Homemade Dairy-Free Yogurt

    Each batch makes seven, 5-oz servings.

    This recipe requires special equipment, a yogurt maker, and a food thermometer. They are not expensive and well worth the money and time if you would like to enjoy a full 5-oz serving of dairy-free yogurt! The benefit of this process is that the yogurt is actually cultured with the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt.

    570 g coconut milk, Thai Kitchen, unsweetened, full fat

    274 g almond milk, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, unsweetened

    3 g agar agar flakes, Eden Foods, crushed into powder

    26 g coconut milk-based yogurt, so delicious, vanilla flavor

    10–15 drops of vanilla flavor, Bickford

    Measure all ingredients on a gram scale. Pour the coconut milk, almond milk, and agar agar flakes into a saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring very well until the mixture reaches 160°F and the agar agar has dissolved. Turn off the heat, cover the milk mixture and let it cool until it reaches 95–110°F. Whisk in the coconut milk yogurt and vanilla extract. Make sure that the yogurt is fully incorporated into the milk mixture. Pour the mixture into the yogurt jars and culture in the yogurt maker according to the specific yogurt maker directions. This recipe has been tested with a 10-hour culturing time. When the yogurt has finished culturing, seal the containers and place the yogurt in the refrigerator.

    Notes: Sterilize all the jars and utensils prior to using to kill any bacteria. The agar agar is not necessary in this recipe; if you omit it, it will result in a yogurt “drink.”

    Although there is a lot of inactive waiting time for this recipe, the actual prep time is very limited. This recipe can easily be incorporated into a busy day. When cooking dinner, approximately 6 p.m., heat the milk mixture to 160°F. Allow it to cool while you are eating, cleaning up, and putting the kids to bed. Test the temperature several times, but it should cool down to 100°F within 2–3 hours. Mix in the starter culture and pour into the yogurt maker, set the timer for 10 hours, let it culture overnight. When you wake up in the morning, the yogurt will be ready to go in the refrigerator.

    Do not be tempted to move the yogurt around once it is in the yogurt maker. This will affect the consistency of the finished yogurt.

    Dietitian’s Corner: Yogurt contains healthy bacteria, such as lactobacillus, which have been known to help promote a healthy digestive tract. Our bodies require a certain amount of healthy probiotic bacteria to help fight off harmful bacteria. Lactobacillus also helps the body to digest lactose, so it is beneficial for people with lactose intolerance.