It’s easy to make dairy-free yogurt. The trick is to buy a good dairy-free culture. While almond milk yogurt is one of my favourites, here are a few other types of dairy-free yogurts that you may want to try:
- 4 tbsp of yogurt with live culture in it (or a pack of starter culture)
- 4 cups of nut milk (see notes)
- Slowly heat the almond milk to 110 F (40 C), whisking occasionally to keep the milk from scalding on the bottom of the pot. At this point you may want to mix in a thickener. See the section below for more details on how to thicken your yogurt.
- Pour the milk into the culturing containers and stir culture into the milk.
- Maintain at around 105F (40 C) for at least 4 hours. If you like a sour yogurt then you can leave it for up to 24 hours.
- You cannot make yogurt with nut milks that have preservatives. The goal of preservatives is to prevent bacterial growth. So either use homemade almond milk or a milk labelled as Preservative Free. Even if it’s organic, if it doesn’t say Preservative Free, then it probably has a small amount of preservatives, as there are natural preservatives that aren’t required to be on the ingredients label because they are used in small quantities. (Something you learn when your kid has a sulfite allergy.)
- It is important to use an active culture. You can buy single use cultures online, or use a good vegan yogurt.
- You can use a yogurt maker to make several small jars of yogurt. I use a fermentation box so that I can make a large volume of yogurt at once. However, here are some ways of making yogurt without a yogurt maker.
- To make chocolate almond milk yogurt, add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder to the hot almond milk before adding the culture. Stir in your favourite sweetener after culturing, or eat it with sliced bananas for a naturally sweet treat.
Cultured almond milk is as thin as milk unless you add a thickener. While a thin yogurt is fine for smoothies and popsicles, it is easy to add a thicken.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are my favourite thickener. They are easy to use and add fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Hard to beat all of that! Simply 4 tbsp of chia seeds directly into the yogurt.
- Tapioca starch: Dissolve 4 tbsp of tapioca starch in a small amount of water before adding to the warm milk. I haven’t found tapioca starch to work very well, as it tends to separate.
- Agar agar powder: Whisk 1 tsp agar agar powder directly into the warm milk.
- Xantham gum: Xantham gum also has a tendency to separate. Whisk 1 tsp xantham gum into the milk.
- Guar gum: Dissolve 2 tsp of guar gum in a small amount of water before adding to the milk.
- Pectin: Pectin will set a very firm yogurt. Use Pomonas Universal Pectin and follow directions on the package.