Who would think that making Vegan Soy Yogurt is as simple as putting two basic ingredients together? Easy is the name of making vegan yogurt! Mind-blowingly easy!!! I really believe that if more people knew how simple this process really is, then everyone (practically speaking!) would be doing it!! Yes, even my three year old miniature cook! 😉 And not only is this process quick and tasty but the amazing health effects of eating live active cultures is phenomenal.
So I’m going to break this post down into two easy ways to make vegan yogurt. These are obviously not an exhaustive list of the ways to do it, just my favorites. I’ll also address How we eat this! and you’ll get to see a pic of my no-go’s (read epic fails!) at the end!!
First though, I need to mention a couple of things.
Whenever I refer to soy milk, I’m talking about Pure Soy Milk. It must have only two ingredients – Water and Soybeans. There are only a few brands out there that keep it that simple, but trust me, it won’t work with other additives, gums, etc. Trader Joe’s and WestSoy are the two brands I’ve been using and they both work great. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive and widely found.
Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
Finally, you don’t need a yogurt maker to make this vegan yogurt. But I do recommend an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker otherwise known as a Crockpot. 😉 There are methods out there where you can make yogurt in your oven with just the oven light on, etc. It hasn’t worked that well for me, so I’m not recommending it, but if that’s what you’ve got, I’m sure there’s a way to make it work.
Vegan Yogurt Starters
If you’re using commercial/store-bought vegan yogurt in Method #1, you won’t need to worry about this. But for those of us who don’t always have access to store-bought yogurt, or might be allergic to certain additives, the vegan yogurt starters are great! They have a long shelf life and are always there when you are craving yummy homemade yogurt!! Yeay!! Here are Amazon links to two different kinds I’ve used with success. Belle and Bella Non-Dairy Yogurt Culture Starter and Vegan REAL Yogurt by Cultures for Health.
Probiotic Capsules as Starter
Another easy starter for vegan yogurt is the contents (yes, you just open the capsule and dump the powder into the soymilk!) of a probiotic capsule! I know, it’s weird, but it works! The ratio of probiotics to soy milk is important tho, as well as the type of probiotics used. (I’ve totally failed at this before, as you can see in the pics at the bottom!) Using probiotics produces the thickest yogurt I’ve made. I do think the taste is slightly stronger with the probiotics versus yogurt starter, but I don’t even notice this after sweetening or cooking with it!! The recommended brand (Thanks Janice!) I’ve used with success is sold on Amazon New Rhythm Probiotics. All you need is one capsule! If you try a different brand, you’ll want to make sure you use 25 billion CFU of probiotics per quart of soy milk. Check the label of your probiotics to determine how many capsules are needed to equal 25 billion—the probiotics will be labeled with the CFU per serving but sometimes it takes more than one capsule to equal a serving.
- Method #1 – Soy Milk plus Store-bought Vegan Soy Yogurt
- Go to the store and grab one container of vegan soy yogurt (I’ve had great success with Silk Soy Yogurt. Coconut/Almond yogurt does NOT work. Stick with soy for this method.)
- Take it home excitedly – after paying for it, lol!!! 😉
- Grab out two sparkling clean pint jars (some methods make it directly in the Instant Pot bowl. I prefer the jars because then it’s simple to transfer to chill in the refrigerator and save for later.)
- Make sure your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker is very clean (don’t want anything to contaminate!).
- Dump One Tablespoon of the vegan soy yogurt into each pint jar.
- Fill each pint with soy milk (will address nut milks in a later post. This method does NOT work with nut milk).
- Swirl it around until mixed well.
- Put the jars in your instant pot and close the vent.
- Set on Yogurt setting for 12+ hours.
- After 12 (or up to 24 hours depending on your convenience) remove your yogurt and place in the refrigerator to chill. I usually chill for 12 hours, but less is fine.
If you are using a Slow Cooker or Crockpot, line the bottom of the crockpot with a thick doubled up dish towel or maybe a couple of them. Place filled jars on top of it and leave the lid off of the Slow cooker. You can cover with a paper towel or something but you need to let the heat out, otherwise it will get too hot and kill the cultures!! Turn the temp to warm and set yourself a timer for 12 hours. Follow the chilling directions above!!
- Method #2 – Soy Milk plus 1 Vegan Yogurt Starter Packet or Probiotic Capsule Contents
- Purchase Vegan yogurt starter either in your health food store or online. I’ve used both of these from Amazon with great success: Belle and Bella Non-Dairy Yogurt Culture Starter and Vegan REAL Yogurt by Cultures for Health. If using a Probiotic Capsule I’ve tried and like New Rhythm Probiotics.
- Pour 1 packet of Vegan Yogurt Starter or the contents of 1 Probiotic Capsule (25Billion CFU) into 1 quart soy milk jug (must be plain soy milk with only soybeans and water as discussed earlier.)
