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Thread: Soy Yogurt
06-05-2008, 03:33 PM #1Beth BrooksGuest
I can't remember the website I got this from, but if I can find the address I'll send it later- good luck! Beth
<ul type="disc"><li class="MsoNormal" style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);"> 10pt;font-family: Verdana;">4 cups soy milk, or 1 box of soy milk <li class="MsoNormal" style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);">
10pt;font-family: Verdana;">1/3 to 1/2 cup store-bought soy yogurt or
dairy yogurt with Active Cultures <li class="MsoNormal" style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);"> 10pt;font-family: Verdana;">a warm spot[/list]
10pt;font-family: Verdana;color: rgb(102, 102, 102);">Cultured
soy milk is the official name of soy yogurt. Yogurt is a term that legally can
only be applied to milk products. Since soy is not a milk product, it can't
officially be called yogurt. I call it yogurt anyway. I am not bound by legal
or manufacturing regulations. I am just a housewife with several hungry
children. Hungry children will not be bothered with the term "Cultured Soy
Milk". They just say yogurt and leave it at that.
If you've ever made dairy yogurt, then you already know how to make soy yogurt.
Soy milk and store-bought yogurt are combined in a large jar or bowl. The
mixture is whisked well, to make sure the prepared yogurt is well combined with
the soy milk. Then the entire mixture is placed in a warm spot for 4 to 8
hours, or until the yogurt is thickened and set.
When you are at the store looking for starter yogurt be sure to read the
package label. You need starter yogurt that has "active
cultures";this is vitally important. Active culture is a scientific
name for friendly bacteria. The friendly bacteria are the critters who do the
job of thickening your yogurt and giving it that lovely tangy flavor. If the
starter-yogurt you buy doesn't have active cultures, then it can't turn your
soy milk into soy yogurt.
My local Natural Foods Co-op has cultured soy milk in the refrigerator section,
not far from the dairy yogurt. The brand I buy is called Whole Soy. It contains
lots of healthy active cultures and does a beautiful job of making yogurt. If
you are unable to find soy yogurt to use a starter, then you can use dairy
yogurt instead. It's best to choose a plain flavor either way. I buy a small
cup (6 to 8 oz) of soy yogurt and use about half of it for each batch of yogurt
Every cook develops his or her own method of culturing yogurt. Don't think that
there is only one right way, because there isn't. We all have to adapt to our
own cooking conditions and ingredient situations. Making yogurt at home is not
100% fool proof. Everyone has the occasional failed batch. This is normal. I've
been making yogurt several times a month for close to 10 years and I still have
batches that fail. There are steps you can take to minimize the failure rate
First, be sure to always use clean utensils. Competing bacteria can hide in
whisk wires, on the rims of jars and lots of other sneaky places. Make sure all
of your spoons, jars, bowls and whisks are clean before you begin. Some folks
suggest that all of the utensils should be sterilized. You could do this by
dipping everything in boiling water for a few moments and then allowing them to
cool. I don't bother with sterilization because I am lazy. If you want to make
sure your yogurt is perfect every time, sterilization would be an option.
Next, make certain that your starter yogurt has active cultures. If there
aren't any live cultures in your starter yogurt, then nothing will happen. Read
the label to be sure.
If you are using fresh, homemade soy milk, allow it to cool down to lukewarm
before introducing the culture. Hot soy milk will kill the friendly bacteria.
Warm soy milk will make the bacteria very happy and more friendly. If you are
using an aseptic box of soy milk, you can use it at room temperature, straight
from the box. If you are using refrigerated soy milk, then you may want to heat
it briefly on the stove or in the microwave, to take the chill off of it. I
don't always do this, and my yogurt still turns out just fine, although it does
take a little longer to set.
Combine the soy milk and starter yogurt in a quart-sized canning jar or a
casserole with a lid or a large resealable plastic container. Use a clean whisk
to beat the mixture until the yogurt is well liquefied into soy milk. Now,
place a lid on the container and place it in a warm spot. You want a constant
temperature of about 100°. A little warmer is fine and a little cooler is fine.
I have found that anywhere from 85° to about 120° will work just fine. Any
warmer than 120° is too hot. The bacteria will die off because of the heat and
you will not have good results.
I culture my yogurt in my oven overnight. I've had the most consistent results
this way. I turn my dial half-way between OFF and 200°, or at approximately
100°. Then I shut the door to the oven and let the yogurt sit overnight. In the
morning I have perfect yogurt.
If your oven will not set at 100° then you can try turning it on 200° for two
minutes, and then turning it off. About 4 hours later check the yogurt. If it
isn't set yet then turn the oven on 200° for two minutes again to rewarm the
oven. Allow the yogurt to set another 2 to 4 hours or until it is thick.
Depending on your oven's insulation and the mean temperature of your kitchen
you may need to rewarm the oven more frequently, or less frequently. Be sure
not to leave the oven on, or your yogurt will be cooked not cultured.
Another method of incubation involves a heating pad and a large bowl or pot.
Place a towel over the heating pad and set the heating pad on low. Place the
prepared soy milk on top of the heating pad. Invert a large bowl or pot over
the whole contraption, rather like a tent. This will keep the heat focused
around the incubating yogurt. A good friend of mine has had much success with
A small insulated picnic cooler is my second favorite method. First make sure
your yogurt jar or container will fit inside the cooler. Then run or pour hot
tap water into the cooler a few inches deep. You want it to be about half way
up the sides of your yogurt jar. Test the temperature with your finger. If it
is lukewarm, great! If it is too hot then add cold water to cool it down. If it
is too cold, then a little hot water (even boiling water if necessary) to bring
the temperature up to a nice snuggly warmth, somewhere between 85° and 120°.
Place your jar or container of prepared soy milk in the cooler and shut the
lid. Allow it to sit, undisturbed, for about 4 or 5 hours. Check the yogurt. If
it is thick and creamy, then it is finished. If it is still sort of thin, then
it still needs to incubate longer. Pour off all of the water, which will be
cool by now. Add new warm water and allow the yogurt to sit another 3 or 4
hours. It should be nice and thick and ready for refrigeration or consumption.
The main advantage of this method is that it keeps the oven empty and available
for other employment.
If you have a gas oven with a pilot light it will usually keep the interior of
the oven warm enough to incubate yogurt. Some people incubate their yogurt in a
pot of warm water on top of a radiator or near a wood stove. The pot of warm
water helps maintain an even temperature around the yogurt, giving you more
reliable results. This is especially important if you incubate your yogurt
close to draft or air conditioner. On hot days, or in warm climates, you may be
able to incubate your yogurt in a warm spot on your porch or near a sunny window.
Look around your house for the most likely incubation spots.
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