Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Vegan Yogurt: Rice, Hemp, Coconut, or Oat Milk

I took to making my own yogurt when I realized how much I was spending every week on soy yogurt for Sawyer and coconut milk yogurt for Abiline. So Delicious coconut milk yogurt is true to its name, but $4 for two cups worth of it is pretty steep.  It is really simple to make your own, plus then you can use other non-dairy, non-soy milks and can better control the amount and kind of sugar added.  The one trick was that I had to buy a yogurt maker (about $30) to keep my yogurt at the correct incubation temperature (between 120 and 110 degrees).  However, if you have a decent crock pot that does not overheat on the "warm" setting like mine does, or--better yet--that has a temperature control, you can use that to incubate the yogurt.  I have had success with making yogurt from coconut milk, hemp milk (the combination of the two is perhaps the best), homemade oat milk, and rice milk. Non-dairy yogurt is really thin because non-dairy milks are in large part water; I have seen agar powder and tapioca starch as recommended thickeners, but I have not had success with either one(UPDATE: I recently did find a good formula for tapioca and agar-thickened yogurt!), and instead have been using guar gum or xantham gum. (Xantham gum is usually corn-based so if you have a severe corn allergy, stay away from this.) Here is the basic formula, plus some of my kids' favorite flavors.



Equipment: Medium-large sized pot, candy thermometer, large glass jar with lid and crockpot or a yogurt maker
5 cups non-dairy milk of choice
2 Tbsp. already prepared plain yogurt, either store-bought or from your last batch of homemade

1. Pour milk into the pot and place the candy thermometer in so that it is touching the milk, not the bottom of the pan. Heat over high heat until the thermometer reaches 185 degrees. This kills all of the bacteria that you don't want to culture.  Be sure to watch it so that it doesn't boil over.
2. Take the already prepared yogurt that you will use as a starter culture out of the fridge. If you are using your crock pot, warm it up to 115. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool until it reaches 115 degrees. Once it does, stir in the yogurt and either place the mixture in a glass jar with the lid just placed on top, not screwed, and place it in the crockpot with the crockpot lid on and a towel wrapped around the jar, or pour the mixture into your yogurt maker. Allow to incubate for 8-10 hours. The longer it sits, the tarter it gets!
3. Once the yogurt is done, place in the fridge for a few hours to cool down. Then follow one of the recipes below by placing all of the ingredients in a blender and blending until thickened.

Basic Vanilla Yogurt:
One batch plain homemade yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. xantham or guar gum
1/4 c. honey, agave, or coconut sugar
1/8-1/4 tsp. stevia powder
1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Yogurt:
Follow recipe for vanilla, but add 1/4 cup cocoa powder. It is also delicious if you add 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter as well.

Mango Coconut Yogurt:
One batch plain homemade yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. xantham or guar gum
2 Tbsp. coconut butter/manna
1/4 c. coconut sugar, or desired sweetener
1/4 tsp. stevia powder
1 1/2 c. mango chunks, fresh or thawed frozen
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract

Basic Preserve-Sweetened Fruit Yogurt:
One batch plain homemade yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. xantham or guar gum
1/4 c. all-fruit preserves
1/2 cup fruit
1/4 tsp. stevia powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract


In more exciting news, there was a terrible wind storm here last week, and a tree down the street got pulled up by its roots, which the kids thought was pretty awesome.  It was hard to get a good picture because Abbie and Sawyer were jumping around so much on the poor tree. It became a favorite play spot for a few days, until this morning when someone finally came and cleaned it up, to Sawyer's great disappointment.

13 comments:

  1. This looks great, I have been thinking about making my own. My little guy has peanut, tree nut, dairy and soy allergy. As well as gluten issues and we are vegetarian. Glad to have found you!
    Cindy

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    1. Hi Cindy,
      I am grain, incl corn/rice,(asthma) and soy-free (heart palpitations, dizzy) and discovered I get the same reaction with guar gum (So Delicious Coconut mild products contain it!), so be careful. In 10% of guar gums, the bacteria is fed soy to grow, other times corn.

      I made a pumpkin recipe yesterday with Thai coconut milk with guar gum and it gave me heart palpitations last night.

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  2. I am glad, too! I was reluctant at first to commit to making my own yogurt, but now I would not want to go back to the store-bought So Delicious yogurt, since homemade is so tasty and easy once you get into the routine of it. I hope you get a chance to try it out and let me know how it goes!

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  3. I've been wanting to feed my baby yogurt now that he has started solids but don't want to feed him dairy. I can't wait to make him oat yogurt! I'm so glad I found your blog!

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  4. Yum! This is tempting me to go out and buy a yogurt maker.

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  5. Hi there,

    I am making some almond milk yogurt. I love this post. Thank you! Just a quick question. Are you putting the Xantham gum in after the yoghurt is made or before? I purchased a Moulinex yoghurt maker so I hope it works! Thanks.

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    1. Hi! Blend in the xantham gum after the yogurt is cultured and chilled. Please let me know how it goes!

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  6. Hi. I tried making hemp yogurt, but it hasn't thickened at all during the fermentation process. Is this normal? When I made soy yogurt it looked like yogurt. I added some tapioca starch after but I am not sure if it will do anything. I used cultures for health vegan starter by the way. Is there a better starter for this type of milk? I also used an incubator. My son has a milk allergy so I'm looking to offer him a variety of flavors that will provide him protein. Thank you!

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    1. I recommend using my other recipe for yogurt which I find to be much better, where you add tapioca starch and agar powder before incubating the yogurt: http://veganmommychef.blogspot.com/2012/04/thick-and-rich-homemade-coconut-oat.html.

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  7. Hi there, Can you please explain the "2 Tbsp. already prepared plain yogurt, either store-bought or from your last batch of homemade " where do I find that? aren't those already prepared plain yogurt dairy based? or are you referring to the Almond/Coconut yogurt...? I am confused.... Thanks!

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    1. I used store-bought coconut milk yogurt for my first batch. You have to have a starter to get the cultures. After you make the first batch of home-made, you always reserve a few tbsp. to use to start the next batch.

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