There are many options for making vegan yogurt. I’ve already blogged about coconut milk yogurt and soy milk yogurt, which are both very useful yogurts. However, my favourite vegan yogurts for simply eating on their own are made using nut milks.
The difference between nut milk yogurts and other milks are that they require a thickener as they make a thin, separated yogurt. There are a number of thickeners available to help make a thicker yogurt. I tried: chia, xantham gum and tapioca starch because I had them on hand. I really only liked the chia seeds (as xantham and tapioca seemed to separate during culturing -you can see the weird clumps of gel in the photo below). Other options include: guar gum, agar-agar powder, and pectic. I have provided brief instructions for using each of these thickeners below the recipe.
- 2 tbsp of yogurt with live culture in it (or a culture pack)
- 4 cups of nut milk (your choice of flavour, but make sure it's preservative free)
- Thickener (see below)
- Slowly heat your milk to 110 F (40 C), whisking occasionally to keep the milk from scalding on the bottom of the pot. Mix in the thickener (see below).
- Pour the milk into the culturing containers and stir culture into the milk. (If you are using store bought yogurt you may want to use up to 6 Tbsp yogurt as they tend to have weaker cultures).
- Maintain at around 105F (40 C) until it tastes like yogurt (at least 4 hours, or if you like a strong yogurt then you can leave it for up to 24 hours).
-Make sure you have a good active culture. You can buy single use cultures online, use probiotic pills with yogurt strains, or use a good vegan yogurt.
-You can use a yogurt makers to make several small jars of yogurt. I use a bread proofer so that I can make a large volume of yogurt at once. Before I had my bread proofer I just wrapped my jars of yogurt up in a warm wool sweater (or a cooler) and left them in a warm part of my house (above the fridge, or beside my hot water heater). It took a lot longer, but eventually I had yogurt.
–Chia seed: Stir 4 tbsp directly into the milk. (The photo above is chocolate hazelnut yogurt with chia seed).
–Tapioca starch: Dissolve 4 tbsp in a small amount of water before adding to the milk.
–Agar agar powder: Whisk 1tsp directly into the milk.
–Xantham gum: Whisk 1tsp directly into the milk. (The photo below is chocolate hazelnut yogurt with xantham gum).
–Guar gum: Dissolve 2 tsp in a small amount of water before adding to the milk.
–Pectin: follow directions on the package (will set a firm yogurt).