Instant Pot Non-Dairy Yogurt (Cashew + Coconut Options)

For those of you who also make a lot of non-dairy choices, I feel like yogurt can be a tricky one. It’s so expensive to buy non-dairy yogurts, almost impossible to find ones without added refined sugar, and to be honest, I just don’t like the taste of most of them. So for a while I just gave up on yogurt altogether. It wasn’t until I got my instant pot that I decided it would be worth a try to make my own and so I’m glad I did! It’s not that hard at all and you can make a small or big batch depending on how much you go through, and you can use different kinds of non-dairy milk to suit your needs. I have an almond sensitivity, so I make coconut and cashew yogurt. I’ll show you how I make those!

For the coconut yogurt:

1 can of full-fat coconut milk (or coconut cream works too, try both and see which consistency you like better, although some coconut creams react oddly with the water and separates from it, which you don’t want)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 probiotic capsule (I use this one)

Blend the can of coconut milk and water in a blender until smooth. Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times, but yours may be different). Once it has boiled and the machine tells you it’s done, check the temperature and make sure it’s hit 180° (if it hasn’t you can run another “boil” cycle to heat it up more). Sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps and allow the mixture to cool to about 105°. Using a digital instant read thermometer is by far the easiest way to check temps and you can use it for lots of other recipes too. You can wait 30 minutes or so for it to cool down in the instant pot chamber or you can remove the pot and place it on the counter or in some cool water to speed up the process.

Once 105° is reached, mix in the maple syrup and sprinkle the insides of the probiotic capsule (pull apart the two capsule halves) while whisking to combine. Let yogurt cook on the “yogurt” setting for 12-16 hours (some do up to 24 hours if they want tangier yogurt) and then remove the instant pot lid. The coconut yogurt will still look super watery with a thin white layer on top, so don’t think you’ve failed yet! It needs to set up in the fridge, so give it a whisk to combine again and pour it into a container to finish in the fridge for a few hours. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Once the yogurt has set, it’s ready to eat!

*Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

For the cashew yogurt:

1 cup raw cashews (soak overnight or for 30 minutes in hot water)
2 cups filtered water
1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 probiotic capsule (I use this one)

Soak your cashews either overnight in water or for 30 minutes in hot water before making. Rinse the cashews twice in fresh water and add to blender with the filtered water. Blend for several minutes on high until smooth.

Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times). Once the mixture has boiled and your machine beeps to signal it’s done, check the temperature to see if it’s up to 180° and sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps. Allow the mixture to cool to about 105°, and, while whisking, add in the probiotic capsule (open up the two halves and sprinkle it in) and the maple syrup. Cook on the yogurt setting for 12-16 hours (the longer you cook it, the tangier it will be). The mixture will set up more in the fridge, so add it to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. This recipe gives me a thick Greek-style yogurt which I love, but if that’s too thick for you, you can also add more water at the beginning to end up with a thinner yogurt or do a little less gelatin. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

*Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

As a side note, I see that a lot of people use about 1/4 cup of already made yogurt in place of the probiotic capsule to get the bacteria going, so that’s an option too. But I just haven’t tried it that way yet—it’s usually gone to where I don’t have any left to add back in! Also, I’ve seen recipes where people do pretty much the same thing but omit the gelatin if they want to make it vegan or add some agar agar instead. I haven’t tried that either, but I would try adding the same amount of agar agar as gelatin the first time you make it and then add more or less the next time if you want different results. You can also double the yogurt recipes above (or triple too, probably) if you want to make more at one time. My favorite way to top these yogurts is with some fruit, granola, and a little bit of honey or maple syrup! Yum! xo. Laura

Instant Pot Non-Dairy Yogurt

For the coconut yogurt:

  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (or coconut cream works too, try both and see which consistency you like better although some coconut creams react oddly with the water and separates from it, which you don’t want)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 probiotic capsule

For the cashew yogurt:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soak overnight or for 30 minutes in hot water)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 probiotic capsule
  1. Blend the can of coconut milk and water in a blender until smooth. Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times, but yours may be different). Once it has boiled and the machine tells you it’s done, check the temperature and make sure it’s hit 180° (if it hasn’t you can run another “boil” cycle to heat it up more).
  2. Sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps and allow the mixture to cool to about 105°. Using a digital instant read thermometer is by far the easiest way to check temps and you can use it for lots of other recipes too. You can wait 30 minutes or so for it to cool down in the instant pot chamber or you can remove the pot and place it on the counter or in some cool water to speed up the process.
  3. Once 105° is reached, mix in the maple syrup and sprinkle the insides of the probiotic capsule (pull apart the two capsule halves) while whisking to combine. Let yogurt cook on the “yogurt” setting for 12-16 hours (some do up to 24 hours if they want tangier yogurt) and then remove the instant pot lid.
  4. The coconut yogurt will still look super watery with a thin white layer on top, so don’t think you’ve failed yet! It needs to set up in the fridge, so give it a whisk to combine again and pour it into a container to finish in the fridge for a few hours. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Once the yogurt has set, it’s ready to eat!
  5. *Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

