Creamy Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt is one of my go-to’s. I always have it in my fridge because it is used quite often in my house. I have it in the morning, as an afternoon snack, or I’ll add it to a sauce or dish.

Lately, I have been on this kick with making homemade food and self-care products. I like to know what goes into the goods I use every day because sometimes I can’t get over the unnecessary sugars and preservatives. Plus, there’s something really awesome about making a product a majority of individuals rely on buying.

Yogurt is extremely easy to make but like most good things, it takes time (6-12 hours). But as we all know, a little patience goes a long way when trying to live a healthy, active lifestyle. I work a lot during the week but I have learned that quality can never be substituted. And if anything, making your own yogurt at least once is pretty cool.

So, making a vegan yogurt comes down to two ingredients: A plant-based milk and the yogurt starter. That’s it. But of course, for a traditional dairy yogurt consistency, you need a thickener like: agar agar powder, corn starch/flour, tapioca powder, flax seed, chia seeds, etc. And depending on preferred yogurt, you simply add more or less of these thickeners to your yogurt. Super simple! Also, vegan or vegetarian probiotics are sometimes used with or without the starter.

To date, I have tried making yogurt several times primarily using coconut milk (canned or cartoned). I like to let the yogurt set overnight as well. The end result is a creamy and firm yogurt, which is perfect for smoothies, granola bowls, or on-the-go oatmeal jars. Overall, the yogurt has a creamy, smooth texture with a natural sweet taste. Howeve, the taste and texture can be easily altered and made thicker/thinner as well as sweeter.

Homemade Vegan Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (I use about two 14 oz cans of coconut milk)
  • ½ cup soy yogurt  or yogurt starter powder (OR follow the starter package instructions)
  • 1-2 teaspoons agar agar powder (or other thickener)
  • Oats, berries, nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, etc. (Optional- for toppings!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 115-120 °F.
  • Sterilize storing bottling jars container with boiling water.
  • Pour milk into a saucepan and add the agar agar. Do not stir yet!
  • Place pan on stove over medium-heat until the milk starts to simmer. Whisk mixture and reduce to a low-heat. Be careful your milk mixture does not boil! 
  • Next, simmer for 5-10 minutes and whisk occasionally. Remove mixture from heat once agar agar flakes dissolve(d).
  • Pour the mixture into a non-metal bowl and let it cool until about 100-110 °F (warm to touch).
  • Add the starter or soy yogurt (room temperature), whisk, and pour the mixture into glass jars or containers.
  • Turn off oven, and turn on the oven light to ensure the yogurt is at the ideal temperature to form (about 105-110 °F). OR, use a yogurt maker to ensure a fool-proof outcome.
  • Place the glass jars or containers with lids/covered inside the oven, and let stand for at least 6-8 hours. The longer the yogurt sits, the tangier it will taste. Do not open the oven during this process.
  • Once the yogurt is to your liking, remove from oven. Whisk yogurt and place in the fridge for a few hours to chill. The end product’s texture should be creamy and firm.

Tips:

  • If you plan to regularly make yogurt, save 1/2 cup of homemade yogurt to use as a starter for the next batch. This is a cost-effective method.
  • I keep my yogurt refrigerated for no more than 1 week, but I have read individuals wait to dispose after at least 2 weeks.
  • This website is helpful for any unanswered questions. There’s also a vegetarian yogurt making recipe and more health-benefit information.
  • Metal bowls and/or tools should not be used during the yogurt setting process. The yogurt can negatively react with the metal.

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Enjoy!

-Skye

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