In my pre-whole food, plant-based days I was very fond of fermented dairy products. I made my own yogurt and kefir from whole milk and I consumed plenty of it. I thought it was good for me, but more than that, I really loved it. It was my “but I could never give up x” x.
I always preferred my homemade yogurt to the little pots of sweetened goop with the long ingredient lists. Or at least a decent, unsweetened full-fat commercial yogourt. So when I stopped eating dairy, I looked for the plant-based alternative and found nothing. There were quite a few soy and coconut yogurts with long ingredient lists and lots of sugar, but it was only recently that I found an unflavoured coconut yogourt. Unfortunately, it still had lots of ingredients and the lingering whiff of coconut, which I don’t love.
I thought about making my own, and even pondered buying some vegan yogurt starter from my local natural food store. The $16 price tag for 2 pouches of starter caught my breath though. Especially since I’d read all kinds of posts online about disappointing results and how you had to add all kinds of thickening agents to get a nice texture.
Recently I saw a post in a Facebook group where someone had made yogurt using probiotic capsules and Edensoy soy milk, which has no additives – just soy and water. My Vegan Under Pressure cookbook had the same recipe, so I decided to give it a try. I used my Instant Pot’s yogurt setting, but you could use any yogurt maker or jury-rig a spot to hold the milk at 110F for 12 hours or so. Google will help you figure that out.
BINGO! Perfect, thick, nicely- but not overly- tart non-dairy yogurt.
Here’s how you do it. I use PB 8 Probiotics and Edensoy Unsweetened Soy Milk. Empty one probiotic capsule into the carton of soy milk and shake it up well to mix. Pour the milk into jars and place them uncovered into your Instant Pot for 12 hours on the yogurt setting. And that’s it.
I have not experimented with ingredients so I have no idea if other brands of probiotic or milk will work as well. Jill Nussinow, the author of Vegan Under Pressure says that soy milk made in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker will not work because it is pasteurized too much during the cooking process. I’ve seen other folks claim that the soy milk brands containing added ingredients, which is nearly all of them, do not give terribly satisfactory results.
One of my favourite things to do with yogurt is to add a large dollop to steel cut oats that I am soaking overnight. The oatmeal is cooked as usual in the morning and the result is creamier oatmeal with a nice bright flavour that is very satisfying. I like it better than My Boring Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Blueberries but I thought I would never have it again since giving up dairy.
I haven’t been this excited about a particular food since I discovered pomegranates. This is somewhat tempered by having this song stuck in my head since I wrote that silly title for this post.
Do you have a favourite non-dairy yogurt, homemade or otherwise?