I’ve never been a huge fan of dairy, nor has it been a big fan of mine. The older I got, the more it seemed to bother my digestion. What started as occasional discomfort, got to a point where I would be doubled over in pain from something as simple as a splash of cream in my coffee. I eliminated it for months in order to stop my body’s negative response, and to give my system a much needed break.
While reintroducing dairy, it became apparent that local, organic, grass fed dairy seemed to be a little more tolerable to my system. There were still some lingering affects but, oh, how badly I wanted for it to work. I can’t say that my determination was driven so much by an enjoyment for dairy, but by more of a conditioning in a sense. Growing up, we were constantly bombarded with various forms of advertisements, all insisting that dairy is essential to building a strong body. You don’t see them as much these days. I feel like the momentum has died down in recent years, as people are becoming more and more aware of what constitutes real health.
That’s when I began trying some dairy free options. The choices are endless…cashew, almond, coconut, hemp. They all sound great but, unfortunately, most of them contain at least some form of sugar, gums, or fillers. Sugar is, well…sugar. As for gums and fillers, you’d be surprised at how irritating they can be to the digestive tract. What seems like a good choice at the grocery store can turn out disastrous if you’re someone who’s sensitive to these types of additives.
Now, I know many people are not as fond of coconut as I am, but trust me on this one. This yogurt is one of the richest and creamiest that I’ve ever had. Not only is it delicious, but coconut is fairly high in saturated fat. We now understand saturated fat to be instrumental in strengthening the immune system, serving as a building block for cells, and protecting our gut from harmful microorganisms, just to name a few. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats actually have cholesterol lowering properties, so go ahead and eat to your heart’s content…literally:)
Coconut Yogurt with Chia-Berry Jam
Yield Approx. 3 cups
- 2 c (400 g) young thai coconut meat (This is not a brand name but a type of coconut. Can be found in the freezer section at most health food stores)
- 1 c (200 g) water
- juice of 1/2 lemon (25 g)
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 probiotic capsules
- 3/4 c strawberries, frozen
- 1/2 c raspberries, frozen
- 1/4 c cranberries, frozen
- 1-2 dates
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
- whole berries
- pomegranate seeds
- hemp or sunflower seeds
- cacao nibs
- Place all ingredients except for probiotic capsules into high speed blender. Start on low, slowly increasing until it reaches high speed. Blend until completely smooth.
- Open probiotic capsules and empty into blender. Blend on low just until combined.
- Pour into sanitized quart jar and leave on counter overnight. In the morning, place in refrigerator to chill before eating.
- For chia-berry jam, place berries, dates, and salt into high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into pint jar and stir in chia seeds. Place in refrigerator for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight, to thicken.
Yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.