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The best vegan Tzatziki recipe ever

Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki

I’m sorry, did I just type {VEGAN} Tzatziki recipe?  I mean, is it possible that a Greek recipe could possibly be made to fit into a lifestyle that doesn’t include animal products?  As it turns out, that’s a YES!  And yes, in true Greek style and in respect to my much-loved heritage I am saying that this is most assuredly the BEST recipe you will find.  Because if we Greeks don’t have self-belief, we have {nothing}.

Now, I admit, when I first considered publishing this recipe as vegan I may have pictured Aunt Voula’s look of consternation when she hears that Ian is a vegetarian.  But I can’t deny it.  This recipe is {TOTALLY} vegan-friendly.

When I stopped eating dairy (I only have a little here and there if it’s something really worth the pain and suffering of congestion) something that I was REALLY sad about not being able to eat was tzatziki.  This stuff was a foundation of my diet growing up and still today I could very easily sit and eat an entire bowl of it in one sitting.  Vampires, beware.

Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki
Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki

Since I first went off dairy the improvements that have been made in dairy-free alternatives are significant.  It used to be a disgusting soy-based glop that I was apparently meant to gratefully consume in place of my gorgeously thick and tangy Greek yoghurt.  No comparison.  It has only been in the last couple of years, with the coconut alternatives that have hit the market, that I have come to a point where I don’t miss yoghurt anymore.  And then only recently, after eating a particularly un-coconutty coconut yoghurt (the Cocobella brand), did I even consider that maybe, juuuuust maybe, I could come up with a dairy-free tzatziki that tasted JUST AS GOOD as the original.  My earlier success with this dairy-free, refined sugar free Melomakarona recipe may have spurred me on. 

Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki
Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki

The day I first came up with this vegan tzatziki recipe I’m pretty sure was the day my taste buds came alive again!   Ok, slight exaggeration, but boy was it a good day.  And since then….?  Tzatziki on ALL. THE. THINGS.  And yep, I even eat it straight from the bowl 😉

Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki
Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki

The lemon is the hero of this vegan tzatziki version – it gives the coconut yoghurt the tang of traditional Greek yoghurt.  The olive oil helps to hide any underlying coconut flavour,  and I wouldn’t bother trying the recipe without either of these ingredients, tbh, but then I’m a tzatziki connoisseur.  Be generous with the seasoning too – but take it slowly – you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!

Vegan Tzatziki Recipe

  • 1 cup coconut yoghurt – I prefer to use the Cocobella brand for this recipe.  It has the least coconutty flavour I’ve come across so far.  Be sure to get one that hasn’t been sweetened or flavoured.
  • a 10cm piece of cucumber, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a generous lug of olive oil
  • salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Squeeze as much liquid out of the grated cucumber as possible before placing it in a bowl with the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and taste.

If you feel the flavour of the coconut yoghurt is overpowering the dip, add some more olive oil and a tiny extra squeeze of lemon.  Take care not to add too much lemon as too much liquid will turn the tzatziki into a runny mess.  If you aren’t happy with the final result I really recommend trying different coconut yoghurts that you have access to.  They all taste different.

Make ahead of time to allow the flavours to develop.  If you find the dip has a layer of liquid on top after being left for a while you can just pour it off or stir it in again.

Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki
Wife-made's Vegan Tzatziki

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