Making Your Own Soy Yogurt
Been looking for a Soy Yogurt recipe or recipe for other non-dairy yogurts? Look no further. This soy milk yogurt can turn out creamy and delicious. It has been several years since I switched my diet to one which is largely vegan, but just recently I started to miss the yogurt I once started my day with atop my cereal. So why not make some non-dairy yogurt?
You’ll may see soy yogurt and coconut yogurt in your local grocery and other places, but why not just make your own?
The result? A rich and creamy tangy delight. If you wish, you can start with store-bought soy milk (or coconut milk or almond milk), but I find the best home made yogurt comes when I make my own soymilk. In this recipe here, I’ll show you how to make your own non-dairy milk. As I’ve been trying to limit the amount of packaging (waste) I use, I almost always make my own “milks.”
As for making yogurt, you can send away for starters, but all you really need to do is buy a small container of live soy yogurt. If you don’t care about ingesting a little dairy, any yogurt will do, soy or not, but the important thing is to make sure the container states that it is a “live” culture. The beneficial bacteria involved in making yogurt are generally Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus although sometimes Bifidobacteria and other lactobacilli are added. When I’m trying to choose between all the different yogurt options, I generally pick the one with the greatest array of bacteria strains. During the fermentation period, the natural (and added) sugars are consumed, converting the taste and texture to the tart and creamy goodness many of us love.
I’ll walk you through this soy yogurt recipe in two stages here, 1) making the milk and then 2) turning that milk into yogurt. If you purchase the soy milk, you can scroll down to the “Making Yogurt from Soy Milk” section.
Making Your Own Soy Yogurt
- 1 quart Soymilk (if not making your own soy milk)
- 1/4 cup soy yogurt purchased from store or gifted from fermenting friend (or for most consistent results use a pre-packaged yogurt starter). You can actually use any live yoghurt (dairy or non-dairy) as a culture if you wish.
- or, if making your own soymilk
- 1 cup dry soybeans
- 3 Tablespoons sugar (I used Coconut sugar) – use more for greater sweetness
- 1 quart water
- vanilla extract if desired to taste
Making the Soy milk
- Prepare the soybeans - Simmer the dried soybeans in water over low heat for about 2 hours. While I’ve read of some people simply soaking the soybeans overnight and blending them, in my experience cooking the soybeans first helps with making a much creamier milk base from which to make the yogurt. Pre-soaking your soybeans overnight can reduce that cooking time quite a bit. Pre-soaked soybeans cooked in a Pressure Cooker will need only about 15 minutes to cook. These Instant Pots are becoming very popular electric pressure cookers with many other functions as well. I use mine all the time now.
- Drain the soybeans - and rinse
- Blend - place the soybeans in a blender and add the quart of water and the sugar. Blend until fully liquified.
- Strain - If you don't mind a slightly grittier testure, you can skip this step. Using a filtration medium such as a nutmilk bag, (I use this one), strain the soy milk to remove any solids. If you squeeze on it a little extra you can get some of the creamier part into your soy milk.
Making Yogurt from Soy Milk
- Heat the soy milk - Pour the soymilk into a pot and heat it on the stove until it reaches 110 – 115 degrees Farenheit (43 – 48C). To be extra safe regarding avoiding harmful bacteria, you can bring the soymilk to a boil first and then allow it to cool to the proper temperature.
- Pour the warmed soy milk into a bowl (or Instapot)
- Add starter - Mix in the 1/4 cup of live Yogurt (or pre-packaged yogurt starter)
- Add vanilla extract - to taste as desired
- Warm the oven - If using an oven as an incubator, I prefer to use a heating pad like this seed starting mat to keep the oven warm. You can also simply run your oven at 400 degrees for approximately two minutes and then turn it off. The best really is to use an Instapot and set it to the yogurt setting. Set the timer for 12 hours
- Place the bowl in the oven - and let it sit for about 4 hours or overnight
- *If you're not using a heating pad, warm the oven again by removing the bowl from the oven and again running the oven at 400 degrees for two minutes
- return the bowl to the oven - for another 4 hours or overnight.
- Taste it (as if you haven’t done so already!)
