If you have ever ventured into the vegan yogurt making territory, you will know that it’s a bit of a to do. While non-dairy milk can make a pretty great tasting yogurt, the texture is a challenge. Usually, vegan yogurts come out pretty runny, unless we add gums and thickeners to counterbalance that. For years now, I’ve gone through all that. I love yogurt, so it’s worth it.
But just recently I discovered, somewhat by accident, that there is an easier way. Even easier than dairy yogurt! I know, right?!
There is one caveat though (isn’t there always?)
There is one main ingredient you can NOT replace. This ingredient is the Ripple (Original or Unsweetened.) It does need to be the Ripple to work.
And that is how I discovered this. I finally wanted to know what all the fuss was about, and got myself a bottle of Ripple. I made vegan milk kefir with it (I will write about keeping milk kefir grains alive in non-dairy milk in another post) and found that the resulting kefir came out quite thick. Usually, much like the dairy-free yogurt, it is thin and runny. Not this time.
Of course, I then wondered if maybe yogurt could be done the same way. Since I didn’t heat the Ripple to make the kefir, I added the Ripple milk straight from the fridge to my instant pot (my fav appliance for making yogurt – but it will work with other yogurt making methods, too.)
With the addition of some previously made yogurt (any will do, as long as it has live cultures in it,) some maple syrup and some Silk Whipping Cream (it’s vegan) I set the Instant Pot to the yogurt setting for 10 hours and went to bed.
The next morning I was greeted by unbelievably thick and creamy yogurt.
The flavor was excellent, the texture amazing, the richness out of this world. The “cream” had something to do with that, but it is actually optional, even though I highly recommend it if you love thick, rich yogurt.
After chilling the yogurt for a few hours in the refrigerator, it had thickened up some more, to the point that I could stand up a spoon in it for a few seconds.
You guys!! This yogurt has been my obsession ever since. I’ve been making it regularly and just can’t get enough of it!
Thick, Creamy Vegan Yogurt
If you have an Instant Pot with a Yogurt function, this is going to be quick and easy.
Pour all ingredients into the instant pot. Give it a quick whisk to distribute everything evenly. Place the lid on, click yogurt, set it to the desired time and let it do it's thing. The longer you let it go, the more tart it gets. My sweet spot is at around 10-10 1/2 hrs.
I tend you pour all the ingredients straight into the instant pot stainless steel and transfer to a large container after it has set. You can however culture your yogurt in jars and stack those into the instant pot to set.
In that case, whisk all your ingredients together in a large container with a pouring spout. The pour the mixture into your yogurt glasses, close with the lid and stack them into the instant pot. Set to yogurt, enter your desired time and let it do it's thing.
2. Don't have an instant pot?
Not a problem. There are many ways to make yogurt without one.
If you have a food dehydrator, you can use that. Just make sure that the temperature never exceeds 110 F.
You can also use a proofing box, if it has a temperature setting.
Basically, you can use any method that provides a steady temperature and adjust as the yogurt mixture warms up.
Alternatively, you can warm the Ripple, maple syrup and cream mix to 110 F, then whisk in the yogurt and proceed with your usual method.There will be some clear liquid around the yogurt once it's set. It's usually not much, so you can either stir it in, or drain it off before you eat your yogurt. For Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese, drain through a cheese cloth to desired thickness.