Making Soy Yogurt

by on January 29, 2007
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My family is crazy about soy yogurt. My husband puts it on his breakfast cereal, my daughter likes it in smoothies, and I eat it with fruit, mostly frozen berries at this time of year. But I have a problem with store-bought soy yogurt. The only brand I can find “plain” is Whole Soy, and it’s neither plain nor wholly soy: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice is the second ingredient, and for a supposedly plain yogurt, it tastes very sweet. I find that it’s impossible to use it in non-sweet dishes such as raitas because of its excessive sweetness. To top it off, it doesn’t even taste very “yogurty”—it’s missing the distinctive tang of real yogurt.

Soy

So around the time I bought my soymilk maker, I decided to buy an inexpensive yogurt maker. While you can make yogurt in any container that you can keep warm, I’ve found that my drafty house isn’t the most reliable place to make yogurt. The Salton yogurt maker is just a simple device that keeps the yogurt at a stable temperature, and when the yogurt is finished incubating, the container goes right into the refrigerator. No more contributing to landfill waste with those plastic yogurt containers! If you make your soymilk at home, the cost of homemade yogurt is a fraction of the cost of Whole Soy, but even using packaged soymilk, you can save a lot by making your own.

The one big difference between soy yogurt and dairy yogurt is that soy yogurt won’t get as thick as dairy unless you add something to it for thickening. For a while I was adding pectin to my yogurt, as instructed by Bryanna Clark Grogan’s excellent tutorial on soy yogurt. I kept having uneven results, however; for some reason, my yogurt sometimes came out with lumps of pectin in it, but other times, it was fine. I finally decided to try using agar instead, and lately I’ve had more consistent results. I don’t use a lot of agar because I don’t want it to come out jelly-like; instead I use just enough to give it a slight thickness. It’s not as thick as dairy yogurt, but it’s thick enough for how I use it.

The following instructions were written for using packaged soymilk. For best results, select a brand that is not fat-free. (I know, this is that last place you thought you’d hear that!) Different brands produce different results, so be prepared to do some experimenting to find out which brand works well for you. I’ve found that Soy Dream works better than any of the other brands I’ve tried and also makes a whiter yogurt. (Unfortunately, Soy Dream was unavailable when I was making the batch in the photos below; I’m using VitaSoy Complete, which my husband bought on clearance, and it’s off-off-white. Beware of letting spouses shop!) If you are using homemade or unsweetened soymilk, add 1 tablespoon of sugar to it–yogurt cultures need some sugar to feed upon.

Homemade Soy Yogurt

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This recipe will fill a yogurt maker that uses a single 1-quart container.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered agar agar
  • 1 quart plain soymilk


Instructions

1. Take 1/2 cup of plain soy yogurt out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

2. Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil. While it’s heating, gather your materials:

  • dinner plate
  • 2 large spoons
  • 1 whisk or hand blender
  • large (non-plastic) microwaveable bowl
  • food thermometer
  • 1 measuring teaspoon
  • agar-agar powder
  • 1 quart plain soymilk
  • yogurt maker



3. When the water boils, scald the dinner plate first, making sure that the whole surface comes into contact with the water. Then scald the other utensils, including the thermometer, and place them on the plate. Be sure you also scald the hand blender or whisk, the bowl, and the yogurt maker’s container and anything else that might come into contact with the yogurt. You don’t want any stray bacteria growing in your yogurt!

4. Put two cups of the soymilk into the bowl and sprinkle it with a teaspoon of the agar powder. Allow it to soften for a few minutes. Then place the bowl in the microwave and set it on high power for about 4 minutes. Stir every minute until it reaches a boil.

5. When the soymilk reaches a boil, remove it from the microwave and add the remaining two cups of soymilk. Stir well. Put the food thermometer into the milk and wait until the temperature drops to about 115° F. While you are waiting, stir the soymilk every once in a while to keep the agar from gelling.

6. Plug in your yogurt maker to begin warming it.

7. When the temperature of the soymilk drops to 115° F, add the 1/2 cup yogurt. Blend it in very well using either a whisk or hand blender. Pour it into your yogurt maker’s container and place inside the yogurt maker. Plug in or turn on your yogurt maker.

