Yogurt is something I’ve wanted to try to make for a very long time. Had I known just how easy it was I would have been making it since high school (we won’t talk about how long that may or may not be).
When I first went vegan I was already regularly making granola, and eating it atop my store-purchased vegan yogurty goodness. So, two days ago I borrowed a yogurt maker (I hear you can use a crock pot as well. However, that takes a good attention span. …I do not have a good attention span.) and gave it a go.
Some yogurt makers are relatively inexpensive (you can grab one for $20 or so). If you REALLY like yogurt, I REALLY recommend you make the investment. Otherwise, look up the other kooky-attention-requiring methods that my ADD prevents me from even thinking about trying. However, I MAY try to adjust a recipe. Check back for updates on that one. My one real complaint about the yogurt maker is that it really only holds 6 cups of liquid. After Greekifying the yogurt, that ends up being about 2 cups.
Alas, the recipe:
Needs: plate, long metal spoon, a pot that can hold over 6 cups of liquid, a blender (I use an immersion blender), measuring cup (I use a 4 cup glass pyrex measuring cup but a one cup measuring cup will do), teaspoon measuring spoon, candy/frying thermometer, yogurt maker
- 6 cups plain Soy Milk (hereafter referred to as smilk) (Divided in half. One to half to heat one to add later)
- Room temperature 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with active cultures (I used So Delicious Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt from Health Plus)
- 1 Tablespoon of agar agar flakes (or 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder)
Prep: Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil. Scald EVERYTHING that is going to come in contact with the yogurt (including the inside of the blender or immersion blender and your cups that the yogurt will be in). This gets rid of any rogue bacteria that might be lurking on your dishes that might mess up your yogurt. Set all supplies on the sterilized plate so they don’t pick anything up from your counter.
- Turn your yogurt maker on to heat.
- After sterilizing all of your equipment, add 3 cups of smilk to the pot. Gradually bring the smilk to 180 degrees, stirring often (you can also microwave for about four minutes, stirring every minute).
- Once 180 degrees is reached, add the remaining 3 cups of smilk. Stir to combine and wait until the smilk is between 110 to 115 degrees. (This is to avoid killing your live and active family of cultures.)
- Once the smilk is between 110 to 115 degrees add your 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.
- Blend thoroughly with the immersion or actual blender (this will help to break up the agar flakes as well as mix the yogurt and milk evenly).
- Pour your mixture into your yogurt maker cups. Cover and let your cultures develop for 12 hours (especially your first time). The longer you let it sit, the tangier your yogurt will be. After the first time, you can go between 8 and 12. I make mine at night and just take it out in the morning, which ends up being around 12 hours.
- After 12 hours you can blend the yogurt again for a smoother texture, but this is not completely necessary. You can just throw it in the refrigerator for future delicious endeavors (It will need some mixing, as it does separate, just like other yogurts.) I have found that I like the thicker Greek style yogurt much better than just mixing it together (or at least drain the liquid from the bottom).
- Yogurt Cheese/Greek Yogurt: You can also strain it using a couple of layers of cheesecloth (or even a good paper towel) for a day, which makes a thicker, spreadable yogurt that I’ve already used on baked potatoes and bagels.
- Be sure to save at least 1/2 cup for your next batch!
Once this is finished you can make any sweet or savory concoction you’d like!
- Tzatziki (Greek cucumber yogurt sauce that is usually on gyros)
- Sweet pecan bagel spread (just add some liquid sweetener [maple syrup, simple syrup, agave nectar or even honey for those who partake] and chopped pecans!)
- Make mixtures to spread on bagels, use on baked potatoes, make smoothies or frozen yogurt!
- Fruit (peaches, blueberries, raspberries)
- Or just eat it plain!
I was genuinely skeptical at first, but am super excited about my results!