Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Enter: Homemade Coconut Yogurt

This new dehydrator of mine is something else!  Two days ago I'd exhausted my supply of fresh fruit to dehydrate, become a fruit leather goddess and was looking for a new project to tackle.  Enter: Yogurt.

Because of the extremely low heat settings available, it's the perfect place to incubate yogurt!  We decided to try and make coconut yogurt (dairy-free).  I found an easy-enough "How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt" recipe online and we got to work.
We used Trader Joe's coconut cream as a starting point for our yogurt. 
 Heating up the cream to 180 degrees and adding the gelatin.
 The hardest part was waiting for it to cool enough to add the starter culture (simply a 6 oz. pack of coconut yogurt- also from Trader Joe's) and jar it up!
 Ready for the dehydrator.  I simply removed all the shelves, leaving an open box for the jars to rest in for 18 hours (the places online all said 10-16) at 110 degrees.
 After incubation, we transferred to the fridge to let it thicken (it's still really runny at this point).  It took a day to gel to what I consider a yogurt-like consistency.  We sampled it mid-gelling (it was still kind of warm), and it was really tangy and still pretty runny-- I was worried that we'd not done it correctly, but just put it back in the fridge to see if more time helped.
 It did!  Lovely and creamy-- we didn't add much sweetener to the original yogurt mixture, because I didn't quite know how much to add.  Now we can take it out and add a few drops of vanilla stevia or honey (mmmm....honey) to taste.
It is so creamy and delicious!  Almost a velvety-texture-- simply delicious!  I think we'll be making our own yogurt from now on :-)

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