8. Check the yogurt after 5 or 6 hours. If it’s as tart as you’d like, you may stop then, but normally it will take about 8 hours to reach the right tartness. (I find that when I use store-bought yogurt as a starter, it takes much longer, often 12 hours, to be ready.) Do not worry if it has separated. When it seems tangy enough, remove it from the incubator and whisk or blend it well with the hand blender. Put it into the refrigerator and chill for several hours. Your yogurt will now be ready to use.

Once your yogurt is made, you can mix it with fresh or thawed fruit, use it in smoothies, or use it in any recipe calling for yogurt. Be sure to save 1/2 a cup to use as your next yogurt starter.

Preparation time: 60 minute(s) | Cooking time: 6 hours(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dental Ontario August 17, 2009 at 10:04 pm

It looks very delicious and very tasty. Moreover, it is very nutritious and healthy for our body.

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2 Ashley August 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I tried making this yogurt last night and it came out with little pieces of agar agar floating throughout…it was very "seperated"-looking…I used Soy Dream, but I used cultured coconut-milk yogurt instead of soy. Do you think this could be to blame for the weird, soupy texture? Thanks! :)

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3 Nan August 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Susan – Based on your recipe, I've perfected my recipe. Here's what I do:

Use 1 boxes of Soy Milk
1 6 oz container of Whole Soy Plain, at room temp(for the cultures)
2 tsp agar agar powder

Equipment: A large picnic cooler, a large glass baking dish a heating pad, 8 to 9 1/2 pint canning jars with the plastic lids, a cooking thermometer

Sterilize the cooking pot, jars and lids and any utensils by running them thru the dishwasher on hot setting.
Put a large glass baking dish (big enough to hold all of your jars in the bottom of the cooler) in the oven at 250F.

Dissolve the agar agar in about 1 cup of cold soymilk and set aside.

Heat the remaining soy milk in a 3 quart pan over medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk to keep it from scorching. when it gets fairly hot, stir in the reserved soymilk and agar agar.

Heat to about 180 F.
Remove from heat and let cool to 115F (any hotter and you'll kill your cultures).
Stir in the Whole Soy yogurt.
Pour into jars and seal.
Place the hot glass dish in the bottom of the cooler, but on top of the heating pad. Cover the jars with a large bath towel and tightly close the cooler.

Let it cook overnight or for 10 to 12 hours. Refrigerate fpr 12 hours, stir before using and enjoy.

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4 Nan August 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Ooopss. my previous post on how to make great soy yogurt said 1 box of soy milk…it should have said 2 (two) boxes of soy milk. Guees someone might get some mighty thick yogurt…sorry

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5 Dentistry Irvine September 22, 2009 at 3:41 am

I found this post very interesting. Soy is indeed a healthy food! thank you so much for sharing your ideas Susan. i will definitely try to make some soy yogurt at home.

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6 moonwatcher September 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Hi Susan,

I scored a working Salton Yogurt Maker (the kind with the individual glass cups) for 3 dollars at the Salvation Army, and so I am getting ready to try this recipe. The soy milk I have to work with is organic and unsweetened, and, like you, the soy yogurt available at the store is Wholesoy. So my question is, since the "plain" Wholesoy has evaporated cane juice in it, but the unsweetened soy milk I have doesn't, should I still put the tbs. of sugar in?

The comments and your responses to them are very helpful, too.

Thanks,

moonwatcher

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7 SusanV September 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Hi Moonwatcher! What a great bargain you found! You shouldn't need any sugar to make the yogurt, though you can add some after it's made, if you want. I hope it comes out well; let me know if you have any problems.

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8 moonwatcher October 2, 2009 at 11:13 am

HI Susan,

I am happy to report that my yogurt came out nicely. When the time was up (this old one with the little cups suggested 10 hours), I was faced with the decision about whether to follow the directions for this old Salton, which I found a copy of on the internet, which didn't say to blend it before putting it in the fridge, or your instructions for soy yogurt, but with a larger container, which did say to blend it. So I did what I call a "science experiment." They all looked and had the consistency of yogurt, so I didn't stir 3 of them, and did stir two (actually I had a third, which I put in a makeshift yogurt maker–that is, a glass jar with a plastic lid inside a heavy lidded pot sitting on top of a heating pad on low, and I stirred that, too.) In the morning i found that the ones I hadn't stirred had a firmer consistency, while the ones I had were more liquid. So in this yogurt maker, maybe because of the little cups, I will leave out that step the next time, I think. One of the more liquid ones is now straining as a Greek soy yogurt experiment. What fun!