- Shake well to mix!!! (ha! talk about easy!!)
- Pour half of this mixture into each of two pint jars.
- Place jars in Instant Pot or slow cooker, following the final two steps in method one.
Now what can you expect to reap from all your labor? (Yeah, I know that was way too easy to call ‘labor’, but your family or friends will be impressed!!) 😉 After refrigerating until well chilled, (at least 6 hours or preferably 12 hours so that the flavors and texture can really have a chance to develop) you will have a rich, creamy, tangy yogurt that is the consistency of a thicker drinkable yogurt. This isn’t thick greek-style yogurt but I’m pretty sure you’re going to be addicted to it in short order!! It’s really kind of magical.
How we eat it:
Fast. Yeah, we eat it real fast. LOL! I can never seem to make enough and believe me, I’ve made a LOT of this stuff. Really the options are just endless. Here’s some ideas:
- Eat it sweet:
- Eat it savory/plain:
- Use it in Salad Dressings
- Creamy Pasta recipe base
- Cook or bake with it
TIPS and Tricks
Make your own Vegan Yogurt Starter:
One of my favorite tips is that you can save just a couple of tablespoons from each batch of yogurt and that can be the starter for your next batch! I’ve been told that this doesn’t work endlessly, but it’s worked for me through at least three rounds. This is a great way to save even more money by making your very own vegan yogurt starter!
Free up your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker by making your yogurt at night:
Make your yogurt starting in the evening making sure it will run through whenever is convenient for you the next morning to pull it out and put it in the fridge. Remember 12 hours is the minimum, but you can run it longer (up to 24 hours) if you like it tangier, or if you won’t be home to pull it out. I just hate to tie up my Instant Pot during the day so I mostly do this at night.
Remember to use the jars:
You can make your yogurt right in the instant pot, but besides the fact that people say the metal in the pan can cause problems with the culture growth, jars are just plain easier. Make it in the jar, culture it in the jar, chill it in the jar, store it in the jar, eat it in the jar…. Yeah you get the idea. Simple, clean, and sterile. And less dishes!!! 😉
And here are the DO-Nots (ie. Epic FAILS)!!
This really doesn’t begin to represent how many times I’ve tried things and failed. Although this is so easy to make, changing just a couple simple things can really mess it up, too! 😉 Bottom line, if it smells funny, has a funny look, or a weird taste – don’t eat it!! 😉
Fails from left to right:
Homemade Almond Milk with Coconut Milk Yogurt, Homemade Almond Milk with Inert Vegan Starter, Soy Milk with Probiotic capsule of many Billions, Homemade Cashew Milk with Inert Vegan Starter, Homemade Cashew Milk with Homemade Soy Yogurt Starter, Homemade Almond Milk with Commercial Vegan Soy Yogurt
Well folks, that’s all for now! Please message me here on Facebook @veganblueberry or on Instagram @theveganblueberry with questions, comments or photos!!
Easiest Vegan Soy Yogurt
- 1 quart Plain Soy Milk (Must have only two ingredients-soybeans and water! I use WestSoy and Trader Joe's Brands)
- 2 Tbsp. Commercial Vegan Soy Yogurt (Coconut yogurt, almond etc. DO NOT WORK. I use Silk Soy Yogurt)
- OR 1 Packet Vegan Yogurt Starter such as Bella and Bella or vegan REAL Yogurt by Cultures for Health
- OR the contents of One 25 Billion CFU Probiotic Capsule such as New Rhythm
- Grab two clean pint jars.
- Option 1) Measure 1 Tbsp. Commercial Vegan Soy Yogurt (no subs.) into the bottom of each pint jar. Pour Plain Soy Milk (also no subs.) to fill both pint jars evenly. Mix well.
- Option 2) Pour 1 packet Vegan Yogurt Starter OR dump the contents of 1 Probiotic Capsule (25 Billion CFU) into 1 Quart Plain Soy Milk. Shake well!!! Pour into the two pint jars
- If using an Instant Pot: Place both jars in clean Instant Pot, close instant pot lid and vent and turn on Yogurt setting for 12+ hours*
- If using Slow Cooker: Line slow cooker with a thick tea towel folded over multiple times (or just use several!) turn on WARM setting and set timer for 12 hours* Don’t put the lid on the slow cooker! Even the warm setting is too hot and will kill your culture!! Just cover your jar with a paper towel.
- When yogurt has finished culturing, remove jars (do not stir!!) and place in Refrigerator for 6-12 Hours. Now serve your amazing yogurt with fruit syrup or jam mixed in for sweetener or use plain in cooking/baking!!
There are some Amazon affiliate links in the post above! If you purchase through these links I receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thanks! Please know that I ONLY link products that I recommend and would/have used myself!!