Ask the Readers! | Non-dairy Homemade Yogurt

by Kristen on July 28, 2011 · 18 comments

in Q&A

Every now and again, a reader emails me with a question that I’m not equipped to answer. I’m in the lovely position of having all of you at my disposal, though, so I just send these kinds of questions on to you!

Dear Frugal Girl,

I have read your blog on making homemade yogurt and am interested in trying it. However, my daughter has food allergies and cannot drink cow’s milk, so I was wondering if you know of any other type of milk that I could try to make yogurt from (she likes coconut milk yogurt, or perhaps almond milk could be used).

Thanks,

-Valerie

Since all of us at Chez Frugal Girl can tolerate cow’s milk, I have not personally tried making yogurt with anything other than cow’s milk. However, I’ve hearda few stories of yogurt gone terribly wrong when it’s made with non-dairy milk.

I know that goat’s milk makes good yogurt (you can use the same exact method I use for cow’s milk) and I found an article on soy milk yogurt at the Hillbilly Housewife and another one that looks a little overwhelming but pretty thorough.

Here’s a how-to on coconut milk yogurt and one on making almond milk yogurt.

So, it would appear that you can indeed make yogurt from non-dairy milks, but the methods need to be tweaked a little bit (for instance, if you make it out of soy, you need to add some sugar for the yogurt cultures to feed on).

I hope that some of my readers have non-dairy yogurt knowledge to pass on as well.

So readers, please share your tips with Valerie in the comments. Not only will you help her, but you’ll also be compiling a nice little resource section where I can direct people who email me with this question (Valerie’s definitely not the first who’s asked!).

Off-Topic P.S. I got a bunch of hair cut off, and I posted a picture of my new ‘do on my Facebook Fan Page. I’m not sure how to post a direct link to the picture (I’m not seeing a public-sharing URL like I do on my personal page), so if you don’t have Facebook, you’ll have to wait for me to show up in a picture here. ;)

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Today’s 365 post: Sonia has always loved babies.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah July 28, 2011 at 7:07 am

Wow all of your creations are always so good. Thanks.

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2 Adventuresindinner July 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

I’ve had some luck with soy milk in my slowcooker the only difference was using vegan starter that I got from the health store.

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3 Jinger July 28, 2011 at 8:39 am

Love the new haircut!

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4 Molly July 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

I’ve tried a couple different yogurt-making escapades, and I keep returning to cow milk, even though we drink soy and almond in our house.
I have had horrible luck with soy yogurt. It turned out grainy and gross, and even my friend who likes commercial soy yogurt didn’t like it. I use a yogurt maker and a thermometer, so it wasn’t that.
I’m having a hard time picturing almond milk yogurt turning out right, based on the texture and how homemade almond milk seems to separate on me.
So, I’d recommend some coconut milk yogurt. I haven’t tried it, but I think it would turn out creamier and more consistent. And yummy. Good luck!

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5 Shana July 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

No yogurt making advice ;)

However, I wanted to say that I LOVE that cut on you. It’s very, very similar to mine – and I *just* got mine cut, so it’s pretty short. :)

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6 LeeAnn @ Living the Dream July 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

I wonder if you could tweak the almond milk recipe to use prepared almond milk? I love almond milk, I drank it and used it on cereal when my youngest had a milk intolerance while I was nursing. I’d love to try it for something different than regular cow’s milk yogurt. Might have to give it a shot someday!

Thanks for sharing!

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7 Kim July 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hi Kristen – I LOVE your new ‘do! I’ve been contemplating a style change (umm, I’ve had the same basic hairstyle for the last decade or so, with some slight variations). The ironic thing is that my best friend is a hairstylist! I’m rapidly heading toward a milestone birthday so maybe it’s time to take the plunge… Thanks for sharing!

