Yogurt, Dairy-Free, Version 1


I used to make dairy yogurt as a teenager with one of those plug in yogurt kits. Later I learned I didn’t need a kit, I just needed a warm space to let the yogurt culture grow. Recently I discovered I had a dehydrator option on my oven which is ideal for yogurt making. Inspired by Miyoko Schinner‘s yogurt recipe in her Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook I started making yogurt again. Miyoko’s recipe uses soy or almond milk blended with cashews. After making her recipe I decided to try almonds instead of cashews. They are slightly different, both delicious!

4 cups unsweetened non dairy milk (soy or almond) – make your own almond milk
2/3 cup raw almonds (or cashews)
3 tablespoons non dairy unsweetened yogurt or probiotic powder from about 6 capsules
1. Soak almonds (or cashews) for 4 hours or more in water. I put the almonds in a jar soaking in water and put it in the refrigerator. If I leave them for 24 hours or more, I will change the water.
2. Preheat oven on dehydrator setting of 110oF (if you have this option).
3. Drain almonds (or cashews) and place in a bowl. If using almonds, with your hands, slip off the brown skins from each almond. This may seem tedious, but it doesn’t take long and I think it is worth the time. Blanched almonds may be used instead which already have the skins removed.
4. Blend almonds (or cashews) by pulsing in a food processor or blender. Add about a cup of the nondairy milk and continue to process until smooth and creamy. Pour into a pot with the rest of the nondairy milk. Stir well.
5. Cook over medium heat. Using a food thermometer, cook the non dairy milk until it reaches 170oF. Once the milk starts to heat up you will need to stir it regularly to prevent it from sticking and to make sure it doesn’t boil over. I prefer to heat the milk to this temperature first in order to kill any unwanted bacteria that might be lurking about before growing my yogurt culture. Remove from heat and cool to 110oF.
6. Once at 110oF, add in the yogurt and mix well.
7. Transfer milk to a very clean, glass bowl or jars and cover. Place in oven. Or – if you do not have a dehydrator option on your oven, place the yogurt in a warm place. You can heat the oven to 200oF and set the yogurt on the stove top which will be warm or just wrap it in a towel and keep away from drafty spaces. Let sit for 8 hours or more. The longer you leave it, the tangier it will get.
8. Store yogurt in the refrigerator.
9. REMEMBER to save 3 tablespoons to start your next batch.

  4 comments for “Yogurt, Dairy-Free, Version 1

  1. Is it advisable to use a “commercial” almond-milk yogurt (e.g., Kite Hill plain or vanilla flavor) for the starter?

    Thank you so much for this site; I’m a diabetic lactose-intolerant Jew always looking for dairy-free alternatives, and your site is wonderful!

    • Hi Anna, Yes, you can use a store-bought yogurt. Make sure it is unsweetened. I like Forager Project Cashewgurt or Nancy’s Cultured Soy Yogurt. I prefer my newer yogurt recipe, just using almonds, water and starter: https://responsibleeatingandliving.com/yogurt-dairy-free-version-2/ I am glad you like the site. Feel free to email me with any questions that may come up at: info@realmeals.org. Have you seen our Jewish Holiday recipes? They are all vegan and dairy-free: Chopped Liver, Gefilte Fish, Challah (egg-fee; wheat and gluten-free versions), Hamantashen and Sweet As Honey Cake (wheat and gluten-free versions). – Caryn

    • Yes you can use Probiotic capsules. I would open the capsules and pour the power into the warm milk in place of stirring in the yogurt. The amount is tricky because not all probiotics are the same. I would start with 2 – 4 capsules and see how that works.

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