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Homemade Vegan Yogurt

From Bonzai Aphrodite

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  • One batch of homemade alt milk (about 4 cups) (you can try subbing store bought – let me know how it goes)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tapioca starch (available at health food stores, specialty shops, or ‘ethnic’ markets)
  • 1 tablespoon organic evaporated cane juice (or sugar; I’ve tried maple syrup with no luck)
  • Some sort of culture (If this is your first time you have three options: 1 tablespoon store bought non dairy yogurt, 1 non-dairy probiotic capsule (refrigerated only, as the shelf stable ones are not alive), or a non-dairy yogurt starter.) (Every time you make a batch of yogurt, save some of it to use as a starter for your next batch. this will save you a lot of money!)
  • A small pot
  • A candy thermometer
  • A slow cooker
  • Dish rags/towels and a large blanket

Step One
Pour the entire batch of alt milk into the pot, over medium heat. Whisk in the tapioca starch and the sugar. Allow the milk to heat slowly until it reaches 180º F, whisking frequently. Don’t let it boil!

Step Two
When it’s reached 180º remove it from heat. Give it a good whisk, cover it, and set aside to cool. It will take 1 or 2 hours to cool down completely. You may be tempted to expedite the process by putting it in the fridge but I don’t recommend this. It can lead to tapioca lumps! Stir every so often to help prevent the lumpies.

At this point, place your crock-pot in the center of a blanket or big towel and turn it on to ‘low’. Leave the crock-pot on with the lid off while the alt milk mix is cooling.

Also, remove your starter, whatever it may be, from the fridge. You want it to be room temperature when you add it to the mix. I’ve tried various soy and coconut milk yogurts with equal success. Just make sure that whatever you use is plain, unpasteurized, and explicitly says “live active cultures”. If this is not your first batch of yogurt, you should be using the last few tablespoons of your previous batch!

Step Three
The mix needs to cool to below 110º F, but closer to 90º is better. If it’s too hot it will kill the starter cultures. When it has appropriately cooled, add your starter and whisk thoroughly to combine. Don’t add too much! More does NOT equal better – the bacteria need ‘room’ to grow. A full tablespoon of store bought yogurt or a few tablespoons of leftover homemade yogurt, or a single probiotic pill.

Step Four
Pour the entire mixture into a large glass jar. Cover with the lid but do not tighten it. It needs to be able to ‘breathe’.

Turn off and unplug the crock-pot. Wrap the jar in towels and put it in the crock-pot, put the lid on, and then wrap the whole shebang up tight in the blanket!

Now, leave it alone for a good 12-18 hours.

Step Five – Done!
You will know your yogurt has ‘yoged’ if it has a bit of a tang to it. The longer you let it culture, the more sour it gets. Be careful – it can get pretty sour! When it’s done transfer it to the fridge, without stirring or shaking, and let it set up in there for a few hours. It will thicken, but probably not as much as traditional yogurt.