Friday, February 19, 2010

Almond Milk Yogurt - Version One

Yes, that is Nicco in the picture, trying to get a little almond milk yogurt so he can be a taste tester like his human father. Good thing we love that little fur ball.

Making non-dairy yogurt has been on my list of things to do for some time. Greek yogurt is one of the things that I really miss. My husband and I started making non-fat yogurt at home about 20 years ago. It was an every weekend event that resulted in enough yogurt to made breakfast sundaes for breakfast every day for the week. We both miss yogurt. I buy soy yogurt sometimes but it just isn’t the same. It is better than nothing, but not something either of us got excited about. I knew that soy yogurt probably wasn’t something that I wanted to make since I wasn’t thrilled with the commercial versions. I have been hoping that almond or coconut yogurt may be better.

When I saw a recipe for almond yogurt in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen I was thrilled to have a starting point for making yogurt. I read her recipe a few times and it just didn’t feel to me like it would result in something that was close to what we used to love. I took her recipe, made a few tweaks, and started the “non-dairy yogurt experiment two days ago”. The results…… will need to keep reading.

First I made a batch of almond milk, thicker than I usually make, but nowhere near as thick as Ani, and I strained mine which she doesn’t. I just couldn’t imagine the almond bits in the end product. After I made the milk I added lemon and the probiotic powder I bought to make nut cheese. I also added a little agave to give the probiotic something to eat. Then we waited, and waited, and waited for me to finish the experiment.

Almond Milk Ingredients:  (Makes 5 cups almond milk)

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
6 cups water

Yogurt Ingredients:

3 cups almond milk made from recipe above
1/8 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon agave
½ teaspoon probiotic powder (All flora brand)

Ingredients to thicken the yogurt:

1 cup almond milk (made earlier)
3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in the almond milk


Make the almond milk using the ingredients in this recipe. To three cups of the almond milk add the lemon juice, agave and probiotic powder and stir to dissolve the powder. Place the yogurt in a warm place to culture. I used my dehydrator set on 95 degrees. My yogurt cultured for about 8 hours. I checked it every few hours to see if I liked the taste. When it tasted like yogurt I removed it from the dehydrator.

The texture was far too thin so I refrigerated the yogurt overnight, hoping it would get thicker (which dairy yogurt does). No luck.

To thicken the yogurt I combined another cup of almond milk and three tablespoons or cornstarch and cooked it until it looked like a cooked roux (whisking continually). Once the starch had completely cooked I turned off the heat, add the cultured yogurt and whisked to combine. The resulting yogurt was very thick. Once it cooled I refrigerated this yogurt. In the frig it got even thicker and actually cracked on top. I whisked the yogurt so that it was smooth before serving.

Nutritional Information (assumes 4 servings of approx 9 ounces each):

Amount Per Serving
Calories-  64.89
Calories From Fat (43%) - 27.83

Total Fat - 3.01g
Saturated Fat - 0.01g
Cholesterol - 0.04mg
Sodium - 151.22mg
Potassium - 196.08mg
Total Carbohydrates - 7.96g
Fiber - 1.18g
Sugar - 0.09g
Protein - 1.06g


This tastes similar to soy yogurt, only better in my opinion. I am happy with the flavor of this. However this does take a while to make. I don’t know that I can reduce the time this process takes, but I am going to try. That is my project for this weekend.

Unrelated note:

Today’s experiment is raw cookies. I used the pulp from carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice and added nuts, coconut and a few dates. The cookies are in the dehydrator now. The “batter” tasted great before I put it into the dehydrator. Hopefully the dried version will also be good. My husband has always loved cookies. He loved them too much in fact. He is eagerly awaiting his taste testing responsibilities on this project. The cookies themselves are thick so I expect them to be in the dehydrator for a number of hours. I should have the results later tonight though.


  1. Sounds great...I'm definitely giving this a go this weekend.

  2. Rose,

    I am so glad you like the sound of it. It takes longer than I am happy with, but I do like the taste and texture so I guess I shouldn't complain.

    talk to you later,

  3. Very cool. Thanks so much for sharing. Can't wait to hear about the cookies. Bet they'd be great mixed in with the yogurt!

  4. This looks great! I'm wondering if you can use some of this for starter for your next batch like we've always done when making dairy yogurt? I really want to try this with coconut milk. Thanks for sharing all your work with us:)

  5. Heather,

    You are very welcome. I am going to try to make an almond milk Greek yogurt next. Hopefully that will happen this weekend. That is the plan.

    I can't wait to taste the cookies, and I don't normally like sweet things.


  6. Janet,

    I used to make dairy yogurt using some of my prior batch as starter too. Since this has been added to hot liquid to thicken it at least of the probiotics had to have died. That was something I was trying to avoid.

