My pot set Vanilla Coconut yoghurt will surprise you, so much yummier than store bought, a fraction of the price and it's surprisingly easy to make. When I would purchase a commercial brand, it didn't always sit well in my stomach. I put this down to the thickeners, gums and additives that were in them. I thicken my pot set yoghurt with a little grass fed gelatin (excellent for gut health) and a little arrowroot flour which is one of the easiest starches to digest. I use an Easiyo yoghurt maker thermos - I removed the plastic container from the inside and replaced it with a Weck preserving glass jar which is perfect for pot setting yoghurt and much safer for your health. (They can be purchased from a grocery store, Big W or Kmart and are inexpensive). Most plastics contain two chemicals that are Endocrine Disruptors (in other words, they mess up our hormones). You can check out the recipe here, but read on for more helpful information.
Lets have a look at what ingredients I use in each of my pot set yoghurts. A 270ml can of 100% full fat coconut cream, it's all natural with no additives, it's lovely and thick and comes in a BPA free can. (Another brand that's 100% natural and thick is Wokka - in Australia). All that's needed is 1/2 teaspoon each, of grass fed gelatin (I use the Great Lakes brand) and arrowroot to thicken. 1 1/2 tablespoons of either lemon or lime juice (the citrus juice helps with neutralising the strong coconut flavour), 1 teaspoon of unprocessed honey for the probiotic to feed on and 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract for flavour. I use one dairy free probiotic capsule, if you choose to use a cultured yoghurt starter it will be more sour, so I recommend you shorten the fermenting time. The coconut cream, gelatin and arrowroot will need to be heated in a small saucepan and whisk until you nearly reach boiling point to dissolve the gelatin and arrowroot flour (if the arrowroot isn't dissolved you will be able to taste it and feel a little grit in your yoghurt). You then set it aside to cool for 15 minutes before adding remaining ingredients and put aside to ferment. Easy peezy! Click here for recipe!
Lets talk about how to incubate the cream so the yoghurt ferments properly. I use an Easiyo yoghurt maker, you add boiling water to the bottom to keep the yoghurt luke warm. There are other ways to keep it warm but never over 37c (100F). You can use an esky or insulated bag, wrap the jar in a tea towel and add a warmed heat pack. You can even wrap the jar and sit it on a warm window sill. Fermenting can take anywhere between 12 - 24 hours - experiment and see what your preferred flavour is. My favourite fermenting time is between 14 - 16 hours when using the contents from one probiotic capsule. After 12 hours in the yoghurt maker, remove the cooled water and replace with more hot water and return the jar for extra time or if it's a warm day I would just leave it out in a warm place. After fermenting, remove the lid of your glass jar and whisk the mixture a couple of times (sometimes a little liquid will sit at the bottom). Place in the fridge to set, approximately 5 - 6 hours or leave overnight.
Lets talk about the best probiotic to use. Probiotic capsules contain live bacteria that ferments the yoghurt, they have so many health benefits for us, from helping with boosting our gut flora, to assisting with leaky gut and other gut health issues like IBS. Purchase from a health food store or pharmacy, choose a dairy, gluten and soy free brand and look for a brand that contains a few of these strains in them - Lactobacillus Acidolphilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Steptococcus Thermophilus. I use 'Inner Health' dairy free capsules. Different brands of probiotics can give a slightly different taste to your yoghurt, so swap around and see what you like the taste of (the soil-based microorganism probiotics aren't suitable for making yoghurt, like Presrcipt-Assist). Please note the live bacteria will be killed if the coconut cream mixture is hotter than 37c (100F) - normal body temperature, when added.
As I said previously it's much better for your health to store your food in glass. Weck preserving glass containers have seals and clips, which work well for fermenting. The 370ml Sturz style fits into the small 500ml Easiyo yoghurt maker and the 750ml size fits into the larger 1L size (double recipe for 750ml size). I purchased my jars from the Wheel and Barrow store but they can be purchased online from several suppliers (just do a Google search). I make a fresh jar every other evening after dinner, it doesn't take long at all. After heating the cream, I set it aside to cool while I clean up after dinner. The rest of the ingredients only takes 60 seconds to add while the kettle boils. Pop the hot water and sealed jar into your insulated container and leave over night.
The 370ml jars are perfect for pot set yoghurt, you can eat your own personal serve straight from the jar. They stack neatly in the fridge on top of each other, the seals help to keep the yoghurt lovely and fresh for up to 2 weeks. Click here for the recipe to get started on your POT SET VANILLA COCONUT YOGHURT. I know you are going to love it as much as I do.
Serve your yoghurt with fresh berries and nuts or dollop on a chia pudding. It is also perfect to use as a dairy free cream topping over a healthy dessert (only incubate for 12 hours and add one additional teaspoon of both arrowroot and honey). If you would like to make a yoghurt dressing to go with a meal, incubate for 24 hours to have a tangier flavour and omit the vanilla (add chopped mint, coriander or grated cucumber and a little salt & pepper before serving).
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to send me a message by email or on my Facebook page. Lets get started and feed your gut some good bacteria.
By Susan Joy