For the cashew yogurt:

  1. Soak your cashews either overnight in water or for 30 minutes in hot water before making. Rinse the cashews twice in fresh water and add to blender with the filtered water. Blend for several minutes on high until smooth.
  2. Add the mixture to your instant pot and set to “boil” to heat up the mixture (my yogurt setting has a boil option if you press the yogurt button a few times). Once the mixture has boiled and your machine beeps to signal it’s done, check the temperature to see if it’s up to 180° and sprinkle in the gelatin while whisking vigorously so there are no clumps. Allow the mixture to cool to about 105°, and, while whisking, add in the probiotic capsule (open up the two halves and sprinkle it in) and the maple syrup.
  3. Cook on the yogurt setting for 12-16 hours (the longer you cook it, the tangier it will be). The mixture will set up more in the fridge, so add it to an airtight container and place in refrigerator. This recipe gives me a thick Greek-style yogurt which I love, but if that’s too thick for you you can also add more water at the beginning to end up with a thinner yogurt or do a little less gelatin. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
  4. *Note: Since you are dealing with an item that’s going to ferment, make sure all your utensils, bowls, measuring spoons, etc., are clean and sterilized before use (you can rinse them with boiled water to sterilize).

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Brownie Cookies

If you are in need of an easy-to-bake cookie recipe and are in the mood for chocolate, then do yourself a favor and bake these brownie cookies. They are SO good! And they are so simple; there’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients.

I added some rainbow chip sprinkles to give this batch of brownie cookies that cosmic brownie feel. 🙂 But could top these with other seasonal sprinkles, flaky sea salt (this is my favorite brand), or nothing at all. All options are delicious.

The only drawback to this brownie cookie recipe is you have to chill the batter for at least 30 minutes before baking. I know. It’s hard to wait when you’re in the mood for chocolate. Or maybe I’m the only one who just lacks patience. Ha. But I tried making these with no chilling time and it just didn’t work, so I promise it truly is necessary, I’m not just messing with you. 😉

You can also freeze the batter in balls and bake these individually or just a few at a time if you don’t want to share. Up to you!

Enjoy these brownie cookies and tag us if you make and share these online as I’d love to see. Happy baking! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Brownie Cookies

  • 10 ounces dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • sprinkles or sea salt flakes for the tops
  1. In a glass bowl over simmering water or in the microwave, melt the chocolate and butter together. Allow to cool, but not harden.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add this mixture to the melted chocolate. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in the flour and baking powder until combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
  4. Spoon or scoop onto a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Add sprinkles if using. Bake at 350°F for 9-10 minutes (the centers should look slightly raw). Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then remove to a cooling rack.

Easy Grain-Free Granola (Paleo and Gluten-Free!)

I love granola. I’ve made my own granola a lot over the past few years (we’ve got several granola recipes we love), but I wanted something a little different lately, so I’ve been making this grain-free granola instead! I love having it as cereal every morning or sprinkling some over yogurt with berries on top—it’s so good and super easy to make!

Easy Grain-Free Granola (makes about 4 cups)

1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (can use honey also)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs (or you could add small chocolate chips once totally cooled)
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Put your cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut into a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes medium grain crumbles. You don’t want to pulverize it to become a nut flour, but if you still see whole chunks of nuts, give it a stir and pulse until everything is very coarsely crumbled. Pour into medium-sized mixing bowl.

Warm your coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and stir once all melted together.

Pour your syrup on top of your nut mixture and stir to combine. Add your salt and sunflower seeds and stir again. I find that the granola usually tastes a little too sweet before it’s baked, but then it’s at the perfect level out of the oven so feel free to add less sweetener (and a little more coconut oil instead) if you prefer.

Spread out your granola onto a baking sheet and bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring it at the 10-minute mark. Once you take the granola out, stir in your cacao nibs and cranberries and let cool on the pan (it will crisp up more as it cools). Once totally cool, break it into crumbles and store in an airtight container.

