DIY non-dairy yogurt
March 25, 2020 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Have you made non-dairy yogurt at home and had it come out reasonably yogurty? I’ve successfully made delicious cow’s milk yogurt but would also like to do others. For allergy reasons, I would like to use coconut or oat milk. I’m looking for suggestions and tried-and-true recipes, as given current availability issues, I would cry if I wasted a carton of oat milk. Thanks in advance!
posted by stillmoving to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I make soy yogurt at home and have never tried coconut or oat. My main piece of advice is to add sugar if you are using unsweetened non-dairy milk; I add 1 TBSP per litre. The bacteria need something to eat since the natural sugars in dairy milk are not there.

I've had good luck using the Forager brand plain yogurt as a starter, but that's made with cashews so may not be an option for you. I've also had success using yogurt starter packets. Other brands of vegan yogurt and using probiotic capsules have not worked for me. Once you've made your own once, you can use some of the last batch as the starter for the next batch, until it's about two weeks old.

I've had really variable times to set, 6 hours - 12 hours, so I recommend making it at a time when you can keep an eye on it. After a few cycles with one starter, it usually settles into taking 7 hours in my yogurt maker.
posted by carolr at 1:35 PM on March 25

I make soy yogurt in my instapot and use vegan yogurt starter from Cultures for Health,
I've found it useful to use a yogurt strainer, I bake with or drink the whey. And I use the yogurt strainer to ferment buckwheat for bread, so not a uni-tasker!
posted by Arctostaphylos at 4:45 PM on March 25

Ooooh pick me! I spent a LOT of time this past year tinkering with non-dairy yogurt recipes. I have two routes for you to take, depending how DIY you want to be.

1. Straight up coconut yogurt. I tried several different methods of making my own coconut milk (from frozen coconut, from dried coconut) and while the milk was great in coffee, it never set into yogurt. I only had success with canned coconut milk (do NOT use the stuff from the carton). It even varied by brand, probably due to the variance in thickening agents used. I got consistently successful results using the cheap brand at Safeway (Golden Star Coconut Milk). It claims to be just coconut and water, but I'm skeptical.

2. Make your own milk. I've been doing this route for a while, as I'm able to buy the ingredients in bulk, so I'm using less packaging and its cheaper. I use this recipe from Minimalist Baker for making the milk. They describe it as a sub for Oatly Barista blend. I use it in my coffee and yogurt; its the best recipe I've found for non-dairy milk (it has a pretty neutral flavor profile, like oat milk).

From here, my process is the same. I've used the Cultures for Health starters, which were great. I've also used the Yogourmet starters that are available in most grocery stores. TBH, I didn't notice a huge difference. With the vegan starters, you can't keep it going and re-culture it more than once or twice, as the cultures don't hold up very well without dairy. I have also used the Cultures for Health Heirloom starter with dairy milk, re-cultured it several times, and used the resulting yogurt as a starter for my non-dairy batches. It was more work than I cared to keep up with, making a separate batch just for starters. These days, I mostly just use the single use vegan cultures.

To get thick non-dairy yogurt, you need to use a thickener. I'm not vegan, I just try not to eat a ton of dairy these days, so I use gelatin as my thickener (I like this one). Cultures for Health has a great guide on choosing thickeners (along with almost any resource you could ask for!)

For the actual yogurt making process: I usually heat my milk to around 115 to kill off any bad bugs. Then I whisk in my gelatin, having allowed it to bloom in a separate bowl of a bit of the warmed up milk. I'm still experimenting with the right amount of gelatin (too much and you end up with yogurt jello), but these days I use about 1/2 Tbsp per quart of milk. I use my sous vide cooker in a pot of water, set to 110. I actually bought a yogurt maker, then gave it away, as I wasn't impressed with the results. I use mason jars for the cooking, and they go right in the circulator with lids on. I usually let it run at least 12 hours, often longer. The vegan yogurt takes longer to culture I think, and it also depends how tangy you like it.

Thank you for attending my TED Talk.
posted by bluloo at 4:56 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]

« Older How to Convince Hospital to Let Office Workers...   |   Fun multiplayer games for the whole family... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments