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Wednesday
Sep142011

Almond Milk Yogurt | Dairy-Free

This summer I contributed this non-dairy yogurt recipe in a guest post over at the Williams-Sonoma blog, The Blender (great blog, BTW). If there is one thing I make weekly, it's this dairy-free Almond Milk Yogurt. It has become a staple in our house. I love the stuff!

This recipe is a take-off of one I shared over a year ago for Almond & Hemp Milk Yogurt. It was a good post, but oh my, it is long and very detailed. This is a simplified recipe for straight up almond milk yogurt and a condensed version of the how-to's. 

Enjoy!

***Do not make substitutions, do not alter measurements. Do not use milk beverages such as SoDelicious. Use almond milk made from fresh almonds. Do not add flavorings or sweeteners until AFTER culturing and before transferring to the refrigerator ... I've gotten a few "it didn't work" comments. Digging deeper I was told "this or that was added." Do not mot the sugar, sugar is the bacteria's food. The bacteria will consume most of it for those who are closely watching their sugar intake. Follow the recipe exactly for guaranteed results.***

Almond Milk Yogurt

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Makes:  Approximately 2 quarts
Active Time:  30 minutes
Total Time:  26-32 hours

Ingredients:

2 cups raw ALMONDS
1 teaspoon AGAR AGAR powder (not flakes or bar)
2 tablespoons CANE SUGAR
1/4 cup ARROWROOT POWDER
Filtered WATER
Allergen-Free YOGURT STARTER or Allergen-Free Probiotic Capsules

Directions:

Sterilize all cooking utensils, bowls and fermentation containers by dousing in boiling water.

Soak almonds in filtered water 8-12 hours. Rinse well. Drain.

Transfer almonds to high-powered blender. Add enough filtered water to bring contents up to the 4 cup mark. Blend on high until smooth. Drape a large bowl with straining bag (see notes). Pour nut milk through bag. Squeeze out as much of the milk as possible. Set almond pulp aside to use in crackers or toss.

Rinse blender carafe. Pour milk back into blender and add enough water to meet the 4 cup mark. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

Add 3 cups of filtered water to a large pot (preferably larger than 3 quarts) and sprinkle agar agar powder over surface. Gently simmer 3-5 minutes or until agar agar is completely dissolved.

Whisk milk and sugar into the agar agar mixture. Return to simmer, stirring occasionally. Watch it VERY carefully. It can boil over in split second. As soon as a simmer is achieved, whisk in the arrowroot slurry. Simmer 10-15 seconds and remove from heat.

Allow milk to cool to 100-105˚F. This can take 45-90 minutes.

Mix yogurt starter (use manufacturer's recommended measure) or 35-40 billion CFUs of probiotic into a small amount of the cooled milk. Add to rest of the milk and whisk very well. Transfer to fermentation container(s) and then to yogurt maker. Leave undisturbed to ferment 8-10 hours. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 6-8 hours. Yogurt will set as it cools.

Notes:

Straining Bag: You may use a reusable fine-mesh produce bag (like 3B Bags), nut milk bag, cheese cloth.

Cooling: Allow milk to cool at room temp. Do not cool using a water bath as the agar agar will begin to set. Give it an occasional whisk. The mixture may look clumpy (this is the agar agar setting), but a good whisk will smooth it out again.

The Starter: Nut/seed milk yogurts are best made using a yogurt starter. Unlike animal-based milks, a scoop of yogurt may not work. I prefer working with a starter designed specifically for yogurt making. Because it is impossible for me, a consumer, to oversee every step in the manufacturing process when it comes to allergen-free yogurt starters and probiotics, I must leave it up to you to research and decide which yogurt culture or probiotic is safe for you and your family. One tip I can provide in your search; select one that includes the lactic acid-producing bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. In the United States, the USDA defines "yogurt" as containing these two strains bacteria.

The Yogurt Maker: I prefer using a yogurt maker. I rest assured knowing that the yogurt is fermenting at a safe temp. However, you may choose to ferment in any container, preferably glass, in any environment that is kept at a constant 105-110˚F (cooler, oven, etc).

Thickening the Yogurt: When I make yogurt, there are two ingredients that I use to enhance the creaminess and overall texture; arrowroot powder and agar-agar powder. Arrowroot powder/starch may be substituted with tapioca starch, yielding close to the same result. I buy arrowroot from my local natural food store as well as off of Amazon. Agar-agar is a plant-based "gelatine" derived from seaweed. It helps to set the yogurt and firm it up. Agar powder may be purchased in packets at Asian grocery stores, from larger natural grocery stores and off of Amazon.

