeast overgrowth fortunately. But, so far with her severe corn allergy(and other 20 zillion allergies) there are no supplements or vitamins that are completely safe.. a lot of manufacturers claim to be free of corn via processing, or to have no corn proteins, but Abby reacts to all parts of the corn..sigh.. the few that really are corn free have soy, or birch, or safflower or lanolin- all allergens.. so we are really stuck finding foods that do the trick :-) It has been quite the journey! I am going to share your tip with some other families though! A lot of families really struggle with the same issues and luckily they can tolerate various supplements- they are going to be thrilled I have another tip for them! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I sure do understand about allergies...50+ per kiddo here. What saved my kids was chelation...but I am not sure where your girl is there. My kids had phenol issues, salicyclates, yeast, and more. You know the score....alphabet soup syndrome....seems like there is a problem for every letter of the alphabet. Tell your friends or you to go to autism mercury and post some of their issues there...a lot of the folks there have kiddos with more special needs than just autism. Whether they are chelating or not...they have a vast wealth of info that they are willing to share. Can your girl do fish...I am understanding that that is a great source of COQ10 which has really helped my kids mito issues...that and lots of b vits....we get ours thru fermented breads. We do our special one with fermented millet (leftover from our gf/cf rejuvalac) lentil and coconut milk. I know yours is different but just a thought.
One other thought that most folks who have b issues...like b12 or others....was folic acid and esp l-carnatine. B6 we had to use p5p. You prolly already know all this...lol
Aliyanna aliyannas-dreams@yahoo.com

Diane said...

Love the term "Alphabet soup syndrome" That is a perfect description! :-)
The group of parents I respect the most are the biomed Mom's- so smart! They have helped Abby and I through so much!
We are just now trying to get fresh white fish with her- each time I am ready to buy a live fish(histamine is less if I get live and serve within an hour or two) she is in the middle of a flare- but she used to do great with fish - just a shellfish allergy. I was just thinking about fermenting millet for hot cereal- and trying that with her- great idea!! Thank you so much for sharing all this! You have no idea how grateful I am ! Will see what we can give a try with her- :-)

Anonymous said...

Just don't use the acronym!!! winking

Anonymous said...

Does this work with your homemade coconut milk?

Diane said...

Yes, but you have to pay attention to how much coconut cream you have. I put my homemade milk in the fridge the night before to make sure the cream rises( some dried coconut has less, some has more fat batch to batch). I find my yogurt turns out best with at least 30 percent cream to coconut milk ratio. 50 percent even better. Less cream, means I need to use more "thickener" We really like how potato starch thickens best, though tapioca or arrowroot works well too. The yogurt when done and warm will be pretty runny no matter how thickened before culturing. It needs a full 12 hours in the fridge. Just watch the fat ratio. Someone wrote and said that Aroy D brand coconut milk that is 70 percent coconut cream(larger white can) worked great.

Anonymous said...

What about adding coconut oil to the mix to bring it up to say 60% would that work...or would they be too different. I was thinking that since they separate out the fat to make the coconut oil..maybe it could be added back?

Diane said...

You know, that is a interesting idea.. but I have no idea if it would work.. given the choice I would use the lower fat coconut milk and more thickener.. The only way to know would be to try it :-)

Anonymous said...

I am in the midst of trying to make your yogurt. I am gonna use some culturelle caps as I won't have the so delicious for a couple weeks. I figure it will be good drink if nuttin else...lol

Just thinking. I have made drinks...fermented ones when money gets really tight out of Sac Boulardii and juice.I put like 3 caps in a gallon half strength juice and ferment for a day or so like kefir. Was thinking that might help your girl.

Also what about milk kefir? I make it with coconut milk. It is supposed to be 100% better than yogurt. I get milk grains and wash the pajinkins out of em and toss the first couple batchesto someone who isn't bothered as much with milk and then the next batch is good sensitive folks. Anyone but Abbey might do well with the first batches...but that would get all the residuals out of it.

Diane said...

Great minds think a like! I have been thinking about coconut kefir or water kefir.. your process would probably work well.. figured if I rinsed the heck out of them, and tossed the first batch and then the second batch would likely be safe :-)

If I try it with her, I will definitely post about it! I know it is a much larger variety of probiotics in the kefir, and I can only think it would help..
My only hesitation has been though she does well with coconut yogurt, the kefir seems more fermented.. and beyond a bit of braggs, and coconut yogurt she hasn't done well with the ferments.. but ya know, I won't know until I try! :-) If she doesn't tolerate it, the rest of us will be glad to drink our share . :-)

Thanks for the comment- I think I needed a comment just like this to go ahead and give it a whirl! :-)

Anonymous said...

We had to start with teaspoons...with the kefir...but they drink 16 oz a day now..with no issues..but it took a while.

I have been making this and I found that when I make my coconut milk...I run it thru a piece of cotton....like a white dish cloth that I can bleach and keep for things like that...I get more milk the second time around for cookng and quite a bit the first time...

And the shreds...I have been drying in the oven and running thru my coffee mill. I use it for seeds like flax..so clean of baddies. And I get a pretty fine meal that is quite useable....which makes me happy...no waste!!! lol

Diane said...

Ty for the tips! She is flared right now so on hold to try it.. though I did make some coconut milk kefir for me to try, and just to make sure "I can" I thought it was excellent! I strained it for kefir cheese and to use the whey for lacto fermenting.. loved the flavor, and got a lot more "tang" then I can with yogurt! Hopefully can try her in another week or two! Smart on the shreds! I have been tossing, and it kills me because it is such a waste! I will try dehydrating and grinding, I am already thinking how useful they could be!

Anonymous said...

Pretty smart..nah...lol thanks for the compliment...but I am thinking it is from living on the PIP style most of my life. PIP stands for Poor Individual Plan. :-D

Anonymous said...

I figured a way to get a little more cream into the milk....lol....
It started out as an accident. I put my shred to soak in a large stainless steel bowl at night...the next day....I just tossed it on the stove on low and left it. Wellllll to make a long story short...it got left there most of the day...and I got a lot more milk and cream on the first pressing.
Of course I did a second pressing so that I could get as much oil and water out as possible so it dries better. Well I stole all the hard stuff from the second batch and tossed it in with the first batch switching milk for cream...and it did make a nicer yogurt. The second pressing I just use for cooking and whatever....the kids sometimes raid it and drink it before I get a chance to use it...but it is all good!! lol So that is my way to make the richer milk we have been trying and talking about!!!

Amanda Hoeve said...

i made mine the other day and i just took it out of the refrigerator and opened it, it smells ok taste ok how do i tell if it's bad or good? first time making this so not sure if i did it right?

Diane said...

If it smells okay, and tastes okay, it is okay! :-) If it isn't right, you will know. The couple times mine was not safe for eating- it really reeked and tasted of sulfur. Which means my coconut milk was not heated properly, or I did not have a sanitized container- when it comes to yogurt, I trust my taste buds and my nose. Enjoy! If it is too thin, you can strain it, or like us, we use it for cooking and baking. For as many batches as I make, I do get a thin one now and then. I found also, that sometimes I don't add quite enough culture and then it will be a bit thin, or not very "tangy". I am terrible about measuring. I have read that people will let their coconut yogurt culture up to 35 hours!!! I stick to no more then 25-26 and usually around 18-24.

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