Make Your Own Dairy-Free Yogurt
Making your own dairy-free yogurt is easier than you think. You don’t need any expensive equipment or yogurt makers either. Just use a ceramic crock or bowl (metal interferes with the natural culturing process). I use a 1-1/2 quart white ceramic crock with a lid that comes with a slow cooker. I don’t use the slow cooker as most of them create excessive heat that would kill the delicate probiotics used in yogurt-making but the crock is affordable and a great size for yogurt-making. But any crock with a lid or a bowl with a clean towel to cover it will do. You’ll also need a high quality dairy-free probiotic powder.
The process works well with organic soy milk or coconut milk. Don’t use soy unless it’s certified organic since most soy is genetically-modified. Rice milk and almond milk are too thin. I’ve even made it with cooked and blended navy beans and water but the taste isn’t my favorite. Coconut and soy milk yogurt taste delicious though. If you use canned coconut milk, be sure to mix it thoroughly first to blend the coconut water and the milk together. When canned coconut milk cultures, the yogurt rises to the top while the liquid drops below, making it a bit tricky to separate, but not impossible.
1 quart or Litre of organic soy milk or coconut milk
1 teaspoon of probiotic powder
Heat the soy or coconut milk to lukewarm or body temperature but not too hot or it will destroy the yogurt cultures. Pour into a clean ceramic crock or bowl.
Add the probiotic powder and stir until dissolved. Cover and set in a warm area for 6 to 10 hours depending on the temperature and your preference for thicker or thinner yogurt, or the level of tartness you prefer. Longer times will produce thicker yogurt and increase the tartness.
Carefully remove the lid. Due to the proliferation of probiotics, the “milk” should have separated into a thick yogurt and a thin liquid. Pour off the thin liquid or scoop out the thick yogurt, depending on whether the thin liquid floats or drops to the bottom.
Enjoy the many health-rejuvenating properties of probiotics without the dairy, excessive amounts of sugar, and higher price tag of commercial yogurt (most of which don’t actually contain “live” cultures). Dairy-free yogurt is excellent with berries, peaches, sprinkled with raw walnuts and drizzled with honey, in a smoothie, or with lemon juice and a little grated onion and cucumber (tzatziki).
NOTE: If you’re using soy milk, choose certified organic only. Many people find that fermented soy like this dairy-free yogurt is much easier to tolerate than non-fermented products.
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