Ever notice the amazing selection of plant-based yogurts available in most grocery stores today? Did you also notice how many of them have added thickeners and sugars and “natural flavorings”? I noticed this while shopping and checking out all the brands. Even the yogurts labeled as organic have additives and flavorings and sugars or sweeteners. Am I to believe or trust, that all ingredients are truly organic? Or that the “natural flavoring” is indeed from natural sources? I’m aware I’ve grown so much more cynical of believing something just because it’s written on a label. As with all foods I use, I prefer to purchase, as far as is practical or possible, foods which are minimally processed. I thought it would be fun, and possibly healthier for me and my family, if I gave a try at making non dairy yogurt. It took a couple of trial and errors- but ultimately I am blown away with the results and now, yogurt making is a habit of food preparation in my kitchen.
Making yogurt can be so easy! For sure it’s not a quick throw together type of thing; but with the help of a bit of modern technology it really is quite effortless. There are three things you will need to pull off this bit of nutritious magic:
- Instant pot cooker
- Probiotic capsule
- A carton of soy milk, containing only soybeans and water
Wash in very hot, soapy water, 3 12 oz. mason jars and lids. Rinse well and let air dry. Grab a bowl, or pitcher that holds at least five cups of liquid, and a whisk. Pour about half to three quarters cup of the soy milk into the bowl and empty one probiotic capsule into the soy milk. Beat with the whisk until the powder from the capsule has dissolved and mixed into the soy milk. Pour the rest of the soy milk into the bowl, whisking as you pour.
Next, gather the 3, 12 oz mason jars together and pour the soy milk mixture into each of the three jars. If your bowl does not have a pouring spout, you can use a ladle to portion the mixture into the jars.
Plug in the Instant pot and put the uncovered jars filled with the soy milk mixture into the pot. Close the lid. Make sure its not on vent, and then push the yogurt button. 10 hours is a good time to set for the Instant pot to make the yogurt thick and creamy.
Next, all you have to do is go about your life and after 10 hours, you will have beautiful, unbelievable yogurt! You can use some right away- of course you’ll want to taste some- and then you can cover the jars and store them in the refrigerator.
You can be assured you have no thickeners or chemicals or unwanted sweeteners in your yogurt, and you can flavor it as you like. I love it with fruit and also on my oatmeal. If I make pancakes for breakfast, 1/4 cup of the yogurt goes into the recipe for a lovely buttermilk styled batter. I’ve also put some in smoothies and even made a type of cream cheese, by draining the water off the yogurt. Which could sound daunting at first, but it’s as simple as lining a strainer with cheese cloth and spooning the yogurt into the strainer. Place the strainer over a bowl to catch the water, and let the yogurt strain in the refrigerator for 24 hours. After all the water has strained out, put the resulting cream cheese in a covered glass bowl and store in refrigerator.
Enjoy experimenting with your foods and enjoy learning how to prepare whole foods for yourself and your loved ones that are healthy and delicious and unprocessed as possible. You will not regret the effort!