Yogurt is delicious and nutritious. It’s packed with goodness for our bodies. It is also a billion dollar market. According to Statista, the value of shipments for yogurt products within the United States calculates to more than $6 billion each year. They also report that the sale value of yogurt in the United States calculates to more than $7 billion per year. Unfortunately, 33% of the population within the country is also lactose intolerant, which equals more than 40 million American citizens. Statistic Brain states that about 90% of Asian-Americans within the United States are lactose intolerant. Being lactose intolerant means having a sensitivity towards dairy products.
Being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy yogurt. In fact, many dairy products come in a dairy-free form to allow people with dairy sensitivity to enjoy those foods without being at risk of suffering from a reaction to the dairy. Making your dairy-free coconut yogurt is a great way to enjoy yogurt health benefits without being sensitive to the ingredients.
Benefits of Coconut Yogurt
Coconut has many health benefits. The use of coconut in traditional medicine dates back hundreds of years. It can be used to treat many common ailments and can also be used to treat fungi and yeasts. Coconut is also known to reduce inflammation and assist with bowel irritation and sensitivity. It also acts as an antioxidant to protect the body from free radicals, thus improving the appearance of the skin and hair.
Coconut yogurt contains a large amount of coconut milk and other coconut-related ingredients, which means the yogurt is packed full of benefits for everyone. Coconut yogurt usually also contains probiotics, which promotes a healthy gut. It also assists with speeding up the metabolism and provides the body with essential nutrients such as essential fats, minerals, amino acids and vitamins.
How To Make Coconut Yogurt
Making coconut yogurt is much easier than you think. It can also be very affordable. You only need a couple of ingredients, mix them together and you’re done. You can then enjoy a cup of coconut yogurt and gain the nutritional values of yogurt, enjoy the taste of a delicious yogurt, but avoid the sensitivity to dairy.
First things first – before you get started, you first need to make a few choices. You need to choose the type of coconut milk you want to use, as well as the type of sweetener and thickener. The thickener is optional but gives the yogurt a smoother, thicker texture, which many people enjoy.
You can choose to purchase pre-canned coconut milk from your local supermarket, or make it yourself. You need to make sure to buy coconut milk that does not contain additives, and you should avoid the boxed versions that are labeled “ready to drink”. Sweetener can be sugar, maple syrup or honey. You can also do a combination of raw sugar and honey for a sweeter taste. If you choose to use a thickener, you can go with agar powder, grass-fed gelatin or starch. Finally, you will also need some probiotic powder – look for probiotic powder that contains at least one of the following strains:
- Streptococcus thermophiles
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Bifidobacterium lactic
To make 1 quart of yogurt, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 cups of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of your sweetener choice
- Probiotic power
- Thickener if you prefer a thicker texture
Making coconut yogurt is easy. It only takes 4 steps and a little time.
- The first step is to heat the coconut milk and sweetener together. Remove the mixture from the heat just before it starts to boil. Let the mixture cool. If you chose to include a thickener, then you should use another bowl to dissolve the thickener mixture – follow the instructions as some thickeners should be dissolved in cold water and others in hot water. Add the thickener to the coconut mixture when it has dissolved properly and stir well to combine the ingredients properly.
- After the coconut milk has cooled down a bit, you should add the probiotic powder and stir the mixture until everything has combined. A jar with a seal is preferred – simply pour the mixture into the jar and place the jar (wrapped in a towel) in an oven that is off (lights should be turned on). You can also fill a cooler bag with hot water and place the jar in the water. It is vital that the temperature of the mixture inside the jar stays between 105ºF and 115ºF while culturing.
- Now allow the yogurt to culture for 8 to 24 hours. The amount of time required depends on how you like your yogurt. The longer it is cultured, the better the flavor.
- The final step is to place the mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours. You can leave it in the fridge overnight, and it will be perfect in the morning.
Best Uses for Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt
Dairy-free coconut yogurt is delicious, and it is packed with probiotics and many other beneficial substances. It can be used for anything you usually use regular yogurt for – whether you eat it just as it is, add it to your breakfast or cook with it. Some nice ideas that you can try out:
- Mix the yogurt with muesli for a delicious breakfast
- Use the yogurt with a blend of fruit to make the perfect smoothie
- Use the yogurt as an alternative to dairy-rich yogurt in tarts and other treats
- Use the yogurt to prepare dinner – such as grilled chicken with yogurt sauce
There are endless possibilities to what you can do with this yogurt. Explore your creativity and find what works for you. Eating the yogurt in plain form is also great. Adding some fruit to spice up the flavor is another great idea.
There are millions of people who experience sensitivity to dairy. They usually try to avoid consuming any dairy, thus limiting themselves to the deliciousness and health benefits of yogurt. If you have a sensitivity towards dairy, then you shouldn’t limit yourself. Try to make a jar of dairy-free coconut yogurt and you’ll realize just how delicious dairy-free products really can be.