- Don't Double Dip! - Honor the momma what raised you and refrain from “double dipping” the spoon (to avoid introducing other bacteria)
- If you want to make your yogurt more tart - re-warm the oven and place the bowl in for another 4 hours
- If you want it more sweet - add more sugar of your choosing
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75.73Total Fat: 1.26gSaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 41.31mgCarbohydrates: 12.45gFiber: 1.37gSugar: 7.88gProtein: 2.96g
Make a nice fruit parfait by mixing with fresh fruit, or place over waffles or your favorite cereal (I admit I’m addicted to my home made muesli pictured at top of page). Kids might love it on top of your homemade dosa or quinoa dosa.
Does heating of the soybeans make it easier for the hulls to come loose from the soybean?
If I used almonds to make almond milk, would I have to heat them?
Thank you for all of the information that you provide on your site.
Cooking the soybeans does make it easier for the hills to be removed. As for almond milk, I simply soak the nuts overnight before blending them with water. I use about a cup of almonds per quart. For coconut milk, I just use coconut flakes and blend with water. For all milks, add sweetener as desired. You can add a little Xantham Gum as a thickening agent too if desired, but very small amounts. Xantham gum is actually derived from a fermentation process although it is eventually reduced to a powder form. Hope that helps!
Do you have any recipes for yogurt that does not use soy milk? I had a breast removed and can not have soy. I want to start making yogurt.
This same process should work fine for most any milk, so try same procedure with coconut milk or almond milk or hemp seed milk or cashew milk. I just posted a comment here about making almond milk or coconut milk so read through the comments here. Good luck with everything, Margaret.
Was your yogurt thick? I’ve made soy yogurt many times, but it is never thick, more like kefir…. Your photograph makes your yogurt look like it was fairly thick….
Thanks for all you share!
Yes, this yogurt was quite thick and creamy. Two reasons I believe: 1)because I blended it quite fine when making the milk and squeezed some of creamier remnants throu the pores of the nut milk bag, and 2)I let if ferment longer and it seemed to get more thick and creamy the longer it fermented.
Hi again Ted,
Have you used a soymilk maker to make the soymilk instead of the method you mention above? Also wondered if you might share what prepackaged culture you use?
Hey there! I have not tried a soy milk maker, but it sounds easier! As to prepackaged culture, I simply picked up a small container of organic yogurt which noted on the label that it had live cultures, and added that in as my “starter.” No need in my opinion to buy prepackaged cultures unless they have something special in them which is not found in the yogurt you can buy in a store.
I was hiking with a friend of mine yesterday whose son had been struggling with some serious digestive issues for over a year. He’s much improved now, and they attribute his improvement to getting his gut health back in balance through yogurt. They make a bunch of yogurt every couple of weeks, but use expensive starter every time. I advised him to simply take some yogurt from the previous batch to “inoculate” the new batch. If it’s alive in one batch, it will continue to propagate in the next.
It is actually a great idea to remove those hulls. They contain a good portion of some of the antinutrients in the bean. Stuff best not eaten.
And an automated yogurt maker is really cheap and will (if not junk) give consistent results. Temps are critical for yogurt, and the ideal range is very narrow. Too hot kills the critters. Too cold and they won’t thrive.
I have unsweetened soy milk at the moment and would like to try making yogurt using the milk I have now. Would you recommend adding some sugar to my soy milk? And if so, would you add 3 T sugar to 1 qt milk? (I got these numbers based on your soy milk recipe). Thanks!
I would probably add the three Tablespoons of sugar, but you could probably get by with less or more depending on taste preference. Good luck!
Hi Ted. This looks awesome. Will give it a go soon. Am wondering have you ever tried making milk from yellow peas? If so, how did it turn out? Thanks!
I never tried making milk from yellow peas, but you’ve got me curious now! I’ve used rice, cashews, almonds, hemp nut, soybeans, coconut flakes, oats, and probably a few more things to make milks. My favorite lately is Cashew milk as they seem to have less fiber so I can make the milk and not worry so much about straining out the solids.
What cashews do you use for your cashew milk and where do you buy them? Thank you for the recipes! 🙂
When I make it to Costco I tend to buy Cashews there as they have organic ones at a fairly low price. Otherwise at my local natural foods store. Some places sell cashew pieces for much less than the whole ones. A wise choice if available. Oh, and you’re welcome!
After years of struggle I have found that after washing the beans I put them into very hot water — not so hot as to not be able to put hands in. Let them soak just a minute or so and then very aggressively rub them with both hands. Almost all the skins will float after a few rinses. It works like magic.
Great idea! thanks.
