I was never a huge fan of eating yogurt on its own, but I’ve always valued it’s place in my diet. Probiotics, vitamin B production, helpful bacteria, calcium absorption, and a ph balancer… the list is long.
When I made the transition to being vegan, I had to learn a lot of new ways to do things, things that didn’t just involve walking down the health food aisle at the grocery store to buy the veggie substitute of all of my favourite foods.
No. When I went vegan, I had to go all in.
No more fried foods. Nothing that was overly processed or packed with fillers. Nothing that was high in hard to digest fats, and I tried to stick with as many naturally sweetened foods as possible.
It may sound awful, but it was life changing and in a way, a life GIVING experience. It was a difficult first few weeks, but I kept my focus and one day, I started to notice some changes that eventually lead to me feeling like I’d walked into a time machine, and emerged 10 years younger.
If you ever want anyone to motivate you to become a vegan, I’m your girl.
Since yogurt was something I wanted to keep in my diet, but had no wish to buy the store bought versions, it was time to learn how to make my own. The following recipe is loosely adapted from the book, “The Homemade Vegan Pantry” by Miyoko Schinner, and has been tweaked and tested to suit all of my own personal preferences. I also make it using my Instant Pot.
Speaking of this book, it’s an absolute must-have for anyone looking to live an unprocessed vegan lifestyle! Her ‘Un Ribs’ are absolutely to die for, as well as her rejuvelac-cultured cashew cheddar cheese. So, so good.
Before we hit the recipe, I want to say that I’ve made this yogurt a variety of ways so far, and the recipe below is what I consider the best version. It is
- Thick and creamy
- High in protein and essential amino acids
- Tart and refreshing
- a Perfect base for dairy free cheese, sour cream, and smoothies
In the past I have had decent results using almond milk, but the full protein mark up of organic soy milk creates the best texture. I omit the agar because it doesn’t need it, and I use the cashews because without them, it lacks that creamy mouth feel. It’s still good if you don’t want to use nuts, and it’s still very obviously yogurt – but it’s not quite the same.
I also use a can of full fat coconut cream, because healthy fats are important to me. After 9 hours of culturing though, the coconut is a very subtle flavour, with the powerful yogurt tang taking over the majority of your taste buds.
If you try my version, post your results online and use the hashtag #creativelybee! I love seeing what you’ve made! ❤
Dairy Free Yogurt
Makes 4 cups of vegan yogurt
- 1/3 cup cashews, soaked in boiled water for 30 minutes and rinsed
- 1 400ml can full fat coconut cream, or coconut milk if cream is unavailable
- 2 cups of organic soy milk
- 2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 packet of vegan yogurt culture
In the jar of a blender, add the cashews, coconut cream, soy milk, and arrowroot starch. Blend for a full minute, or until well blended with no chunks or pieces.
Pour the contents into a sauce pan and slowly heat on medium setting. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture just to a slight boil and remove it from the heat. Continue to stir for a full minute afterward, it will burn easily on the bottom.
Pour the mixture into the insert of an Instant Pot (or yogurt maker) and allow it to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. Still the mixture every few minutes to prevent skin from morning, and test regularly with a candy thermometer.
When the mixture has reached 110 F, stir in the coconut sugar, vanilla (if using) and the packet of vegan yogurt culture.
Let it incubate for 9-10 hours in the Instant Pot on the Yogurt setting, or in your yogurt maker.
Set the mixture into the fridge for about 6 hours, after the incubation period. It will continue to thicken! Afterward, spoon the yogurt into jars and keep it refrigerated. It should last a few weeks in the fridge.
Take a look at mine! The spoon actually stands up in it!