Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homemade Dairy Free Yogurt

Okay, there's plenty of homemade yogurt recipes out there, and there's some good ones, too.  My biggest complaint though, has been that it comes out like a drink instead of like yogurt.  I don't mind my yogurt being a little runny, totally fine with it actually.  But the yogurt was not thickening at all.  I know this is a common thing for dairy-free yogurts...but I want to eat my yogurt, not drink it.  So, I've been on a quest to solve this, so recipes already address this with gelatin or starches.  For me, the gelatin made it too firm, too much like jello, and the starches made it too snotty...yes, I'm being picky here I know.  So, I went unconventional here for yogurt making and I added my flour blend, and you know what? It worked, at least for me and my family.  So, it may be weird, but I really like my yogurt, so I don't care. :)  This should work with any dairy-free milk, I've only tried it with So Delicious Coconut Milk and Silk Almond Milk (and I use the original flavors, not the unsweetened...you need sugar for those little buggars to eat and ferment), but not with anything else yet.

Some pointers:  for me, it was totally worth it to buy a yogurt maker (I got mine 50% at a local store, so that didn't hurt either), it was also a necessity to buy a yogurt starter--my yogurt just turns out better now, so that was worth the money, too.  Also, these are live cultures you have in your yogurt, so even in the fridge they are consuming things, so don't be surprised if you're yogurt gets thinner over time--it's breaking done the proteins, starches, etc in the flour, which will make it thinner.

Homemade Yogurt
6 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk, or 4 1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk and 1 can full fat coconut milk (use this blend if you want a creamier, thicker yogurt--use the other one if you want a low cal option)
1/4 cup + 2T sugar or 1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup GF flour blend
1/2 teaspoon GI ProHealth GI ProStart Yogurt Starter

Sterilize your yogurt containers and set aside. In a large saucepan mix the flour and sugar, stir in the milk.  Heat over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture beings to bubble and it thickens.  Once it has thickened, remove from heat and allow it to cool to 100-110F. Add a spoonful of the milk mixture to the yogurt starter and mix, then add it all back into the thickened milk mixture.  Pour the mixture into the yogurt containers and set them in the yogurt maker.  Allow the yogurt to ferment for 12 hours.

This will yield 8 individual 6-7oz yogurts, and they will be plain yogurt.  You will need to add fruit, honey, etc to flavor and sweeten the yogurt.  With this batch we've been adding our homemade raspberry jam, and it works really well. Also, if you have these popsicle molds, you'll suddenly have homemade gogurts...we freeze ours and it makes for healthy yogurt pops. :)
This post is featured on Allergy Friendly Friday.

6 comments:

  1. Can I use some amount of an established yogurt as the starter? I found some almond yogurt at Whole Foods this weekend and thought that would work. But I really wanted to make my own because the store bought was so expensive!
    Thanks!

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    1. You can try, as long as the yogurt says it has live cultures in it it should be able to work. Try adding ~1/4 cup in place of the yogurt starter that I have in my recipe. Let me know if it works. :)

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  2. Is there a way to make it without sugar? I can't have any sugar or dairy!

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    1. Is it just refined sugar? The bacteria need sugar of some sort to grow and ferment the milk. You can try honey, agave syrup, or coconut sugar instead. For the honey and agave start with 2 tablespoons, increase to a 1/4 cup if you aren't getting good fermentation. The coconut sugar you should be able to substitute one for one with the white sugar. Let me know if this helps!

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  3. I'm excited to try this!Going to shop for a maker this week!! So frustrated now that I'm dairy and egg free, along with being gluten free!!

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    1. Michelle, I feel your pain. I've been GF, DF and EF for almost 3 years now. I promise, it does get better. I'm so anxious to make my own yogurt. Good luck with everything!

      Valerie
      www.hippiebydefault.blogspot.com

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