Quick easy vegan yogurt, with soaked cashews, plain unsweetened soy or almond milk and vegan yogurt starter. This yogurt is the basis for many recipes in the Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook.
Thanks to author Miyoko Schinner for this recipe - easy & reliable, about $4.00 per quart, absolutely yogurty & delicious. I find soy + cashews a dependable combo for this yogurt, although I haven't tried almond milk yet.
I add cashew soy yogurt to baking, sauces, dips & dressings, steamed veggies, soups, smoothies, fruit salads etc. We eat it every day.
Total prep & cook time: 15 min, 4 - 8 hours to set
Nutrition Data Per Serving (92g): 128 calories, 10g carbs, 8g fat, 30mg sodium, 1g sugars, 1g dietary fiber, 8g protein, low Cholesterol, good source Copper, Manganese. Estimated glycemic load: 5.
Blending cashews with soy milk prior to culturing results in a flavorful, rich yogurt. Enjoy the yogurt as is or use it to make Basic Yogurt Chesse (pg 22 of Artisan Vegan Cheese), which can be flavored in a number of ways.
The yogurt can also be used as part of the base for Sour Cream (pg 58) and several of the cheese recipes in Artisan Vegan Cheese, including all of the meltable cheeses in Chapter 3.
The idea of making homemade yogurt without using a yogurt maker may seem daunting, but keep in mind that humans have been making yogurt for thousands of years without any special equipment.
Once you understand a few simple principles and rules, you'll find it's easy to do. The only special equipment you might want to invest in is an inexpensive kitchen thermometer.
For extra thickening power,b> blend 2 Tbsp organic cornstarch or tapioca starch with the milk and cashews. HOWEVER, you MUST then simmer the mixture (be careful not to boil), stirring to thicken, then cool to 110 degrees before adding the starter. This adds a lot more time to the yogurt making process, but guarantees thick yogurt that doesn't separate.
I recommend Westsoy Organic brand soy milk - no gmos, no additives, great taste, and reasonably priced.
I have used the previous batch of yogurt to start a new batch, as directed in the recipe, but I've found that the yogurt tastes best when you use fresh starter with every 3rd - 6th batch - it has a milder taste.
Buy vegan yogurt starter: On Amazon - Bella & Bella brand with 4 packets for $9, or GI ProStart 24g for $35. Each Bella Bella packet will make 2 quarts, ProStart will make 80 quarts total. Cultures for Health has 8 packages yogurt starter for $10 + shipping - not sold on Amazon. Each pkg will make 2 qts of yogurt.
Those are the only 3 vegan yogurt starters I've seen. I've also seen probiotic capsules recommended - empty 2 - 4 capsules for starter. As a yogurt starter, they can be iffy. Make sure that you're buying non-dairy full spectrum probiotic capsules.
I've read that non-dairy yogurt sets up best when it's sweetened. But I've never sweetened this yogurt recipe, and it works great. I've found that I can do more with plain yogurt than with flavored & sweetened, but follow your bliss!
Use a yogurt maker if you have one, but no need to buy one. A warm water bath works just as well. A crockpot set on warm also works. The trick is to keep the water at a fairly constant temperature 100 - 110 degrees F, which you can do by wrapping the immersion container to keep it warm and|or warming up the water bath. Sometimes setting the container in the oven with the light on works, if your kitchen is cold.
Dairy yogurt only takes 1 - 2 hours to set, but non-dairy takes longer - anywhere from 4 - 8 hours. I usually make my yogurt in the evening and set it overnight, or in the morning if I'm at home during the day. Always set a timer to check it after 4 hours!
Question: I made the recipe yogurt, but it went very liquid, not thickened, it was good tasting, I used 3 capsules probiotics. What do I do to make it thick? Maybe use agar agar ? - Yolanda V.
Answer: you could try thickening with agar, but all the times I've made this recipe it has worked. I don't use probiotic capsules as they can vary so much in strength and the probiotics they have in them.
For next time, try a yogurt starter such as one of those recommended in the recipe. You only need to use starter about every 3 - 6 times you make the recipe. The rest of the time, just use about 1/4 cup of the old batch. You'll notice if your yogurt is getting too strong tasting or too weak, then it's time to switch to starter. You could also use a small carton of plain soy yogurt from the grocery store as starter - if you can find it, but they often don't have enough probiotics to do the job.
Watch the temperature of the water bath also for incubating the yogurt. If it's too cool, the yogurt won't set. Plus this yogurt takes a lot longer to set than dairy yogurt. I've had to incubate it for up to 8 hours. I wrap the water bath container in a towel and keep it in the oven with the light on. Sometimes I remove some water and add more hot water half way through to keep it at the right temperature. Use a candy thermometer if you're not sure what 110 degrees F feels like -- it's slightly warmer than body temp. Lukewarm.
Question: I have been trying to make vegan cashew soy yogurt but it just will not get thick. I have tried miyoko's recipe. I have tried 3 times and it tastes great but stays watery. I use silk vanilla soy milk, soaked raw cashews and silk vanilla soy yogurt for starter. I put in in a mason jar sealed and wrapped with towel in my dehydrator on 110 degrees for 6 hrs. What else should I do? - Karen B.
Answer: I think the most likely problem is your starter, but there are several things you can try: 1. A different brand of soy milk. I recommend Westsoy plain organic soy milk as it is just soybeans + water. 2. A different yogurt starter, as mentioned in the recipe tips. I like the Bella & Bella brand - it's the most economical. I use a fresh package for one in six batches. The rest of the time, I use about 1/4 cup of the previous batch as a starter. 3. Your dehydrator could be making the yogurt too hot. Either lower the temp setting to 105 degrees, or try the water bath method instead - submerge the jar in a pan of lukewarm water with a lid, and wrap that in a towel. Check the yogurt after 4 hours.
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