Home Made Coconut Yogurt

Ah, home made yogurt! Fresh and delicious.

A Word on Fermentation

As a fermented food, making yogurt at home brings an element of danger. Normally leaving a moist food out at room temperature for over 24 hours translates into multiple runs to the restroom later that day, so what is it about a controlled fermentation that safely produces some of the world’s favorite flavors? I’m talking about things like yogurt, kimchi (kim chee), sauerkraut, kombucha, sourdough bread, aged cheeses, etc.

Somehow fermenting inhibits the pathogens from growing on the food, while beneficial bacteria and yeasts flourish. In fact, fermenting food is a known and traditional technique for improving the shelf life of food and is probably one reason it became popular. Even so, it’s still a kind of homestead alchemy that I imagine most people have never attempted or considered. Until I came to the Natural Epicurean, I would never have tried, quite frankly.

Below: Fresh coconut yogurt with homestead honey. Looks like ice cream, right? I say it tastes just as good! 🙂

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Making Coconut Yogurt at Home

First, you start off with a whole coconut, like the one below. Until I started culinary school, I had no idea what to do with these things. It’s so cool that I can now crack one of these guys open in 60 seconds or less, drink the water, and make yogurt at home.

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Once you have a coconut, you shave off the white pith from the top until you see the three seam lines that converge in the center. You should be able to see those lines in the photo below. (In a prior blog post, I included a video of how this coconut opening process is done.)

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Then, you take a knife with a sharp edge near the handle. The edge needs to be shaped such that it would penetrate the hard coconut as shown below. A meat cleaver works excellent for this purpose. You’ll take that edge and drive it into the base of one of the three seams. This takes a strong motion, so be careful where you place the hand that you use to hold the coconut in case you don’t score a direct hit.

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Once the edge is in firmly, you work the blade around the top of the coconut until you can pop off the top as shown below. The coconut will be full of water which tastes amazing! Pour it off and drink it as soon as possible.

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Scoop out the coconut meat, trying not to scrape up too much of the tough brown layer just under the white flesh.

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Take all of the coconut flesh you’ve scooped out, add a bit of clean filtered water, and add a bit of probiotic powder. Use enough water to let the texture become creamy when blended in a blender. I used some powder from a probiotic capsule – about a quarter of a capsule for each coconut you scoop.

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Put the coconut puree into a glass or metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes into the wrap to allow air to circulate a bit. Leave it out at room temperature for a day or two, then refrigerate. The result is creamy, coconut-ty, and slightly fermented tasting. It should taste fresh and clean. Add sweetener and/or fruit when serving. Enjoy! 🙂

(1) http://www.eden-foundation.org/project/ferment.html

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