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Sunday, January 22, 2017

EASY, CREAMY SOY YOGURT IN THE INSTANT POT

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UPDATE: There is a new post (Feb. 19, 2017) on making a double batch of this yogurt in the Instant pot insert, and it is a slightly streamlined recipe.

I've been working on this yogurt for a few months.  I wasn't having much of luck getting a tangy yogurt that was also medium-thick and creamy, like the yogurt I grew up with.  I also wanted a mixture that didn't include a thickener that needed to be cooked, and I also didn't want to have to sterilize the milk first.

I have finally refined the recipe to my satisfaction, and, now that I have an Instant Pot with a yogurt mode, that makes it even more convenient.  It's so quick to make that I make a batch every 5 days or so, rather than making huge batches that may or may not fit into my refrigerator!

Why do I make soy yogurt?  I want the nutrition of soy milk and the creaminess without too much fat. The most thorough chart of the nutrients in various plant-based milks is here: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/foodandhealth/the-ultimate-guide-to-plant-based-milks/  You can see there  how superior soy is in nutrition.



If you are wary of soymilk, check out my page of research here: http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.ca/p/are-you-concerned-about-safety-ofsoy.html If you are worried about GMO beans, just buy organic soymilk-- organic products cannot contain GMO ingredients or they lose their organic labelling. The thickening ingredient is also NON-GMO, according to my research.

Many people make coconut yogurt from canned coconut.  However, 1 serving (1/2 cup) of that type of coconut yogurt is 240 calories compared to about 57 calories for this soy yogurt (made from full-fat soymilk). The coconut yogurt contains about 20 g fat per serving, 14 g of it saturated, compared to 2 g fat (.4 g of it saturated) in the same amount of soy yogurt. And 1/2 cup soy yogurt contains about 3.2 g protein, compared to 2 g or less with canned coconut milk.

Do we really need to use a thickener?
I've read so many blog posts and FB post and comments about making vegan yogurt and I scratch my head at how some people produce a soy yogurt so nice and solid with no thickeners at all. I have come to the conclusion that soy milks and other plant milks are vary in some way so that some of them thicken without help, and some don't.

I have experimented in the past with cornstarch, tapioca starch and agar powder (each by itself, and then various mixtures of the above) as thickeners and didn't really like the consistency or mouthfeel of any of them, alone or together with another. I also didn't want to have to cook anything in the procedure.  Instant Clear Jel (not regular Clear Jel, BTW) or Ultra Gel proved to be the answer to making nice creamy yogurt that will hold its' shape with any cooking.


Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S EASY, CREAMY HOMEMADE SOY YOGURT IN THE INSTANT POT (CULTURED IN JARS) Updated on Feb. 19, 2017
Yield: 5 cups

Ingredients (only 3!):
The Milk:
4 cups (946 mL) UHT (ultra heat treated; in a Tetra Pak carton) organic soymilk,  original style-- use an UN-opened carton (I use PC Organics Fortified Soy Beverage, Original, a Canadian brand-- I prefer "original" to "plain".)
The Starter:
1/4 cup commercial or homemade soy yogurt with live culture (I have used "Nancy's Cultured Soy" with success), OR 1 tsp. dried vegan yogurt culture OR powder from 2 probiotic capsules (live, nondairy)
The Thickener:
3 Tbs Instant Clear Jel-- DO NOT use regular Clear Jel for making jam and pies (I understand that you can substitute twice as much Cornaby's Ultra Gel, which is easier to find in Canada. Instant Clear Jel is available in Canada only from baking supply wholesalers but it's carried on amazon.com for US customers. Ultra Gel is available in Canada from healthykitchens.com)
For information about these thickeners, see http://sharealikecooking.blogspot.ca/p/clearjel-page-clearly-best-thickeners.html

Equipment:
An 8-cup microwave-safe (Pyrex) batter bowl or something similar
measuring cups and spoons
Immersion/stick blender
an 8" fine mesh stainless steel strainer with handle
a soup spoon
another bowl or pitcher (or even a pot) that will hold at least 6 cups-- the strainer should be able to rest on top of it without slipping.
5 half-pint canning jars and lids

Directions:
Sterilise/scald all equipment with boiling water, including the jars and the working end of the immersion blender.

Pour 1 cup of the soy milk, straight out of the newly-opened carton, into the batter bowl.  Heat on High in the microwave for 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining milk. Add the starter or yogurt and sprinkle on the Instant Clear Jel or alternate. Blend with the immersion/stick blender until well-blended with no perceptible lumps, but not excessively frothy.

Place the strainer over the extra bowl, pot or pitcher and slowly pour the yogurt mixture into it.  Press the mixture through with the back of the soup spoon if it won't go through easily.  Strain all of the yogurt mixture. This will make for a very smooth yogurt and only takes a minute or two.

Pour the mixture into the 5 jars, screw on the lids and place on the rack inside of the Instant Pot.  Secure the lid, open the steam vent and push the Yogurt function button.  Set the time.  I like a fairly tangy yogurt, so I set it for 10 hours, depending on how long I've been using the starter (it gets tangier with age, and then weakens, by which time you need a new starter). You can taste it after about 8-9 hours and add time if need be.  It will get a little tangier as it cools in the refrigerator.

When it's done, refrigerate the jars for 12 hours before serving.

Save 1/4 cup for the next batch (use within a week) until you judge that the starter is weakening. (Weak starter may cause the yogurt to curdle, separate, and/or be lumpy or runny, and the taste may be not as tangy. If this happens, use the results for smoothies and, next time, start with powdered vegan starter, probiotic powder or newly-purchased soy yogurt.)




Servings: 10

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving): 57 calories, less than 1 calories from fat, 2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 26.1mg sodium, 160mg potassium, 5.9g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 3.2g sugar, 3.2g protein, 1.4 points.

Enjoy!



3 comments:

Cindi Trunk said...

I've used both clear gel and ultra gel in other things, and I am surprised that the texture would be suitable for yogurt. I wouldn't have thought to use it in this way. I'm going to try it though as I too have been unhappy with the consistency I've gotten with straight soymilk. I've tried oatmeal and arrowroot as well with less than satisfactory results (except for with my grandson who will eat anything). So definitely worth a try. I'll report back.

Anonymous said...

Looking fwd to trying this, but do not have an immersion blender. Could I use a whisk instead?

Gail

Brenda Wiley said...

Bryanna ... this post comes at a PERFECT time. I got a Instant Pot a few months ago, and one of the things I've been experimenting with is yogurt. I love how easy this recipe is, and the fact the THREE (!!) ingredients are so easily obtained (Instant Clear Jel is in our local grocery store).

One question on the 2 minute microwave heating of the 8oz of milk. Since microwaves vary so wildly (mine is an ancient 600 watt thing), what are you aiming for at the end of the 2 minutes ... the milk boiling? Or just mildly warm? Or ..... ??? Could you give us a temperature to which to heat it?

Also, I presume the milk should be room temperature to begin with. I often keep my unopened cartons in the fridge so they are ready to go (cold) for when I need it.

Thanks so much!!