According to Chef Simon, this coconut yogurt is just as delicious as the most amazing Greek yogurt – and it’s simple to make.
Coconut Yogurt (gluten free & optional dairy free)
– 1 litre (4.227 cups) of good quality coconut milk
– 1 spoon of live yogurt
– 4 250 ml (1 cup each) screw-top jars – or any other packaging, which stores a litre of yogurt. Preferably use glass.
Make sure you use a coconut milk with a reasonably high fat content (a real coconut would be best- about 3 grams of healthy fat, the boxed kind perhaps not so good. Check). This will guarantee deliciously rich and creamy yogurt.
If you want your yogurt to be completely dairy free, you’ll have to use a spoon of existing dairy free yogurt, such as soy yogurt. Non-dairy culture starters are available too.
The live yogurt or dairy-free starter is for the probiotic bacteria to turn our coconut milk into yogurt. If you’re okay with a trace of dairy, use plain unsweetened live yogurt. Check the list of ingredients; it should mention the bacteria cultures it contains (and say “live culture.”)
In a thick-bottomed pan on a low heat, bring your coconut milk to a gentle boil. Let it bubble away for about five minutes – stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and let the coconut milk cool down to about 40 degrees Celsius (112 degrees Fahrenheit). If you’re not sure, stick your clean finger in the milk. If you’re able to keep it there for at least a minute, you’re on the right track.
Now introduce your bacteria to the milk by stirring it in.
In another pot of boiling water, boil your jars and lids for two minutes to sterilize. Allow them to cool down before pouring in your yogurt mixture. Screw the lids on tightly.
If you’ve got access to a warm place, simply storing these jars for 24 hours will be sufficient to create yogurt. If not, you can use a cool box. Line up the jars and cover them with 40 degree Celsius (112 degrees Fahrenheit) water. Close the cool box and leave for 24 hours. By then, your yogurt should have cultured and can be kept in the fridge for at least another week (but it tastes so good that it’s not likely to last that long).
Aloha and sanpai jumpa, Renée
“Cashew cream cheese is rich, slightly tangy, and incredibly satisfying,” notes Chef Simon.
Cashew and Coconut Cream Cheese (gluten free, dairy free, & vegan)
– 2 cups ( .47 L) of cashew nuts. Soaked in ample water for 12 hours. Drained and rinsed.
– 2 cups ( .47 L) of coconut milk
– 1 teaspoon (4.47 grams) of soy sauce
– 1 teaspoon (4.47 grams) of sea salt
– 1 teaspoon (4.47 grams) of agar agar (a seaweed based thickener, available at Asian grocery stores). You can play around with this quantity. The more you use, the firmer your cheese will be.
In a blender, combine cashews, oil, 1 cup of the coconut milk, (if you have coconut yogurt, you can use 1 cup of this instead to result in a more tangy cream cheese), plus the soy sauce and salt. Blend at high speed until very smooth.
In a saucepan, combine the other cup of coconut milk and agar agar, bring to a boil while stirring. Boil for 2 minutes.
With the blender running, introduce the boiled milk/agar mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Do this while the mixture is still hot and runny. When completely combined, pour into a container and allow to set in the fridge for several hours.
Chef Simon says that recipes such as this one aren’t replacements for cow’s milk. Instead, they are worthy for the most discerning foodies out there, vegan or not. “If their creaminess, tanginess, and plain satisfaction factor remind you of dairy, well, lucky you” (UbudLife Vol. 21, Dec.-Feb. 2015, p. 43).
Aloha & Sanpai jumpa, Renée
This recipe from Ayu Spicy is loaded with protein and keeps for several days refrigerated – where it just gets better.
Mango & Chickpea Tabouli – Serves 4-6
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 Tbl. Indian curry powder, toasted in a dry frying pan
- 2/3 cup yogurt (for vegans – substitute soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. See https://reneeriley.wordpress.com/?s=coconut+yogurt)
- 1 tsp. orange zest, grated – just the orange part not the white pith
- 1 cup cooked rice or quinoa
- 1 can (439 g, about 16 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 ripe mango cut into 1 1/2 cm x 1 1/2 cm pieces (under 2 inch cubes)
- 2 Tbl. coriander leaf, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
In a medium sized bowl mix the orange and lime juices, the curry powder, yogurt, and the orange zest. When this is well mixed add the cooked rice or quinoa and stir again.
Now add the garbanzo beans and raisins, mixing well. Finally add the mango pieces and the chopped coriander leaf and mix gently.
Set the tabouli aside, covered, for at least an hour for the flavors to mix and mature. When you are ready to eat, turn it onto a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds.
This tabouli keeps well in the fridge. If you plan to have leftovers, don’t sprinkle all the almonds on at once but save some for when it comes ot of the fridge an sprinkle on just before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
“Salamat makan,” Renée
from: “Food Glorious Food” Bali Advertiser, 12-26 Oct. 2016, 45)
What healthy vine will roar around the garden like a train, lustily embracing any support that leads it closer to the sun?
Ibu Kat describes the local passion fruit in Bali that way. I know and love passion fruit, liliko’i, from Hawaii. You may know the intensely flavorful and usually a bit sour fruit as passion fruit or passionfruit, maracuya, granadille, maracujá or lilikoʻi.
