Yogurt is commonly named when talking about probiotic foods. We've been told it improves digestion, immunity, and even mental health to eat fermented foods and take probiotics, but for some of us the dairy in regular yogurt can be an issue.
Especially while cleansing, avoiding dairy is important, and post-cleanse you might choose to limit or eliminate dairy for good. Fortunately, that doesn't mean you need to give up yogurt! We've created this simple vegan coconut yogurt recipe for our yogurt lovers, so you can enjoy it on and off the cleanse.
CHOOSE FULL-FAT BPA-FREE COCONUT MILK
You'll see "canned" coconut milk as the first ingredient for this recipe. It is important not to use the boxed coconut milk you'll find in many grocery stores, as it's far too thin and won't produce a good coconut yogurt texture. Opt for full-fat, canned coconut milk for the thickest texture that will resemble yogurt found in stores. In addition to buying canned, make sure it is labeled "BPA-free" which stands for bisphenol A. It's found in plastic and other containers like cans and can leak into food that's exposed to it. BPA is believed to cause a slew of issues, affecting our brain health, blood pressure, and mimics the effects of estrogen in the body. As BPA warnings have become mainstream, many companies are switching to BPA-free, so just check the label.
Coconut milk is an excellent choice as the base for this yogurt. In addition to its creamy taste and texture, the health benefits are endless. In many cultures around the world, the coconut is viewed as life-sustaining thanks to its combination of electrolytes, carbohydrates, and fatty acids. Young coconuts produce coconut water, which is a hydrating replacement for sports drinks. As coconuts mature, the meat develops which is where we source the coconut milk used in this recipe. Specifically, coconut milk contains lauric acid, which helps lower blood pressure and prevents heart disease. The high-fat content of this type of yogurt will help you feel satisfied and satiated with a small amount, also remember that coconut is considered a "healthy fat".
RASPBERRIES BENEFIT OUR GUT HEALTH
We've chosen a fruit mixture for the bottom of our coconut yogurt, simply to create a more interesting flavor. You can absolutely eat the plain coconut yogurt on its own and skip this step altogether. We've chosen raspberries since they're cleanse-friendly and reduce quickly in the pan due to their high water content. Raspberries are rich in vitamin C which is used as an antioxidant in the body to ward off disease and inflammation. Vitamin C is also important for developing collagen, which helps joint and gut health and also improves the elasticity of our skin to prevent premature aging.
2 BPA-free cans coconut milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons tapioca flour or agar agar
3-4 Probiotic capsules
1 Tablespoon coconut nectar
2 cups raspberries
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
Prepare all your ingredients.
Use a blender or whisk to thoroughly mix the coconut yogurt, coconut nectar, tapioca, and probiotics. Empty the contents of the probiotics capsules into the coconut milk and discard the capsules.
Pour coconut mixture into a sanitized mason jar, cover with cheesecloth, and secure with a rubber band. Let the yogurt sit at room temperature for 24 hours, and then store in the fridge.
Add raspberries, coconut palm sugar, and lemon zest to a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce to a simmer, and let reduce by half (5-10 minutes).
Let cool and evenly distribute raspberry mixture into the bottom of four small glass containers and store in the fridge.
Once your yogurt is ready, spoon over raspberry mixture and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Recipe and photos by Kaitlyn Noble
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