Are you looking for a healthier way to enjoy a cool and creamy snack? The answer to your cravings lies in homemade plant-based yogurt! Whether looking to cut down on dairy intake, reduce refined sugars, or find a more sustainable way to enjoy food, this yogurt is the perfect option.
Plant-based yogurts can be made using natural ingredients such as nuts, seeds and plant milks. Start by soaking the desired ingredients in water overnight, then blend it into a paste with other ingredients and ferment it for several hours.
Not only is it delicious and nutritious, it’s surprisingly easy. Read on to learn how you can make delicious plant-based yogurt right in your very own kitchen!
Table of Contents
- Making Traditional Yogurt with Plants
- Dairy Free Yogurt Alternatives
- How to Make Plant Based Yogurt (Recipe)
- Nutritional Benefits of Plant Based Yogurt
- Flavor Your Plant Based Yogurt
- Frequently Asked Questions
Making Traditional Yogurt with Plants
Making traditional yogurt at home with plants is a viable option for those seeking to enjoy the probiotic benefits of yogurt without consuming milk products. There are two methods that can be used in order to make plant-based yogurt: fermentation and thickening.
Fermentation utilizes microorganisms such as Lactobacilli or Streptococcus thermophiles to convert sugar into lactic acid, which gives yogurt its tangy flavor and thickens it naturally. This method, while popular among yogurts made with animal milk, is versatile and can be applied to plant substitutes such as coconut milk or almond milk. The downside of using this method is that it requires special equipment that may not be available in all homes.
The other method of making plant-based yogurt is thickening. This involves adding thickeners such as agar, cornstarch or gelatin to any desired plant liquid so as to obtain a texture similar to traditional yogurt. While this method does not provide the same probiotic benefits as fermentation, it is an easy and cost-effective way to make yogurt with plant sources and typically does not require any special equipment.
Regardless of which method is chosen, there are both advantages and disadvantages to making traditional yogurt with plants. Those who choose to make their own yogurt will need to carefully weigh these factors according to their individual needs and preferences before making a decision.
With that said, whichever method is chosen must take into account the type of plant-based liquid being used in order for the finished product to turn out correctly. In the next section we will discuss how to select an appropriate plant source for making yogurt at home.
Selecting Appropriate Plants
When selecting appropriate plant-based ingredients for making delicious yogurt at home, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some traditional techniques make use of soy or almond milk as dairy alternatives, while others rely on alternative milks derived from oats, rice, or hemp. There are benefits to each type of plant-based yogurt base but what works best will depend upon individual needs and tastes.
For instance, those who may have a soy allergy or sensitivity should avoid using soy milk as a substitute. Those looking for a light and refreshing yogurt may find oats more therefore befitting than the heavier taste of almond or rice milk. Hemp milk can offer an interesting nutty flavor while hazelnut cream can provide a rich sweetness to the mixture that is otherwise difficult to achieve.
Beyond just the basic choice in milks, it is possible to experiment further with the addition of other plant based items such as coconut cream, cashews, chia seeds, or even avocado for an extra creamy texture. However, these additions must be done in careful moderation so as not to overpower the taste of the yogurt base.
Ultimately it is up to the individual cook to determine what combination of ingredients work best together in order to craft a customized creation. With a bit of practice, it is possible to turn vegan yogurt into a convenient and delicious treat with very little effort required. With all the options and possibilities before us, let us now move onto exploring how other non-dairy products can be used for making yogurt with delicious results.
Dairy Free Yogurt Alternatives
When selecting plants for making a delicious plant-based yogurt at home, dairy free alternatives to traditional yogurt are an awesome choice. Dairy free yogurt is available in many cuisines and is made from various alternative sources like nuts, seeds, and coconut.
Many people do enjoy the dairy-free options for their own dietary restrictions and health benefits. Coconut or almond milk replace cow’s milk in these recipes with just as much flavor. For example, cashew milk can be heated with thickening agents like tapioca starch or arrowroot starch to create a thick consistency comparable to yogurt. Nut based yogurt is jam packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals providing essential amino acids like lysine that are absent from plant proteins.
However, some argue that regular yogurt is not only easier to acquire but healthier when it comes to nutrition when compared to alternative plant-based yogurt options. Cow’s milk has a unique blend of vitamins and minerals not found in most non-dairy yogurts. It also offers higher levels of protein than other dairy-free alternatives.
Regardless of the argument, experimenting with dairy-free alternatives is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with all of the components needed for making delicious plant-based yogurt at home. Once you have selected your ideal plant ingredient, the next step is finding a natural liquid source that will serve as the base of your homemade yogurt recipe.
