We give you the recipes on how to make two types of vegan yoghurt at home. A helpful guide for people who are cutting out dairy.
Yoghurt is a standby for many – a handy snack or a useful ingredient in a number of recipes. Cutting dairy out of your diet doesn’t mean losing the convenience and flavour of yoghurt. There are lots of alternatives available for plant-based eaters – with coconut as the current new(ish) kid on the block, and soya as the old standby. Almost any flavour you can think of is available in both health food shops and standard supermarkets.
There is a range of textures and thicknesses available now too, so almost any dairy-based style of yoghurt can now be replicated in cruelty-free form. Not only that – but you can make it yourself too. The easiest way to do this is by using a specialised yoghurt machine, this will also be quicker. But if you don’t have one, it is possible to use the oven instead.
When you are making yoghurt, whatever recipe you are using, it is really important your jars are very clean. The best way to do this is to run them through a dishwasher on the hottest cycle. If you don’t have a dishwasher, use very hot soapy water, and make sure the jars are thoroughly dry before you use them.
- Heat a litre of soya milk in a saucepan, then stir in 2 teaspoons of agar agar powder, whisking so the milk doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Remove from the heat, and whisk 4g of probiotic powder into it when it has cooled. At this point, if you have a yoghurt mixture, you should continue to make your yoghurt according to its instructions. Otherwise, transfer the mixture to clean glass jars, cover with a clean tea towel and put in the oven. Do not turn the oven on, but switch on the oven light.
- Leave the jars inside until the mixture has thickened – this could take up to 6 hours.
- Once thickened, you can enjoy plain, or flavoured, using fresh vanilla seeds, cinnamon or fruit puree. It will last for 3 days in the fridge.
You need cultures to make yoghurt. While it is possible to buy them from health food stores or online, for this yoghurt, you can also use a spoon of commercial coconut yoghurt if you have it, then as you continue making yoghurt, use a spoon of the old batch each time.
- Heat a litre of coconut milk with a tablespoon of agave syrup.
- Add 4g of probiotic powder, and stir well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into your jars, and follow your machine instructions.*
- When it has thickened, it is ready to eat – either plain, or with flavourings. Again, fresh vanilla works well, as does pureed or stewed fruit. You can also try cocoa powder with more sweetener if you prefer a chocolate-y tang.
*If you don’t have a machine, cover the jars with a clean tea towel, and put in the oven. Your oven should be off, but with the light on. If you don’t want to use your oven, standing the jars in a container with water heated to around 37 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). You need to keep the mixture stable at this temperature in order for the culturing process to work. This will take at least 8 hours, but could take longer, depending on your taste preference. The longer the cultures work for, the tangier the flavour will be. After you have removed your yoghurt from the oven, you will need to refrigerate it, which will make the mixture much thicker. This will take another 6 hours or so.