In “A Passion for Passionfruit,” Ibu Kat provides great facts about this seemingly indestructible plant:
“Passiflora is one hardy plant. Seedlings spring up from the compost bin, beside walls or wherever birds have dropped them. Once they are established, they’re pretty much indestructible. . .. Undeterred by monsoonal floods or torrid droughts, they just keep on climbing determinedly upwards. I encourage them to grow up tall trees and one has now colonized the roof. Literature states the vine can grow about 6 m [over 19 feet] a year but in my experience, it’s more like 10cm [almost 4 inches] a day.
After a while – about a year, after you’ve forgotten about them and the vines have largely disappear in the tree canopies – the oval fruits will start to appear in the grass.
When ripe, the passion fruit releases itself from the mother plant and drops to earth; it picks itself. Which is just as well considering the dizzying heights from which some of them are falling. The larger ones sometimes crack upon impact with the earth. A good wind or heavy rain can produce quite a harvest. Ignored, the shell eventually rots away and the seeds will germinate where they landed to start the whole process over again. But it’s much more fun to pick them up and take them home.
This particular variety has a very deep flavour and aroma, and a sweet/sour acidity that most Balinese don’t like. Wayan Manis wrinkles her nose and declares them ‘pahit’ [bitter]. But the juice makes a wonderful substitute for vinegar in salad dressings, introducing a distinctive fruity dimension to the proceedings. A shot of juice is lovely in a glass of cold soda or tonic or just by itself, iced, on a hot day. I’ve heard a rumour that a passion fruit daiquiri is very nice. Passion fruit makes a lovely tangy preserve which goes well with cheese.
Of course you can just cut the top off like a boiled egg and eat the contents with a spoon, or pour the lot over yogurt.
It’s astonishing, really, that we seem to be the only species that eats it. My garden is plagued by a family of squirrels. . . These rodents have destroyed every durian and coconut in my garden for years now, taking a single bite which spoils the fruit before moving on to the next. But they won’t touch passion fruit.
Neither will the bats. They help themselves to the papayas just at the moment of perfect ripeness, leaving the ragged remains of the fruit hanging sadly from the stem or slumped on the ground. . . . But they show no interest in the passion fruit even when I leave an open one around to tempt them. . . .
So I’m the only one who thinks that passion fruit is a good idea, and it’s my job to keep up with the crop. Since the vines can produce for up to five years it’s an ongoing exercise. I collect them, scoop out the pulp, press it through a potato ricer and freeze the juice. I give away scores of seedlings. My compost is full of passion fruit shells.
The purple variety of passion fruit is thought to have originated in Paraguay, and being so conveniently packed in its own tough skin was easy for early European explorers and traders to disseminate around the world. But the fruit is endemic in the tropics and subtropics of every continent except Africa. Most species are found in South America, eastern Asia, southern Asia and New Guinea. Nine separate species of Passiflora are native to the United States, at least four species are found in Australia and there is one endemic species in New Zealand.
Some interesting facts to keep up your sleeve for Quiz Night: many species of butterflies rely on passion fruit leaves. The seeds yield about 23% oil similar in properties to sunflower and soya oil. Different species are pollinated by hummingbirds, bumble bees. Carpenter bees, wasps or bats, while others are self-pollinating. The flower was named by Spanish missionaries to South America as an expository aid while trying to convert the indigenous inhabitants to Christianity. [Spiky structures sticking out from the center of the flower symbolize the crown of thorns; the ten petals represent the ten faithful apostles, the three stigmata symbolize the three nails, and the five anthers representing the five wounds. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071203034037AARs16R].
So next time someone congratulates you on your passion fruit vine you can tell them all about it.
Passion fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals. One hundred grams of fruit contains about 30 mg of vitamin C, 1274 units of vitamin A, 348 mg of potassium along with significant amounts of iron copper, magnesium and phosphorus.
As with everything else, rarity adds value to a product. If you live in the continental USA, one Californian fruit supplier will be happy to send you eight fruit for US $28 or Rp. 45,588 each. That makes me feel pretty smug. And no way will I be coming down with scurvy any time soon” (Bali Advertiser, 28 September -12 October, 2016, p. 31).
Ibu Kat’s book of stories Bali Daze – Free-fall off the Tourist Trail is available at Ganesha Books in Bali and on Kindle. Watch for her new book, Retired and Rewired.
Here in Bali, the passion fruit we tried is more oval shaped and a bit sweeter than the kinds we have in Hawaii.
I hope you are able to enjoy tangy, healthy passion fruit wherever you are.
Images from <https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fimages-na.ssl-images-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FI%2F31uclgtT0NL.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTropical-Importers-Fresh-Passion-Fruit%2Fdp%2FB00AFZ6B4E&docid=7vfzKsC7Yte-sM&tbnid=B4y6nU_U6wMYxM%3A&w=243&h=208&bih=629&biw=1269&ved=0ahUKEwiTwMrYzdnPAhUBOY8KHUOSB-8QxiAIAg&iact=c&ictx=1>.