coconut yoghurt – third time lucky!

coconut yoghurt with passionfruit

I’ve been in search of the perfect recipe for coconut yoghurt. The first one I used is a bit hit and miss when it comes to thickening and I can’t ever really work out why. It is great when it works, but too thin when it doesn’t.  Draining it helps, but honestly that is messy and a bit of a pest. It is also very high in fat compared to dairy or soy yoghurt, which means I have to eat less of it, which isn’t good, since I love yoghurt for breakfast, snacks and desserts.

So when I came across this recipe for coconut yogurt on Lexie’s Kitchen I was thrilled. It involves setting the yoghurt with the help of some tapioca starch and agar cooked in water, which is then mixed with the coconut cream. As there is quite a bit of water in the final mix, the fat content is much lower, but the texture is pretty good and is like thick greek yoghurt, though not as rich. It takes a bit more effort, but it is worth it.

I got my non-dairy yoghurt culture (the SYAB1 strain) at Green Living Australia.

This recipe is definitely a keeper. I’m currently eating it with passionfruit that are staging a takeover bid in my garden.


coconut milk yoghurt – third time lucky!
prep time
cook time
total time
cuisine: Vegan
serves: 8
  • ¾ teaspoon agar powder (no more)
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons sugar (you need this for feeding the yoghurt starter, not sweetness)
  • 2 cans full fat coconut cream (try to use one with the minimum number of additives)
  • 3 level tablespoons tapioca starch
  • yoghurt starter or probiotic capsules
  1. You need everything to be clean so that the wrong bacteria don’t get into your yoghurt and make it go off, so clean everything by dousing in boiling water.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the tapioca starch and ½ cup water. Set aside.
  3. Add 2 cups water to a large pot. Sprinkle the agar powder over surface. Bring to boil and gently simmer for 5 minutes or until the agar is completely dissolved.
  4. Give the tapioca mix a stir and whisk it and the sugar into the agar agar mixture.
  5. Return to simmer, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. It will thicken.
  6. Whisk in coconut milk. Heat just until steam rises from surface.
  7. Allow milk to cool to 95-100˚F. This can take a while. Do not get impatient. If you put starter into a hot mix, you will kill it.
  8. Sprinkle the yogurt starter or probiotic (use manufacturer’s recommended measure) over surface of the cooled milk mix and whisk very well.
  9. Transfer to container(s) and then to the yogurt maker.
  10. Leave undisturbed to ferment for 8-10 hours.
  11. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 6-8 hours. The yogurt will set as it cools.
Don’t put too much agar in or you’ll end up with a jelly.
It is better to err on the side of less, rather than more, so use closer to ½ teaspoon than 1 teaspoon.


mexican flavoured bean burgers

mexican bean patties

I love the way that having a couple of things lying about sends my brain into a “what-could-I make-with-this?” train of thought.

These burgers started with a fridge cleanout…cooked brown rice, three quarters of a can of borlotti beans, some sweet corn and leftover avocado from my breakfast toast.

I immediately thought Mexican, of course, and grabbed the very last of the coriander from the garden along with some chillies, cherry tomatoes that are ripening on the hanging upside down plants and one of my precious seven capsicums I grew this year. :)

The burgers are good, but what really lifts them is the fresh salsa on the top, so don’t skimp on that.

mexican flavoured bean burgers
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: savoury, dinner, lunch
cuisine: vegan
serves: 4
For the burgers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small capsicum
  • a small amount of oil (maybe a teaspoon)
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 1 small minced chilli or ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chopped oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 350 grams cooked dried beans (I used about ¾ of a can of borlotti)
  • ¾ cup cooked brown rice
  • kernels from 1 corn cob or a small can of corn
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tablespoons mung or chickpea flour
  • salt
For the salsa
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ¼ avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • salt
  • a big squeeze of lime juice
For the burgers
  1. Finely dice the onion and capsicum
  2. Fry in the oil until soft, add the garlic and the paprika, chilli, oregano and cumin and fry for a minute
  3. In a large bowl combine the contents of the frying pan with the beans, rice, corn and coriander and mash.
  4. Add the chickpea flour and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
For the salsa
  1. Dice the tomatoes, avocado and onion
  2. Mix with the chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime
  3. Salt to taste





smith & daughters – brunch

french toast with poached quince

It was only 9 days since my last visit to Smith & Daughters for dinner, but my friend and I thought we’d give the brunch a whirl. When trying to agree on some dates for a booking, we set up about 8 possible options, including the following day. We laughed that we’d never get it, but as luck would have it we got ourselves a spot for Sunday morning.

After my first visit to S&D my expectations were high and I wasn’t disappointed.

The place has a different feel in the daylight. Less crowded, more laid back and lots of light. Combined with the ever friendly service, it makes for a very relaxing experience.

The coffee came quickly and was excellent.

Tragic that I am, I’d already been perusing the menu online and had decided on the Mexican omelet before I even got there. My friend went for the breakfast burrito.  We shared bits and pieces.

breakfast burrito mexican omelette

The mexican omelet I think was the star of the two, with a definite eggy feel and good flavours from the potato, grilled corn, mushrooms, peppers and nopales. It came with gucamole and a tomatillo sauce.

The burrito was nice, but one of the things I love about this place is it makes vegan things that nobody else does. I was always going to go for something that isn’t readily available elsewhere. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it though. It was nicely spicy with scrambled tofu, chorizo, garlic kale, black beans and chipotle cashew cheese. Served with some guacamole and lime. Mmmm.

I had been relying on my normally sweet toothed friend to order the french toast so I could steal a bite, but to my surprise she didn’t so I was forced to order it myself as a dessert. :)

OMG. The sweet things here are sensational, and this was no exception. Beautiful flavours and served with quinces. My favourite grown up fruit.

french toast with poached quince

I’ll be back…again.


Smith & Daughters
175 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, 3065
(03) 9939 3293 
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