It sounds crazy I know, but trust me it’s pretty darn good. I’m sure you are wondering a) what possessed me to make my own yogurt, b) especially vegan yogurt and c) out of OAT MILK!
I’ve been a vegetarian for over two years now, and I also try to follow a vegan diet (although not strictly…my website is exhibit A of that fact). I do like yogurt and all of it’s health benefits, but buying vegan yogurt is EXPENSIVE, so I decided to try making my own!
Ok, so why oat milk? Well protein content is really what gives yogurt it’s thick texture, so you need to use a non-dairy milk that has protein. Rice, almond and coconut milk are very low in protein. You would have to add a lot of other stuff to it (like starches, gums, etc) to get it nice and thick. Soy is the only non-dairy milk that comes close to the protein content of regular milk, but a lot of people have soy alergies, so I wanted to try something different. Then I discovered oat milk. It’s not quite as high in protein as regular milk, so I still have to add some starch to get it just right, but it comes out really good.
Lastly, if you are wondering why I’m posting a yogurt recipe on a baking blog…well a lot of cake recipes often call for yogurt, like this Vegan Chocolate Bundt Cake or Allergen-Free Lemonade Cake (I highly recommend both of these cookbook authors by the way).
Making the yogurt:
The most important thing you need when making your own yogurt is the culture (a.k.a. your starter). I use Cultures for Health vegan yogurt starter and have had very good success. I have also heard of people using a store bought vegan yogurt as their starter, but I haven’t tried that yet. Using a yogurt maker, which is really just an incubator, like the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker (it is what I have) will also make things a lot easier. If you don’t have a yogurt maker I’ve heard of people putting the yogurt into a container and then into a cold oven with just the oven light on. The heat from the light will supposedly keep it warm enough to incubate the yogurt, but that is also still on my list of things to try.
Today I will walk you through my basic yogurt recipe. I use Pacific Natural Foods Organic Oat Beverage (if you are feeling really adventurous you could even make your own oat milk). The first thing you need to do is bring the oat milk to a boil.
Next turn off the heat and slowly add tapioca starch one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly as you add it. This is important otherwise the tapioca will clump up start to gel and you’ll end up with some nice tapioca pearls in your yogurt. Once all the Tapioca has been added you can then add the xanthan gum as well.
Remove it from the heat and add the sugar and vanilla (unless you want plain yogurt, then leave it out). For a smoother finish you can also process the yogurt in your blender for 15-30 seconds once it has cooled down a bit. Set the yogurt aside and allow to cool to about 105°F, this usually takes about an hour. While waiting for the milk to cool turn on the yogurt maker to preheat the jars.
Once it has cooled to 105°F it’s time to add the packet of yogurt starter. For the best results use a thermometer to check the temperature. If you add the culture while the milk is too hot it will kill the starter, and if the milk is too cold the starter won’t activate. Mix the starter in very well then divide into your yogurt jars and place into the yogurt maker (with the lids off) for 7-9 hours. I often prepare the yogurt before bed so that it’s ready by morning.
Vegan Yogurt Recipe, Made with Oats!
- 4 cups (32 oz) oat milk
- 3 Tbsp tapioca flour also called tapioca starch
- 1 teas xanthan gum
- 3 Tbsp raw or vegan sugar
- 1 1/2 teas pure vanilla extract
- 1 packet Vegan Yogurt Starter I use Cultures for Health
Heat the oat milk in a saucepan over high heat until it begins to boil.
Turn off the heat and begin very slowly add the tapioca starch one tablespoon at a time. Be sure to whisk the milk constantly as you add the starch to avoid any lumps. Add the xanthan gum gradually stirring constantly as you add it as well.
Bring the milk back to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium and continue to boil for about 2-3 minutes whisking often.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla. For a smoother finish you can puree in a blender for 15-30 seconds.
Set aside and allow to cool to about 105°F, this usually takes about an hour. For the best results use a thermometer to check the temperature. If you add the culture while the milk is too hot it will kill the starter, and if the milk is too cold the starter won’t activate. If you don’t have a thermometer you can use the finger test: If it feels hot like a warm bath then you are good to go.
While waiting for the milk to cool turn on the yogurt maker to preheat the jars.
Add the packet of yogurt start to the milk mixture once it reaches 105°F. Mix well then divide into your yogurt jars and place into the yogurt maker (with the lids off) for 7-9 hours. I often prepare the yogurt before bed so that it’s ready by morning.
Once the yogurt is done put the lids on the containers and refrigerate immediately to stop the culture. It will thicken as it cools and will be ready to eat in about 4-6 hours.