Today, I am thrilled to have a guest post by my friend, Starlene Stewart, author of GAPS Diet Journey. Starlene has been chronicling her experience on the GAPS Diet at her blog and is a new member of the Nourished Living Network. For week 13 of my series Bad A** Bacteria, Starlene is here to share her recipe for making cashew nut yogurt. I can’t wait to try this recipe, and especially try that cheesecake. It looks amazing!
Thanks for the warm welcome, Jessica. I began looking into yogurt made from milks other than cow or goat milk after I started the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.
Let me point out that GAPS allows and recommends homemade fermented dairy products, and when I started on GAPS we actually had our own small herd of dairy goats specifically for their raw milk, and I regularly made kefir, clabbered milk, yogurt, buttermilk, and soft cheeses.
So why avoid dairy? I had a couple of reasons. For one thing I was dependent on a steroid inhaler for asthma for the previous nine years following a month long bout with pneumonia. The second reason is that I’d known since 1989 when pregnant with my youngest son, that milk products caused respiratory problems for me. This has not been enough to persuade me to give up milk, but when I started GAPS I figured it was as good a time as any. Some GAPS sources recommend avoiding dairy for a six week period and reintroduce slowly. I thought I could achieve a level of gut healing quickly and reintroduce dairy products so I figured I would get started. I completed the Introduction portion of the GAPS Diet in April 2010 and I am thrilled to report in September 2010 I was able to wean off the steroid inhaler and have been free of asthma and seasonal allergies ever since! However, when I attempt to introduce milk products like yogurt or kefir, I have respiratory symptoms with which I am unwilling to live so I continue to keep milk out of my diet.
Hence my search for non-dairy yogurt. I located this product: GI ProHealth non-dairy yogurt starter and learned that you can make yogurt using coconut milk, almond milk or basically any type of nut which is blended into nut “milk”. Here is how I make cashew nut yogurt.
Initially I tried making cashew nut milk yogurt, but the result was thin and watery. It was delicious but I was looking for a thicker version, like Greek yogurt. I tried dripping, (the process of draining the yogurt using cheesecloth) but there was such a small amount leftover that it seemed a shame to go through all that work for such a small amount of product.
A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for Cashew Cream and I thought this might work great for making a thicker yogurt. In fact I left a comment on the post stating just that. And now without further adieu, the results of my experimentation.
Cashew Nut Yogurt
- 2 cups raw cashews
- filtered water
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/3 cup dates, skins removed
- Seeds from one vanilla bean
- 2 teaspoons Bernard Jensen gelatin
- 1/8th teaspoon GI ProHealth non-dairy yogurt starter
Place the cashews in a jar and cover with filtered water. Add in a teaspoon of salt and soak overnight.
The yogurt starter needs a small amount of “sugar” to work and I chose dates, other times I have used honey. My dates were hard so I soaked them overnight as well.
The next morning drain the water from the cashews and place them in your food processor or blender. Add the 1/3 cup of dates (be sure to remove all the pits), the vanilla bean seeds and one cup of warm filtered water.
Blend these ingredients. I started out using my food processor, but moved to my blender when I realized my trusty old food processor was not powerful enough. I find that the blending process goes smoother with less water so that is why suggest starting out with one cup of water initially.
Add more water – up to one cup but no more than 2 cups of water total – until the ingredients blend smoothly without having to stop and stir. Here is the smooth and creamy cashew cream.
When the cashew mixture is smooth, add in water until you have four cups total in your blender. At this point add in two teaspoons of Jensen’s gelatin and hit the blender a couple of times to mix well.
Remove one tablespoon of the cashew mixture and stir the 1/8th teaspoon yogurt starter in until it is well mixed. It tends to clump up a bit so just mash with the back of a spoon and stir until it is smooth. Now add back into the cashew cream and mix well.
Move into your yogurt maker. I find that mine holds a 32 ounce jar nicely.
Turn it on and leave for seven hours.
When it is done it will be creamy and delicious.
After I made the yogurt, I wasn’t quite done with my master plans. I had decided to make Blueberry Cheesecake using this nut yogurt. I invite you come over to my blog for the recipe.
Thanks again, Jessica, for this opportunity to guest blog at Delicious Obsessions and take part in your Bad A** Bacteria series!
Starlene is the creator and author of GAPS Diet Journey, where she chronicles her journey to health on the GAPS Diet and explores other healing modalities compatible with GAPS . She also has a Blog Talk Radio show where she shares the testimonials for adults and children who are healing on the GAPS Diet. Starlene is married with two adult sons who were unschooled. The Stewart family lives in rural Arizona on a small hobby farm where they have raised steer, turkeys, pigs, lambs, chickens, ducks, dairy goats and guinea hens over the years, although currently they are down to chickens, one duck, several dogs and two cats. She is one of the newest members of the Nourished Living Network and is excited to share her knowledge with her fellow bloggers and readers. You can keep up with her through her blog, or connect with Starlene on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.