Coconut yogurt: this time it worked!

I have been trying out different ways to make vegan yogurt, but so far all of my attempts have failed horribly. There is nothing fun about waking up to a weird and pungeant smell and realizing that it is the soy yogurt experiment that has gone wrong… really wrong!

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Last week however, I realized that I had some boxes of coconut milk in my pantry and that they were about to go bad. I decided that this was the perfect excuse to try making vegan yogurt again.

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Now, my budget this summer is pretty tight, so there was no way I was going to spend 50$ (and maybe more) on probiotic pills. I know that these little pills would mean that I would be able to make hundreds of batches of vegan yogurt, but no. I went to my trusted local health food store, and realized that they didn’t even have those pills. So, double no. They did have already made coconut yougurt however. After checking the ingredients and seeing the “live cultures” listed as part of the ingredients, I decided that I could spare this 6$ for my experiment.

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The process of making yogurt is fairly simple. You mix live cultures with your milk, stir everything well, let this sit overnight in a warm place, move everything to the fridge, and voila! I used to love making goat’s milk yogurt and kefir before going vegan, so my hopes were up on this coconut yogurt.

Here is what I used:

  • 1L coconut milk
  • 350g plain store-bought coconut yogurt (I used the one from Silk)

Here is what I did:

  1. In a large container, I mixed the coconut milk and the yogurt with a wisk until everything was homogenous.
  2. I covered the top of my container with a paper towel tied with a rubber band and placed it in my oven (with the light turned on).
  3. 12 hours later I moved the container to the fridge and let the yogurt set for 8 more hours.

The result? Well, you have two options here. The fattier part of the coconut milk yogurt will gatter to the top of your container and give you this incredibly thick and rich yogurt. The bottom part will be more liquid and perfect to add to smoothies. The first option is to keep these two phases separate and to enjoy the great diversity that this recipe gives you. The second option is to take out your trusty wisk and to wisk everything together. The result will be a smooth drinkable yogurt that is perfect for parfaits and smoothies. I have to say I did both and can’t believe how thick and creamy the top layer is.

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The taste of this yogurt is tangy with the slightest coconut aftertaste. It really is super smooth and so delicious. Now, for the next batch, just remember to keep 1 cup of already made yogurt that you will use as a starter. Infinite vegan yogurt, here we come!

Chai Coconut Mascarpone Cups

This week-end I was craving desserts, in particular yogurt parfaits where you place fruit over yogurt and add nuts, granola or other toppings. I have been experimenting with vegan yogurt, but so far the results have not been to my liking. Yet, I yearned for this rich cream consistency. So, I gathered a few things that I thought would work out and created this!

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Amazingly smooth, rich and thick, this cream is reminiscent of a simple yogurt or mascarpone cheese. I had to add a little bit of excitement to it (even though I was so happy to have cream, I was pretty much already dancing in my kitchen), and so I decided to add some Chai spices: cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper and cloves. This really makes this cream unique and quite spectacular and it reminds me of mascarpone cheese.

Here is what you need for the cream:

  • 250mL of coconut milk
  • 4 tbs of almond powder
  • 4 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 cm piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of black pepper corns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Topping ideas: Fresh berries, coconut flakes, crushed almonds, shopped dates, chocolate chips, granola, grilled nuts: use your imagination!

Here is what you do for the cream:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, oil and sweetener on medium heat.
  2. Crush the cardamon pods in your mortar (or use the back of a spoon). Set aside.
  3. Add the almond powder in the pan and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken up (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add the spices and vanilla extract and let them infuse for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick to your liking.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain to remove the spices.
  6. Let the cream set and firm up in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving with your favourite toppings.
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I used some fresh raspberries, coconut flakes and sweet samosas.

I used some of the fruit leather to make sweet samosas (how-to tomorrow). It’s fun and easy! And that cream! So much flavours and the consistency is just smooth and thick and wonderful. Of course, you could avoid using the spices for a mellower flavour. This is a great substitution for yogurt and makes for an easy dessert. Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!

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