Homemade soy yogurt you can endlessly enjoy from the comforts of your kitchen.
So everybody has that one animal food that made it hard to be plant-based. It’s the food that, prior to veganism, they would declare “I could never go vegan because I just like -blank- too much” or “I just couldn’t live without -blank” or “-blank- is apart of my daily life, how could I give it up?” This food is usually different for everyone. For some its cheese, for many it’s bacon, but for me it was yogurt.
Before altering my diet it was safe to say I was obsessed with Greek yogurt. Now that I actually say that out loud I realize how ridiculous it sounds. Like who dreams about greek yogurt? But something about its richness and slight sourness combined with the smooth custard-like texture had me addicted.
Store bought vegan yogurts left much to be desired in my taste. Some were just too rich and some just made my skin crawl. So after some pinteresearch (research via Pinterest, can we make that a thing?) I found that you can make your own yogurt! And it takes only two-ingredients. How is this not the most popular thing ever?! I knew I had some experimenting to do.
I tried the same process with three different milks I found in the non-refrigerated section of my supermarket. But the only one I found success with is soy milk. I was inspired by this video that showed me how to make a basic soy yogurt. The end product is your regular yogurt. Slightly sour and quite runny. From there, I turned it into the Greek yogurt lusciousness pictured above.
What I love about this homemade yogurt
Out of all the grocery store yogurts, this tasted the least artificial. If you are averse to soy products or hate the taste then I wouldn’t make yogurt out of soy milk. The “soy taste” doesn’t disappear with fermentation. You definitely taste it but I enjoy the taste so this was perfect for me. I also love that I have supreme control over how sweet the final product will be.
The process is super simple. Like a slow cooker promo you just set it and forget it. The only kicker here is that it takes three days. So this post should’ve been titled Easy Vegan Yogurt with 2 Ingredients and 3 Days. I apologize if you thought this post would be your one step away from vegan yogurt creaminess, but alas fermentation is a process!
One of my favorite qualities of this process is how easy and minimal it is. By having the probiotic do all of the dirty work you can have yogurt without using any slow cookers, instant pots, or ovens. And the supplies needed are commonly found in a typical kitchen. A mixing bowl, whisk, fine mesh sieve, coffee filter or cheesecloth, and storage container are all you need.
Although the process is easy I am going to repeat it here just to clear up any troubleshooting issues. The main issues involve your ingredients so I separated them below.
Your Soy Milk
For starters, you need a certain kind of soy milk. Brands I have tried are Westsoy and Trader Joes Organic Soy Milk. The key with these two are that they only contain two ingredients, soybeans and water. Gums and thickeners inhibit the growth of bacteria in these milks that give you that tangy flavor. So, yes, that means commercial almond milks, cashew milks, or rice milk won’t work. They won’t thicken and will be a big waste and disappointment. Ive tried it and am still sour about it, so I advise against trying this. I’ve already been through the emotional hardship for you.
One thing to note here is that not all probiotics are created equal. Some are meant for men/women/kids. I don’t know the actual differences between these, but if your box of probiotic capsules says things like “promotes vaginal health” maybe search for a more basic daily probiotic.
My grocery store has a fancy pants health market section where all the gluten-free, vegan mock meats and vegan “dairy” products are located. This I where I found my probiotic. Some stores had it refrigerated and some stores didn’t. I used Nature’s Way Fortify Daily Probiotic, 50 Billion Active Cultures which I found at most of my local grocery stores. However, a popular one is the Renew Life Daily Probiotic that has worked for others.
Another note here is that probiotics aren’t cheap. They aren’t outrraegeoulsy expensive, but it may be a surprise to some. Luckily though, you only need one capsule and proper timing in order to have endless soy yogurt. Which I will detail in the process below.
The Yogurt Process
This couldn’t be easier
Step 1: Open your soy milk carton. Take one probiotic capsule and twist it carefully to open it. Pour the powder into the carton of milk. Cap the carton and give it a good shake.
Step 2: Do Not Refrigerate! Fermentation happens in a warm, dry area. Leave this carton in a temperate area that isn’t too hot or too cold. Wherever you would put a rising yeasted dough would be a good place.
Step 3: Wait. For three days.
Step 4: On the third day give your carton another shake and open your soy milk. Tadaa! You have yogurt! Here is where you want to refrigerate the yogurt. Make sure to reserve two tablespoons of the yogurt and pour it into another soy milk carton and it works just like the probiotic capsule. In three more days you will have the same yogurt you got with the original probiotic.
So if there was a possibility that you could only buy one capsule then you could have yogurt indefinitely. Perhaps you could split the cost of the bottle between friends, and each person gets their own little yogurt starting tablet. However, if your friend group isn’t passionate about vegan yogurt, you may have to foot this bill alone.
If you want a Greek-style yogurt continue.
Step 5: Take a strainer and place it over a bowl. Either use a double layered cheesecloth, or I like to use a coffee filter. Pour in your soy milk and let it set for up to four hours or overnight. Check back often if you don’t want it to thicken too much.
Step 6: Scrape your yogurt out of the coffee filter or cheesecloth and place in an airtight container for storage in the fridge. From here you can flavor it to your liking, sweeten it to your hearts content, and enjoy as you please. You just made yogurt!
What to do with this Yogurt
This yogurt, with its thick texture is perfect alone in yogurt parfaits, with herbs + cucumber in tzatziki sauce, and even as sour cream on baked potatoes. I’ve also tried this as a base in some vegan cheeses and it adds a great tanginess. Anywhere you would normally use Greek yogurt would be a good place to put this vegan Greek yogurt.
This post made me wonder, What is that one food that is hard to give up or was hard to give up when you went vegan? Let me know in the comments below.
- 1L carton Soy Milk
- 1 capsule Probiotic
- sweetener of choice (optional)
- Uncap your carton of soy milk. Twist open the probiotic capsule or just throw the pill into your milk carton. Give it a good shake and place it on your counter in a temperate area that isn't too warm or cold.
- Leave it alone for three full days. If you placed your probiotic into the milk on Monday. On Thursday is when you can use it.
- After the third day, shake your carton and open it to reveal plain yogurt. I like to pour it into an airtight container and give it a whisk to ensure its smoothness. From here you want to refrigerate the yogurt. Reserve two tablespoons of the prepared yogurt for your next carton.
- For Greek yogurt: Place a fine mesh sieve over a deep bowl. Line the strainer with either a coffee filter or double lined cheesecloth. Pour in your yogurt and let strain for 4 hours or overnight. You can strain either at room temperature or in the refrigerator if you have room.
- Once your desired thickness is reached store your yogurt in an airtight refrigerator for up to a month.