Homemade Almond and Coconut Dairy Free Yoghurt
Rachel’s almond & coconut milk yoghurt
(Makes 1 litre / 1kg)
600 ml homemade almond milk (250 g almonds + 800 ml water)
1 (400 ml) can coconut cream
1 gram top quality pectin
Few drops of liquid stevia
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt with live cultures, contents of one probiotic capsule, or yoghurt starter culture (you can buy dairy free culture here)
Optional for sweetened yogurt:
10 drops liquid stevia glyceride (or to taste). I use NOW brand – it is the best.
Seeds from half a vanilla pod
Yogurt Maker (I used Easiyo)
Cheesecloth or nutmilk bag (or you can use a new chux cloth sterilised in boiling water)
To make the almond milk:
Soak 250 grams of raw natural almonds in a bowl covered in water overnight. Discard the water, rinse then drain.
To make the yoghurt:
Add 800 ml warm filtered water and the soaked almonds to a blender, smoothie maker or thermomix. Pulse on high for 5 minutes until the almonds are as finely ground as possible and the water has turned a thick milky white.
Lay the cheesecloth over a colander or strainer, set on top of a deep bowl. Pour the almond puree into the cheesecloth and allow it to drain. After about 30 minutes, form a ball with the cloth and wring out the excess almond milk until no more milk can be squeezed out. Put the leftover ground almond fibre into a Tupperware container and store it in the freezer (it’s great to bake with instead of almond meal). The milk should yield approx 600 ml.
Bring the can of coconut milk to room temperature so the cream is not hardened. In a large saucepan, combine the 600 ml of fresh almond milk (it should be thick and creamy unlike the thin store-bought kind) with the can of coconut cream. Whisk to combine. Stir the pectin into the cold milk and allow to sit for one hour (this allows the pectin to rehydrate and swell making it easier to dissolve). After one hour, heat the mixture to
85 degrees and stir with a whisk to ensure there are no clumps of pectin. The mix should be totally smooth. Allow the mixture to cool to 40 degrees then add 1 tablespoon of fresh yoghurt or the sprinkling of yogurt culture. Mix again with a whisk.
Incubate the mixture for 6 hours in your yogurt maker and allow it to ferment.
Remove the yoghurt from the yoghurt maker and add the stevia and vanilla if desired. Mix with a whisk. Refrigerate completely before serving.
Note: the pectin is not optional and the yoghurt will not thicken without it as the ingredients do not have the right proteins to thicken naturally like dairy milk. This recipe can work for any non-dairy milk yoghurt but you need a higher fat content in the milk and the coconut cream to give it texture and thickness. The quality of the pectin is important. Pectin from the supermarket is often not good enough quality for this and will cause lumps or will not thicken in the absence of sugar. Try this one. If adding carbs is not an issue, you can also dissolve 1-2 tablespoons tapioca starch to make it even thicker.