Greek Style Soy Yogurt

It’s NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. For the month of November, I’m going to post every day. This is day 16 – over the hump!

Ever since going off of dairy, I’ve really missed yogurt. I always went for the plain yogurt, preferably unsweetened. The tarter the better, as far as yogurt was concerned. I was so happy when Greek yogurt became more readily available as it’s so deliciously thick and tart. European style yogurts? Bring it on. I also frequently used yogurt in recipes, instead of sour cream, or to provide that sourness sometimes needed to balance out the flavors.

soy yogurt

One day several years ago we came across an old yogurt maker for $1 at a thrift store and I couldn’t resist. After that I started making yogurt on a regular basis. I experimented with different starters, but eventually settled on the starter packs that The Cheese Queens sells. They’re very convenient, and you can store them in the freezer so you always have yogurt starter on hand. If you don’t want to use the packets, you just need a small amount of store-bought cultured yogurt to make your own batch. On Sunday evenings I would whip up our yogurt for the week. It took less than 10 minutes and we’d have 5 jars of fresh, tangy, home-made yogurt. Delicious and economical. When I discovered that I can’t digest dairy, I pushed my yogurt maker to the back of a cabinet, not yet ready to discard it.

Periodically I’ll see a new brand of dairy-free yogurt in the store and will optimistically give it a try. Typically they range from horrendous to barely palatable. No, these just won’t do. Then I came across a recipe for homemade soy yogurt and a light-bulb went off in my head.

soy yogurt

Soy yogurt is not much different to make than dairy yogurt, and I already had the yogurt maker! My dairy-free life has changed. Thick tangy yogurt has returned, and now it’s dairy-free! No more store-bought yogurt with un-pronounceable thickening agents that make me gag.

Soy Yogurt
makes 1 qt. 

2/3 c. raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
4 c. plain, unsweetened soy milk
3 Tbsp. dairy free yogurt (I like Co-Yo, a coconut milk based product. You can also use So Delicious or another brand, just make sure it’s cultured)

1. Drain and rinse cashews. Combine cashews and 1 c. of soy milk in blender. Blend until smooth.
2. In saucepan combine this cashew-milk with remaining soy milk. Heat over medium, stirring frequently.
3. When mixture reaches 110 F, take off of heat. If you do not have a thermometer, a drop of the milk should feel warm on the inside of your wrist, but not burning. Do not let it go above 120 F.
4. Stir in yogurt starter until dissolved.
5. Place yogurt into yogurt maker.
6. Let sit in yogurt maker for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
7. Remove from yogurt maker and place in fridge.
8. Save 3 Tbsp. of yogurt for your next batch!

This already has the tart flavor of Greek yogurt. To make it even thicker, you can strain out some of the liquid in a coffee filter or fine mesh colander lined with cheesecloth. Even without straining, I find it to be thick and creamy, like Greek yogurt.

If you do not have a yogurt maker, an oven with the pilot light on, or a thermos or cooler can work. A warm sunny window with the yogurt wrapped in dishtowels can also work. The goal is to keep the yogurt around 100-110 F for at least 4 hours. The longer it sits, the more tangy it will become.



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