slow cooker coconut milk yogurt |

This is a simple, slow cooker yogurt that is dairy-free and almost fool-proof. If you are sensitive to dairy or just want to mix things up, this is a great recipe to try. Prep it at night, stick it in an oven, and in the morning you will have coconut milk yogurt.

I decided to try making yogurt with coconut milk since we have a dairy-sensitive little one. I have been making homemade yogurt for about a year now in my slow cooker. It is super easy. If you are intimidated by the thought, rest assured that it is almost fool-proof.

The first time I made the coconut milk version it was a fail because I used the wrong type of coconut milk. I used a coconut milk beverage. From everything I have read about making it, it is very important to use the stuff in the cans.

You can buy coconut milk here.

For my version, I used my slow cooker and a candy thermometer

2 cans coconut milk
2 1/2 teaspoons of Gelatin 
~1/2 Tbsp honey
~1/2 cup plain yogurt (any kind with active cultures is fine)

Heat up the coconut milk in the slow cooker until it reaches 180 degrees. Turn off slow cooker and add in the gelatin and the honey and stir until dissolved. Let cool until ~105-115 degrees.

Take about a cup of the warmed coconut milk from the slow cooker and in a separate bowl add the yogurt. (You might not even have to do this step, but you don't want to shock your good bacteria. Just like slowly stepping in a hot tub to get your body used to it, that is what you are doing for the bacteria.)

Add the yogurt/coconut milk mixture to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and place in a warm location for about 12-16 hours. I always put mine in our oven with the light on and it works great. You can even wrap it in a towel to ensure that it stays warm and incubates.

In the morning it will have a slightly sour taste, but it will be very runny. It needs to be cooled in order to gel up. Once it cools in the fridge, it will be thick like yogurt, so do not be discouraged if it looks the same in the morning as it did in the evening.

Check out my post on how to make slow cooker Greek yogurt.

real food splurging and saving money

Buying real food at times can be more expensive. There are real food items you may want to spend extra money on and other times you will find ways to save money on food.

I don't know about you, but sometimes when I read others' blogs, I feel inadequate thinking they always eat ideal. And although my regular readers, family, and friends know I am not "real food ideal" some may get the feeling that I always buy organic, local, etc.

One real food blogger I follow, Kitchen Stewardship, wrote a post not too long ago about what she splurges on and what she saves on. It was so great to read because it made me feel better about some of the things we buy that are not ideal. It inspired me to write a post as well on what I tend to splurge on and what I buy conventional. I also included some examples.

This gluten-free zucchini bread with chocolate chips is the second gluten-free bread I have made. The first was a gluten-free banana bread

Our neighbor gave us a couple of zucchini's from his garden. You can see in the picture above how big they are. Now I wish I would have grown some. Maybe its not too late??

This enchilada sauce came about because of laziness. I didn't want to go to the grocery store. I figured I could make some homemade enchilada sauce. I had no idea it would be so spicy. I couldn't even use it, and had to buy some anyway. :) However, the flavors are great and #1 loved it as a side sauce. I even added a bit to some sour cream so that I could enjoy it as well.

I used this recipe as my inspiration. The directions are pretty much the same, but my ingredients did vary a bit.

~1/4 cup oil
~2 Tbsp flour
~2 scant Tbsp chipotle chili powder (this is what took it over the edge. Feel free to use less and add more later)
~12 ounces tomato sauce
~1 cup water
The following I did not really measure:
Cumin - maybe 1 teaspoon
Cocoa - maybe 1/2  teaspoon
Onion flakes - maybe 1 teaspoon
Garlic powder - maybe 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch

I will definitely make this again. Just with less chipotle powder.

linked to Whimsy Wednesday, Fresh Foods Wednesday


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