Homemade Coconut Yogurt
While traveling through Central America there was an amazing abundance of coconuts. Nearly all year long this amazing fruit is thriving, just waiting to be picked and enjoyed by the people walking by. To my amazement though, coconut is completely under utilized. In Guatemala dishes using coconut seemed to be a rarity, mostly concentrated on the Caribbean Coast where Garifuna culture is rich and influenced by their Caribbean heritage. Delicious fish curries, coconut rice, and plantains fried in coconut oil.
Antigua is a beautiful colonial city two hours outside of Guatemala city. I spent nearly three weeks there in January working as a personal chef. I loved shopping everyday for fresh produce at the local market, attempting to barter for tomatoes in my broken Spanish, and being taken advantage of by beautiful abuelas who made me think they were giving me a good deal.
I got to experiment with new foods I had never seen such as zapotes, canistel, malanga, and fresh moringa. Old favorites such as coconut were a staple and after some severe cravings for yogurt I attempted to make some homemade coconut yogurt using just two ingredient and it turned out beautifully!! I've made coconut yogurt before in the states by using using a starter culture which work brilliantly. But in all honesty, two ingredients is all you need and I love the minimalist approach using the natural yeasts in the air to ferment this creamy snack. Starter cultures do have the added benefit of knowing which strains of bacteria and yeasts are inoculating your ferment, so I will show you both approaches.
Two Ingriedient Coconut Yogurt
What you'll need:
- Blender + glass quart mason jar + coffee filter and rubber band
- 3 young coconuts (look for ones that have a dry bottom and make sure there is no mold) + juice of 1-2 limes, 2 tablespoons of store bought raw coconut yogurt, vegan starter culture or 2 acidopholis and bifidus probiotic capsules
- ** I will post my favorite starter cultures and tools below
- Crack open the coconuts reserving the liquid in a separate bowl or mason jar. Use caution when opening the coconuts (look at youtube tutorials on how to open them) and if you don'f feel comfortable in your ability to come away with all 10 digits intact PLEASE have someone open the coconuts for you at the store.
- Scoop out the coconut meat and place it in the blender. Add 1/2 cup of the coconut water and blend on high for 2-5 minutes until it becomes a creamy coconut sauce. Add more coconut water to blend if necessary. I also added a teaspoon of sea salt to enhance the flavor but it is not necessary.
- Pour in whichever starter culture you choose and mix until just combined
- Pour the coconut cream into the very CLEAN glass jar, covering the opening with a coffee filter, or cheese cloth and rubber band.
- Find a safe place in the cabinet that is temperature stable, set the jar on top of a plate as this will catch any yogurt that may bubble over the side. Allow it to ferment for a minimum of 24 hour and up to 48 hours.
- Whala! come back to taste your tart little fermented snack now alive with beneficial probiotics that will make your gut and your taste buds ecstatic! Top with local fruit, nuts and seeds, or whatever strikes your fancy.