If you love eating yogurt but are on a vegan diet, a restricted diet or you’re allergic to dairy, you can still consume vegan yogurt that is made from non-dairy milk. Whatever the reason may be, with a little bit of care and with ingredients available in your kitchen, you can make vegan yogurt.
But the question is, how do you make vegan yogurt without a starter? You may be quite confused by this. Well, you can make consistent and creamy vegan yogurt and you can do it without a starter, too. In this article, we will discuss in-depth how to make vegan yogurt without a starter.
Here are the steps by which you can make a vegan yogurt without using a starter.
The days of simply using soy milk as a non-dairy alternative are long gone. Today, when you walk through the non-dairy or vegan aisle of the supermarket, you will be quite overwhelmed with the choices you have. You can choose from a plethora of options — from original, unsweetened, organic, vanilla and chocolate of soy, coconut, oat, almond, hemp, and rice milk.
Try and opt for organic milk because this is free of GMOs and pesticides, especially in the case of soy. If you want plain yogurt, then go in for unsweetened milk. If you want less flavor than vanilla, then you can opt for original milk.
Soy milk is the only plant milk that is high in protein, having around 8 grams per serving and so, it is the only milk that will curdle to a large extent. The second best non-dairy milk that offers the best-curdled flavor is oat milk, which has around 4 grams of protein per serving. Hemp and rice milk contain a lower amount of protein, around 1 gram per serving and compared to almond and coconut milk, they are higher in calories.
You could also consider using a combination of all these types of milk.
There are several options of thickeners that can work and probably you already have some of them in your kitchen. You can use arrowroot, agar-agar, flaxseed, tapioca flour, guar gum, xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, soy and soy lecithin granules as thickeners.
You can add flavors, fruits or sweeteners of your choice. As the milk cools, add the flavor and blend it well. If you’re using frozen fruit, use fruit that is at room temperature or maybe even slightly warmed. But, if you want your yogurt plain, then you can skip the flavoring completely.
Yogurt is fermented and this is what gives it its tart taste and creamy texture and vegan yogurt is not any different. In order to make yogurt and initiate the fermentation, bacteria must be added to the milk. For the best results, you should buy a culture which can grow in plant-based milk and there are several vegan varieties available that deliver great results.
You can also make use of a probiotic capsule with the non-dairy milk that can give similar results as using a commercial culture. However, adding too much can result in a bitter and soupy flavor. You can also use a vegan yogurt that is store-bought of a similar flavor and add it to the non-dairy milk.
Once you have added the bacteria culture to the non-dairy milk, it must set for around 6-8 hours in a warm environment, ideally at around 110o. The thickness of yogurt, as well as its tartness, increases with time and so, if you don’t want either, then you must remove it earlier. You can use a yogurt maker to set your yogurt in and buying one with an automatic shut-off can be very convenient.
If you don’t want to invest in a yogurt maker, then you can simply set the yogurt in your oven and keep time with your alarm clock. You can simply turn on the light of your oven and cover the yogurt with a cloth.
However, the yogurt may take longer to set this way because the temperature is not as warm and the bacteria will not propagate as quickly. The setting time may need to be increased to around 9 hours; however, beyond this, the yogurt will turn yeasty and very sour.
Once the yogurt is set, put it into an air-tight container and refrigerate. Refrigeration will halt the culturing process. As the yogurt cools in the refrigerator, it will continue to thicken.
When you are making vegan yogurt, you may sometimes find that the yogurt is not thick enough and there are many reasons for this.
However, whatever is the reason for failure, as long as your vegan yogurt tastes fine, you can still eat it. Just bring it to boil again and add some more thickener to it and then allow it to cool and refrigerate it. Now that you know how to make vegan yogurt without a starter, you can gain the probiotic health benefits of your vegan yogurt whenever you want.