Homemade Vegan Yoghurt
Good vegan yoghurt is really hard to find. Good vegan yoghurt that is also affordable is almost impossible to find. Especially here in Australia, so I decided to make my own.
Growing up, yoghurt was a staple food in my diet, and it was the one thing I did find a little more challenging excluding from my diet when I first went vegan. Muesli with fruit and greek yoghurt was the typical breakfast for me for many years, and I'd also have it throughout the day as snacks or a dessert. For me, so far, the store-bought stuff just hasn't cut it.
In Switzerland, that's a different story. The soy yoghurts found in the supermarket is really good, with great ingredients and basically the same price as dairy yoghurt. I especially love the Migros soy yoghurt. Here, not so much.
This is because, vegan yoghurt here is either: A.) Made from coconut and costs half a fortune. Or B.) Made from soy but tastes like glue, and often has a number of unnecessary added ingredients, like thickeners, preservatives and sugar.
Making your own yoghurt is actually surprisingly easy, it just involves a bit of patience, and a few techniques you would normally use in everyday cooking, such as measuring the temperature of your milk. This yoghurt is so creamy, thick and delicious, as well as being amazing for you (full of gut-healthy probiotics, packed with fibre, calcium and plant protein, and free of cholesterol, added sugar and artificial ingredients), it is definitely worth giving a try!
Before we get to the recipe, here are some important tips:
1. I bought an EasiYo yoghurt maker. I just got it from my local supermarket and it wasn't expensive at all, and is fantastic!! It definitely makes the yoghurt-making process a whole lot easier and more energy-efficient, as it uses hot water and an insulated container to keep the yoghurt at 35 degrees Celsius for fermentation, instead of having to run your oven at a super low temperature for 8 hours
2. Be sure to sterilise your equipment with hot water first. Just a precaution!
3. Choose a good quality soy milk. It needs to have minimal ingredients and be made from whole soy beans, not just soy protein isolate. I use BonSoy and it works the best by far, other brands I've tried just haven't given the same result. The ingredients are: Filtered water, organic whole soybeans, tapioca syrup, sea salt, job's tears (hato mugi), calcium carbonate
4. I ordered a vegan yoghurt starter, which is just live probiotic bacteria, online from Green Living. It works really great! I've also tested the recipe using a tablespoon of vegan yoghurt as the starter instead, which also works. You can use any kind of dairy-free yoghurt (soy/coconut etc) but you do need to make sure its one with live cultures in it!
5. You NEED to add the sugar. It's what the probiotics feed off during fermentation an what acts to thicken the yoghurt. Without it, it won't thicken. Dairy milk has lactose (a type of sugar) in it, which is what the bacteria feeds off in dairy yoghurt. There is no sugar left in the yoghurt after it's finished fermenting, I promise!!
- 1 L organic soy milk
- 1/8 tsp vegan yoghurt starter (probiotic)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- Be sure to read through all my tips listed above before you start, to set yourself up for success!!
- Sterilise the container you want to make your yoghurt in by rinsing it with boiling water
- Gently heat your milk to 37-43 degrees Celsius. This is the optimal temperature for bacteria to grow and heating it too hot may kill the probiotics
- Pour the milk into your container and mix in the coconut sugar and yoghurt starter
- Now put the container into your yoghurt maker, according to directions. I used an EasiYo, so I filled boiling water up to the bottom rack of the yoghurt maker, then put my container in and placed the lid on. If you don't have a yoghurt maker, you can place your container (use a glass jar for this method!) in the oven at a temperature of 35 degrees.
- Leave yoghurt to set for 8 hours. If you would like a more sour/tart yoghurt, leave it for up to 12 hours.
- Transfer your yoghurt to the fridge to cool and enjoy!
- Again, the sugar is needed for the bacteria to feed off, which is what thickens the yoghurt. There is no sugar left in the finished product!
- As I mentioned above, make sure the soy milk you are using is a good quality one, made from whole soy beans and with only soy beans and water as the ingredients
- I ordered my vegan starter online. You can also use 1 tbsp of non-dairy yoghurt as your starter instead.
- This yoghurt keeps for up to about a week in a sealed container or jar in the fridge. You will know it's gone off if it tastes fizzy (not nice!)
- I haven't tried this recipe with any milks other than soy, but I plan to soon so I'll report back to you! I don't expect it will work well though, because the protein in the soy milk is part of what makes the end result thick and creamy :)