**June 2014 update** I have a new way of making the yogurt that is a lot easier.
I will be updating soon with that method! Click here for that method.
Before I realized that dairy was one of the main reasons that my stomach (apparently) hated being a part of my body, I loved dairy, a lot. My love for dairy went in this order:
1 – Cheese
2 -Yogurt, the more tart the better
Now, cheese and I had a rather painful breakup – because I was seriously addicted to it, but yogurt and I just slowly drifted apart. First, yogurt quit landing on my grocery list, then it stopped creeping into my shopping cart, and then finally, it didn’t even send me a birthday card. That’s it yogurt, we’re finished. I did try a few different brands of vegan yogurts (all which are incredibly hard to come by around here), but they all fell short for one of three reasons:
1 – (and most imporantly) Cost
2 – Texture (yogurt does not = water) (yogurt does not = gritty)
3 – Sweetness (is it a crime to make a tart dairy free yogurt?!)
So, since yogurt wasn’t willing to put in effort for the relationship, I wasn’t either. And we bid farewell. …Until this number arrived a few weeks back :
(the Instant Pot, not the Cat). You can read more about the Instant Pot on their website, but I’ll just give you the quick rundown. It’s a super compact device that has 7 appliances in one: Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Rice Cooker/Porridge Maker, Steamer, Sauté/Browning, Yogurt Maker & Warmer (the yogurt maker is a new feature of the latest model – the Duo). At the time I am writing this post I have used the yogurt maker, the saute feature, the steamer and the pressure cooker. And I’ve had it 3 days. Yesterday I made a pot of soup (from start – browning the onions, to finish – eating it) in 22 minutes, and it tasted like it stewed for hours, yet each flavor still had it’s own uniqueness.
But I digress – The point is, buy an Instant Pot, now. 🙂
The very first feature I wanted to try on the Instant Pot was the yogurt maker. Before the Instant Pot came (it was back ordered, so I didn’t know what kind of time frame it would be – but it still came very fast!) I ordered a vegan yogurt culture from Cultures for Health. I also did a lot of reading about making vegan yogurt, and making non vegan yogurt. The key points I learned:
1 – When using a non dairy milk, picking one out with the smallest ingredient list is key (I chose Eden’s Soy Unsweetened, because it only contains soy and water) (I know that many people avoid soy, I have also heard that nut and rice milks work too, but I haven’t tired them – I’d love to hear about it if you do!)
2 – You must chose a thickener. As you’ll see below I chose flax meal, but corn starch or agar would probably work just the same – I figured flax meal would give a boast of nutrients, too
3 – A good culture makes all the difference. I had read awesome things about Cultures For Health, and was very impressed with their product!
4 – Temperature is essential. The key to making yogurt is to scald the milk (heating it to around 180 degrees F), then let it cool (to around 108 degrees F) before adding the culture. You then need to culture it for a set amount of time (on your culture instructions), and then rapidly cool it for about 6 – 8 hours before eating. This sounds super complicated, but it really wasn’t. Plus? The Instant Pot does 98% of the work.
So – How did my first yogurt making adventure go? Well, I videoed it for you. 🙂 But – spoiler alert – it.was.amazing.
Below you’ll find the how-to’s for making this yogurt in the Instant Pot. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, (you should buy one right now) you can do this same thing in a yogurt maker. If you don’t have a yogurt maker, there are some other methods out there.
The yogurt in the picture is topped with Instant-Pot steamed pears. In case you were curious – they’re simple to make…
I added 1 cup of water to the instant pot and inserted the steaming rack. I added diced pears, cinnamon, a sprinkle of coconut sugar and a drizzle of vanilla extract to an oven safe bowl and stirred them around. I put the oven save bowl on the steamer rack (in the Instant Pot), and did the ‘steam’ feature for 2 minutes, with quick release pressure. They.Were.Amazing. (Uhm. If all of that paragraph just sounded like calculus – forgive me – and I’d be happy to explain further 🙂 )
- 32 ounces of soy milk (with as few additives as possible)
- 3 tablespoons flax meal
- 1 packet of Culture
- Shake soy milk well
- Put 1 cup of soy milk and flax meal into a measuring cup. Stir and set aside
- Using the Instant Pot’s boil feature (press yogurt, then press more) and scald the remaining milk in the inner bowl
- When scalding is complete (it’ll say ‘yogt’ again), open lid and stir in remaining milk / flax meal
- Monitor the temperature – once it has cooled to 108 degrees, (mine took about 15 minutes), stir in the culture
- Replace the lid and hit the ‘yogurt’ button again. Time will display 8 hours. Adjust time to your desired culture time (I did 9 hours) – time will count up from zero once it starts
- When culturing is done, remove yogurt and place in fridge for about 8 hours before eating
I Included this recipes in the GFE Gluten Free Wednesday Round up! Click here for other awesome GF recipes!
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