Yoghurt wasn’t something I missed that much when I stopped eating dairy: I had enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn’t a daily feature. As a result, I never made much of an effort to recreate the yoghurt experience—that is until recently, when I found vegan yoghurt in the supermarket and realised I could make my own using the store-bought one as a starter. Before then, to make strictly-vegan yoghurt, I’d have had to find a probiotic supplement—and honestly, since I don’t use probiotics, they’re expensive, and I don’t desperately need yoghurt in my life, I couldn’t be bothered.
However, times have changed: I can now easily find a dozen different vegan yoghurts in Cape Town stores, so why not? I used the coconut yoghurt with live cultures from Woolworths, but you can use any vegan yoghurt. Just make sure it has live cultures, otherwise it won’t work—some commercial products have added thickeners (such as xantham gum, cornstarch or even gelatine) to make them yoghurt-like, but no live cultures.
Once you’ve started your first batch of yoghurt, you won’t need to keep buying the starter yoghurt: just use your own yoghurt to start the next batch.
That’s it! There’s so much you can make with this: a simple breakfast with muesli and fruit; overnight chia pudding; or my fluffy Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins.
Don’t forget to keep a tablespoon of this batch aside to start your next batch…
Homemade Soy Yoghurt
- 1 litre soy milk1
- 1 tbsp vegan yoghurt with live cultures, at room temperature2
- Heat your oven to ~50 degrees C (warm, but not hot3).
- Wash and sterilise a one-litre glass jar by rinsing it with boiling water.
- Pour about a cup of soy milk into the jar, add the vegan yoghurt starter, and stir well.
- Add the rest of the soy milk and stir.
- Place the jar (without a lid, the yoghurt needs oxygen) in the warm oven.
- Leave for 7-10 hours without disturbing it.
- Remove once it’s thickened up, and let it cool before storing in the fridge.
- Try to find soy milk with a high protein content and no additives.
- If the yoghurt is too cold, the starter culture won’t be activated.
- If the oven is too hot, it’ll kill the yoghurt cultures.
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Can you use flavored yogurt to do this? It’s hard to find plain soy yogurt :-(. So keen to try this!
I haven’t tried using flavoured yoghurt—my guess is that the higher sugar content might affect the result. Try it out! Worst-case scenario, you’ll end up with thicker soy milk that you can use in muesli or to bake muffins (in place of ‘buttermilk’).