Nicola Galloway shares one of the divine recipes from her latest book.
I am often asked at my workshops for a dairy-free yoghurt recipe, so share this lusciously tart and creamy coconut yoghurt recipe, which I make for my son who is dairy intolerant. It is easy to make but read the recipe carefully, as there are a few simple steps to success. The easiest and most effective way to get started is to use a small quantity of store-bought, unsweetened coconut yoghurt (check that it contains live cultures in the ingredients list). Once you have your first batch going you can continue to use yoghurt from each batch to inoculate your next one. It’s as simple as that. Alternatively, a quality probiotic in capsule or powder form (check it is dairy-free if required) can be used, but this option is expensive if you have to purchase a whole bottle. If you already have a bottle knocking around in the fridge, check the use-by date as probiotics lose their effectiveness over time. Although I don’t often recommend particular products, I have found canned coconut products vary greatly and make a difference to success. Trade Aid Coconut Milk is my go-to as it results in a gorgeously creamy yoghurt. It does, however, contain a small amount of guar gum, a natural stabiliser that can be a gut irritant for some people. If this is the case, use 100% coconut cream such as Ayam Coconut Cream (use two cans as they are smaller 270g size) or Little Bare Coconut Cream (a local Nelson product).
MAKES 400G / GLUTEN-FREE / DAIRY-FREE
400-540g coconut milk or coconut cream
(see introduction for recommended brands)
Plus one of the following:
2 Tbsp coconut yoghurt from a previous batch or store-bought
coconut yoghurt with live cultures
2 probiotic capsules or ½ tsp quality probiotic powder
(40 billion live cells per capsule)
Quantities can be increased to make a larger batch.
Scoop the coconut milk or cream into a clean 500ml jar and use a fork or small whisk to combine. If the thick cream in the can is too solid to mix into the liquid, gently heat the contents of the can in a small saucepan until melted together – don’t boil, just heat until combined – then pour into the clean jar and cool to around 40°C. Spoon in the reserved coconut yoghurt or open the probiotic capsules and sprinkle the powder over the milk/cream. Stir well then secure the lid.
Place somewhere warm to ferment for 12-24 hours. In the warmer months a high shelf in the kitchen may be warm enough, but in winter a little ingenuity could be required. I use a yoghurt maker (with a 500ml Agee jar), filling the maker with warm tap water (40-45°C) to the level of the shoulder of the jar and replacing the water after 12 hours if the yoghurt needs longer. The water must not be too hot or the yoghurt can separate. After a few batches you will work out the best position for your home and time of the year. After 12 hours, check the flavour of the yoghurt. It is ready when it tastes and smells sweetly sour and has thickened a little – how much will depend on the brand of coconut milk/cream used. If needed, leave for a further 6-12 hours until the taste is to your liking. Place in the fridge and chill for 8 hours to thicken before eating. If the yoghurt separates in the fridge, simply stir to combine. Consume within 7 days. Remember to save 2 tablespoons
to make your next batch.