After months of experimention I have come up with a consistently successful recipe for vegan yogurt with light coconut flavor. It’s creamy, tart, and (ta-da) nearly as thick as Greek yogurt! My favorite way to serve this yogurt is with fresh fruit in season and vegan super granola. The pictured yogurt has a swirl of over-the-top raspberry sauce. Will blog that soon!
Stirring agar agar powder (made from seaweed) into thick oat milk is the trick to a nice thick yogurt. Until I developed that trick, most batches were delicious but quite runny. Too much oat milk, though thickening, tasted too ‘oaty’; tapioca flour made it lumpy; guar gum, gritty. While soaking oats, make sure your kitchen counters are clean and take a few minutes to boil some water in your medium pot, then run it over your utensils and into the yogurt-culturing container. This discourages unwanted bacteria from ruining your batch. The sugar is not meant to sweeten the yogurt, but to ensure that good bacteria have something to gobble up. Incubation time can be anwhere from four to eight hours, depending on your tartness preference.
This process is simpler and easier than it looks!
1/2 c steel-cut oats
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 T sugar
1 3/4 t agar agar powder
1 packet vegan yogurt starter
1. Soak steel-cut oats in water for thirty minutes. Drain and rinse well several times. Place oats in Vitamix or blender with enough water to measure one cup on blender container. Whir for twenty seconds. Place a bowl in the sink, catch the oat milk in bowl by squeezing it through a nut milk bag (it should make one half cup of very thick milk). Set aside.
2. Pour coconut milk in medium pot and heat at medium high for about five minutes till it reaches 140 F. (Do not overheat or yogurt will turn out runny no matter what else you do). Take pot off burner. Add sugar and stir.
3. Add agar agar to oat milk; stir well. Add that thick mixture to hot coconut milk.
4. Let mixture cool to 110 F, stirring occasionally to keep it from forming lumps. (This fine 68 F fall day, it took about thirty minutes to cool. In summer, it takes longer.)
5. Sprinkle contents of one packet vegan yogurt starter powder into mixure; stir. Small air bubbles are not unusual here, as you can see in the photo of mixture ready to put into yogurt maker below.
6. Pour mixture into container of yogurt maker. Set timer for six hours. If you have the model I have, you can leave the house now as it will begin chilling the yogurt after your chosen incubation time.
Chill and enjoy!