This almond milk yogurt is thick, creamy, and slightly tart. You can serve it plain, but it’s also delicious with maple syrup and vanilla, or fruit. Just about any flavor combination works here. I usually add it to my smoothies, pair it with grain-free granola, or make a parfait out of it.
You’ve heard me talk about how much I love yogurt before. But you have never heard me talk about how much my 4-year old daughter (Katie) loves yogurt. I mean I used to think that I eat a lot of dairy-free yogurt, but at the rate she eats non-dairy yogurt, I’ve seriously considered planting a few coconut trees in our backyard.
Unfortunately, our climate isn’t ideal for coconut trees. So, instead I’ve cleared a fridge shelf for large batches of dairy-free yogurt.
The amount of dairy-free yogurt our family goes through was actually the number one reason I started making almond milk yogurt. Homemade almond milk yogurt is cheaper than store-bought almond milk yogurt, and it’s also more cost-effective than homemade coconut yogurt.
Most importantly though, Katie thinks that homemade almond milk yogurt “is the best thing ever!”.
Tips for Making Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt
The first ingredient you will need to make almond milk yogurt is homemade almond milk. I have tried a few different brands of store-bought almond milk but never got the results I was after. I wonder if the additives in store-bought almond milk somehow interfere with the culturing process. The cultures never really survive in store-bought almond milk.
The only problem with homemade almond milk is that it tends to separate as it sits in the fridge. To avoid this problem, I use sunflower lecithin, which is not only an emulsifier, but also a supplement with many health benefits.
Actually, there is one more problem with using almond milk as a base for dairy-free yogurt – it never thickens. Without a thickener, the almond milk yogurt very thin and runny. The thickeners I use for vegan yogurt are kuzu root and agar powder. Kuzu thickens the almond milk, providing a creamy texture, while agar contributes to more of a pudding-like texture. Chances are you can use other thickeners to make almond milk yogurt, but I’ve never tried it. I love using kuzu and agar because, compared to other thickeners, they are considered superfoods. Kuzu is actually regarded as the healthiest cooking starch in the culinary world as well as the medicinal world.
To get the tangy flavor you expect from yogurt, you’ll need either some high-quality probiotics or a 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 Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles strains.
Let’s assume you have your homemade homogenized almond milk ready. Add a tiny bit of the milk into a small bowl and mix in the kuzu and agar powder. (If you add the thickeners into the entire amount of milk, the thickeners will kind of just float on top and won’t mix in properly). Once the thickeners are dissolved in the milk, add all the ingredients into a medium saucepan, and whisk until everything is well combined.
Heat the almond milk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Heat will not only activate the kuzu and agar powder, but it will also sterilize the milk and prevent bad bacteria from cultivating. Continue to whisk the almond milk for about 5 minutes.
Remove the thickened almond milk from the heat and let it cool. (I like to transfer the almond milk into a sterilized bowl, so it cools down faster). Once the milk reaches 110°F (43°C), you’re safe to add the yogurt starter or the probiotics. Anywhere between 100°F (38°C) and 110°F (43°C) is the sweet spot. Just like with the thickeners, add the cultures only into a tiny bit of the thickened milk first (so they mix in properly).
Cover the almond milk yogurt with a piece of cheesecloth, and let it culture or 5-6 hours at 105-115°F (40-45°C). You can use a yogurt maker or your oven with the light on. The longer you incubate the almond milk yogurt, the tarter it will be.
After about 6 hours, taste the yogurt. If it’s tangy enough for your taste, place the yogurt in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. The yogurt will set as it cools.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Cookware Set (Calphalon, Stainless Steel) | 2. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass) | 3. Measuring Cup (1 Cup, Pyrex, Glass) | 4. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel) | 9. Tongs (2 Pieces, Dragonn, Stainless Steel)
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This almond milk yogurt is thick, creamy, and slightly tart. You can serve it plain, but it's also delicious with maple syrup and vanilla, or fruit. Just about any flavor combination works here. I usually add it to my smoothies, pair it with grain-free granola, or make a parfait out of it.
Before you proceed with the recipe, sterilize all your kitchen equipment. I like to use a dishwasher, but regular soap and hot water work just fine.
Add a tiny bit of the homemade almond milk into a small bowl. Add the kuzu root and agar agar powder. Mix the thickeners into the almond milk until dissolved.
Add the almond milk with the thickeners and the rest of the almond milk into a medium saucepan. Heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches a gentle boil, whisking constantly to make sure both thickeners are fully dissolved and don’t stay at the bottom. Continue stirring the almond milk for 5 minutes (to activate the kuzu and agar).
Remove the almond milk from the heat and transfer it to a medium bowl. Let the almond milk cool down to 110°F (43°C). This is important. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the cultures. Using a thermometer is strongly recommended.
When the milk is at the right temperature, stir in the probiotics (or the yogurt starter). Cover the almond milk yogurt with a piece of cheesecloth and let the yogurt culture for 6 hours at 105°F. You can use a yogurt maker or your oven with the light on.
After about 6 hours, taste the yogurt. If the yogurt is tart enough for your taste, place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to chill. If it's not tart enough, let it culture for a few more hours, checking on it periodically.
Store the yogurt in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
*You can also use vegan yogurt starter (if you use the brand that I use, you will need 1/4 cup packet for 2 1/2 cups of almond milk).
**My favorite is a vanilla flavor (maple syrup, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean paste). You could also try a chocolate flavor (maple syrup and cocoa powder), or strawberry flavor (strawberry jam).
***Prep time does not include culturing (~6 hours).