I fell in love with homemade fermented non-dairy yoghurts recently and homemade cheese too. I always believed that this is quite hard and wasting time process. On the one hand, it is, if you don’t have the knowledge, on another hand, it is really simple if you follow up my prescription.
I am getting a lot of questions from you guys about the process. Spending some time for the experiments in the kitchen I have explored various ways of fermentation. You will realise how easy it is. It takes you only few short steps within few days and your home-made yoghurt is ready.
If you are curious generally about what is fermentation and how it is working, read the brief on FERMENTATION page.
I have reviewed three fermentation methods: using probiotic supplement, kefir grain or kombucha culture.
CHOOSING RIGHT INGREDIENTS
You can buy probiotic pills in pharmacy, as well as in specialised shops as bio food shops or supplement stores. Kefir bacteria is more rare, but also can be found in bio food shops or online, for example on Amazon.
I have bought my kefir grain in Riga in “Dabas Stacija” – www.dabasstacija.lv.
Healthy store “Bioteka” also sells probiotic pills, but not in capsules, which are not so convenient since you have to crush it before to use, but nevertheless I am using probiotics bought in this store.
If you are curious about kombucha, you can buy scoby online or contact me personally and I will share my scoby babies with you for free 😉
If you wish to achieve best result, I suggest you to use pure canned coconut milk 15-21% of fat and without preservatives.
In order to make fermented yoghurt at home you will need 2 probiotic pills for 400ml of milk, only 2-3 days of patience and a few minutes per day of your attention to this baby. If you are using kefir grain or powder, check the proportions in the instruction.
First of all it is necessary to prepare a clean jar, which is better to sterilize with hot water. It is up to you if you are going to ferment your yoghurt with probiotics, kefir bacteria or kombucha.
I personally prefer to use kefir bacteria or probiotics. But the great thing about kefir bacteria is that once you have activated your kefir grain, what means it was placed in enabling environment – yoghurt in this case, it can be used for next round of fermentation by placing the same grains in new portion of coconut milk. In case you are using kefir powder, you can place few spoons of already fermented yoghurt to your next coconut milk portion in order to make next round. You can continue the process up to 8-10 times and then you will need to take new portion of grains or powder and activate it making completely new yoghurt again. If you don’t want to make the yoghurt permanently one jar after another and would like to have a break, you can also freeze already fermented yoghurt by small portions, for example in ice cube form, and use it later when you are ready to make your next fermentation round. As soon as you unfreeze it, bacterias resume the fermentation process.
I was curious to try fermentation with my homemade kombucha, but I have to admit that I didn’t like the result so much. I was surprised that it really worked out, but it was quite sourish and strong.
Once you have prepared the jar for your yoghurt, place the coconut milk from the can and stir in your bacterias with spoon. It is better to use wooden or ceramic spoon, since metal can slightly decrease the activity of bacterias. Leave the jar in a warm place for the next 24 hours. Keep it open just covering with a towel or a piece of fabric. I keep it on the shelf just at room temperature.
After 24h you will notice that it has become porous or some bubbles have appeared. That means that the process have been started. It is time to add some flavors and additives.
Ideas for flavoring: Lucuma powder, Maca powder, vanilla, cinnamon and honey, fresh berries or jam (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), dried fruits or dried berries (mango, raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries), nuts (hazelnuts, almond nuts, walnuts).
Once you placed all desired additives in the yoghurt, put it in the fridge and keep for another day or two to continue fermentation process. After 1-2 days of refrigeration the yoghurt is ready. You can continue keeping it in fridge up to 7 days before it gets bad.
- Prepare clean jar sterilized with hot water
- Place the coconut milk in jar and stir in bacterias with wooden or ceramic spoon
- Leave the jar opened, just cover with fabric, in warm place for next 24 hours
- After 24h put in additives according to your wishes. Place flavored yoghurt in the fridge
- In 1-2 days yoghurt is ready for eating.
LOW FAT YOGHURT
If you wish to make your coconut yoghurt less fatty, so you can blend it with water to reach desired fat content. In this case your yoghurt will be more watery and in order to keep the thickness you will need to add thickener. I prefer to use agar agar, but there are other options as tapioca starch, gelatin (non-vegan), guar-gum. In order to activate thickeners, the milk should be heated together with the thickener and after cooled down before culturing it with bacteria. Only guar-gum is suitable for raw yoghurt making, where heating is not necessary to reach thick consistency.
Another good option is to mix coconut yoghurt with silken tofu in proportion 50/50. In this case you will lower fat content almost double time and the thickness will be perfect.
HOW TO USE COCONUT YOGHURT
You can eat coconut yoghurt just plain, but there are so many great options how to use it so I really ferment it non-stop since I do use it a lot. The most common ways to use it are for nice-creams, smoothies, chia puddings, as well as vegan ice-cream and dips for pancakes.
I put unsweetened version of yoghurt (greek yoghurt) in stews instead of unfermented coconut milk, as well as instead of sour cream for soups, pastas, stews, mix in pancake flour, pastry or in vegetable pizza’s dough.
So many options that I can’t stop inventing them and I will definitely post my new recipes here.
What ideas do you have in your mind?