I made coconut yogurt for the first time while studying at Matthew Kenney Culinary in Thailand. We added lime zest and a touch of sweetener and I was hooked. The flavor and texture was so close to the real thing! Topped with seared jackfruit, chili glaze and edible flowers, this was one of my favorite dishes we made in class.
Naturally, I came home to the U.S. and wanted to recreate the recipe. In Thailand, we made our yogurt using young Thai coconut meat, which is readily available in places where coconuts grow -- like Thailand. But in the Midwest? Not so much. I looked EVERYWHERE for coconut meat. Rumor has it that select Whole Foods locations have it in the freezer section, but I can't seem to locate it at my local store.
In a desperate attempt to make coconut yogurt without the main ingredient that makes it coconut yogurt, I cracked open a can of coconut milk and hoped for the best. Surprisingly, it worked! As expected, the texture is a bit more liquid-y than when I used coconut meat. But who cares? This stuff is dairy-free, healthy and delicious.
Topped with some store bought or homemade granola (we have a terrific recipe for Rancho La Puerta Granola if you're looking for one) and the fresh fruit of your choice, these coconut yogurt parfaits make a great breakfast for mornings when you're running out the door -- so long as you remember to start fermenting your yogurt the day before.
Coconut Yogurt Parfait
2 cups full-fat coconut milk
6 probiotic tablets, crushed (acidophilus works best)
1 Tbsp. agave (or to taste)
½ cup granola
½ cup fresh mixed berries (or fresh fruit of your choice)
- Whisk together the coconut milk and the powder from the probiotic tablets in a glass bowl. Place it in the oven and turn the oven light on. Don't turn the oven on! The warmth from the oven light will speed up the fermentation process. Leave the mixture in the oven with the light on for 12 -24 hours, or until it has that fermented, yogurt-y taste.
- Once the coconut yogurt has fermented, add the agave and stir to combine. You can place the mixture in the fridge to cool before eating if you don’t like the sensation of warm yogurt.
- Distribute the coconut yogurt between two small bowls or mason jars. Top each with half the granola followed the berries. Serve immediately.
Hi Mary! Once you crack the coconut open, pry the meat away from the shell using a kitchen knife. Alternatively, you can cut the coconut in half and bake it, and then use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer shell to reveal the coconut meat beneath. There are YouTube videos on how to do this if you need a visual. Once you have the coconut meat (about 2 cups), rinse it and pat dry. Add it to a blender or food processor with the crushed probiotic and blend until completely smooth. You may need to add a touch of water to get it going. The rest of the instructions are the same as noted in the recipe. Hope this helps!
There are young Thai coconuts available in Southern California at many of the bigger Asian markets, Whole foods and stores similar to that, as well as some health food stores. They're easy to find. Can you explain how the recipe would change when using a fresh coconut?