The Paleo-friendly Yogurt Substitute: Coco-Pineapple Kefir
Possibly the best example of these healthy dairy cultures, though, isn’t the popular yogurt—rather, it would have to be kefir. A fermented drink hailing from the Caucasus, kefir is pretty hard to fault even for adherents of the Paleo diet. It has very little lactose and it boasts as many as 40 strains of healthy bacteria, trouncing yogurt’s paltry 2. It also has Vitamin K and B, Biotin, and Phosphorus.
So kefir can be one of those special exceptions when it comes to the Dairy-in-Paleo discussion. Fortunately, if you know how to prepare it right, it can also be one of the more delightful components of your diet. Let’s go through that again: if you prepare it right. Over-fermented or badly made kefir can be nigh-undrinkable for the unprepared. But done right and mixed with the right ingredients, kefir can become that better-than-yogurt food you’ve been looking for as a dessert or snack staple. Here’s an easy recipe for some “false yogurt” made out of kefir, coconut, and pineapple.
COCO-PINEAPPLE KEFIR YOGURT
- Kefir grains (make sure they are milk kefir grains, not water kefir grains)
- One can (approx 13oz or so) of coconut milk – look for the organic and full-fat kind
- Pineapple chunks to taste – I prefer it at a quarter cup, but you can use more if you want more pineapple flavor
- Combine the kefir grains with the coconut milk in a glass jar with a paper towel for a lid, so that the grains can breathe. As always, when working with kefir, avoid letting anything metal touch the mixture.
- Let the kefir ferment. This can take up to 48 hours, although most beginners (i.e. those who aren’t really inured to kefir’s sourness yet) just let it ferment for 24 hours. Remember: the warmer the room where you keep the jar, the less time it will take—check your fermentation occasionally if you’re uncertain of how sour it already is.
- Strain your kefir through a sieve and put away the grains for your next batch.
- Get a cheesecloth and pour the kefir into it, making sure there’s a bowl at the bottom to catch the whey. Keep it in the fridge and take it out only after it reaches the thickness you want. This can take several hours.
- Puree the pineapple chunks.
- Combine the kefir yoghurt and pineapple puree in a bowl. Sweeten with your preferred sweetener.