Natural Liquid Sources
Now that you’ve read and learned about dairy-free yogurt alternatives, it’s time to look into natural liquid sources that are necessary for making plant-based yogurt. You can use either an unsweetened plant or nut milk of your choice, such as coconut, almond or even hazelnut, as the base for your homemade yogurt. This can be further customized with other additives such as fruit juice, tea or coffee for added flavor
.The debate between which type of base is best is unresolved. Some argue that nut milks have a better flavor and thicker consistency than plant-based ones, while others believe that plant milks should be preferred because they are much lower in fat, calories and saturated vegan free. Ultimately, the decision will depend on personal tastes so experiment with both types and decide for yourself.
It's also important to remember to check the label when selecting a base ingredient as some brands contain extra sugars or additives that may affect the flavor of your end product. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a probiotic boost to your yogurt, you should select brands with active cultures listed on the ingredients list.
Each type of liquid has its own unique level of sweetness so it may require additional sweetening such as dates, honey or agave syrup before turning it into yogurt - this will depend on how sweet you like it.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the different natural liquid sources available to you, it's time to go one step further and start making your own plant-based yogurt!
How to Make Plant Based Yogurt (Recipe)
Making plant-based yogurt is a delicious and healthy way to get your probiotic fix, plus the variety of flavors and textures you can create are endless! To start off your plant-based yogurt journey, all you need is a handful of nuts or seeds, some natural liquid source(s), your favorite spices and add ins, plus an hour or two of your time and patience.
The most important aspect to making plant-based yogurt is not only selecting the right combination of nuts or seeds but also finding a suitable natural liquid source. Options such as nut milks, coconut milk, water and fruit juices all work great but will add different flavor notes to your final product so it is important to consider this when selecting which option best suits you. Nut milks contain soluble proteins which help thicken the creaminess while fruit juices bring more sweetness and tartness, so if you’re partial to creamy yogurt opt for the former while opting for the latter if you prefer something slightly sweet.
Make sure to always use high quality ingredients as this will yield a much better quality of product in the end. Also be sure to soak your nuts and seeds overnight before blending as this will help release their natural starches and give your yogurt that extra boost of creaminess.
All that is left now is to simply blend everything together in the morning with the spices, sugar (or sweetener) of your choice and wait patiently to enjoy your beautiful creation. Refrigerate over night and enjoy it for breakfast or snack the next day! With texture and subtle hints of sweetness from start to finish, you will find that transitioning away from dairy has never been easier.
Making plant based yogurt is massively rewarding in its customizability and nutrition - so what are you waiting for? Now that we have found our suitable liquid source, it's time to move onto the next step - soaking and blending our nuts and seeds. This process allows us to break down these hard components into creamy delicious milk which will be used later on in creating our delicious home made yogurt.
Soak and Blend the Nuts and Seeds
After following the recipe steps in the previous section it is now time to create the delicious base of your plant-based yogurt: nut and seed milk. In order to make this milk, nuts and seeds must first be soaked so they become more easily digestible. Soak raw nuts or seeds separately overnight in at least two cups of pure water per cup of nuts or seeds. After they’re done soaking rinse them off and place them in a blender with fresh water and your favorite flavoring (vanilla extract, dates, honey etc.). Then blend until smooth. If needed, strain out any excess milk using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth before transferring the milk to another container for further use in the recipe.
This technique takes some time and proper preparation but does have its advantages. The simple process of pre-soaking provides easier digestion for those with sensitivities or intolerance to certain foods. It also produces a creamier texture than traditional dairy products even in small amounts of nut milk which is important to maintain the desired consistency when making homemade yogurt. On the other hand, some drawbacks include the need to soak ahead of time as well as higher cost due to needing multiple types of nuts or seeds as opposed to traditional cow’s milk.
No matter which method is chosen to make plant-based yogurt, it’s sure to be a great tasting addition to any diet – vegan, vegetarian or not! With just a few simple steps easy-to-follow recipes you can create a balanced and nutritious snack or dessert that fits perfectly into a healthy lifestyle. Now that you've created your nut and seed milk, let's move on to discuss the nutritional benefits of plant based yogurt.
Making nut and seed milk to use as a base for plant-based yogurt requires pre-soaking of raw nuts or seeds in pure water, blending them with fresh water and flavoring, and then straining out any excess. Benefits of this recipe include easier digestion and creamier texture but have some drawbacks such as pre-soaking time and higher cost. Plant-based yogurts provide a nutritious snack for any diet. Having created the nut and seed milk, let's move on to discuss its nutritional benefits.
Nutritional Benefits of Plant Based Yogurt
After soaking and blending the nuts and seeds to make your homemade plant-based yogurt, it’s time to take a look at the nutritional benefits of this delicious dairy-free treat. Plant-based yogurts typically contain similar vitamins and minerals to traditional yogurt, with fewer calories and saturated fat. This makes them a fantastic choice for those looking to increase their intake of plant-based proteins and healthy fats. Most plant-based yogurts are also free from cholesterol and lactose, making them ideal for individuals who may have trouble digesting dairy products.
