Monday, December 30, 2013

Greek Style Soy Milk Yogurt

 Smooth and creamy, Greek style soy milk yogurt.

Start by making a batch of  Delicious, Creamy, Soy Milk Yogurt

Pour the yogurt into a strainer lined with cheesecloth
with some sort of container under it to catch the liquid that will drain off.
I used a large measuring cup.

Put a plate on top and place in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
(If you leave it for a few hours, you will have an incredibly delicious cream cheese type spread.)

Spoon into jars - again save some for inoculating your next batch of yogurt.
Look in that smaller jar - you can see how wonderfully creamy this stuff is.
If you want it even creamier - run it through a fine mesh strainer to remove even the smallest lumps!

My favorite breakfast is a wee bit of this yogurt with a teaspoon of maple syrup on top.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Delicious, Creamy Soy Milk Yogurt

(Easy to make and without a yogurt machine)

Supplies: Insulated cooler (the kind you fill with beer and take to the beach)
                   Several clean glass jars and lids (I am a recycled jar hoarder)
                    Large stainless steel kettle
                    Whisk (I am sure you can improvise if you don't have one)
Ingredients: 1 half gallon of non-dairy milk - I use soy because it is the 
                         easiest 2 ingredient milk to find.
                         Some non-dairy yogurt and kombucha or probiotic capsules.
                          (If you have made this before use 1 cup leftover yogurt only)

Okay - let's make some yogurt!

                Start by making sure EVERYTHING you use is clean. Really clean. Configure your cooler by
                placing 2 quart jars (with lids) near the middle and arranging the other jars around them so they are   
                close, but not touching. Leave room for one more 2 pint jar.

Take out the 2 quart sized jars and lids - sanitize them with boiling water.
Fill the remaining open jars about half way with boiling water.
Put the lid on the cooler. What you have just done is created a cozy warm
incubator type environment in which your yogurt culture can grow and 
magically turn some crappy soy milk into delicious yogurt. Oooooo!

This is actually really good soy milk. I use either Rosewood or Panda soy products.
I live in SE Michigan and Rosewood is made in Ann Arbor, Panda is made in Royal Oak.
Both are made with only soybeans and water. No fillers, binders or preservatives.
Simple 2 ingredient soy milk makes the best yogurt. 
I intend to try making almond, cashew and coconut milk yogurt, so stay tuned.

Warm the soy milk on low just until it is slightly warmer than room temperature.
If you make bread - this is the same temperature for starting yeast.
It is about the same temperature for warming a baby bottle.
You want it just slightly warm to the touch.
Too hot and you will kill the good bacteria that is essential for making yogurt.

While your soy milk is warming, let's talk about inoculation.
If this is your first time making soy milk yogurt - the challenge is finding
dairy free starter. Nancy's Soy yogurt, if you can find it, is the best.

You can also buy vegan yogurt starter online. 
For now, get a couple of small containers of dairy free soy or almond yogurt and 1) a small bottle of kombucha if you don't mind your yogurt being slightly sweet -or- 2) a couple of probiotic capsules if you prefer tangy yogurt, like I do.
Either way - put the store bought yogurt and add the kombucha 
The store bought yogurt and open the probiotic capsules and sprinkle the powder in
Shake it up really well. 
From this point forward save a pint or two of your yogurt to use as starter for the next batch.

Turn off the heat when your soy milk has warmed properly and whisk in your
non-dairy yogurt/kombucha mixture
your yogurt probiotic mixture.

Pour into your prepared quart jars and your 2 pint jar. Put on the clean lids.

Now they are ready to go in the steamy warm cooler.

Again - make sure the jars of hot water are close, but not touching.
Put the lid on the cooler.
In a couple of hours refresh the boiling water in the jars.
Close the cooler and leave it for 6-8 hours or overnight.
If you like your yogurt super tangy, refresh that hot water and let the yogurt go another 6 hours! 
Save the 2 pint jar of yogurt to use as starter for your next batch.

After 6-12 hours, it will look like this.
carefully drain any water off the top.

Until it looks like this. 
This is good the way it is, but sometimes I like to make Greek style yogurt.

It really depends on the nutritional profile of the soy milk you use,
but 1/2 cup of yogurt with a teaspoon of maple syrup, couple of strawberries
and a sprinkle of hemp seeds is approximately 50 calories and 10 grams of protein.

*A note about different brands of soy milk and your yogurt:
I want to show you photos from 2 different brands of soy milk.
Both are made with only soybeans and water.

The brands of soy milk I used are made locally in SE Michigan 
and I am not sure of their availability outside of Michigan. 
You can generally find good quality soy milk at Asian markets.
(don't get the soy milk flavored with pandan leaves though!)
This is yogurt (above) made with Rosewood brand soy milk
It made a deliciously tangy yogurt, sharp with a sweet soy flavor.

 There was not a huge yield with this brand, but the tangy flavor was great!

This yogurt (above) was made from Panda brand soy milk.
The flavor and consistency are best described as delicate.
It is custard like in consistency and has a slight tangy flavor
with virtually no soy taste.

And only this much water accumulated. 

I guess my point here is: If you make some yogurt and you are not 100% 
satisfied with the results, switch your brand of soy milk and try it again!
Both of these examples have unique and delicious qualities.

If my ultimate goal is to make some nice Labne (greek style soft cheese)
or use as a non-dairy sour cream,
I would probably go with Rosewood.
For everyday use for breakfast etc. I would use Panda.

Now, get outta here and make some yogurt!