I sweetened mine with a little leftover crushed pineapple, maple syrup and a touch of vanilla and stirred it into my oatmeal-quinoa-kasha mixture, with some pears and figs. Yum yum. :)

Thanks for the great recipe. This was really a fun experiment. I am interested to bake with it at some point, too, and see how that goes.

moonwatcher

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9 soy candles October 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm

This is a great post.

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10 C. Sweeting November 11, 2009 at 8:33 am

Hi! I absolutely love your blog!!!
I was wondering if you've ever tried using Pearl brand soymilk? It is made by Kikkoman, and I am not sure how far out into the mainland U.S. it goes, since it is Japanese, and I take for granted that a lot of Japanese foods are readily accessible for us in Honolulu! If you can find it, though, it is the best soymilk I have ever tasted, and comes in many flavors like green tea and coffee, melon, etc!
I am curious as to what type of agar you use?? I find agaragar here in my local markets and I wonder if yours looks red or green and like dehydrated honey comb, also? I know some Thai and Vietnamese dishes use a different agar than most recipes, so I am confused as to which type I should us for yogurt.
– C. Sweeting

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11 SusanV November 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

Actually, Kikkoman Pearl is my favorite brand of soymilk, but you're the first person I've ever talked to that knew what it was! It's available here on my supermarket shelves, so it's easy for me to find.

The agar I use is a pale, almost colorless powder. I find it in small packets in the Asian market under the brand "Telephone." If you look closely, you can see the packet in one of the photos.

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12 Carlan December 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I am wondering if anyone has ever made this with anything other than soy… we don't do dairy or soy at our house… but was wondering about using coconut milk to make it. Any thoughts?

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13 Gina December 31, 2009 at 3:34 am

Hi Susan,

I'm so excited to try out this recipe. It is so hard to find fat free and low fat soy yogurt, and I live in Northern CA where one would think it would be easy to find.

I have one question for you: How long does the yogurt last in the fridge?

Thank you,
Gina

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14 SusanV December 31, 2009 at 11:04 am

Gina, I'm guessing that it is best to use it within 5 days, but I think I've actually had it last closer to 7.

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15 rakel January 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I have a yogurt starter from Natren. It's supposed to be for dairy products, but would I get the same results using it in soymilk? I'm not vegan, but I have always been a little allergic to dairy, and it seems to be getting worse. I'd love it if I could make some of my own soy yogurt and cheese products. Awhile ago my mom purchased a yogurt maker and some starter for me and I'm thinking this might be something I should try.

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16 SusanV January 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm

rakel, that starter should work with soymilk. I don't know how allergic to dairy you are, but most yogurt starters contain minute amounts of dairy since they were cultured using dairy. Just thought you should know.

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17 Anonymous January 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Carlan, I have made yogurt using a variety of non-dairy and non-soy products, and like the soy yogurt, it sometimes takes a bit of experimentation to get the results you like. I use a mixture of almond milk, and coconut milk (Turtle Mountain makes both cultured coconut milk yogurt and soy yogurt as well as a coconut milk beverage which I love). I use both agar and xanthan gum. The key is to be sure to heat the milks high enough to kill the bacteria and to dissolve the thickeners. Of course you have to cool the milks to the appropriate temperature before stirring in the starter or yogurt. Keep track of what you do and your results, this way if the yogurt is to your liking you can duplicate, or if you don't like it you can try different amounts of agar and/or xanthan gum. As was stated earlier, agar will make a more gel like firmness, so you want to increase this gradually. I find the addition of xanthan gum lends a creamier thickness and couples well with the agar. Good Luck!

Also, this is a great website and I am glad I found it! Thanks!

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18 The Real Me February 11, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I just asked a question about soy yogurt before I found this post. I'll see if I can find someone in the "big town" a few hours away to find me plain soy yogurt because I have this very same yogurt maker lounging in the cabinet.

I'm going to hint to hubby that I need a soy milk maker. Maybe I'll just tell him after it arrives…lol.

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19 Sarah March 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Whenever I make this recipe I try very hard to dissolve my agar agar but it never seems to go all the way. I usually find a few small piece when I'm eating the yogurt. Is there a trick to it?

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20 Sandy April 28, 2010 at 12:26 am

I find the site very interesting and I have made soya yogurt with soya milk and adding dairy yogurt as starter, my husband loves it and I have not tried it because I am having problems with fermantation and yeast.