Hi, Ted. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to try making thebyoghurt with soy milk then with hemp milk for my youngest, who has many, many allergies. No more GERD after 12 months, though, thank goodness. Question – I have really good probiotic sprinkles for him. Would you happen to know how much of that I should add? Thank you again. 🙂
I’m glad your youngest has moved beyond GERD. Probiotics can be very helpful for that as you know. I honestly can’t say how much of your probiotic sprinkles you should add. If you add the sprinkles before the yoghurt incubates, AND if those particular bacteria can take hold in the yoghurt, then subsequent batches should have more of the probiotics that existed in the sprinkles. You’d have to research though and see which of them might survive in a yoghurt culture environment. Not sure what else to add except good luck!
I have tried to make soy yogurt following the same recipe, including making my own soy milk from dry soybeans.
My yogurt always separates (solids go to bottom, liquid stays on top).
What am I doing wrong…
Sorry to hear you’ve been having difficulties. Culturing yogurt for too long, at too high a temperature or using a non-healthy starter can all cause separation. Good luck!
Nothing is wrong, the sapparation is normal depending on the weather… I’m not expert in non dairy milks. But when I used to make cow milk, it always separate… and the one way I would fix the problem was by gently placing clean kitchen towel over the yogurt to suck up the liquid part… I would repeat the method until the creamy white stick to the towel. Then stir and refrigerate.
i have the same problem with my soy yogurt, the other places from where i follow the recipe makes kind of a tofu like consistency and then they mix it to create a greek yogurt-like consistency but mine just ends up like you mention
did you solve it?
I “cook” my dairy yogurt in a water bath set at 113 fahrenheit. I assume this would work for the soy yogurt too. Has anybody done this?
Do you cover the bowl in the oven?
yes I do, with a cloth usually.
This recipe is simple and straight forward. Other similar recipes suggest adding a thickener, like tapioca, since most said the initial resulting consistency was a bit runny. Do you recommend adding a thickener? If yes, when should it be added and how much?
Hi Tamiko. I don’t have a thickener to recommend. Tapioca might work fine, but haven’t tried it. I played with Xantham Gum before and that was a failure for sure.
Straining the yogurt through cheesecloth will drain some of the excess whey, giving you a thicker yogurt. Use the whey in place of other liquids when baking. The whey will impart almost a sourdough flavor to bread and rolls. Google *uses for yogurt whey* and you’ll find lots of great uses for whey. Yum!
Great tip, Janice!
This is a great page. I’ve been making homemade soy yogurt for a while now and I have the best results when I make it using soy milk from the store that only has two ingredients (soy beans and water). However, I often make tofu and it comes out better when I make my own soy milk. Unfortunately, the same milk doesn’t work when making yogurt. It is much too thick and reminds me of jello. In addition, it’s much too tart. I used to have a soy milk maker, but it never could produce enough fat in the soy milk to make yogurt out of and most of it went down the drain when making tofu so I sold it. I now make my soy milk using a juicer and it comes out wonderful, I only strain it once and it has about less than 1/4 cup of residual pulp which is incredible. My problem is, although I can make outstanding milk, I can only make good tofu. I really want to make yogurt but I must know how to reduce the tartness and thickness. I will increase my water to beans ratio, but what else should I do? Any suggestions?
Hi Cal Gal, To reduce the tartness, I’d suggest incubating theyogurt for a shorter period of time. As to the thickness, that will be directly related to liquid content, so either adding more water or straining a little more solids out should do the trick.
I would like to make soy yogurt with my vintage (cows milk) yogurt maker. Will this work for soy yogurt?
Should work just fine!
Has anyone used a yogurt maker with individual 8 oz jars to make soy yogurt? I have a vintage Salton from the 70s that I use for cows milk yogurt. Just wondering if there any helpful hints out there.
Yes I have the exact same yogurt maker and it worked.I used unsweetened soy milk and incubated it for 12 hours.
My soy yogurt didn’t set. The store bought soy yogurt I used for starter had live cultures recommended. I wonder if it lowered the temperature too much when I added it to the soy milk??? Can we just drink it like lassis or should it be thrown out? Any thoughts or suggestions for another attempt? Thanks much.
Definitely drink it or add it to smoothies,don’t throw it out.
Thank you for this. I tried it and had a great experience. It inspired me to try a Soy/Goat combination that I am very pleased with. I would have never tired it if it were not for your great information. Thank you again!
That’s wonderful! We’ll done!