3 simple steps to making your own soyogurt!
The one product, which I never wanted to miss when switching to a plant based diet is yogurt. I just love the sour taste and all its health benefits, like easily digestible vitamins and contribution to gut health. Especially in the summer, berries and yogurt is my favourite base for jar-desserts, drinks or ice creams.
Soy drink is the only plant drink which is comparable to the nutritional value of cow's milk (~3% fat, ~3% protein & ~5% sugar), which is often the base of vegetarian diets.
You can foam it for cappuccini or chai tea like cow's milk, you can use it equally as substitute in all recipes and it is available in even better fortified (with vitamin D, B12, several other vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron) versions than the animal-derived milk to provide its consumers with everything they probably once used to get from cow's milk.
The price of fortified (at least with calcium), organic soy "milk" is acceptable for me.
The price of soy yogurt on the other hand is just ridiculous. The taste of the store-bought ones I tried was not convincing me either, so I started to make my own from my preferred soy drink. Believe me, if you are not completely unfamiliar with your kitchen , making DIY soyogurt is simple and cheap.
To make homemade soy yogurt you need only two ingredients:
Soy milk and a starter (you can use store-bought or previously homemade soy yogurt or a yogurt starter powder).
The preparation process will take you about 1 hour, the yogurt bacteria are finished working about 6 hours later, I recommend you to either let it stand covered in a sunny area or keep it warm in blankets or an isolation box over night.
Cleaning jars is a good start, but to make sure you have only your choen bacteria in the yogurt jars, best is to boil the jars and their lids in a pot with water to kind of "sterilize" them.
For the yogurt better use NOT completely sugar-free soy milk, so that your bacteria have something to nibble.
Fill 2 litres of your favourite soy milk into a big pot to heat it.
Keep watch over the milk and as soon as it started boiling you can turn the heat off, remove it from the stove (especially if it is working electrical) and wait for approximately 30 minutes to let it cool down a bit.
The milk should have about 40°C before you stirr in the bacteria starter or previous soy yogurt.
Instead of using a thermometer, you can try holding your finger in the milk for more than 3 seconds, if it is not hurting you it might be cooled down enough.
This is to keep the bacteria cozy, but not too hot, because they would die when exposed to hot temperatures, just like we would do.
When you stirr them in, make sure to use a whisk to distribute them well over the whole amount of liquid used.
If you like your yogurt thick, then better add some agar agar powder, starch, psyllium or other thickening agents like for jam or sauces.
The bacteria like to have it warm to work at their best, so keep them warm after you filled them into well-washed and tight-closing containers, like glas jars from jam or pickles. #recycling
Heating water in a pot, wrapping and covering the whole bunch in a towel and a thick blanket is the technique I am using to keep the yogurt bacteria working for about 6 hours in a warm environment without a yogurt machine, or turning the oven on.
If you have a big polysterol box like for deliveries, you can for sure use this one as well as isolation.
My soyogurt has been fermented with a bulgarian yogurt starter from Yogurt Holly Food, Gozo.
This starter contains , Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius.
Lactobacillus Bulgaricus lives in the intestinal mucous membrane lining of the healthy human gut. It is able to withstand stomach acid and therefor can reach the final part of the digestive system. The so called "probiotic" organism (micro organisms which have beneficial health effects to their host, when applied in the right amount) grows when it’s needed and diminishes when not. As so called "symbiotic" bacterium, it lives in harmony with the other helpful gastrointestinal bacteria, these the microorganisms help neutralize toxins and kill harmful bacteria by competing with them about growth in a certain area being your gut in that case.
With a sachet of starter culture (or soy yogurt containing living cultures) you can start making your very own soyogurt at home.
If you even have to keep it that long, it is for sure good up to one week after you have made it, if you were working clean and safely and stare it in a fridge. You can use the last glass to make new soyogurt and don's have to start from scratch with a new sachet of starter culture.