Coconut Yogurt with Blood Oranges and Cacao Nibs
A dairy-free coconut milk yogurt that’s loaded with good probiotics and topped with blood oranges, cacao nibs, coconut flakes and almond slices.
It was my dad’s birthday on Sunday, so I made him an extra special breakfast. A breakfast of delicious, homemade coconut yogurt, blood oranges and cacao nibs (which, is sorta like chocolate for breakfast – don’t you think?!). But he deserved it. He turned 71 and with every health ailment he’s battled over the last eight years – Parkinson’s, Meningeal Coccidioidomycosis (aka – Valley Fever), Rheumatoid Arthritis, a broken hip and a slew of other related health issues – he absolutely deserves chocolate for breakfast.
And as you might imagine, he was a happy camper. Then again, he’s always a happy camper. It’s an ongoing family joke that my dad LOVES everyone and is positive to a fault. After every nurse or doctor visit, the first words out of my dad’s mouth are always, “Oh, he/she was so nice.” Which always makes my mom, brother and I seriously chuckle. Because after dozens and dozens of doctor visits, we know it’s coming.
I personally do enjoy homemade dairy yogurt, but I also tend to flip flop between dairy yogurt and coconut yogurt for variety. Homemade coconut yogurt is quite easy to make and very similar to how you’d make dairy yogurt. Heat the milk up to 180 degrees fahrenheit, cool it to 110-115 degrees fahrenheit, add your starter/probiotics, culture for 7-9 hours and refrigerate.
The only difference with coconut yogurt is that you need a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to help it firm up. It simply won’t firm up on it’s own. I use gelatin, because I love all the gut-healing properties of gelatin, but if you’re vegan, swap out the gelatin for agar powder. Just be sure to not add too much of either (a little goes a long way!), as you’re aiming for creamy yogurt and not a firm panna cotta.
If you’ve never had coconut yogurt before be forewarned that it’s typically more tart and tangy than dairy yogurt (think, more like sour cream). Dairy milk has quite a bit of natural sugar (lactose) that makes dairy yogurt sweet, which is lacking in coconut milk. Coconut yogurt, on the other hand, contains more fat and less protein than dairy yogurt.
Both types of yogurt are healthy – assuming the homemade variety and not store-bought versions – so it really just depends on you and your body. If you plan to make yogurt frequently, I highly recommend this yogurt maker. I’ve had it for years and it’s always produced fab results.
But all this talk of yogurt and I haven’t even gotten to the good part yet – the toppings! So what do we have? Sweet, vibrant blood oranges that are in season right now, raw cacao nibs that add a burst of intense chocolatey-ness and a little extra crunch from coconut flakes and sliced almonds.
After dad’s birthday, he and I had this breakfast again the next morning, because it was THAT good.
- 1 tbsp grass-fed beef gelatin (or 1 tsp agar powder)
- ½ cup water
- 3 cans (13.5 ounce) full-fat coconut milk (I use this brand)
- 3-4 capsules probiotics, opened (approx ¼ tsp powder)
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- Pour the water in a wide, shallow bowl and sprinkle the gelatin or agar powder on top. Let it bloom for 5 minutes.
- Heat the coconut milk in a pot on medium-high heat. Gently simmer until the temperature reaches 180 degrees fahrenheit, then turn off the heat. Add the gelatin or agar powder to the pot and stir for several minutes, or until all the powder has dissolved.
- Let the pot cool to 110-115 degrees fahrenheit. This will take 30 minutes or more. Alternatively, place the pot in an ice-water bath to expedite the process.
- Once the coconut milk has cooled, pour 1 cup into a small bowl. Add the maple syrup and probiotic powder and whisk until there are no clumps of probiotic powder. Pour this cup back into the pot and whisk thoroughly.
- Pour the coconut milk yogurt into the jars of your yogurt machine. Turn the machine on and cook for 7-9 hours. The longer you cook, the more tangy the yogurt becomes.
- Once the coconut yogurt is done, it will still be fairly liquid at this stage. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to firm up.
- Before serving, stir the contents of the yogurt jar as a slight film may form on top. Add the yogurt to a bowl and top with blood oranges, coconut flakes, cacao nibs and almond slices.
Other recipes you might like: