Friday, May 25, 2012

Free Friday - YOGURT!!!

Can you believe it?  It's so incredible!  Ridiculously amazing and awesome!  It's FREE FRIDAY!! HAHA!  Not what you were expecting?  Ok, you're right, there's another reason to be so excited today - coconut yogurt!  I know, after 3 weeks of, "I'm getting it done, I swear!" here's our moment, finally.

I did adapt a recipe from another site, but then I've tried a few sites with no luck.  The yogurt was tasty, sweet, somewhat tart and way. too. thick.  Perhaps I interpreted the amounts incorrectly, or the bacteria worked better than last time, but it was so thick I could have cut it in shapes with a knife.

Now, I'm not going to write a long post about incubation techniques, or heating or coolers or insulation.  You can find that all over the net.  Instead, I'll give you a piece by piece of how the yogurt came together and some websites of where the information comes from.  I do use a yogurt maker (with little individual cups,) a thermometer, store bought starter, and canned milk (Goya).   One lady says, "it's not rocket science" but I think it is.  LOL.  It's very much a science and an art form all at once.  It can quickly get discouraging or frustrating but I assure you, tweaking little things you may have thought were insignificant, will make all the difference.

Also, I had high hopes I could make this completely vegan, but to no avail.  For now, I'm using gelatin, and for the average person, that's actually not bad.  Also, since I used coconut flour to help thicken it, it's a tad grainy.  If this bothers you, then I think it would work to omit it, but for now I like what it adds in flavor.  So, let's get started!  (Adapted from this website:

Sidenote:  You'll probably look at this recipe and think...."hey, this is not sugar free."  But here's the deal, the bacteria need food and sugar fills that purpose.  By the time the yogurt is done fermenting, most of the sugar if not all of it will be gone.  The sugar content will be negligible.  Much less than anything you would find in the store anyway.  I do not have exact numbers but from what I've read it's between 4 and 6 grams of sugar per cup.  Possibly.  Like I said, it's a science and an art form.


2 cans coconut milk
1.5 tBsp sugar
1 packet gelatin (or 1tsp)
1 tBsp SIFTED coconut flour (SO important to sift it!)
1 packet of yogurt starter (I get mine here )

First, always start with sterilized equipment.  One germ and you lose your whole batch.  If you colonize bad bacteria, you will get sick, so the whole batch has to be thrown out if even one cup looks or smells bad.

Get a pot, bring to a boil, put all the utensils and cups you're going to use in there and boil for 10 min.  I boil my tongs too which I use to move the cups around.

Temperature is everything.  Pour the milk (all but 1/2 cup) and sugar into a pan and bring to 180 degrees F.  While that is heating, mix the gelatin and flour into a small cup with the 1/2 cup of milk.  Whisk it until smooth, then add it slowly to the pan, continuing to whisk in the pan to avoid clumps.  You do not want it going into a crazy boil, it will break the milk and be very watery.  Bring the mixture to 180 and take it off the heat.

At this point, take a break!  You can read a book, play Diablo III, or go get a suntan.  Basically, let the milk mixture cool to 110 degrees F.  If it's warmer than that, your bacteria will die so just leave it be for a while.  If you forget and come back too much later (like I did) and find your mixture at 80, you can put the stove back on very low and start to help it creep back up to 110.  The bacteria need a warm, but not hot and not cold environment to proliferate.  So, with that in mind, when your mixture is 110 - pour in the packet of starter and mix well.   I even let mine sit for about a minute and mixed it again.

Now comes the easy part.  Pour the mixture into your yogurt cups (or whatever you're going to use) and put them into your yogurt maker (or whatever your setup is).  I personally like thick yogurt, the longer you let yours incubate, the thicker it gets, as long as there is enough sugar.  When the sugar runs out... the sulfur smell will start.  Then you're 'losing' your yogurt.  The bacteria are dying at that point.  I left mine in the yogurt maker for 15 hours.  It was very good.

As her website says - do not stir it or bother it, just take it out of the machine and put it straight to the fridge.  It will solidify up even more and be ready to eat when chilled, about 6 hours.  I'll start my yogurt process around 3pm on one day and it will be ready to eat around 24 hours later.  Plan accordingly.  =)

(pictures were taken with my droid - so not the best quality but NOT BAD!!! YAY!)


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