This non dairy, direct-set yogurt is easy to use and doesn’t require the maintenance of an ongoing starter.  It does require the use of a yogurt maker.  Comes with 4 packets of starter culture.

You will need: 

  • saucepan for heating milk
  • yogurt thermometer
  • wooden or plastic spoon
  • yogurt maker
  • 1 packet Vegan yogurt starter (save the other packets in freezer for future use)
  • 1 to 2 quarts alternative milk (soy or rice work best)

Note:  to get a thicker yogurt when using coconut, rice or almond milk, you can add a carbohydrate source (sugar) & a thickener (agar agar, pectin or gelatin).
Directions:

1)  Stirring frequently, heat milk to 110 degrees (clip yogurt thermometer to side of pan to monitor temperature).  Pour milk into yogurt maker insert.  Add starter packet and mix well.

2)  Cover and culture in yogurt maker for 6-8 hours.  Once set (or after 8 hours), let cool for about an hour and then refrigerate for 6 hours.  Yogurt may not appear to have thickened.  Try stirring before refrigeration and again after a couple of hours.  May take up to 24 hours of refrigeration to firm up.  After refrigeration, separation may occur.  Just stir the yogurt to blend.

Your yogurt is now ready to enjoy as is, flavored with fruit and/or honey, or added to smoothies.

Now it’s time to Get Fermented!

Download instructions here.

Yogurts

Do you love Yogurt and its probiotic benefits?  Why not make your own?  It’s easy, fun, will save you money, and help keep your gut healthy!  You also can control what goes into it- commercial yogurts often contain sweeteners, thickeners, and other unwanted additives.

What’s In It?   What Are It’s Benefits?

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk.  The yogurt culture, or starter, contains beneficial bacteria- most commonly lactobacillus delbrueckii- subspecies bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilic bacteria.  The fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on the protein in milk to create its texture and characteristic tanginess.  Cow’s milk yogurt is most common- but goat, sheep, mare, camel, yak, and water buffalo milks are also used (where available and palates are willing).  Yogurt is a great source of Vitamin B12, riboflavin, selenium, phosphorus, protein, and a host of other nutrients.  And don’t forget about that beneficial bacteria that can help protect you from all kinds of health issues.  Everything starts with your gut health.  Digestive, skin, and even mental disorders can be helped by having healthy flora in your system.  Those that are lactose intolerant sometimes find that they can tolerate yogurt better than other dairy products.  This is because the lactose has been converted to lactic acid by the good bacteria.

Origin

The exact origin of Yogurt is not known, but it’s believed to have begun in Mesopotamia around 5,000 BC.  It is likely that the earliest yogurts were a result of milk fermenting spontaneously with wild bacteria when being stored in bags made of goat stomachs.  Delicious!

Commercial Production

Commercial production of Yogurt began in 1919 in Barcelona, Spain.  This company later expanded to the US, and now goes by the name Dannon. Yogurt came into popularity in the 1950’s-60’s when it was deemed a health food, and is now an important staple in many American diets.  While convenient, mass-produced yogurts often contain a laundry list of unwanted additives: thickeners, stabilizers, dyes, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, sugar, carrageenan, gelatin, pectin, pesticides, and a lovely defoaming agent used during the fermentation process, to name a few.  Needless to say, making your own yogurt can ease your mind about what you’re putting into your body and those of your family.  Homemade yogurt is much fresher, and has a much higher count of beneficial bacteria.  That is what we’re all about!

Varieties and The Process

We offer three categories of starters:  Mesophilic, Thermophilic,  and Direct-set.

Mesophilic Yogurts culture at room temperature, 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit.  They don’t require the use of a yogurt maker, and are very easy to make.   Just mix your powdered starter thoroughly into your milk, cover with a breathable top (coffee filter or paper towel and rubber band), and allow to culture on your kitchen counter.  Within a day or two- voila! You have yogurt!  Our mesophilic varieties include Viili, Filmjolk, Matsoni and Piima.  Viili originates from Finland.  It’s mild and creamy, and has a bit thicker consistency.  Filmjolk is also Finnish, mildly tangy, and goes great with fruit.  Matsoni, also known as Caspian Sea yogurt, comes from the Caucasus Region. Matsoni is mild, custard-like, and works great for frozen yogurt.  Piima is from Scandinavia.  It has a bit looser set, and makes a great drinkable yogurt that is very popular in the Scandinavian region.

Thermophilic Yogurts are heat loving, meaning they require a yogurt maker or other means of maintaining a 110 degree Fahrenheit temperature for several hours. The milk is heated on the stove to 160 degrees, then allowed to cool to 110 degrees.  Next, your powdered starter is added and thoroughly mixed in.  Once transferred to the yogurt maker, it is incubated for 5 to 8 hours.  Our thermophilic varieties include Greek and Bulgarian.  Both have a denser consistency.  Greek (from Greece) is tangy, delicious, and wildly popular.  Bulgarian is from- you guessed it! – Bulgaria. It has a rich and mild flavor, and is quickly sneaking up on Greek as most popular.

Both Mesophilic and Thermophilic yogurts are heirloom varieties, and come with two packets per order.  This means that by reserving a bit back from each batch (called back-slopping) as your next starter, you can continue to make repeated batches, and even share with your friends.  Save your second packet for later use.  The heirloom varieties make wonderful cow or goat milk yogurts.

Direct-set Yogurts are single-use, and come with four packets per order.  Our Vegan direct-set yogurt starter does require a yogurt maker.  It can be used to make dairy-free yogurt, with various alternative milks (soy, coconut, hemp, etc.).  It has a bit looser set, but can be made denser by using natural thickeners or straining to remove excess liquid (whey).

Uses

Yogurt can be used in many ways besides just eating it plain.  It can be strained through cheesecloth or a yogurt bag to create a denser  product, which can be mixed with fruit or made into a savory dip or sauce.  The whey that has drained off can also be used as a jump-start in vegetable fermentation, or as a protein additive to your daily smoothie.  And did we say smoothies?  Yes!

If strained enough, a yogurt “cheese” will form, much like cream cheese.  Use yogurt as a substitute for sour cream or buttermilk, especially in your baking recipes.  It creates a moister, tangier pancake, biscuit, waffle, or quick bread.  It’s also becoming a common ingredient in health and beauty products, due to its lactic acid benefits.

In summation, yogurt is surprisingly easy to make yourself, and an excellent way to add good bacteria to your diet!  We highly recommend it.

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