In addition, some studies suggest that cashew-based yogurts may offer additional health benefits when compared to other plant-based varieties such as soy and coconut. For example, cashew based yogurt can provide essential fatty acids that offer antioxidant protection against oxidative stress, which has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. In addition, cashew yogurt is loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, J and B6 – all of which are important for good health.
When choosing a plant-based yogurt option from the store, look for added sugars or artificial sweeteners that provide unnecessary calories without providing any additional nutritional benefit. Keep in mind that even when it comes to “natural” sweeteners such as agave nectar or honey – these should still be consumed sparingly. When making your own plant- based yogurt at home you can get creative with spices and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or dates which add flavor without sacrificing vital nutrients.
Finally, when it comes to maximizing nutrient absorption from a spoonful of homemade Greek style yogurt – don’t forget to top off your bowl with fresh fruit! Adding fruit to your meal or snack can provide an abundance of beneficial vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A. Ultimately, creating a meal or snack combination that incorporates both plant-based sources of protein along with fresh fruits and vegetables will help ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs while enjoying a delicious treat!
Now that we have discussed the nutritional benefits of plant-based yogurt it's time to explore how we can transform our yogurt into something even more craveable by adding flavor!
Flavor Your Plant Based Yogurt
Once you have made your own delicious, nutritious yogurt using your chosen plant-based ingredients, it's time to get creative and add some flavor. There are a variety of ways to jazz up your yogurt that can make it even more delicious and enjoyable, as well as adding an extra boost of macro and micro nutrients. Flavoring your yogurt at home is a fun way to change up the flavor while still maintaining the health benefits of plant-based yogurt.
One of the most popular ways to flavor plant-based yogurt is with fresh or dried fruit. Chopped berries, cherries, bananas, peaches, figs, dates and raisins are all great additions that will add natural sweetness to your yogurt along with vitamins and antioxidants. Vanilla extract, honey and maple syrup can also be used for added sweetness if desired. For an added crunch opt for chopped nuts such as almonds or walnuts for extra protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Cinnamon is another popular flavor enhancer that not only tastes great but has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, you could add shredded coconut or chia seeds to your yogurt for further texture variety and additional fiber, iron or calcium depending on the seed or nut you choose.
Adding spices can also be a great way to elevate the taste of your homemade yogurt in addition to providing ample flavoring. Nutmeg, ginger powder, nutmeg and cardamom are classic choices that would work well with both sweetened and unsweetened yogurts while herbs like basil, oregano and dill could be used in savory recipes such as tacos or roasted vegetables served with a dollop of creamy yogurt on top. You could also opt for more global flavors such as ground turmeric or masala seasoning for curries and lentils that pair perfectly with cool yogurt on the side. Needless to say the possibilities for adding flavor to your homemade plant-based yogurt are truly endless!
Frequently Asked Questions
What ingredients are needed to make plant based yogurt?
The basic ingredients needed to make plant-based yogurt at home are plant-based milk, probiotic capsules or powder, agar powder, and a thickening agent such as tapioca starch. Plant-based milks can be made from soy, almond, oat, cashew, coconut, or other non-dairy sources.
Probiotics are necessary to give the yogurt its sour tangy taste and also help with the culturing process. Agar powder is a vegan alternative to gelatin used to thicken the yogurt. Finally, a thickening agent like tapioca starch will help thicken the mixture and provide a creamier texture.
What is the best method for making plant based yogurt?
The best method for making plant-based yogurt at home is to create a fermented milk base. This can be done by adding probiotic powder or capsules to plant milk, such as almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, etc. This will help inoculate the milk with beneficial gut-friendly bacteria that allow for fermentation and the yogurt to thicken.
After this initial fermentation period has completed, additional flavors can be added as desired, such as sweeteners, fruits, and extracts. As with regular dairy-based yogurt, this process will help ensure a smooth and creamy texture. Furthermore, using a vegan culture starter specifically formulated for plant-based yogurt can ensure consistent results every time.
Are there any special tools or equipment needed for making plant based yogurt?
Yes, there are some special tools or equipment needed for making plant-based yogurt. The most important tool is an approved food-grade yogurt maker. This appliance helps create the optimal temperatures and environment for promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in your yogurt.
Other essential items include a thermometer for measuring temperature accurately; containers for fermentation; dairy-free milk such as coconut, cashew, almond, or soy milk; probiotic capsules; and non-dairy cultures (such as soy, rice, or mung bean).
Depending on the type of plant-based yogurt you’re making, you may need additional ingredients such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, nut butter, fruits and nuts. Without these tools or ingredients, it might be difficult to create a delicious plant-based yogurt at home.