I really like yogurt. But I’m never, ever going to buy a yogurt maker. It’s not even that I’m a little intimidated by the whole live cultures thing, it’s just that I don’t have space anywhere in my kitchen for another appliance. Even if it looks really cool. And I really, really want one. Because LIVE CULTURES. It’s like SCIENCE. I kind of dig the whole food science thing. So anyway, a yogurt maker is out, but I really wanted yogurt. Even though it’s not paleo and even though I very rarely eat any kind of dairy. Therefore, logic told me, “make Paleo yogurt!”. Without the aforementioned cultures and machinery. Uh, ok.
How did I get into this endeavor again?
How to make Paleo Yogurt – without a yogurt machine!
Reading through lots of homemade yogurt recipes showed that it should be pretty simple. They are essentially all variations on this theme: milk of some kind + culture + thickening agent. Well, I wasn’t going to use dairy, so coconut milk would suffice here. I was skipping the whole live cultures bit, anyway, so leaving them out was easy. Now all I needed was a thickener: yay for grass fed gelatin! And bonus points for nutritional value, too! I knew I needed to thicken up the coconut milk enough that it would be creamy but fluffy and spoonable. The downside was that I didn’t want it to end up setting completely – anyone remember set yogurts? Bleeearrgh, I used to hate those things. If I wanted jello, I would have gotten jello! Anyway. The way I got around this was simple. I added grass fed gelatin to my coconut milk and refrigerated it until it set. Then I removed it from the fridge and used my food processor to blend it together. Ta-da! Now I had a creamy, yogurt-a-like!
You will want to sweeten and flavor your yogurt to suit your tastes. I added a splash of lime juice to mine to mimic the little bit of tang I personally like in a fresh yogurt. You can leave that out, if you want. Mr Meatified likes his pretty sweet and vanilla flavored, so that’s what we’ve gone for here. If you’re not sure how you like your yogurt, just keep tasting and tweaking the recipe before you add the gelatin. You’ll get it perfect in no time! One word of warning, though: once you have completed the final blending step, eat your Paleo yogurt right away. If you leave it too long, the gelatin will re-set. At that point, it’s still yummy, but not really a yogurt substitute. If your yogurt does reset, simply blend it again until smooth. Top with your favorite fruits and more! I usually make this and let it set overnight, then throw it in the food processor in the morning for a quick, easy breakfast!
Use the best quality gelatin you can find
I prefer to use grass fed gelatin in my yogurt and other treats. Why? Because the animals from whom the gelatin is sourced are not fed any grains or soy. This grass fed gelatin brand is “hormone free, pesticide free and GMO free” – plus it’s easy and cheap to purchase online!
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 tsp grass fed gelatin
- 2 tbl raw honey
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- 1½ - 2 cups strawberries, chopped
- Optional, omit for AIP: crushed pistachios to garnish
- Add the gelatin to a small jug or cup, along with 3 tbl of the coconut milk. Use a fork to stir the gelatin and coconut milk mixture together. Set aside.
- Pour the remaining coconut milk into a saucepan and whisk in the raw honey, vanilla extract and lime juice.
- Turn the burner to low and add the gelatin mixture to the pan. Gently warm the coconut milk until warm, whisking until the gelatin is combined and lump free.
- Pour the yogurt mixture into a bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so that the gelatin sets. I usually do this before bed for yogurt in the morning!
- When you are ready to eat, pour it into a food processor and process until smooth. Don't over process as this will introduce air into the mixture and the texture won't be right!
- Spoon half of the yogurt mixture into serving dishes. Layer with the chopped strawberries.
- Top the dishes with the remainder of the yogurt. Garnish with extra chopped strawberries and crushed pistachios if you want to!
- Serve and eat immediately once blended. If the yogurt is re-refrigerated or left out too long, it will re-set again. If that happens, you will need to re-blend it.
If your kitchen is cold, the "yogurt" will reset fast, leaving you with a "set" texture. If that is the case, you can add some water to the food processor until the texture is to your liking.
If you like your yogurt more loose, use only 2 tsp of gelatin; add more if you like it firmer.
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