Soy yogurt is a simple and delicious dairy-free yogurt option. In fact, soy milk is the only dairy-free yogurt that naturally thickens as it cultures. Making it the perfect option for breakfasts, snacks, or dessert.
A great dairy-free yogurt option
Soy milk yogurt is a really good, dairy-free yogurt option.
- It is thicker than almond milk yogurt.
- Easier to make than cultured cashew cream.
- More mild-tasting than coconut yogurt.
- It can maintain a healthy bacterial culture so it can be repeatedly re-cultured.
How to make good soy yogurt
There are only two tricks to successfully making soy yogurt.
- Really good yogurt culture: I have made soy milk yogurt with a few different types of culture, and never had an issue. So feel free to use a container of vegan yogurt from your local grocery store. Or if you want a particularly vigorous culture, buy vegan starter culture online.
- Keep it warm: Most yogurt strains are thermophilic (heat-loving) and culture best at 105 F (40 C). Yogurt makers usually make several small jars of yogurt. So I actually use a folding fermentation box, which is great for everything from yogurt to tempeh. Alternatively, check out my post on how to make yogurt without a yogurt maker for some DIY alternatives.
Saving culture for future batches
The best thing about soy yogurt is that it is such a vigorous and reliable culture. So it can be saved for future batches of yogurt.
- To maintain a vigorous culture, you will need to make yogurt every 2 weeks.
- Alternatively, freeze 1/4 cup batches of yogurt to preserve the culture for up to 4 weeks (and often up to 4 months).
Flavoring soy milk yogurt
Homemade yogurt is perfect for all sorts of different flavors!
Yogurt can be made from flavored soy milk. You can add spices, flavor extracts, or sweeteners before culturing. Fruit, nuts, and granola should be added right before serving.
Here are six suggested flavor combinations:
- Creamy chocolate: Either use chocolate soy milk or add 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 Tbsp of maple syrup to the batch.
- Extra creamy: Use soy creamer for a rich and thick yogurt that is perfect for dessert.
- Very vanilla: Either use vanilla soy milk or add 2 tsp of vanilla extract to the batch of yogurt.
- Fruit topped: Add 1/4 cup of homemade fruit sauce or jam to the finished yogurt.
- Maple: Add 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and 1 tsp of maple extract. It’s delicious with toasted pecans sprinkled on top.
- Chai spice: Add in 1 Tbsp of maple syrup with 2 tsp chai spice mix.
Homemade Soy Yogurt
Soy yogurt is an easy dairy-free yogurt alternative. It’s perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert. It’s also simple to make flavored yogurt by adding in flavors, spices, and sweeteners. See the section above for 6 flavor suggestions.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Fermented
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 Tbsp of vegan yogurt with live culture
- 4 cups of soy milk (see notes)
With a yogurt maker
- If you have a yogurt maker, then you can simply mix the soy milk and yogurt culture, then let the yogurt maker heat it to the right temperature.
- Maintain at around 105F (40 C) until it is set (at least 4 hours, or if you like a strong yogurt then you can leave it for up to 24 hours). The soy yogurt should have thickened.
Without a yogurt maker
- Pour the soy milk into a small saucepan and warm it up on medium-low. The soy milk needs to get to 105 F (40 C) without burning. So heat it slowly, and whisk occasionally to keep it from scalding on the bottom of the pot.
- When the soy milk is at 105 F (40C), stir in the yogurt culture making sure it is well mixed.
- Pour the warm soy milk into jars or containers.
- Keep the yogurt warm until it is set (at least 4 hours). Wrapping it in sweaters and sticking it next to your hot water tank works well. The soy yogurt is done when it has thickened slightly.
- Using soy milk that is labeled as Preservative-Free is the best way to make sure that added preservatives don’t slow down or stop the culturing. However, I have never had an issue with using fresh soy milk, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Alternatively, you could try making soy milk. Just avoid using shelf-stable soy milk.
- Soy milk forms a fairly thick yogurt without any added thickeners. However, if you want really thick creamy yogurt, strain the extra liquid. Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and pour in the soy yogurt. Leave it to drain for 2-3 hours. The soy yogurt will be extra thick and creamy. And the liquid can be used as a probiotic culture for fermenting grains and vegetables, or you could just add it to a smoothie.
Keywords: gluten free, probiotic, nut free, cultured, dairy free, affordable