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21 Frank Gasca June 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Hi
I am the plant manager with Wholesoy. We have a full line of Organic,Non GMO, soy yogurts called Wholesoy. The starter is very importent to making a good thick yogurt. You can use our plain product for that and you will see a big change in the thickness.

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22 Ann April 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

I like Wholesoy, but too many calories! Will there be a non fat or low fat plain or other version ever?

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23 William Huebl July 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I have been struggling to make soy yogurt and finally today, I made some that was not thin as were my other attempts.

The recipe will be on my website shortly: http://mryogurt.info/

It is different from the recipe posted here as it uses instant soy milk as well as soy protein and sugar. Also, a pinch of salt and some lemon and vanilla extracts.

Bill

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24 Lily Lococo September 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I have a “couisine” brand yogurt maker, and I experimented making soy yogurt, all I used was soy milk (organic) and yogurt starter which came with my yogurt maker. It took ten hours, but was firm, and delicious !!! Lily

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25 Pance October 11, 2010 at 1:45 am

Hi! I am working with natural remedies and the influence of the healthy lifestyle on the health, and strict vegetarian life, so i wanted to ask about the yogurt maker. What is his origin? Is it from animal source or vegan? I will need to find maybe substitute because here i don’t believe we can find this product in Macedonia.
Greetings!

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26 Bobbie January 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Hi,

I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. I’ve made several of your recipes, and they are always fantastic. Your sweet potato casserole is now my “signature” dish for the holiday gatherings.

Thanks for sharing!

Bobbie

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27 Charles1960 January 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I tried to make soy milk yogurt last night. What a disaster! After incubating for 8 hours in a Sultan yogurt maker & then chilling over night it came out all separated a runny & yes I followed all the prep work with a thermometer. What did I do wrong? Thank you in advance, Charles.

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28 Liora January 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I am going to try it when I get my yog. maker (in a couple of days).
I eat a lot of soy yogurt, and its getting quite expensive to maintain that habit. Making my own will save me a bundle.

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29 April January 28, 2011 at 10:45 am

I see someone else asked this question but no reply. Will it work with coconut milk/coconut milk yogurt? I tried some and it came out all runny, but maybe I did something wrong. It was with coconut milk and coconut milk yogurt. Trying to avoid too much soy.

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30 SusanV January 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

April, I think that you need to find a recipe that’s specifically for coconut milk. I’m afraid that I haven’t tried it, and as you found out, this recipe doesn’t really work just substituting coconut for soy.

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31 Nicole January 29, 2011 at 10:03 am

Susan,
First of all, thank you so much for all your helpful tips and wonderful recipes! Your blog is making it so much easier for me to transition my family and myself into a vegan lifestyle!
I have now attempted to make this recipe for soy yogurt twice and failed both times. I followed your instructions exactly, but still somehow got it wrong. The first attempt I checked the yogurt after about 6 hours and it was still a little runnier than I thought it should be, so I went to bed and got it out in the morning. It was then completely solid. It had separated and even the whey was a clear, yellow solid at the bottom. When I stirred it up I found that the whey would not mix with the yogurt. With another jar I scooped out just yogurt and stirred thoroughly only to find it was curdled. For my next attempt I decided to just take it out at 5-6 hours and let it just be runny. I did, and stirred it before I put it in the refrigerator. It was smooth and creamy. I refrigerated it over night, and in the morning I found it had curdled again. Help!! This is my 4th batch to mess up (I’ve messed up other recipes as well!) and I’m about to just give up and take the yogurt maker back!! I have a Euro Cuisine that has 7 individual glass jars. Is it possible that it is getting too hot? Is it possible that the presence of dairy is effecting it? (for one batch I used fat free dairy Greek yogurt because plain soy is difficult for me to find and the other batch I used a package of Yogourmet freeze dried culture) Please help!!

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32 Isabelle August 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hi, I want to start making my own soy yogurt but I’m curious if there is any other way than using soy yogurt as a starter? Also, If you keep 1/2 cup of previously made yogurt to make the next batch, is it always going to work well as you are making a copy of a copy of a copy? Thanks

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33 SusanV August 15, 2011 at 9:50 am

There are starters you can buy, but it’s hard to find one that’s completely vegan. And no, as you get further away from the original starter, your yogurt won’t work as well as a starter, so you have to buy more soy yogurt to use as a starter.

