Yogurt is fermented milk, with a bacterial culture added and is incubated. The method below is for an Instant Pot with a yogurt function. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, check the Notes section for other methods on how to incubate yogurt.
Yield: 4 cups
Making yogurt at home is easy and tasty and it costs only a fraction compared to what you buy in the store. Once you have your yogurt made, it can be enjoyed as is or with a scoop of Fruit & Berry Topping. It can also be made into Greek Yogurt or a Tangy Yogurt Cheese.
Yogurt is made with only two ingredients
- Soy milk
- Yogurt starter
It’s important to use unsweetened soy milk with no sweeteners, stabilizers nor enriched or fortified. The ingredients must be just beans and water. For those of you who live in the Edmonton region Eden Soy is a reliable shelf stable brand available at Amaranth Foods or Earth’s General Store. Soy milk with no additives can also be purchased at Asian markets.
There are three options that can be used:
- A commercially prepared yogurt starter which comes in a powder form and is available in the refrigerator section in most health food stores. Make sure it’s vegan. It’s my understanding dairy yogurt starters are not interchangeable with vegan starters.
- Probiotics come in capsule form and are available in various brands. (I use Optima Probiotic capsules with success).
- Another yogurt can be used. Ensure that it is an unsweetened plant-based yogurt with active cultures. If you make yogurt on a weekly basis this is a cost effective method. Each time you make a batch of yogurt set aside a ¼ cup of fresh made yogurt to be used in the next batch. With this method be sure to isolate this yogurt so it doesn’t get accidently contaminated by dipping into it with an unclean spoon.
How to Use Different Yogurt Starters
To avoid contamination always use clean utensils, containers, and freshly opened milk.
- Commercially prepared yogurt starters will need to be dissolved in the milk. Follow the directions on the package.
- For probiotic capsules, it’s convenient to open a capsule and empty the contents directly into the milk carton. Give it a good shake then pour contents into your choice of incubation container.
- When using another yogurt add about ½ cup of milk to the yogurt and mix until smooth. Add this mixture to the remainder of the milk that will be cultured and stir well to distribute.
- Regular mason jars. During incubation, these can be used with or without lids.
- A heat resistant bowl. If you decide on this method, make sure the bowl fits into the Instant Pot and that it’s easy to remove. Using an Instant Pot Sling can be handy.
- Pour the milk directly into the Instant Pot liner. This method is convenient if you will be transferring the yogurt to a different container after it has cultured. I use this method to make Greek Yogurt and this creamy Tangy Yogurt Cheese.
- Allow a minimum of 8 hours and as long as 12 hours. The longer the time, the more tart the yogurt will get. I set mine around 9 to 10 hours.
- 4 cups (946 ml/1 liter) unsweetened soy milk
- Your choice of yogurt starter (which is listed above)
- Mix your choice of yogurt starter with the soy milk.
- Pour milk into your choice of container and put it into the Instant Pot.
- Lock the pressure cooker lid and select the yogurt setting. The time will default to 8 hours. Leave at default or adjust the time to your preference. Do not disturb until the cycle is complete. The yogurt will be warm and not completely set.
- Remove the yogurt and place in fridge for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. During this process the yogurt will get more firm. This is important especially if proceeding to make Greek Yogurt or Tangy Yogurt Cheese.
- Use the yogurt within a week, however when using fresh yogurt as a culture, use it within 5 days for best results.
- If you don’t have an Instant Pot, it’s best to use a yogurt maker. Another option may be to use the oven with the light left on, however before proceeding with this method, check that your oven light will meet the temperature criteria. For yogurt to culture it needs a consistent warm environment between 100-110°F for the duration of 8 to 12 hours.
- When making yogurt occasionally it may separate into curds. This is normal however, if you want it to be creamy allow the yogurt to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight, then use an immersion blender.