The Basics: Coconut Yoghurt Tutorial and Raw Breakfast Salad

June 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

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There are plenty of great coconut yoghurt recipes on the web, but I wanted to share the way I’ve learned to make it, mostly because it’s been a bit of trial and error to get it just right and now that I have EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT.

If you’re vegan or just don’t eat dairy for whatever reason this is a great yoghurt substitute and relatively easy to make too. It does involve young coconuts, however, and I know these aren’t easy for everyone to find. Until very recently I was using the big white ones wrapped in plastic (that are also coated in chemicals to stop them going mouldy) that I found in one supermarket (Vic Park New World, Auckland) that come all the way from the Philippines or Thailand or similar. But all of a sudden the New World near my new house in Ellerslie has fresh young coconuts that haven’t been wrapped – so they’re still hairy and cute. I hope these will start being stocked around the country because they are so sweet and beautiful, and they cost around $2.50 each, which is cheaper than any others I’ve found.

If you find the white wrapped ones, this is the best video I’ve seen that first taught me how to open one properly – click on this link then scroll down to the bottom where it says ‘Click here to watch a video of Tracey showing how to open a fresh young coconut.’

As for these new ones, it’s pretty much the same thing – hack away at the rounder end (not the end with the top on it) until it ‘cracks’ then prise it open in a bowl so you don’t lose any of the water.

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Some of these coconuts are a little older than others, meaning the shell is harder and the flesh is a lot thicker and hardier – this is fine as it makes for a very thick yoghurt, but it is also a little harder to hack open and to scoop out of the shell. I use a strong metal spoon, and occasionally a sharp knife to score it if need be but be careful, I’ve had some near misses.

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See the flesh on the left one is a lot thinner (and softer) than the one on the right, which was so thick the shell came away from the flesh on opening.

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Once you’ve scooped out all the flesh, pop it in your high speed blender (you could probably do this in a normal blender or food processor too but only with the soft flesh ones I imagine, the harder flesh needs a lot more power to break it down) with some of the water.

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It’s up to you how thick or runny you like your yoghurt, I like mine just before Greek yoghurt consistency, which often means the flesh of two coconuts with about a cup of coconut water (it thickens up a little on culturing). You can always start with a little, like a quarter cup, then whizz it up and if you want it thinner add a little more until it’s the right consistency for you. I’ll save the rest of the info for the actual recipe:

Coconut Yoghurt (raw, vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free)

2 young coconuts
2 probiotic capsules (or half a tsp powder)

Combine the flesh and 1 cup of the water from the coconuts in a high speed blender and blend until well combined. Add the powder from the capsules by pulling them apart and shaking in. Blend again until well combined. Pour into a clean glass jar and place lid on top, then place jar in a warm place, like a hot water cupboard. If you have a large dehydrator you can remove the trays and put the jar inside and set it for 90degF for 6 hours. I place mine on the mantlepiece above our gas fireplace for the evening while it’s going, and then leave it there overnight once it’s turned off where it’s normally done by the morning. You can also wrap it in a small towel to help keep it warm. It really only needs 6-8 hours of being at 25-30degC (around 70-90degF) to culture enough to have a bit of tang. By a heater would probably work too. If it starts going really pink on top it hasn’t started the fermentation process fast enough and the not so good bacteria have taken hold. I have still eaten it when it does this but I don’t think you’re supposed to. Will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Add-ins: pimp your yoghurt with anything that takes your fancy – think berries, nut butters, cacao nibs, stewed fruit – let me know what you try!

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Which brings me to breakfast salad – not a new idea, in fact one of my all-time favourite bloggers Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw made an excellent one last year – but it has been a revelation for me. Going gluten free (more on that to come soon – have decided to try life with gluten again) meant trying all sorts of grawnolas, gluten free toasts and of course multiple pudla recipes for most breakfast, but I wanted something easy to make, light on the tummy and packed full of nutrition. This is a versatile recipe and one I love because it takes me so little time to make, which is always at a premium with little ones. Make up a big batch of the ingredients in a jar for the week and you’re sorted, or if you want a single serve, recipe below. Mix and match depending on what you have in your pantry – there are no rules!

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Breakfast Salad (raw, gluten free, vegan, soy free)
A handful each of:
Goji berries
Walnuts
Coconut shreds
Dried mulberries
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Cashews
Cacao nibs
2 handfuls of baby spinach or chickweed. You could probably use finely chopped red Russian kale leaves too – anything mild tasting and not too tough.

Combine everything in a bowl and serve with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, a sprinkle of hemp seeds, a spoonful of nut butter or stewed fruit and a splash of homemade milk (or storebought rice milk, because I’m lazy).

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