Recipe Almond milk yogurt

LissaC

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- 300ml almond milk
- 1 teaspoon guar gum
- 1 teaspoon probiotic powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1. Put almond milk on a blender in low speed, and slowly drop guar gum and sugar into the vortex. After all the guar gum/sugar is in the milk, keep blending for 3 - 5 minutes. The almond milk should have thickened after this.
2. I'm not using a yogurt maker (I use a thermic bag called a Yogurt nest) so I heat my milk to 50ºC.
3. Add probiotic powder and whisk really well. Put the milk in the yogurt nest or yogurt maker and let it culture for 10 hours.

I've failed miserably at this recipe, countless times, making homemade vegetable yogurt is really challenging. Here are my notes on this recipe and on what works and doesn't:
* Nut milks don't have the same properties as dairy milk so they react differently to fermentation. You need to chose your milk well, because not all milks are able to culture. Your milk needs to be as "pure" as possible, free of additives, thickening agents, calcium, vitamins, etc; homemade almond milk works well for yogurt since it's only water + almonds (JAS_OH1 shared an almond milk recipe here). If you want to use store bought milk, it should have water, almonds, maybe salt and sugar but nothing more.
* If you use homemade almond milk, remove the almond peels before you blend them, almond peels tend to create mold in the yogurt.
* Nut milks don't thicken on their own, they only thicken a little bit during fermentation, so you must use a thickener. There are several options, any kind of starch and any kind of gum will do, with the most popular being: cornstarch, tapioca starch, agar agar, pectin, xanthan gum and guar gum. I've tried cornstarch but it thickened too much (maybe I didn't use it right?). I've tried tapioca starch but the texture was gooey and weird (maybe I didn't use it right?). Twice with xanthan gum and guar gum the milk didn't thicken (I clearly didn't use it right). More tips on how to thicken vegetable milk here. Here's a pic of almond milk thickened with tapioca starch.
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* I've read guar gum can thicken milk without being heated but the only time I was successful with this recipe was when I heated the gums.
* From my experience if your milk didn't thicken after you added the thickener it will not thicken ever.
* The probiotics are here to ferment the milk and turn it into yogurt. You need to buy probiotics only they can't have prebiotics or digestive enzymes. Alternatives are a yogurt starter or using another yogurt as starter.
* Almond milk is really bland, adding a teaspoon of sugar to this recipe doesn't hurt. Use white sugar since it also helps with fermentation.
* Yogurt makers work by heating and keeping the yogurt at a stable temperature during the entire fermentation time. You can incubate yogurt without a yogurt maker but it becomes harder to control temperate and some methods will require you to heat the milk to 43ºC - 40ºC (that's the temperature at which milk bacteria incubates). You can use your oven, a thermal bag, a dehydrator and even sunlight but in that case google specific directions for the method you're using.

Happy cooking!
 

epicuric

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That looks good to me, I will try it when I get back home. Can you add flavourings before or only after the fermentation? I am thinking fruit or fruit syrups.
 

LissaC

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Hi epicuric some flavors like vanilla, coffee or coca powder can be added before fermentation, fruits are best added after as they can interfere with fermentation.
 
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