In my last blog I shared my experience meeting 10 and 11 year old students from St Paul's School who inspired me to further reduce the plastic that I bring home, and my quest to be 'Naked for Life'. I continue to investigate and research further ways to reach my goal.
This morning while checking out the news on Stuff, I came across an article entitled, "Our Plastic Shame", which says (in part) "On current trends, in the next five years we will be putting more plastic in the ocean than in all of the twentieth century." There is a map of a plastic patch bigger than Greenland floating in the South Pacific, much of which, they say, is coming from New Zealand. I was shocked and sent the link to my business partner Linda who put it on our facebook page. It's now been shared by more than 30 people and has become our most shared post. You can read the article here.
It is nearing the end of Plastic Free July, however, you are just in time to join me in making a difference, do what you can to lessen the impact of plastic on our planet. Start with one or two changes, take your own bags to the supermarket including produce bags, use HappBee Wrap as an alternative to plastic wrap and you will have made a start. Once you have that down pat, give yourself a couple of new challenges. Maybe consider buying food in bulk using your own bags and containers, and make more of your own food at home. I have found it is a switch in thinking about what and how to buy, and I still find myself with bits of plastic I don't mean to have!
Soon after I gave myself the plastic free challenge a few things fell into place. A neighbour lent me a beautiful recipe book which happened to contain the recipe for nut milk I shared in my last blog, along with with many other recipes for food I would normally buy in plastic packaging. I could continue to enjoy coconut yoghurt, and other favourite foods, by making my own. The recipe uses two tablespoons of coconut yoghurt (or probiotic capsules) mixed with coocnut milk or cream and left to ferment. I was lucky enough to find a lovely coconut yoghurt in a glass jar at the supermarket, which has continued to be my yoghurt container. Several batches later I have shared the recipe, along with some yoghurt for a starter, with friends, and here it is for you. It's delicious and much cheaper too!
400g - 500gm coconut milk or cream (I have used both Trade Aid Coocnut Milk and Ayam coconut milk/cream)
Plus one of the following
2 tablespoons coconut yoghurt from a previous batch or store bought coconut yoghurt with live cultures.
2 probiotic capsules or 1/2 teaspoon quality probiotic powder (40 billion live cells per capsule)
Quantities can be increased to make a larger batch.
Scoop the coconut milk or cream into a clean 500ml jar and use a fork or small whisk to combine. If the thick cream in the can is too solid to mix into the liquid, gently heat the contents of the can in a small saucepan till melted together - don't boil, just heat until combined - then pour into the clean jar and cool to around 40 deg C.
Spoon in the reserved coconut yoghurt or open the probiotic capsules and sprinkle the powder over the milk/cream. Stir well then secure the lid.
Place somewhere warm to ferment for 12 to 24 hours. In the warmer months, a high shelf in the kitchen may be warm enough but in the winter a little ingenuity could be required. I use a yoghurt maker (as Nicola suggests in her book) filling the maker with warm tap water (40-45 deg C) to the level of the shoulder of the jar and replacing the water after 12 hours if the yoghurt needs longer. The water must not be too hot or the yoghurt can separate. After a few batches you will work out the best position for your home and time of the year.
After 12 hours, check the flavour of the yoghurt. It is ready when it tastes and smells sweetly sour and has thickened a little - how much will depend on the brand of coconut milk/cream used. If needed, leave for a further 6 - 12 hours until the taste is to your liking. Place in the fridge and chill for 8 hours to thicken before eating. If the yoghurt separates in the fridge, simply stir to combine. Consume within 7 days. *Remember to save 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt to make your next batch.
Thanks to Nicola Galloway for this yummy recipe.