DIY Vegan Yogurt...The Easy Way
Want this for a vegan breakfast or a vegan snack?
But you don't want this, below, right?
These store bought yogurts, while they are vegan, contain lots of other stuff I don't want to eat: starches, added sugar, thickeners such as pectins and gums and anything called "natural flavors" along with chemical preservatives. So, why not make vegan yogurt yourself? I've discovered its totally easy and SO much more nutritious. When you add your own fresh fruit and Rawnola to it you've got a snack full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and fluid plus its high in protein from soy milk and high in live cultures and healthy probiotics.
I've really been missing yogurt for all the 3 years I've been vegan so I am SO happy to have discovered making my own yogurt this easy way.
How to make Vegan Yogurt
Step 1: Get a carton of WestSoy Unsweetened Soy Milk
To make yogurt, you need to start with a type of plant milk that has no additives like gums and flavorings otherwise the fermentation doesn't work properly. The best milk I've found is this brand because it's 2 ingredients are, "Filtered water and whole organic soybeans." Also, this soy milk has 9 grams of protein per 1 cup serving and each carton contains 4 cups. I have not found any pure nut or rice milks nor have I made my own to try out yogurt with them.
Step 2: Get some VEGAN probiotic capsules
I went to my local health food store and asked for vegan probiotic capsules with live cultures and got 50 billion cells per capsule. WARNING: These are expensive ($30+) but you only need to use them very sporadically as you can keep passing down one tablespoon of the starter (per cup of milk) from the old batch to the new batch of yogurt, which I tested and found out works perfectly. You could even share capsules with any like-minded friends and start a yogurt circle.
Step 3: Do a first test run
Pour one-cup of soy milk into a ceramic or plastic cup or bowl and open two 50 billion probiotic capsules into the milk (for a total of 100 billion per 1 cup soy milk.) IMPORTANT: Stir in the powder with a wooden utensil or chopstick as I've read that metal negates the fermentation reaction you want. Cover with a dishtowel or doubled cheesecloth and a rubber band and set aside in a non-drafty corner of your kitchen counter at room temperature. I keep my house set at 78 degrees F day and night during spring, summer and fall in Florida and that temperature turned out wonderful yogurt the next morning. Wait a full 24 hours before peeking. After that, you can uncover the yogurt, stir it with the wooden stick again and see how it thickened and changed in taste.
Step 4: Taste test:
Mine tasted sour just like plain yogurt, but was not as thick as I'd hoped. I tried to leave some to thicken more until the next day but it did not. Luckily, I like it pourable and creamy because I could not yield a thick custard-style yogurt. I added frozen (defrosted) berries and homemade Rawnola with no need for any other sweeteners.
Watch as I unveil my experiment (please excuse my pj's and hair as I was very excited to uncover my yogurt first thing that morning!)
Step 5: Make a larger batch
Once you have success with the test cup, then you are ready to make a larger batch. One full carton of WestSoy milk yields 4 cups of milk so I used 8 capsules of my probiotic and a large, glass 4-cup measuring cup to make my yogurt. Twenty-four hours later, it was not as thick as even in my first experiment, so I added a teaspoon of sugar (I used coconut sugar and my wooden chopstick) to the mix to help boost the chemical fermentation process and reaction and left it for another whole day. After that, it was fantastic, sour and creamy, but still pourable and I created the parfait you see here.
Store the rest, covered, in the refrigerator where it kept for 4 days while I ate 1 cup of it per day.
Give it a try - enjoy!
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