Of course you can switch out some nuts and seeds for other varieties that you prefer, but this is my fave combination so far. This is delicious with just milk on top for cereal and great for topping yogurt, chia seed puddings, or any other thing you might normally put granola on. I think this would probably last up to two weeks when stored, but I’ve never had it around that long to find out! It’s usually gone in under a week every time … it’s so good! xo. Laura

Easy Grain-Free Granola

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (can use honey also)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (or you could add small chocolate chips once totally cooled)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  1. Put your cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut into a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes medium grain crumbles.
  2. You don’t want to pulverize it to become a nut flour, but if you still see whole chunks of nuts, give it a stir and pulse until everything is very coarsely crumbled. Pour into medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Warm your coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and stir once all melted together.
  4. Pour your syrup on top of your nut mixture and stir to combine. Add your salt and sunflower seeds and stir again. I find that the granola usually tastes a little too sweet before it’s baked, but then it’s at the perfect level out of the oven so feel free to add less sweetener (and a little more coconut oil instead) if you prefer.
  5. Spread out your granola onto a baking sheet and bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring it at the 10-minute mark. Once you take the granola out, stir in your cacao nibs and cranberries and let cool on the pan (it will crisp up more as it cools). Once totally cool, break it into crumbles and store in an airtight container.

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Chocolate Sticky Buns

I made these chocolate sticky buns just thinking about Christmas morning, as that’s a great time to have such a decadent breakfast. Ha! But really, any holiday or special brunch potluck event would be a perfect place to bring these. I had a hard time deciding what to name these as they’re kind of a hybrid of chocolate croissants meets cinnamon rolls topped with a chocolate donut glaze. Are they as rich as they look? YES. If you don’t like chocolate, do not make these chocolate sticky buns. You have been warned.

Feeling festive, I topped this batch with crushed candy canes. But you could skip this, or add a number of other toppings you might prefer. I think toasted coconut flakes, sliced almonds, or just a big sprinkle of flaky sea salt would be amazing.

The recipe below will make plenty of chocolate glaze, enough to fully coat these sticky buns. But if you prefer to just drizzle the sauce on so that you can still see that pretty cinnamon roll look, don’t worry—they are filled with butter, chocolate, sugar, and chopped dark chocolate, so you won’t be missing out on any chocolatey flavor if you choose to go lighter on the glaze.

If you need to travel with these, I would keep the glaze separate then rewarm the buns once you get to where you’re going, and then drizzle on the glaze before serving. But these are pretty darn tasty cold too if you ask me. Happy baking! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Chocolate Sticky Buns

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons one packet active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (chopped)

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
  1. In a small pot, melt the 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup whole milk. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow that to sit for 8 to 10 minutes. The yeast should appear to foam some on the surface as the mixture cools.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and egg. Pour the milk-yeast mixture into the bowl and stir until a dough ball forms. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Place back in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Once the dough has risen, punch down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle. Smear the softened 1/4 cup butter all over the rectangle. Combine the sugar and cocoa and then sprinkle over the butter. Sprinkle on the chopped chocolate. Roll up into a long cylinder. Cut in about 8-10 rolls (if you cut slightly more or less, that’s OK too). Place in a buttered pie pan or square pan.
  4. Bake at 325°F for 30-32 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Allow to cool while you make the glaze.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons milk. If the mixture seems too thick, add another tablespoon of milk until you get an Elmer’s Glue-like consistency (like chocolate donut glaze). Drizzle over the rolls and topped with crushed candy canes if using.

Pumpkin Swirl Slab Pie

I was aiming to do something a little different but still classic with our Friendsgiving dessert this year and this pumpkin swirl slab pie is what I landed on. I’ll admit it: It’s basically just me trying to impress my husband. One of his very favorite desserts is cheesecake. And this pumpkin pie has been updated, not only with a slightly different shape (bonus points that it can feed a few more than your average round pie!), but also swirls of cheesecake have been added.

Slab pie is simply a slightly larger pie that has been baked in a rectangle jelly roll pan rather than a pie pan. It’s basically the same otherwise—just as easy to make and travels well. I sort of love the look of a slab pie (although I’ll never say no to a slice of a traditional round pie either—ha).

If you’re looking for a more classic pumpkin pie I would recommend this Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie in Jars (oh yes!), or if you’re wanting more of festive cheesecake, then try this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust.