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8 Teresa July 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

I make soymilk yogurt all the time…http://affectioknit.blogspot.com/2007/04/favorite-breakfast-this-one-is-so-easy.html…I have a non electric Deva Bridge yogurt maker…and I use the basic recipe at http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/01/making-soy-yogurt.html…it’s pretty easy and delicious!

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9 Joan July 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

Thanks for the yogurt info! We’ve been drinking a lot of coconut milk lately and I’m going to give that one a try. The new haircut is gorgeous!

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10 Mom's Plans July 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

Thanks for the post. We can’t eat dairy either, and we miss yogurt. How does the starter work if you can’t use traditional yogurt?

Love the new ‘do. It looks perfect for summer!

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11 Monique DiCarlo July 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Most people who have food allergies are allergic to the added bad stuff like preservatives, food colors etc. Once people go completely “natural” (the way nature provides it) their allergies and sensitivities are significantly less or gone. One of my friends has a lactose intolerance, but she found out she can drink raw milk! Before milk get’s to our table a lot of stuff is done with it and things have been added to it, when you drink the raw milk you have an honest product. It can be a challenge to get raw milk, but I would suggest to give it a try!

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12 @lici@ July 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I tried to make almond milk yogurt once, using the refrigerated Almond Breeze product and a SoDelicious coconut milk yogurt starter. It smelled like yogurt, tasted okay, but was completely liquid. I ended up using it in place of milk or buttermilk for baking recipes. I didn’t get around to trying again (and we’re no longer dairy-free here), but I thought that making it with a thickener, like some unflavored gelatin, might have produced good results.

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13 Mairsydoats July 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

No advice on non-dairy. But I made cows-milk yogurt with my previous yogurt for starter for the first time last night! Very excited to see it’d turned out this morning… I was afraid that since it’s just me, and it took me awhile to eat up my previous batch, the starter my not be good anymore, but really thick and wonderful yogurt has been made, and will last much better than the milk while I’m out of town on vacation! I made vanilla once, but since sometimes I need it for savory stuff, and also because mostly I put homemade jam in it if I’m snacking on it, I’m just leaving all of it plain now. (And truth be told, I may be getting used to the flavor of unsweetened a bit more…) Also i left off draining it – too much effort and it works plenty fine just the way it is!

Note – homemade apple butter in plain yogurt is REALLY yummy. Not a flavor ya see a lot commercially, but really, super-duper good!

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14 ann July 29, 2011 at 8:07 am

That does sound good. How do you make apple butter? I like to sweeten plain yogurt with a little honey.

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15 Kathleen July 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I have no experience with non-dairy yogurt but tons with the traditional type. If a person has a true dairy *allergy* changing dairy types; i.e. to a goat’s milk or sheep’s milk, is still going to trigger an allergic reaction. If it a dairy *intolerance* it is typically only associated to cow’s milk and they have very good luck switching milk types to goat or sheep. This simple switch can eliminate or greatly reduce the gastric distress that cow’s milk can cause.

It looks like coconut milk can be used to make yogurt but it is really gelatin that sets the milk, not a culture like diary yogurt uses. http://www.ehow.com has a good step-by-step article online.

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16 Tara July 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I don’t have any experience to share, but I am seriously tempted to try making the coconut milk yogurt; I can’t seem to find it around my neighborhood. I’m dairy free for a while as my baby seems to have a sensitivity to cow’s milk, but I miss it! Been drinking coconut & almond milks, but my thought is that coconut milk would be better for this…I don’t have a yogurt maker, but I wonder if I can fake it…
Thanks!

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17 Kimberly August 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

Tara, you don’t need a yogurt maker, a crockpot will do the trick.
I have made fat free yogurt with skim milk in my crockpot…This week I am going to try store bought coconut milk and see what happens.

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18 Peter Jones March 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

Do any of your readers have a Deva Bridge non electric yoghurt maker ? I invented the product in 1964 and sold in many countries.
The company no longer exists but I note it is still talked about on many sites.
Peter Jones,Director and founder of Deva Bridge Ltd

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