Those who are allergic/sensitive to dairy can still enjoy yogurt, one of the most probiotic-rich foods. These days your local market may carry yogurt made from coconut, almond or soy milk. Another option is making your own fresh and nutritious yogurt from whatever dairy-free beverage you choose.
To make your own yogurt, you will need to purchase a yogurt maker and yogurt starter culture to introduce the fermentation bacteria to the milk. Those who are casein intolerant will need to use a non-dairy yogurt starter such as Vegan Yogurt Starter, offered by Cultures for Health. You also may use 2-3 capsules of any high-quality, dairy-free probiotic that contains L. bulgaricus, S. themophilus and L. casei.
Instructions for Making Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt
•Glass or ceramic containers with lids for storage or packing in lunches
•1 liter TetraPak coconut milk
•1/4 tsp. non-dairy yogurt starter/probiotic or 2-3 dairy-free probiotic pills
•1-2 Tbsp. honey, maple syrup or coconut syrup
•1-2 tsps. unflavored gelatin, agar agar , tapioca flour, pectin
1.Sterilize your yogurt containers, mixing spoons and other utensils with boiling water. This will keep bad bacteria from competing with the good yogurt bacteria.
2.In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to 180 degrees F, then remove from heat. Do not boil the milk; watch it closely.
3.Add thickener like tapioca or gelatin while the milk is still very hot. Thoroughly dissolve and mix it into your batch. You will need to experiment a little to find the exact amount of thickener for your taste.
4.Add maple syrup or other sweetener and stir thoroughly. The sweetener provides food for the bacterial culture and will be mostly consumed by the time your yogurt is done. Without a natural form of sugar, coconut milk will not culture.
5.Cover and cool to 95-100 degrees. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the bacterial culture you are going to introduce.
6.Remove about 1/2 cup of cooled coconut milk, and mix in your starter culture. Stir well.
7.Thoroughly mix the inoculated batch back in with the remainder of the cooled coconut milk.
8.Pour cultured milk into your yogurt maker jars. Cover and ferment at 105-110 degrees for 7-9 hours in your yogurt maker. The longer you ferment the yogurt, the less sugar it will contain and the more sour it will taste.
9.After 7–9 hours, remove from heat, stir to an even consistency and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
10.If your yogurt separates after chilling, either stir it briskly with a spoon, or whip it with a stick blender for a light and fluffy treat.
11.Enjoy your yogurt plain or stir in fresh berries or other fruit, vanilla, nuts, coffee extract or any other flavoring.