If you’re looking for something just a little bit different this holiday season (but still plenty traditional), I highly recommend baking this pumpkin swirl slab pie—it’s a crowd-pleaser for sure! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Pumpkin Swirl Slab Pie

Crust:

  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Pumpkin pie filling:

  • 15 ounces one can pumpkin
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cheesecake Swirl filling:

  • 8 ounces one package softened cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. To make the crust, first stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubes of cold butter and mix together until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles or large grains of sand. I like to use my (clean) hands to blend, but a pastry blender works well too. Then add 1/2 cup cold water. Mix together and try to form a dough ball. If the mixture is too crumbly, add another tablespoon or two of cold water. Just enough so the dough comes together. Then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple hours or overnight. When you’re ready to make the pie, roll the dough out to fit your 12×17 jelly roll pan. There should be a good amount of extra dough that you can trim off and roll out to make little pumpkins, acorns, leaves, or letters to decorate the pie with (see photo).
  2. Butter the pan before adding the dough. Beat the egg in a small dish with a little bit (maybe a tablespoon or less) or water. On a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add the extra crust pieces. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg wash. Also brush the extra pie crust pieces with the egg wash. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the pumpkin filling until mostly smooth. Same with the cream cheese filling (in a separate bowl).
  4. Once your crust as been partially baked, add the pie filling. Then add dollops of the cream cheese filling all over. Use the bottom of a spoon or fork to gently swirl the dollops of cream cheese throughout. Bake (still at 375°F) for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and add the extra crust pieces around the edges. Allow to fully cool before slicing. This is a great dessert to make the night before a big dinner so it can fully cool and you can spread out the work.

I don’t use pie weights when I blind bake this crust. You can if you like but since the shape is different from a traditional pie (and the edges not as high) I found it’s not really necessary.

Edible Chocolate Pumpkin Candy Bowl DIY

While Halloween has all the fun of costumes and parties, let’s face it, it’s mostly an excuse to eat candy, right?? It’s always fun to make extra special treats for a themed party (especially if you are having a Halloween that involves kids), so I thought I would make a version of the “balloon chocolate bowl” to look like a jack-o’-lantern that would also hold some candy treats. We are partnering with JOANN on this post and I took a quick trip to the store to gather my supplies for my bowls and I always love to browse their candy/baking area of the store as it has so much to choose from! I snuck in a few Halloween cookie cutters to my cart as well while I was there so I can make some cookies with Lola for the season—they’ve thought of it all! OK, back to how to make these chocolate bowls …

Supplies:
orange melting candy (12 ounces should be enough to dip 6-8 bowls)
-shortening
-microwave-proof bowl (or double boiler for stove)
-small balloons (like water balloon size)
edible food color markers
-wax paper
-candy for bowls

First, you’ll want to blow up some small balloons so you have ones that are about 3-4″ at the widest part (you’ll need one balloon per candy cup, but I would make a few extra in case some break). If your balloons feel coated in any sort of powder or substance, you can carefully wash and dry them before dipping. Then, melt your dipping chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals (or use a double boiler with water in the bottom pot), stirring between each interval, until it’s all melted. If your chocolate feels too thick for dipping, you can stir in a few spoonfuls of shortening and that will thin it out. You want it to drip off a spoon a little, but not be too thin and runny, so try and aim for a good in between.
Once your chocolate is melted, wait until it is just barely warm (too hot will pop the balloon) and line a tray with wax paper. Dip each of your balloons and roll the balloon around until the chocolate has coated all the way up to the widest part of the balloon. Try and use a bowl for dipping that’s just a little larger than your balloons so it creates a nice pool to dip into, as a super wide bowl will create a shallow pool for dipping.

Once you dip your balloon, place it on the wax paper. Once all your balloons are dipped, place the tray in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until the chocolate is set.

Once your chocolate has set, cut a small hole in the top of the balloon near the tie and let the air out slowly. I did have some balloon stick to the bottom of the cup once all the air was out, but I was able to gently pull it off the bottom (it may be easier to get off the bottom as the chocolate warms up a bit too).

Use your food coloring marker to draw the outline of a jack-o’-lantern face, fill it in, and your cups are ready to use! You can alternately pipe black or brown melting chocolate as the face, but I like the ease of the markers, so I went that route.
Fill your cups with candy and you are ready to party!! How cute are those?! You can make these shells a few days ahead of time as well, so that can be a big help for party prep too (just keep them in an airtight container). Obviously, these bowls are delicate, so you don’t want to handle them too much. But they were totally fine being filled with a ton of candy and sitting out for several hours on my counter. Lola thought it was amazing that she could eat the bowl, so it was a big hit with the kid in our house! Hope these bowls make it to your Halloween party this year! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.