    When I make this again tomorrow the plan is to avoid the second heating. If that works you should be able to use a prior batch to make subsequent batches.

    I will keep you posted on the experiments.


  7. hi that was my anon comment (i think it was anon..)

  8. Michelle,

    I don't understand. Which comment were you referring to?


  9. Your yogurt sounds typically wonderful! :-) But it's the picture with Nicco's face hovering vulture-like just above the dish that I really love! LOL! Isn't it charitable of our critters to selflessly (and relentlessly) offer to taste-test our food in the hope of sparing us from ingesting anything that might be of sub-standard quality?) ;-) Did you crop this picture or take any that shows more of him stalking the yogurt? If so, you simply must share. (And you say you're not a wildlife photographer!) ;-)

  10. Lalo,

    Thanks, I think you will like the yogurt. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste which I think is better than the commercial soy varieties I have had.

    Nicco landed there just as I was taking the shot. I put him on the floor four times before I gave up. Every good pic had him hovering over the yogurt. He is such a little brat.

    This is the way the pic came out (not cropped) so I don't have any more of the little angel to share. LOL

    talk to you soon,

  11. I wish I had a way to make something like this--it sounds fabulous!


  12. Courtney,

    If you don't have dehydrator use your oven with the light on. It will be about the right temperature. Or, you can try placing the container of almond milk on a heating pad set to low and covering it with a couple of layers of clean towel (to hold the heat in). I have used both methods before to make dairy yogurt and it worked fine. You just need a little heat, not much.


  13. A good way to get naturally thicker vegan homemade yoghurt is to add some homemade rice or oat milk (made by cooking oatmeal or rice and blending it with water) to the base.

    Homemade soy yoghurt is a lot better than storebought! I find it weird that if I use Alpro soymilk to make soy yoghurt, it's much better than storebought Alpro soy yoghurt... and it's not just the freshness - there's just none of that soy "off-taste" that soy yoghurts sometimes have.

    Interestingly with the starter I use some soy milks make a very thin but sour yoghurt, but this Finnish store brand makes an extremely thick and barely at all sour, very delicious yoghurt.

    I have written an article about this:

  14. M.,

    Since I use oatmeal to thicken soy milk, I am not certain why I didn't try it with the yogurt. Thanks for the tip.

    Thanks for the link. I will check it out.


  15. Thanks so much for the tip on the heating pad--I want to give that a try! Is the probiotic strictly necessary? Or did you just add it for the probiotic benefits? I mean, it isn't acting as a starter or anything...or is it?!?


  16. Courtney,

    I did use the probiotic in place of yogurt starter. I don't know for certain, but I don't think the almond milk will taste like yogurt if you omit it. If you try that please let me know what happens.


  17. hi, did you know that the flora probiotic is not vegan? They put fish in the gelatin. It is really frustrating how many products get ruined with animal products. Right now I'm trying to find vit D2, but all I see is D3 everywhere.

  18. veganhomemaker,

    I bought the probiotic powder that is not in capsules (where the gelatin is found). The ingredient list is: fermented soy, jerusalem artichoke, apple, probiotic blend, rice flour and soy lecithin.

    It is good to know to check the version with the capsules though. My best friend is a pharmacist and has told me most capsules contain animal by-products.

    I think Dr. Fuhrman sells a brand of D2, you may want to check.


  19. Alicia, thank you so much for this almond milk yogurt recipe! I'm going to try making something based on it tomorrow - using my dehydrator as the yogurt maker.

    It *is* frustrating just how much animal product is sneaked into *everything. That's why we ended up starting our vegetarian beauty products review site..because I was frustrated at realizing just how much dead animal material there is in beauty products (like, did you know that not all Burts Bees products are vegetarian? We were *so* surprised to learn that!)

    Anyways, off to make almond milk yogurt! Wish me luck!


  20. Annie,

    Good luck with the almond milk yogurt. Mine tasted good, but took a long time. I haven't made another batch since but need to get back to this.

    The animal product thing is frustrating. I made the same assumption with Burts Bees until someone told me too. It is very difficult to avoid chemicals and animal by-products.


  21. i'm gonna try this with almond breeze original (refrigerated pack)

    i'm gonna use 6-oz mason jars and some wholesoy plain yogurt as the starter. (i wanted to try incubating it in a big pot in the sun. possibly in a water bath, but today is cloudy. bleh.)

    so i am going to use the heating pad that's made for growing seedlings. thanks for that thought! i never even entertained that thought until i read it in your comments. :-)

    will report back!

  22. supercarrot,

    Good luck with your yogurt. I will be very curious to hear how it turns out since you are using differnt ingredients.

    In the past I have also made dairy yogurt in a thermos when we were sailing. That is something else you can try.


  23. Thank you! That recipe sounds yummy. I will try it!


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