End Result: This yogurt will be mild with a slight tang. Portions of the surface may dry to a pale yellow; this may be expected. If there are any hints of pink, gray or black on the surface of the yogurt, throw the batch out and start again. This suggests the equipment was not thoroughly sterilized, that the yogurt starter was “dead” and that foreign “bad” bacteria colonized the batch, and/or that milk was hotter than 95° to 105°F when the starter was added.

Reader Comments (84)

Katie, there are many sources on line that provide directions for fermenting without a machine. Just do a search. xoLexie

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

When I make almond milk I add 3 dates and 1 tb vanilla would that be enough sweetener to be able to omit the 2 tb sugar?
If using probiotic capsules how many should I use? Or how many billion should I aim for?
And last I was only able to find agar agar in the bar. How many grams are in 1 tsp of powder?
thanks

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I made the almond milk yesterday and tasted it this morning. The texture is very creamy and yogurt-like but will definitely have to add some honey. There's very little almond taste to it. I've successfully cultured the yogurt in my oven in my enameled dutch oven. Saves me from buying another tool. I do take the skins off the almonds before I made the milk as I want the pulp (which I dehydrate) to be lower in phytic acid. Boiling water over the nuts for a few minutes and they slip right off. I think I like your coconut yogurt better.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn

Hi, Lexie. I got my yogurt maker the other day. I purchased the YoLife machine. I have tried 2 batches in it, this one of yours and one of Kelly's from Spunky Coconut and both failed. I read through all of the comments above hoping someone had the same problem as I did and low and behold Michelle from 2012 did! Mine separated just as she described and looked absolutely nasty. I used the 1/2 gallon jar with the higher lid purchased directly from YoLife. I have searched other blogs and cannot find anyone else with this problem. Do you have any idea what would cause this? Since I'm so new to yogurt making I am thinking about doing a dairy batch that my husband can eat until I get the process down because of the wasted product (milk is so much cheaper) and to try to troubleshoot what is going on. I can't stand throwing this stuff out! Any help or suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated. I followed the directions exactly ensuring everything was sterilized and never moved the machine. Thanks for posting this recipe. Hopefully one of my batches will turn out soon so I can try this...it looks delicious!

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa

Hi Alyssa,

Well boo! That's not good. The machine shouldn't be the problem ... you can make yogurt in anything as long as the temp holds. When using my recipe it should not have separated, especially when adding arrowroot. Try using filtered water or distilled. What culture powder are you using? I definitely would try the cow's milk if you can ... that will give you confidence. And then search my site for the coconut milk recipe. That one has worked for so many people. Sorry both Spunky Coconut's and mine did not turn out. I don't know what to say without being right there watching :) xoLexie

April 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

Thanks so much for your response, Lexie. I wanted to get a couple of cow's milk batches under my belt before I responded to try and narrow down exactly what the problem could be. Well, it's not the machine because my dairy milk yogurt worked using my favorite yogurt as starter. I am certain at this point that the probiotic powder that I have is dead. I was suspicious when I didn't pay $50 to overnight the product (ordered on a Monday and received it on a Thursday) and the ice pack it was wrapped in was no longer frozen and barely felt cold. I ordered Klaire labs Complete Powder and it was VERY expensive so I'm really disappointed and not sure what else to try. I guess I'm back to the drawing board to find a non-dairy allergen-free starter. I'm anxious to finally get some that works so my youngest son and I can try this recipe! None of the coconut milk batches I made turned out either. I did at least get a thumbs up from my husband and oldest son on the dairy batch that did turn out. I was tempted to try it because the texture and consistency was exactly like our favorite yogurt. This is encouraging!!! A fun process for sure but can get a little expensive with the failed batches.]

_______________________________

Alyssa ... well thumbs up on the cows milk. For certain dead probiotics will not make yogurt. Was the result of the nondairy attempts even a bit tangy? If, so the probiotics were good. If it tasted like plain coconut milk, then it was bad. I love Therbiotic but stopped ordering it from Amazon b/c the shipped it w/o ice. I have talked with the company and they say to never buy it from anyone other than a certified distributor (my doctor sells it) as if if sits on a shelf it will die. I can survive being unrefrigerated for a certain length of time, but when it does it loses its potentcy. I will pose the question about other probiotics to use for making nondairy milk on Facebook and will get back with you here on what people say. The other starter I have used is Cultures for Health Vegetal ... just processed in a facility that also processes some other allergens, so unless you are super sensitive, I would try that one.

xo Lexie

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa

Hi Lexie, How long do you think this will keep in the fridge? Could I cut the recipe in half?