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34 Dawn August 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Susan–Thanks again for the inspiration! I had wanted to try making yogurt for a long time–since back when I drank dairy milk. I used to see those old-style Salton yogurt makers with the individual cups at thrift stores all the time. Then for a while there were none to be found. Recently I found one for $2.97. The tag said it worked so I thought, “Well, if it doesn’t I’m only out $3 plus the cost of supplies.”
Time to try! I used Wholesoy Unsweetened Plain yogurt as my starter yogurt and a store brand of plain soymilk. My agar powder is Golden Coins brand. I started a bit later in the day than I planned. I followed your method and waited 8 hours. Tasted and there was barely a tang. So I left it for another 2. Still not really a “yogurty” taste. Left for another 2. It was then 1 am. (Yes, I am a bit crazy when I start an experiment!) Tasted and yes it was tangy like yogurt. So I stirred and refrigerated. I checked it late this morning and hey–it’s yogurt. It still seems a bit thin to me. I used one of the cups to make a thin dip/dressing with a garlic spice packet I had and put some on a baked potato for lunch. Delicious!! I will definitely make it again. I had almost 2/3 cup mixture left after I filled the little cups for the yogurt maker. So I was thinking I could reduce the soymilk by that amount and use the same amount of agar. Maybe this would make it thicker. What do you think?
Thanks again–Dawn

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35 SusanV August 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

That sounds like a good plan. It’s sometimes hard to get it thick enough, but that just might work.

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36 Dawn August 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

Hi again Susan. I wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed the soy yogurt that I made. I told you I had some mixed into a sauce. I enjoyed some with fruit in a smoothie, I just put Orange-grapefruit Soy Yogurt Pops into the fridge and am baking a blueberry (sort of a)cobbler using the yogurt in the crust topping. I have one cup left and will attempt to strain it. We’ll see how it goes. I can’t wait to try it again with the modifications. I may switch soy milk brands too. Found some on clearance yesterday–thought of this post when your husband bought some. Thanks again–Dawn

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37 Lynn August 25, 2011 at 12:17 am

If you’d like your yogurt thicker – years ago, I purchased a Donvier Waver yogurt strainer. Works very well – strain a little to make a bit thicker, a lot to make the most delicious soy yogurt cream cheese!

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38 Dawn October 12, 2011 at 8:43 am

Okay–I finally got around to trying it again.
I reduced the amount of soy milk by 2/3 and left all the other measurements the same. I used WholeSoy Unsweetened Plain as my 1/2 cup starter yogurt. I used Silk Original soy milk in the aseptic container (I found some on clearance). This time I incubated for 12 hours without checking the tanginess in between. The thickness is really good this time. Seems almost just like the WholeSoy in the container. Not perfectly smooth but I think that’s not achievable here in my home kitchen. I was using a mini hand whisk to blend the individual cups (old Salton yogurt maker) before refrigerating. And it is really tangy. In a good way. I like tangy yogurt. I am keeping track of the changes I made and times, etc.
Thank you for the tutorial. I use my laptop in the kitchen and pictures help me!

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39 Kim November 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Hi Susan,

I tried to make the soy yogurt (this is actually the second time I’ve made it, but first using your directions). I’ll first start with I’m no newbie to making yogurt, just soy yogurt. Both times, the soy milk separated quite a lot, leaving me with nearly half “soy whey” liquid and the rest more like soy curds, not really yogurt at all. Ideas on how to resolve this? Are some soy milks better to use than others? Thanks!

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40 Susan Voisin November 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Yes, I find that you have to try different ones until you find the soymilk that works best. Also, mine does separate some, but I just blend the liquid back in and it sets when it’s refrigerated.

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41 Kim November 21, 2011 at 7:06 am

I’ll try again with a different brand. Mine separate a lot. I probably got 50% whey; 50% curds. And it did look like curds, not yogurt. I’ll try it out next time with the WholeSoy brand if I can find it in a market by me. It also wasn’t very tangy, but I guess once I saw it had turned into curds, I stopped culturing it. I’ll try to culture it more next time. The other strange thing that happened was the top popped off of my Yogourmet yogurt maker twice while we were making it. Scared my poor dog! :)

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42 Shirley January 9, 2012 at 8:17 am

I tried making soy yogurt yesterday for the first time and the results were really good. I have a yogurt maker that had been gathering dust since I went vegan back in 2008. What joy to have quality yogurt again thank you for the recipe and detailed directions.

