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Almond Milk Yogurt - Recipe Not Working, Help!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sadly, I cannot have regular cow's milk or soy, and I find rice milk to be pretty dissatisfying (to put it nicely). So, I am left with a choice of using almond or coconut milk in my diet.

 

I've tried three times to make yogurt out of almond milk. All three of which, I am fairly certain have failed.

 

The problem: After about an hour, the almond milk separates, leaving me with about 2/3 clear liquid, and 1/3 of what I'm assuming is the yogurt? I can't imagine that people put so much effort into making almond milk yogurt, only to get 1/3 the batch size they started with. I must be doing something wrong....here's what I've gotten thus far:

 

First attempt: Heat milk to 180F, add pectin for a thicker yogurt, when the yogurt reached 105F I added some commercial cow's milk yogurt as a starter. A tiny bit of milk is OK, and I was hoping to dilute the cow's milk proteins with each batch.

 

First Fix: I read that heating the almond milk above 105F would make it separate during fermentation

 

Second Attempt: Heat to 100F, add pectin and starter commercial yogurt, place in yogurt machine

 

Second Fix: The pectin was fruit based, so I thought perhaps there was citrus in the pectin, which made the cow's milk based starter yogurt curdle.

 

Third Attempt: Heat to 100F, NO pectin added, starter commercial yogurt added, place in yogurt machine.

 

I first used Stony Field yogurt, then the second two batches were made with Chobani Greek yogurt. Also, I am using Almond Breeze.

 

 

Any suggestions? Has anyone successfully made almond milk yogurt? I miss it so much, I'd really love to make a yogurt that I can eat!

 

post #2 of 10

how about goat's milk? a number of people that can't eat cows milk can handle goats milk. If you could post the recipe it may help determine what's going wrong. They a usually pretty simple though.

 

Here is a link to an almond yogurt recipe I found and it actually uses raw almonds.

 

http://www.pecanbread.com/recipes/almondyogurt.html

 

 

I am going to assume (yep, assume) that the almond milk your using has been over processed already and will always break on you. May be a big assumption but yogurt recipes are so simple that if after three tries and failures, I would be looking for a different process then the one I was using.

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post #3 of 10

I would make it with agar-agar. Simply heat the almond- or cocomilk to the boiling point, add around 3 grams agar per liter and stir. It starts to thicken from 80°C on. To simulate the fermentated yoghurttaste, you could dilute those milks a bit with water, add lemonjuice and/or infuse for a while with kaffirleaves and sugar. When you warm the milk first, you can infuse with a lot more; fruitjuices, kaffir as I already mentioned, fruitpuree from strawberries etc.

 

Experiment with the amount of agar, it's very powerfull. You can make a perfect yoghurt consistency with it, even from plain water!! I Agar-agar is a vegetal gelatine.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Chris, I have seen a recipe using agar-agar. I'm mostly interested in the healthy bacteria's in fermented yogurt, though, and not just the taste and texture. This is why I was really trying to make it work in the yogurt machine with at least an 8 hour fermentation period.

 

Gunnar, I have heard that goat's milk can be easier to handle for some. I just haven't gotten around to experimenting with it to see if it's OK for me. This may be worth looking into at this point, though, as it would make my yogurt expedition that much simpler...But I do think you are right about the commercial almond milk already being over processed. Now that I think about it, all the recipes I came across online were people starting out with a fresh batch of home-made milk. I've got some raw almonds on hand, too, so I'll give this a shot.

 

As for a recipe - I was using 1 liter of milk, about 2 heaping tablespoons of starter yogurt, about 2.5 - 3 tablespoons of pectin (first two batched only), and was aiming for a minimum of 8 hours of fermentation. My yogurt maker is 8 smaller jars as opposed to one quart-sized container.

 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Success! The answer truly was as simple as making my own, fresh almond milk from scratch. Thanks for the suggestions!

post #6 of 10

Congrats! glad it worked out for you.

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post #7 of 10

I was searching for failed almond milk yogurt advice and found your post.  I had the same separation problem and I used a vegan powdered yogurt starter that I bought at Whole Foods.  Please tell me your almond milk recipe.  I soak 1 cup raw almonds in water, add 3 cups water and blend, and then press through a strainer bag?  So you had no problem with separation when you made your yogurt with the homemade almond milk?  Did you use pectin or agar?  I'm curious.  I'm a vegan and hoping for good results.  This will be my 4th attempt.

post #8 of 10

Yes, I'd love to know as well. I use homemade almond milk (1:1 with water). I don't like to add thickeners like starch, agar, guar, etc.

 

Attempt #1: With lid & without lid. I let sit out on counter for 12 hours, but overnight (so wasn't warm).

 

Attempt #2: I tried to make it like coconut milk yogurt so put a lid on & put in my oven with light on. Yeast got into it, so it separated, bubbled, and tasted stringy. 

 

(Side Note: For coconut yogurt, the quickest way to sterilize the mixture is nuke for 30-45 seconds before adding starter. I've seen this method on many blogs and it's the one that works for me.)

post #9 of 10

Okay, since my post last month I've attempted vegan yogurt a few more times.  I bought starter from Cultures for Health (vegan) and pectin (which was recommended in their recipe).  The pectin comes with a little packet of calcium that you make calcium water with and then use just a teaspoon in your batch.  

 

I've had some wild results.  The best result I had was with coconut milk, but it came out more like a gelatin than a creamy yogurt consistency.  It was too stiff, not too tart (which was what I was going for...a tart yogurt).

 

So the next batch, I stuck with the coconut milk.  Used the pectin but no calcium water (as I read that if the milk already has calcium in it, you can forego the calcium to make a thinner yogurt.).  Okay, everything was cool...and then after the 8 hours,  I check and the yogurt had not set...totally watery and clumpy.  never set.

 

So I went with a soy milk - I'm a 2x breast cancer survivor...so I try to limit my soy...but a little is fine.  So tried the soy....followed directions. Brought the milk up to 140, let it cool to 110 to add the starter....prior to that used a small amount in my blender of just milk and added the pectin....then incorporated the 110 degree milk to the pectin put it in the jars to incubate (im using a eurocuisine yogurt maker.  Next thing I notice the yogurt is popping up, out of the jar....whatever liquid that has separated is all over the bottom of the yogurt maker.  The yogurt is more like a custard, with pockets of air in between....and the taste is like...fizzy.  weird.  I'm guessing yeasty?  Started over.

 

Sterilized everything.  Next attempt was using soy and coconut milks combined since I had left over from my attempts.  I read that it's okay to combine.  This time, did the same thing, totally sterile...everything cool.  And again...same type of result.  custardy, yeasty "yogurt".  Yuck. Sooooooooooooooooooooooo.......at this point, i'm thinking maybe it's not me.  I check my yogurt maker and feel the temp on the bottom.  Even though I had put my jars on a hot pad in the yogurt maker, the bottom of the maker was HOT!!! (not 110 degrees).  

 

So I sent it back to Macy's for refund. 

:::sigh:::

back to square one.  

 

Anyone make yogurt using probiotic capsules for starter?

post #10 of 10

Yes, I use probiotic capsules as starter. It worked just fine in my coconut milk yogurt (I use cream). I don't add any thickeners like pectin, agar, gum, or starch.

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