COCONUT TAZIKI SAUCE (raw-vegan)
Taziki is one of those traditional foods that I gave up when I started following a raw vegan lifestyle because of the greek yogurt in it. I know that there are vegan versions of yogurt available but I just can’t wrap my taste-buds around any of them, YUK! How I miss the cool flavor of yogurt, cucumbers, mint and dill….NOW these statements are void because I created a raw-vegan version of greek yogurt in my GREEK COCONUT YOGURT and I jumped right in to make some COCONUT TAZIKI SAUCE. I serve this dish for appetizers with raw pita crisps, hummus and baba ghanoush. This is also a great sauce for all you non-raw foodies on your veggie sandwiches instead of mayo or dressing. It can be served as a salad dressing or a great dip for cut up veggies also; the possibilities are endless. So next time you are craving taziki or you want to serve a different fare, give this coconut taziki sauce a try, no one will be disappointed.
A CHEF’S TIP: allow this recipe to set overnight as instructed so the flavors fully develop, believe me it is worth the wait!
MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS OF SAUCE
1 cup fresh GREEK COCONUT YOGURT (click here for the recipe or see below)
1 cup fine stripped (vermicelli size) unpeeled organic cucumber (use a spiralizer or food processor for best results)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pink salt
1 large organic garlic clove
1 tsp fresh organic dill leaves, fine chopped
1 tsp fresh organic mint leaves, fine chopped
1/2 small ripe organic lemon, zest and juice
extra dill sprigs to garnish with
Refrigerate the greek coconut yogurt for at least 3 hours (do this while the cucumbers are draining). In a small bowl mix the fine shredded cucumber and pink salt well, place in a strainer over a bowl and drain for 3 hours; stir and press occasionally. Place the drained cucumber flesh aside. Reserve the drained liquid in the refrigerator covered for another recipe [I like it in my green juice] up to 1 day. Fine grate the garlic clove (I used a micro-plane or zester) and place in a medium mixing bowl. Now add the yogurt and stir well. Add the chopped dill, chopped mint, lemon juice and lemon zest, stir well. Now add the drained cucumber flesh and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to serve, give it a few good stirs and enjoy. Refrigerate covered up to 4 days. Garnish with the extra dill sprigs when you serve this.
GREEK COCONUT YOGURT
MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS OF PLAIN YOGURT
2.5 cups of fresh mature organic coconut milk (not a young coconut!)
1/2 cup water
1 medium organic lemon, zest and juice, reserve both
1/2 tsp. of fresh ground pink salt
1 1/2 tsp raw organic apple cider vinegar
In a large mixing bowl, mix the coconut milk and water well. Cover this with a clean kitchen towel and allow to set out at room temperature for 24 hours. Place in refrigerator for 12 hours covered. Use an electric hand mixer, on medium speed and beat in the pink salt. Continue to whip for 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the lemon juice and whip for 1 minute. Now add the remaining lemon juice and whip on high speed for 1 minute. While the mixer is on low add 1/2 tsp. of the vinegar mix well, then turn on high speed and whip for 1 minute. Repeat this same process for the remaining vinegar. Be sure to evenly mix. You will know it is ready when it looks very creamy and the peaks just start to stay up. You do not want to go any farther, greek yogurt is supposed to be pourable.
IF YOU ARE SERVING INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS: Pour the yogurt into your serving bowls and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. When you are ready to serve, garnish evenly with the lemon zest. Now top with fresh organic fruit, raw granola or drizzle with favorite raw sweetener if so desired.
IF YOU ARE USING IN ANOTHER RECIPE: place in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Just give a good stir before you use in other recipes.