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43 Shirley January 19, 2012 at 9:12 am

Made second batch of yogurt yesterday. 2 quick questions.
1) I can only get agar in little flakes not powder. I have been everywhere and this is all I can find. Where do you all find your agar powder?
2) Has anyone added more agar to get a thicker yogurt?

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44 Susan Voisin January 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

You could try grinding your agar flakes to a powder in a blender. I buy agar powder in the Asian grocery store where it’s very inexpensive.

You can add more agar. Just be careful not to add too much or you’ll have yogurt jello!

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45 Shirley January 19, 2012 at 9:46 am

I tried milling it down in a coffee grinder, a blender and my food processor and the stuff stayed in flakes. I do have a huge Asian market near me and will try there to find the powder. Thanks again.

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46 Amanda May 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I am trying to understand how this is considered healthy since it is cooked in a microwave. What does the process look like without the use of a microwave?

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47 Susan Voisin May 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm

There is nothing unhealthy about cooking in a microwave (in fact, it can be healthier than other forms of cooking), but anything that can be done in the microwave can be done in a pot on the stove.

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48 Mike August 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I have reliably achieved a reasonably thick consistency without agar, tapioca, or xanthan gum by using a soy-oat yogurt recipe I came up with:

Puree 1 cup rolled oats with about 1-1.5 cups water in the blender. Pour into fine mesh strainer and drain. Take the strained liquid (the solids in the strainer can be eaten as cereal later) and add enough water to equal 2 cups.

Combine that 2 cups of oatmilk and 2 cups soymilk and heat everything until boiling (the heating is essential to enhance the thickening power of the oats).

Then, cool to about 105 degrees. Add to yogurt machine or thermos. Add the culturing yogurt (about 1/2 cup). Let sit for 12 hours or more.

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49 Alexandra August 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

I like the idea of trying the oatmilk to create the creaminess. I did try the recipe using homemade soymilk and 1 PB8 capsule as the starter. I was very assiduous in stirring the agar; perhaps too much stirring. My yogurt thickened but was gelatinous. So I am still trying.

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50 Cindy September 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm

What recipe do you use to make soymilk ? I have a maker but have found that I have a hard time making soymilk that tastes good to me. can’t wait to try making yogurt and then greek yogurt!

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51 Christian October 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Dear Susan I have a question please.

As a thickening agent do you think something like arrowroot powder would work dissolved into the warm soy milk? Also can you get cultures from say a health food store to start the process with instead of buying soy yogurt from a market as the starter?

I love yogurt and while I am mostly vegan I do use organic fat free & sugar free greek yogurt from time to time and would love to make my own dairy free. I find soy yogurts too sweet as well. I often use plain yogurt as a base for salad dressings.

Thanks for answering all of our questions your site is the best test kitchen!!!
I can almost smell the recipes through the computer screen!!!

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52 Susan Voisin October 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I’m not sure that arrowroot would work because I think it needs to be heated to a higher temperature than the yogurt gets. If you don’t mind a little dairy, there are yogurt starters that you can buy. The only reason I didn’t mention them is because most are grown from dairy cultures so I don’t use them.

Thanks for the kind words and good luck!

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53 Jennifer October 31, 2012 at 8:44 am

Thank you so much for this! I didn’t even know soy yogurt existed and I live in a metropolitan area and have looked. I have an 18 month old who is allergic to dairy. Any type of dairy milk breaks her out in hives and causes her intense stomach pain. I’ve been at a loss for what to feed her for breakfast besides fruit and toast and she’s rapidly getting tired of those. So now thanks to you I can make my own soy yogurt for her and make her smoothies! I hope this isn’t a lifelong issue for her but if it is at least I’m slowly learning creative ways to feed her. I just wish there were more information or recipes dedicated to feeding dietary challenged toddlers lol!

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54 Shauna Russ November 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hi Jennifer,

Many years ago, I also had to deal with a little one who suffered from several allergy issues and dairy was one of them. We used goat’s milk to substitute for dairy products as it didn’t seem that soy was that popular back then (or we were just not aware of it). Anyway, it’s nice to have as many options as possible. For the past 6 years I’ve had to REALLY learn about allergies since my service dog, a lovable little Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is almost allergic to the world! It was because of her that I even became aware of soy yogurt! Since learning so much about nutrition for her, I’ve started eating better and mostly have a vegetarian diet myself.