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Hi, I am working on a batch right now. It's 8 hours in . I gave the yogurt maker a little nudge and no runniness! I am so excited. I used a store bought plain Almond Yogurt for a starter, which included some of the right strains of bacteria, and I made my own creamy almond milk which I have been making for years. Store bought non dairy yogurt is so pumped with thickeners like carrageenan it makes me feel yucky after a day or 2 of use. I will keep you posted on how it turns out!

June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEve

I did it! Thanks Lexie! my first homemade yoghurt ever - and it turned out great! i incubated for 8 hours, and I also used agar flakes ground up into powder in my nutribullet. It had a nice viscosity and was thicker the next day in the fridge, with a tang that was not overpowering. Loved it! I will try incubating for 10 next time, experimenting with off grid incubation, and using powdered agar instead of grinding the flakes...may also try my hand at greek style. A whole new world has opened up to me with this new skill. I am so thrilled. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful recipe.

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEveallease

Hi,

Have have been trying different receipts for nut yogurt. I have had very little success with any of them. Very frustrating because nuts are expensive and I can't have dairy. Here is my problem. My yogurt always separates with clumping on top, watery in the middle and sediment on the bottom.

I use a yogurt maker. I have monitored the temp and even bought a dimmer switch to regulate the temp. I also can't use arrowroot powder or Agar Agar as I follow the SCD diet. Does anyone have any suggestions for me. I use honey for sugar and a yogurt starter.

The macadamia nuts seemed so far to work the best but not great. Tried cashew, and almonds but almonds I am slightly reactive to so I cant use them much. Anyone have any suggestions?

June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Porter

Thanks so much for the recipe. I've wanted to make my own dairy-free yogurt for a while and this recipe is great for beginners, like me. I tweaked it a bit and didnt strain the milk, which made it a little thicker. Also don't have a yogurt maker so I reference another recipe for that part, but I used your recipe for everything else. I was curious if adding extra sweetener would affect fermentation time. Do you have any advice?

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCiCi

my yogurt maker will not hold 2 quarts. can i cut the recipe in half? or is there a way i can make more of the full recipe and put it in my machine once the first batch finishes?

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDale Engelberg

Dale, I would just half the batch : )

xoLexie

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

The Tapoica starch is really paramount for the preparation of sweet dishes and bevarages. It is used for the preparation of snacks and kurii aloo.


Vietnam Tapioca Starch Supplier, Tapioca Starch Manufacturers

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterangelstarch

Thank you very much for your recipe. I make it all the time for my 1 1/2 year old daughter. This last time my daughter woke up screaming right before the yogurt finished in the yogurt maker. Distracted I forgot to put it on the fridge until the next morning (7-8 hour later). It was in the yogurt maker for 8 hours prior to this. I transferred it to the fridge in the morning... it seems fine? I know some dairy yogurts can actually be made at room temperature. Any thoughts here? Should I dump it and start all over? My poor daughter was so upset when we didn't have yogurt this morning :(.

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

i bought the yogourmet and have made two batches. i used nature's way Primadophilus Optima probiotics which contain the two strains required among many others and contains 35 billion cfus in each capsule. my first batch incubated for 8 hours and the second for 10 hours. i am making a nice custard but am not tasting any tartness. any suggestions?
Dale

September 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDale Engelberg

Hi Dale, the other day I used a new probiotic because I was out of my other and it failed. So I have had my AHA! moment and have come to the realization that if all directions were followed (sterilization and right heat) that failures are most likely caused by the probiotic. I am sorry yours did not turn out. I will be going back to Cultures for Health starters and Therbiotic Complete probiotic (available from providers only). I share in your frustration. See this post for why I was uncomfortable recommending Cultures for Health vegan starter to everyone ... for us it does not cause a problem and it may not for you. http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2012/10/1/an-apology-for-an-oversight.html

September 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

i am trying to purchase the Therbiotic Complete. i have found it on Amazon for $49 but don't know what will happen when i click order since it is to be sold only to med professionals.

also, the company that sells Therbiotic Complete, Prothera, wants an authorization code from my md. i am trying to send him all the information i can from the website since that is not a product he is familiar with or sells/recommends. his office is clueless about an authorization code for this product. it also shows that a capsule contains 25+ billion CFUs rather than the 35 billion you recommend.

my MD sells a different brand with a higher number of cfus.

i need help on how to purchase the product.
it's all i can use now since i spoke to cultures for health after i bought their starter and then read your discontinuation of recommending their product because of the grains used for production. my dr said i cannot have those grains so i sent it back.

