When I gave up dairy, I thought my days of eating creamy, delicious yogurt were over.
Of the few dairy-free yogurts even available, many of them were chalky, tasteless, or full of sugar and additives.
So I stopped buying yogurt altogether, but I always missed it…
Until I discovered how easy it was to make my own dairy-free yogurt! It only takes a few simple ingredients. I personally love the ease of using my yogurt maker, but it isn't necessary.
You, too, can learn how to make dairy-free yogurt!
Let's run through the ingredients for dairy-free yogurt…
Canned coconut milk is my favorite milk for yogurt because of its creamy consistency. Look for a brand with minimal additives. The purer, the better.
Homemade nut milks are also popular for dairy-free yogurt-making. Use nuts and water only — sweeteners and/or flavoring will be added later in the process, if desired.
2. Bacterial Culture
Yogurt needs bacteria. There are three options for culturing homemade yogurt:
- dairy-free yogurt culture
- probiotic capsules
- plain dairy-free yogurt (check to see that it has live bacteria in the ingredients)
The sugar isn't to sweeten the yogurt — it's to feed the bacteria. Unlike dairy milks, dairy-free milks are much lower in naturally-occurring sugars.
You can use several thickeners to create a creamier dairy-free yogurt, such as:
I haven't yet tried agar agar or gelatin, but I do have great results with tapioca flour.
If you prefer to thicken your yogurt after culturing, chia is an excellent and healthy choice! Simply stir in and let it gel.
- Clean all yogurt-making tools.
- Sterilize jars by running them through the dishwasher or boiling them in water.
- Then pour milk into a saucepan.
- Remove about ¼ cup of the milk and whisk tapioca flour into it.
- Return flour and milk mixture to the pan and whisk it in.
- Heat the milk until bubbling and thickened.
- Let the milk cool until it is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or look for specific temperature for milk given in instructions of yogurt starter (if using).
- Pour yogurt starter or yogurt (whichever using) into milk. Or, open up probiotic capsules and sprinkle contents into milk.
- Whisk until combined.
- Then pour milk into sterilized jars.
- Place in yogurt maker and culture for 12 hours. If you like a sour yogurt you may wish to culture for longer. If you do not have a yogurt maker, there are many other ways to incubate the yogurt.
- Once culturing time is complete, place lids on jars and place in fridge to stop culturing process and cool.
- Once cool, add flavorings as desired.
*If using chia seeds, add 8 tablespoons of chia per quart of yogurt after culturing but before moving yogurt to the fridge.
*The amount of agar agar depends on the form purchased -- feel free to experiment!
What is your favorite way to enjoy yogurt? Do you know how to make dairy-free yogurt?
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