Susan, thank you for such an interesting and helpful site, I’ve already spent several hours out here today and look forward to trying many of the recipes. Thanks for all that you are sharing with us!

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55 Fiona November 15, 2012 at 4:23 am

This is a very helpful post! I have made almond milk yogurt (and pumpkin seed milk yogurt) according to Lexie’s Kitchen Blog but find it to be very fiddly and was sure there must be simpler directions out there. Your directions are definitely simpler! I think I will still heat up my almond milk on the stove because my stove is gas and heats up very quickly, but will otherwise follow your directions! Do you ever put your yogurt in an ice water bath to cool it more quickly to 115? I read on Lexie’s Kitchen Blog that this would cause the agar to start setting, but I don’t see why that would be a problem really. Thanks in advance for your input and for posting these directions!

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56 Joe January 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

There is a very, very easy way to make cultured soy (soy yogurt). I had to come up with the following because soy yogurt manufacturers have all apparently gotten out of the business, at once, and it is a staple of mine. The rumor is that you can no longer use the words, “soy yogurt,” on any product because “yogurt” now has legal standing as a product that must contain dairy products. Not sure if that’s true, but I know that Silk is out of the soy yogurt biz, for now. OK, easy: Take a 14 oz. container of silken tofu, throw it in a food processor, add two cups of soy milk (any one you please), blend until it looks like pancake batter, pour into a glass bowl, add contents of three, open, probiotic capsules that contain at least three bacterial species, stir, place in oven with light on to give one-hundred degree temp reading, leave over night. In the morning, pour the now-thickened contents into a lock-tight container and chill in the fridge. In a few hours you will have the best cultured soy you’ve ever tasted. No fuss, no hassle, great cultured soy! Enjoy!

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57 Alexandra January 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I made this last night, and it worked like a charm; I used only 2 capsules of acidophilus, and it produced a fairly mild and sweet tasting yogurt. Thank you for this idea/recipe.

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58 Garland February 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Hi Joe
I live in Australia and was wondering with the oven part of the recipe. Do you mean leave the light on and that will be the equivalent of 100 degrees farenheit (in Australia it is Celsuis). I am assuming overnight is 12 hours.
Many thanks Garland.

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59 Paul in NJ March 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Have you updated or changed this recipe since 2007? For example, have you tried adding soy powder, or soy protein, as a thickener? I’ve tried the protein but, as of yet, not the powder.

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60 Susan Voisin March 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm

No, I don’t use concentrated soy protein, so that would never occur to me to try.

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61 Paul in NJ March 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

When Silk stopped offering quarts of soy yogurt I called the company directly. They told me that, yes, they’d discontinued the quarts, but that the product would return as “fruit on the bottom” individual serving packages.

As for the rumor that “soy yogurt” is now forbidden, not so — the dairy lobby has been complaining to the FDA for years about “misleading” labeling, but the FDA is in no hurry to go there. Here’s the link to the article:
http://www.capitalpress.com/newest/CRD-dairy-imitation-021513

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62 Rj Angus April 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Looks tasty. Wanna try this out for a change. I consume “cow’s milk” yogurt btw. Can I replace plain soy yogurt with plain cow’s milk yogurt? In recipe.

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63 Susan Voisin April 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Yes, but you might do better to just use a recipe specific for cow’s milk.

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64 OrganicallyUs June 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Good morning! I just finished making some super thick soy yogurt. I use soy protein to make it thicker, which works really well. Especially since I need a higher protein diet. Here’s a post with the picture of how thick it turned out. http://goo.gl/uwkeD. It was started around 9pm last night, and the photo is when it was being released from the salton at 9am this morning (12 hours).

It is not as tangy as milk yogurt, however I am unable to consume milk products regularly. Soy yogurt generally lacks the tangy flavor because it lacks lactic acid. I can, however, add lemon!

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65 Hanifah June 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Thanks for the recipe. Soy yogurts are difficult to find in any market at this time. I never thought about this happening; what’s next! I better get back to homemade-slow down and do it right.
Thanks again
Hanifah

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66 Deb July 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hi Susan!
Is this still your go-to recipe for yogurt? Have you ever tried the vegan starter culture from Cultures for Health? I ordered some, but it won’t be here for a few days. I’m going to give your method with the agar a try (agar should arrive today =).

Thank you for all your hard work in helping us all to eat better!!!

