almond milk yogurtAlmond milk yogurt is a great dairy-free alternative to regular yogurt. It’s just as thick, creamy, and tart, but made with almonds. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

Almond milk yogurt is essentially thickened and cultured almond cream made from blanched (peeled) almonds. If you prefer unblanched (unpeeled) almonds, by all means, substitute them in the same amounts. However, these are a few reasons to remove the skins to make almond yogurt:

  • Taste: blanched almonds taste sweeter, milder, and less nutty than unblanched almonds. This is because almond skins contain tannins, which are astringent compounds. Removing the skins removes the astringency and bitterness, resulting in a cleaner and sweeter flavor of the strained almond cream.
  • Texture: compared to other nuts, almonds have the highest fiber content. The more fiber, the grittier the blend. A lot of the fiber resides in the skins of almonds, which don’t get fully blended into the milk but are rather strained. However, the skins that do get blended contribute to a less smooth cream.
  • Color: if you have ever made almond milk from unblanched vs blanched almonds, you have most likely noticed a color difference. The brown almond skins make the milk darker. The same goes for yogurt – almond milk yogurt made from blanched almonds is whiter than yogurt made from unblanched almonds.

As I already mentioned, you can absolutely make almond milk yogurt from unblanched almonds. I just happen to prefer blanched almonds for this recipe. 

homemade almond milk yogurt recipe

Tips for Making Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt

Ingredients

I have made several versions of almond milk yogurt over the years. Some with emulsifiers, such as sunflower lecithin, to prevent separation. Some with thickeners, such as kuzu, to reduce the cost of the yogurt. And some with yogurt starters to include all the right probiotic strains typically found in yogurt. 

This version of almond milk yogurt doesn’t call for any of those ingredients yet is just as delicious. The only ingredients you will need are:

  • Almonds: blanched almonds are best, soaked unblanched almonds are second best. Avoid roasted and/or salted almonds. If you are wondering whether you can use store-bought almond milk rather than making it from scratch, unfortunately, the answer is, no. The almond milk used in this recipe is much thicker in order to avoid thickeners with the exception of agar. 
  • Agar: to give a slightly gelatinous consistency to the almond milk yogurt, agar is a great alternative to gelatin. Agar comes from red algae, so it is entirely plant-based. The main difference between agar and gelatin (other than from where they are derived) is that agar needs to boil in order to set whereas gelatin can simply dissolve in warm water. Agar is sold as flakes, powder, bars, and strands. The powder – which the almond milk yogurt recipe calls for – is the least expensive and the easiest to work with.
  • Probiotics: it wouldn’t be yogurt if it didn’t contain live cultures. You can either use probiotics or plant-based yogurt starter. The advantage of using a yogurt starter is that it contains cultures specifically found in yogurt. If you go with probiotics, look out for probiotics with lactic acid forming bacteria. At a minimum you want Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles strains. Other good bacteria include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis.

almond milk yogurt ingredients

How to Make Almond Milk Yogurt

There is more than one kind of yogurt. The style you end up with will depend on a variety of factors – the consistency of the milk you use (and how well you strain it), the starter cultures you use, and the temperatures and times of the culturing process. By playing with the variables, you’ll be able to dial into the style you like most. Here are the basic steps.

  1. Blanch the almonds. There are two ways to blanch almonds – you can either soak them for 8-12 hours in cold water or boil the almonds for 30-60 seconds. The skins should slip right off. 
    Note: sometimes soaking the almonds in cold water for 12 hours isn’t enough for the skins to come off. I have had almonds that I had to soak for up to 36 hours to remove the skins. 
  2. Blend the almonds. Add the almonds into a high-speed blender and blend until the almonds are completely broken down. Keep the blender running for at least 1-2 minutes so you get the most out of the almonds. Almonds contain more fiber than any other nuts, so even with the high-speed blender, the milk won’t be smooth. It will be fibrous and pulpy.
  3. Strain the almond milk. Using a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth, strain the almond milk, squeezing well to extract the liquid. 
  4. Boil the almond milk. Add a tiny bit of the milk into a medium saucepan and mix in the agar powder. (If you add the agar into the entire amount of milk, the agar will kind of just float on top and won’t mix in properly). Once dissolved, add the rest of the almond milk and mix until well combined. Heat the almond milk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Heat will not only activate the agar, but it will also sterilize the milk and prevent bad bacteria from cultivating. Boil the almond milk for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Cool the almond milk. Remove the thickened almond milk from the heat and let it cool. I like to transfer the almond milk into a sterilized glass bowl, so it cools down faster. 
  6. Add the live cultures. Once the milk reaches 110°F/43°C, you’re safe to add the live cultures. Using sterilized non-metal utensils, stir the live cultures into the almond milk. Metal self-sterilizes, i.e., it kills bacteria, including the good bacteria. So, avoid metal bowls and utensils. Make sure the starter culture is well mixed in so the good bacteria are spread throughout the milk.
  7. Let the milk culture. Cover the bowl with the almond milk with a piece of cheesecloth, and let the almond milk culture at a consistent temperature for a few hours. The time will depend on the strength of the probiotics, the number of strains the probiotics contain, and the temperature at which the milk is culturing. I used 50 billion probiotic capsules with 20 different bacterial strains, and let the yogurt culture at 77°F/25°C for 1o hours. The longer you incubate the almond milk yogurt, the tarter it will be.  
  8. Refrigerate the yogurt. Once the almond yogurt reaches the tanginess you like, place it in the refrigerator to stop the culturing process. As the yogurt cools, it will thicken even more.

