Homemade, vegan, soy yogurt

Okay, I have a salton yogurt machine. It’s just a plastic bucket with a heating element that *very* slowly heats and warms a bucket of yogurt.

So at the co-op, it appears that the nation’s biggest soy yogurt company has production problems or is out of business altogether. So here I am, making my own.

To make vegan yogurt, you need a high protein fake milk. So that pretty much limits you to Eden’s high protein soy milk, which is 12 grams per serving. If you use anything else with less protein, to get it to solidify, you’ll have to thickeners as if it were a sauce (starches, agar agar, gums, etc). I haven’t tried thickeners. If I want to make a vegan custard pie, I’d do that. (Hmm, that gives me an idea, how about vegan-yogurt-custard pie?)

So I made this once and it came out closer to yogurt than kiefer. When I use cows milk, I never know what I will get, sometimes I get yogurt flavored milk, sometimes Kiefer (runny yogurt), sometimes solid, custard-like yogurt.

Some general yogurt tips:

Don’t forget to heat the milk first. Too cold and the bacteria take forever to multiply.
Don’t overheat the bacteria. If it is really hot it kills the bacteria.
Use 1/2 cup of yogurt from the store as a starter. Pick the yogurt with the most different kinds of bacteria listed. I used a brand that listed 6 species of bacteria. If one can’t survive and thrive, maybe one of the others can.
I ran the yogurt machine for about 8 hours before refrigerating the yogurt overnight.

If you are using a plastic Salton yogurt machine, you might want to cover the machine with a cloth bag, or enough towels to surround it. I figure that during the winter, the machine could use some extra insulation. I imagine in the summer it isn’t so important since the ambient temperature is already close to the right temperature.

Cost wise, this is much cheaper than almond or coconut yogurt and probably at least competitive or cheaper than store bought soy yogurt, which I mentioned before, is strangely absent from the shelves.

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