September 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDale Engelberg

in case all my information was too confusing:

will you walk me through what to do to get the Therbiotic Complete and what to do about the 25+ billion vs 35 billion cfus you recommend?

thanks,
Dale

September 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDale Engelberg

Thank you so much for recipes! I have been making your almond yogurt for my daughter who has a dairy allergy for a while. We have also tried your hemp/almond yogurt and recently I made a variation of it using pumpkin seed milk. All have been yummy. In an effort to pack as much nutrition as possible into my almost two year old's breakfast I have been thinking about using some "healthy" gelatin in place of the agar agar. I order some from Great Lakes Gelatin. Any reason why you wouldn't think this would work? I did find a few online recipes for it. However, these recipes also called for honey rather than sugar...I just want to make sure whatever I am making is safe :). Thanks again!

October 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Hi Kelly! I am so glad the yogurt has been working for you. Great Lakes is a good brand of gelatin. I have used gelatin successfully, however I can pick up on a hint of it in the yogurt—maybe I was just sensitive that day to the smell of animal byproduct :). But do try it. I think about 1 tablespoon per 2 quarts works. Let me know how you like it.

xoLexie

October 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Hello Lexie how can I achieve the same great vanilla taste as Yoplait yogurt. Im new to all of this and would love for it to have the same exact vanilla taste by using my Almond Breeze almond milk

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Michelle, sorry but store bought almond beverages just don't work. I know, bummer. I think the best non-dairy yogurt recipe to try is my coconut milk yogurt. It is in my new book, too. I really love NuNaturals Singing Dog Vanilla Stevia for sweetening. A little goes a long way. If you would rather sweeten with honey or sugar (after fermentation) you may do so and perhaps add some Authentic Foods Vanilla Powder. That stuff is divine. You can buy both from most natural foods stores and on Amazon. xoLexie

http://lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2011/10/4/dairy-free-coconut-milk-yogurt-recipe.html

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Hi,

Is there anyway to do this without agar and sugar? I want to make a lo carb yogurt with no added sugar.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMEOW

I'm totally new to this vegan stuff and would like to make this yogurt, but I don't have a yogurt maker. I know that yogurt can be made using a crock pot but that's with cow's milk. Do you know if it can be done with almond milk instead?

what kind of starter do you recommend that is allergen free? thanks!

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlouise

I just made my second batch. This recipe is amazing! I added 2 dates and a vanilla bean to the almonds and dehydrated the meal overnight. I sprinkle it on my yogurt. I used a vegan starter from culturesforhealth.com. Worked great. Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I have a yogurt maker, it was only $40 on amazon. My oven's lowest setting is 170, so I don't have a way to ferment it at 110.

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I'm guessing that I need a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the milk. Can you tell me what kind is best for making yogurt? Thanks.

February 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElsa

Elsa, The yellow Taylor thermometer is my favorite. It is water resistant which is so great!

http://astore.amazon.com/lexieskitchen-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=16

xoLexie

February 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterLexie

Louise,

My favorite starters (be sure to check very closely for cross contact with allergens you need to avoid, manufacturers change their practices without notice so always do the research) and ones that may be safe for you:

Gi Prostart

Cultures for Health Vegetal

xoLexie

February 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterLexie

Hi, Lexie. I just finally discovered you while searching for almond milk yogurt recipes. How have I missed "meeting" you in the past. I have spent an hour looking at your beautiful site! I just posted a recipe for coconut milk yogurt and have had some readers asking about almond milk yogurt, so I am simply sending them over to you, since you've got it all figured out. What a blessing to meet you! It's always a joy meeting a sister-GF-blogger. Blessings, Kelly

I was wondering if I could use an alternative sweetener like xylitol or stevia. Since I am prediabetic and trying hard to avoid becoming diabetic, I have to avoid any high glycemic sweeteners, aka sugar, honey, agave, etc. I would love to try this recipe because I'm also on an inflammatory diet and cannot have wheat, corn, soy, sugar, or milk. Sounds limiting, I know, but I love how I feel cutting these things out.

April 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Hi Mary, do not omit the sugar. The bacteria feed on it … allowing them to proliferate. They will consume most, if not all of the cane sugar. Hope that helps.

xoLexie

April 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterLexie

Awesome post and its sounds delicious. thanks for sharing. :)

April 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilippines Food

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