Homemade Vegan Yogurt, more Tips and Tricks
In my first post, I explained in detail how to make homemade vegan yogurt from scratch.
You can see that post Homemade Vegan Yogurt. Yes, You CAN Do It Yourself! You´ll see that making yogurt from scratch is rewarding and kind of addicting! You may soon find yourself searching for better ways and places to make your homemade vegan yogurt!
Locations and Alternate Ways of making Vegan or Regular Yogurt
If you find another location, besides your oven, that works well for you, go for it!
I’ve recently discovered that while our wood stove is roaring, or even just burning nicely, I can place my yogurt on top of a couple of cast iron Dutch ovens to achieve a good incubating temperature. You want to keep the incubating yogurt at around 110 degrees F for 6-8 hours or more. I sometimes go longer, and it just produces a more tart yogurt. (Last time I made it, I left it on the wood stove all night and it was still fine, even after a total of about 18 hours. It was a little more tangy, but not bad).
A crock pot to heat the milk, then turned off and wrapped with a towel also does nicely for making vegan yogurt. Small is best.
I have made yogurt on the top of a very low heating pad, wrapped in a towel.
Placing your pot inside a small cooler, and closing up, will maintain your temperature.
A thermal shopping bag can be used to keep your yogurt at an even temperature also, much like the cooler.
My mom used to have a machine for incubating the yogurt (this was in the 80’s, Guys!) in little cups. We thought it was really cool, and it was. They still make those, so if that would make it easier, then use one of those.
Old wood cookstoves used to have proofing ovens built right in. These were small chambers for proofing bread, and if you use a wood cook stove, then you have the perfect spot for incubating vegan yogurt!
The new and easiest way to make yogurt (if you have grid power, which I do not) I just learned about: the InstaPot!! Instant Pots/InstaPots have a built in feature for making yogurt, so all you have to do it dump on in and set the settings.
Did you know that your Bread Machine also has this feature? Here are instructions for making yogurt in your bread machine in little jars!
And if you own an Excalibur Food Dehydrator, you can set it to incubate your yogurt too! Here are instructions, or just look in your manual for the Excalibur! You can make these right in your quart, pint, or individual serving jars! Once we have reliable power, I may switch to this method!
I have listed these various methods to show you that you can use what you have! I would not go out and buy new equipment to make homemade vegan yogurt! Some of these methods may be less guess work, but, honestly, it’s really easy just using the low-tech way that people have used for hundreds of years!
Straining Your Homemade Vegan Yogurt
Once you’ve incubated the yogurt, you often have to strain it to get it to the consistency that you desire. It’s not going to look like Yoplait coming out of your pot or jar.
I don’t always strain it. Sometimes mine will turn out thicker, and sometimes it’s quite watery and has separated with a lot of whey. I don’t worry about that.
Don’t throw away that whey! It’s very healthy—loaded with probiotics that are very good for the gut and brain.
I use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the yogurt when I want just the thick part. I don’t strain all of the whey out, because then it’s too thick for my tastes. I strain most of the whey, then mix it all together to make it creamy.
I keep the whey in a jar, and oftentimes I will drink that like water instead of taking a probiotic pill. Maintaining a healthy gut micro biome is extremely important. I’ve struggled with yeast at times, so I know my body can use all the help it can get in the way of probiotics. *See note below on yeast.
Whey is what is left once you’ve strained your yogurt. It’s clearish yellow. Whey is loaded with live cultures!
The whey tastes a little tart, but not as sour as lemonade. Of course, that will depend on how long you incubate your yogurt! You can get used to it.
If you don’t like to drink the whey, you can use it in smoothies, dressings, hummus, and recipes.
I do not recommend cooking or baking with it. Why? Because of you heat it, you will kill the beneficial probiotics, and won’t be doing yourself any favors. So just use it in fresh recipes where the tangy flavor won’t overpower the other flavors.
Same for the yogurt. Keep it raw!
*I am including a link to a quick post on eating yogurt as a way to assist with kicking vaginal yeast infections (which I have done a LOT!). Apparently, the probiotic cultures do not colonize the vagina unless placed inside the vagina (that would be inserting yogurt or probiotic capsules). Here is that blog post, includng the references. The explanation is that the gut and the vagina are not connected. However, there is a condition where the body is overrun with yeast systemically, where I believe the probiotics do help.
Eating yogurt is not going to hurt you if you have yeast somewhere in your body, but it’s just good to know your objective. It’s very good for the gut flora.
If you want to use your homemade vegan yogurt in recipes, keep it raw! Many dressings, dips, smoothies, desserts and drinks can be made with vegan yogurt.
Just for fun, here are a few recent recipes using yogurt (vegan or regular) that are raw and interesting. I found them on the WordPress Reader!
There is a whole new world of possibilities if you can master the art of good homemade vegan yogurt!
If you don’t succeed the first time, no problem! Even seasoned yogurt makers have flops, which they turn into something!
Just have fun, play around, and feel free to ask any questions you think of.
Reminder that the instructions for making homemade vegan yogurt can be found at this link!