I’ll explain it more in depth below, but the general steps are:
1. Boil 32 oz. of milk
2 Add thickener, return to a boil, and whisk for 2-3 minutes
3. Add sweetener (optional)
4. Let cool for an hour (very important!)
5. Add yogurt culture
6. Let it sit in the oven (covered with a towel) with the light on for 7-9 hours
7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
Much to my dismay, I’m finding I’m allergic to many things these days. I’ve been eating goat yogurt for years, but lately I’m starting to wonder if it’s giving me a runny nose. I decided to switch to soy yogurt, but after my face started breaking out, I looked at the ingredients and saw it contains brown rice! Which I’m allergic to! Ugh. Could I make my own soy yogurt? Turns out yes, yes I can. And not just soy yogurt, this recipe works for all sorts of milk: oat, almond, coconut, hemp, rice. It’s your yogurt, so you choose!
1. Pick your milk. I chose organic, unsweetened, vanilla soy milk. Boil the entire box in a saucepan.
2. Add thickener. Dude. There are like a million thickeners out there. I seriously recommend reading this woman’s blog for directions about how to use flax seed, arrow root, xantham gum or soy lecithin, etc. I had tapioca flour in my freezer so I went with that. I added 4 tbsp of tapioca flour to a little bit of water in a separate bowl, mixed it and then added to the boiling milk. Whisk for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add sweetener like a banana, vanilla or whatever. Puree the fruit unless you want it to be chunky. I like my yogurt plain so I skipped this step.
4. Let the mixture cool for an hour. The directions I read said to let the mixture cool for “about” an hour and “If you are using a thermometer, it needs to be between 90-115 degrees. If you are using your finger, consider that a delightfully hot bath is somewhere between 100 and 105 degrees. If it feels hot to your finger, but not hot enough to need to pull your finger out, it’s perfect.” Well, apparently I have a high tolerance for hot water because I kept adding my culture at around the 50 minute mark (it felt fine to my finger!) and I kept ending up with thick milk instead of yogurt.
5. Add yogurt culture. Again, a million ways to do so. You can buy a vegan culture packet, add one probiotic pill, or in my case, use 1/2 c. of store-bought yogurt. Mix well.
6. Cover saucepan with a towel, put in the oven, and turn on the oven light. You’re supposed to let it sit for 7-9 hours, but I kept pulling it out too early so just to be safe, I let mine sit for 9 hours and that’s when my yogurt-making was met with success.
7. Transfer to an airtight container (like an old yogurt container!) and refrigerate, where it will continue to thicken.
Like I mentioned, the first two times I tried to make yogurt I failed. The mixture didn’t thicken properly, probably due to my impatience to add the culture. That’s ok though, no need for the mixture to go to waste. To fix something too soupy, boil the mixture again, add more thickener, and let it cool. It will taste fine even if it doesn’t have the probiotic benefit.