almond yogurt

How to Serve Almond Milk Yogurt

I like to have almond milk yogurt (any dairy-free yogurt, really) for breakfast with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of grain-free granola or muesli. Another great add-in is this high-protein cereal with chia seeds. 

If you don’t like plain yogurt or want switch things up a little, there are many ways to flavor plain yogurt and create exactly the kind of taste you want. Here are some of my favorite ways to flavor yogurt to get you started:

  • Layer ½ cup pureed fruit with 1 cup yogurt.
  • Swirl 3 Tbsp. jam into 1 cup yogurt.
  • Add a sweetener, such as maple syrup, date syrup, or coconut nectar, to taste.
  • Stir in 3 drops of extract – vanilla, lemon, orange, cherry, and strawberry are my favorite- per cup of yogurt + sweetener to taste.
  • Mix in 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup per 1 cup yogurt.

Make sure you add any of the flavorings after the yogurt has finished culturing so you don’t upset the bacteria.

How to Store Almond Milk Yogurt

  • Refrigerating: transfer the cultured almond milk yogurt into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: almond milk yogurt does not freeze well.

More Dairy-Free Yogurt Recipes

Plant-based yogurts are gaining more and more popularity. Today you can find alternative yogurts made from almonds, cashews, coconut, and even oats. Almond milk yogurt is probably my favorite but coconut yogurt is right up there too. I have two recipes for coconut yogurt on my blog:

  • Raw coconut yogurt: if you love the flavor of coconuts, I highly recommend trying the raw version of coconut yogurt. It’s very coconutty, a little nutty, and slightly sweet. The texture is incredibly smooth and the consistency is surprisingly yogurt-like (even without any thickeners).
  • Coconut milk yogurt: if you don’t have access to young coconuts but still want to make coconut yogurt, coconut milk yogurt (from canned coconut milk) is a great alternative. It’s just as thick and creamy (thanks to the added agar), but the flavor is not as coconutty. 

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

almond milk yogurt
5 from 7 votes

Almond Milk Yogurt

Prep Time: 10 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 25 minutes
Yield: 4 (½-cup) servings
Almond milk yogurt is a great dairy-free alternative to regular yogurt. It's just as thick, creamy, and tart, but made with almonds. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Blend the almonds. Add the almonds into a high-speed blender and blend until the almonds are completely broken down. Keep the blender running for at least 1-2 minutes so you get the most out of the almonds.
  • Strain the almond milk. Using a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth, strain the almond milk, squeezing well to extract the liquid. You should end up with 2 cups of almond milk
  • Boil the almond milk. Add a little bit of the almond milk into a medium saucepan and mix in the agar powder. Once dissolved, add the rest of the almond milk and mix until well combined. Heat the almond milk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil for 4-5 minutes.
  • Cool the almond milk. Remove the thickened almond milk from the heat and let it cool. I like to transfer the almond milk into a sterilized glass bowl, so it cools down faster. 
  • Add the live cultures. Once the milk reaches 110°F/43°C, you're safe to add the live cultures. Using sterilized non-metal utensils, stir the live cultures into the almond milk. Make sure the starter culture is well mixed in so the good bacteria are spread throughout the milk.
  • Let the almond milk culture. Cover the bowl with the almond milk with a piece of cheesecloth, and let the almond milk culture at a consistent temperature for a few hours. The time will depend on the strength of the probiotics, the number of strains the probiotics contain, and the temperature at which the almond milk is culturing. I used 50 billion probiotic capsules with 20 different bacterial strains, and let the yogurt culture at 77°F/25°C for 10 hours. The longer you let the almond milk yogurt culture, the tarter it will be. 
  • Refrigerate the yogurt. Once the almond yogurt reaches the tanginess you like, place it in the refrigerator to stop the culturing process. Let cool for at least 8 hours. As the yogurt cools, it will thicken even more.
  • Store. Leftover almond milk yogurt keeps well covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

*I used 50 billion probiotic capsules with 20 different bacterial strains, including Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis.
**Prep time does not include soaking the almonds (8-12 hours).
***Nutrition information is approximate and many contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4, Calories: 195kcal, Carbohydrates: 4.5g, Protein: 7.5g, Fat: 16.5g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1.5g