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67 Karin Dietsch July 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I made this soy yogurt and it is absolutely delicious. I am wondering if you have ever tried to make almond milk yogurt?

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68 Art Scott July 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Hi Susan: I’d love to try this, as I love yogurt, and I see a lot of wonderful recipes on your site that use it as an ingredient. My question is, for how long can you save and use the 1/2 c as a starter, how many cycles about? Or do I need to plan on having fresh new starter. Thanks a bunch, Scott

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69 Susan Voisin July 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm

It depends a lot on the potency of the batch, but I would count on using a new starter every three or four batches.

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70 Ron August 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

Thank you for this recipe/process. A couple of times you say things like “you can mix it with fresh or thawed fruit, use it in smoothies, or use it in any recipe calling for yogurt.” You don’t mention just eating it alone. Is it good like this? Is there any sweetness left after culturing?

Also I have a suggestion for sanitizing the equipment if you find using boiling water to be awkward or dangerous–Use a product intended for santizing equipment for homebrewing beer, either StarSan or SaniClean from Five Star Chemicals. Mix with water in a bucket, and drop in your equipment for a couple minutes. Make sure all soil is removed first, and make sure the solution covers all surfaces. This will kill all microorganisms. Do not rinse. As long as the solution is not cloudy, you can use it again. Works best with distilled water because of minerals in some water.

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71 Susan Voisin August 20, 2013 at 9:52 am

Ron, I’m sure you could eat the yogurt alone, but it’s not very sweet by itself, and I’m afraid I have a sweet tooth when it comes to yogurt and don’t really like it without fruit. (That goes for any yogurt, not just this recipe.) Thanks for the tip about the sanitizing product. I don’t really like using chemicals, but I appreciate the suggestion.

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72 lee silverstein October 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

I have not been receiving your emails..miss you

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73 M C March 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

“For best results, select a brand that is not fat-free.”

What happens if you use fat-free soymilk?

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74 Susan Voisin March 21, 2014 at 11:58 am

It just doesn’t get very thick.

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75 belinda April 2, 2014 at 9:22 am

Hi! Would I be ok using almond milk instead of soy milk in this recipe? Thanks :)

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76 RonAU June 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

After much experimentation (and thankfully never a failure), I’ve found the following works best for me. It produces a thick and tangy yoghurt.

2 cartons (2 litres) of full fat soy milk (I use whole soybean milk not the isolate type)
4 Tb of sugar (the sugar gets eaten by the culture during the process)
culture (I buy culture rather than use yoghurt)

Put soymilk in pan, add sugar, heat to 42C stirring all the time to dissolve the sugar. Cool to about 40C, stir in the culture. Add to electric yoghurt and ‘cook’ for 24 – 36 hours depending how much tartness you like.

I’ve tried using thickeners including soy protein powder (makes the yoghurt gritty and very soy-tasting) but find ‘au naturel’ to be the best.

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77 RonAU June 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

PS Whatever happened to Bryanna Clark Grogan’s website? Any link to it leads a page not found error.

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78 SMJ July 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for the tips! When I used agar, my yogurt came out tasting like seaweed. I’ve found the only thickener that works at all for me is pectin (the low- sugar kind), and I need about 1 tsp per cup of milk. Even then, I still have to strain the yogurt or it is too runny and separates. I’ve found that paper basket-style coffee filters work well and quickly for straining, and the strained yogurt falls out cleanly.

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79 Katrina Begg July 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Thank you for this recipe! I’ve made soy yogurt a couple of times with my yogurt maker and it turned out runny both times. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I feel guilty using dairy milk, so I will definitely try soy again.

Any tips for those of us using flakes instead of powder? I can’t seem to find the powder form.

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80 Susan Voisin July 7, 2014 at 9:05 am

You could try grinding the flakes in a blender. Or you can use them as-is. I think the ratio is 1 teaspoon powder = 3 teaspoons flakes, so you will need 3 times as much.

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81 Emily Massey September 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just put soy yogurt on to incubate, fingers crossed that it a hit. I’ve made dairy yogurt and have been attempting to find a soy yogurt recipe that works in my kitchen! Since this post is from a few years ago, I was curious if the Soy Dream is still your favorite brand for making yogurt? I’m using the one you recommended, since I’ve tried other brands before, Westsoy, Kirkland but did not like the resulting taste/texture with those… love you site, I refer here almost daily, but my first time commenting!

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