Indy Power's creamy, dreamy vanilla coconut yoghurt
Try your hand at a creamy, dreamy batch of vanilla coconut yoghurt - and usher in summer early.
Vanilla Coconut Yoghurt
Coconut yoghurt is so gorgeous, whether you eat dairy or not. It's fresh and light and perfect for breakfasts, desserts and sauces. If you've ever bought it, you'll know it's very expensive - but making your own is really simple. I use coconut cream rather than milk so there's no need for any thickeners. It won't be super-thick but you'll get a lovely natural yoghurt-type consistency.
Makes 4 servings. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan- & paleo-friendly
2 cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
¼ tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla pod
2 probiotic capsules (see panel opposite)
Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. Scoop the coconut cream from the top of the cans of coconut milk and add them to a small saucepan on medium heat. Keep the coconut water for use in another recipe (smoothies!).
Whisk the mixture on a medium heat until it starts to simmer. Take it off the heat and let it cool until it's just cool enough to touch.
Add in the maple syrup and vanilla powder and whisk.
Cut open the probiotic capsules, sprinkle in the powder and then stir together well.
Pour the mixture into a clean jar. Turn off the oven heat and turn on the light to keep it warm. Pop the sealed jar into the warm oven for 12-24 hours without removing it.
Chill the yoghurt in the fridge and use within two weeks.
Back when I shared my kimchi recipe, I talked about the benefits of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts naturally found in our bodies. Modern lifestyle influences like chronic stress, processed foods, low-fibre diets and overexposure to antibacterial products can alter the balance of our gut bacteria. Probiotics can help restore this balance, and support and promote optimal health, especially in our digestive system. The best edible sources of probiotics are fermented foods, like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and live yoghurts like this, which is fermented using probiotic capsules.
THE PRO GUIDE TO SUPPLEMENTS
When it comes to picking a probiotic supplement — whether it’s to take daily as a capsule or to use for making yoghurt — that particular shelf of the health food store can be very daunting. There are so many numbers and long bacteria names that it can be hard to make an informed decision. The reason for the high bacteria counts, ranging from millions to billions, is because many of these will die from environmental exposure before being ingested, so lots are needed to ensure that an adequate amount survive. When it comes to count, anything above 10 billion is a good number to look out for. Even more important than the amount is the number of different bacteria strains: each type has different functions so look for ones that contain a range of bacteria, i.e. multiple bacteria names listed. Personally, I use Udo’s Choice Super 8.
I often need the coconut cream from the top of a can of coconut milk and it’s such a waste to let the coconut water at the bottom go unused. Sometimes you can find coconut cream on its own in little cans — which is ideal — but if not, there are loads of ways to put the leftovers to use. My favourite way is in smoothies. If you don’t want to make one right away, just pour the water into a jug or jar, cover it and keep it in the fridge for a few days.