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When you make soymilk, it is very easy to make a few quarts of soy yogurt along with your milk and tofu. It is less fussy than dairy yogurt but a thermometer is very helpful.
Soy yogurt materials and supplies
- use plain regular fat soymilk (not low fat or flavored)
- jars and lids and stirring spoons should be dishwasher clean or scalded for best yogurt results. Finger germs can defeat yogurt.
- freshly made or aseptically packaged soymilk is pasteurized, so you don't need to boil it. You WILL need to have the starting temperature at 105-110 ° so you will cool freshly made milk or warm the newly opened milk.
- you can use one fourth cup of fresh regular dairy yogurt as a starter SO LONG AS the culture is alive (look for the phrase "live culture" on the box)
- Powdered yogurt starters (these are also dairy based).
- Plain, active soy yogurt. This would require a hookup from someone who is already making soy yogurt. Commercial soy yogurt sold in health food stores does not work for me; even those that state they contain active cultures seem to fail at home. The older the starter, the tarter the yogurt.
- You may be able to start by adding a teaspoon of non-dairy acidophilus with the sterilized spoon and mix. Check the ingredient label; some powders contain casein, a milk product, or other dry milk. This method has a failure rate; if it does not "set" the milk can still be used for cooking or baking.
- G.E.M. Cultures
30301 Sherwood Road
Fort Bragg, CA 95437 USA
- The culture will only thrive in a narrow temperature range, too cool and it won't be active, too hot and it dies.
- Get the milk to the right temperature. Best results with a thermometer. Don't stick your finger in; if you don't have a thermometer, a dab of the milk sprinkled from one of those scalded spoons will feel hot but barely tolerable on the inside of your wrist (hotter than a baby's bottle).
- You just mix the starter and the soymilk well and pour it into the jar or yogurt maker cups. For a yogurt making machine, use the same directions as for dairy yogurt.
- You don't need a yogurt maker if you have an oven that can reach roughly 100 - 105F (40 - 45C Max). My gas oven has a pilot light that was always on and was always that temperature when the oven was off. You mix starter and soymilk and put it into a glass (not plastic)container and leave it in the oven for 7-10 hours or so. Some electric ovens get that warm if the oven light bulb is left on overnight.
- Alternatively, you can make a hot water bath in an ice chest. The 110 degree water should come only to the bottom of the lid, above the milk level but not covering the jar lid.
- Or put the milk into a mason jar, wrap the jar in a blanket and
leave it in a warm place.
- Chill yogurt as soon as the yogurt gets firm (usually 7 - 8 hours)to keep the flavor mild. Save some yogurt to start your next batch. The longer you leave it, the more tart the flavor, and the older the starter (that is the number of times you recycle it) the sharper the flavor.
For Thicker Soy Yogurt
- You don't have to use gelatin to thicken the yogurt, you can use vegetable thickeners to achieve a thicker soy milk yogurt.
- Use a more concentrated soymilk to start.
- Adding Agar powder when cooking the soy milk will make a nice thick soy yogurt. Add one level teaspoon of Agar powder, which is premixed with 1/4 cup of water, about 10 minutes before it is finished cooking. This dissolves the Agar which is crucial.
- You can also use ribbon or stick Asian agar which comes in opaque, flat pieces from Asian grocery stores. Try using a piece about 1" square. You need to experiment for this, so make a note on how much you used and how thick it turns out. If you think it's still too thin, just a little more next time. Be careful though, it doesn't take much to thicken the yogurt more.
- You can also use "Kudzu" or corn starch as a thickener. Kudzu is Japanese arrowroot sold at health food stores, or
macrobiotic outlets. 1 tablespoon of Kudzu powder or cornstarch cooked with 2 quarts of soy milk is sufficient to thicken the yogurt.
I: Soy yogurt base: After making the soy yogurt, strain it by putting it in a coffee drip basket with a filter lining it, or a colander with a double lining of cheesecloth. Let it drip for 12 to 24 hours (put a dish under it). It will reduce in volume about 1/2 and thicken to be like sour cream with the right tangy, rich flavor. You can even cook with this, not just use it as a topping.
Tofu base: In a hurry? A mock sour cream can be made by blending:
8 oz. firm silken tofu,
3 Tbs. canola or safflower oil
1 tsp. sweetener of choice
3 Tbs. Lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
This is good over salad or potatoes, and a good use for a too-thin batch.
1 whole lemon, peeled and seeded
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon salt
pinch asfoetida or onion powder and garlic powder
2 cups soy yogurt, divided
Put the lemon, salt, seeds and seasoning. Add
some soy yogurt and start blending. Keep adding more soy yogurt as
the blender needs it to keep blending the sunflower seeds. Make it as thick or soupy as you prefer.
2 cups soy yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate*
One tsp. lemon juice
sweetener to taste
Ice cubes as desired
* The frozen orange juice can be replaced by other frozen concentrates, fresh or frozen strawberries, bananas or berries; crushed pineapple or combination.
For a breakfast shake you can add a few tablespoons of oatmeal, flax seed meal or sesame seed meal before the ice.
Combine all ingredients, except ice, in an electric blender. Blend until smooth. Add ice and blend another 15-30 seconds. Pour into glasses and enjoy.