How to make plant-based yogurt

Yoghurt7I’ve been making soy yogurt for a while now, and this yogurt is healthy and tastes good, but I wanted to try other plant-based yogurts and decided to do some experiments. I tested 6 different plant based milks.

I use soy milk from a dutch brand called ‘Melkan’. There are some variations between different brands, so you should try a few and see which has the best result.

Let’s begin.. Yoghurt1
I chose these 6 different types of milk;

  • Soymilk
  • Almondmilk
  • Oatmilk
  • Speltmilk
  • Ricemilk
  • Hazelnutmilk

I made two soy yogurt jars; one for the test, and one to save for the next batch. You can use your home made yogurt to make a new batch, again and again.

This time I used a simple strawberry yogurt as a starter culture. If you don’t want to use any dairy, you can buy some soy yoghurt. You don’t need any kind of expensive starter-powder.

“Some stores sell starter culture powder, but normal yogurt contains the exact same cultures and works just as good.”

Yoghurt2To make yogurt you can use a yogurt maker. I use the yogurt maker from the brand Severin. It contains seven jars, and I find it ideal because one liter of (soy) milk fills exactly six jars. And one last jar from the last batch. If you would like to buy one, check out this link. This one is similar to the one I use.
If you want to make larger batches and use the machine for more than just yogurt, then perhaps it is worthwhile to purchase a more professional machine like this: click here. These kind of automatic heating pots allow you to set the temperature, which is actually ideal for making yogurt, but you can also use it to make bread dough, to make tempeh, and to cook ..
But if you just want to try it then you can start by placing the yogurt in the oven with the oven light turned on or with a hot water bottle wrapped in cloths. That creates enough heat to allow the yogurt to ferment. 


So, to make yogurt you will need a starter culture. A teaspoon of yogurt for each cup of milk is enough.
To start the fermenting process a bit quicker, you can heat the milk before you put it in the yogurt maker. I use regular thermometer, you know, the old fashioned thermometer that you put in your tea to fake being sick, haha. This show temperatures between 32 and 42 degrees celcius, but that’s fine, because your milk should be around 35 degrees.
Then you mix it with the yogurt and you pour it into the jars.
Yogurt from cows milk will be ready after 6 hours, but soy milk needs more time. I usually let it sit for about 18 hours, so that’s what I do for this experiment as well.

“After 18 hours, the soy milk has changed from a liquid milk into a nice, smooth, thick yoghurt.”

Yoghurt6The soymilk comes out fine, but let’s find out what has happened to the other types of milk. As you can see on the picture below, two jars look transparant with sediment on the bottom. The rest looks more hopeful. Let’s take a closer look ..

First, the soymilk. This is my control sample to compare the rest. A beautiful, smooth yogurt, similar to the stirred yoghurt from the store. It tastes fine.Yoghurt7

The almond milk. This is just as liquid as in the beginning. That was a bit disappointing. But the taste is different. The milk is clearly less sweet, and has a yogurt-like flavor, which means that the yogurt cultures have fermented the sugar.

The hazelnut milk. A similar result as almond milk. Still watery, but with the typical yoghurt flavor.

The oat milk. The picture is unfortunately somewhat unclear, but this yogurt is a bit thicker than the hazelnut and almond. Yet it is still significantly more liquid than the soy milk. But the taste is just like the previous two yogurt-like. Delicious.

And then spelt milk. I think it’s obvious that this milk, just like the rice milk, completely separated. On top a thin layer of yogurt, probably the starter culture, and at the bottom a lot of sediment, which after stirring gave a funny christmas-snowbol effect. It didn’t look very tasty, so I didn’t try these two. 


The soy milk, including most cheaper brands, are well suited for making yogurt.
The oat milk, almond milk and hazelnut milk stay liquid, but it tastes like yogurt. So, they can be used as a drinking yoghurt. Try for example to make this yogurt with strawberries, raspberries, banana or other fruits in the blender. So you get a delicious, healthy fruit yogurt drink.

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