Friday, 6 April 2012

Homemade yogourt, Almond milk style! (and make your own greek yogourt)

So, lately I've been seeing lots of make your own yogourt posts on blogs and websites. Awesome.
The basic method is to give your milk (about 4 cups) a little boil then cool it down to a baby bath temperature, then you add 2 tbsp of any yogourt with live bacteria cultures and maintain that warm temperature for 8-12 hours(I put a container in a bowl of warm water, in the oven just below the 150F setting) and taadaaa! Yogourt!

But, I can't have dairy (lactose intoler-boo!) I drink almond milk. It's super yum.  Searching the interwebs for a method of making yogourt with almond milk brings results that generally involve crazy things like making your own almond milk using arrowroot powder to thicken and using yogourt  starters from health food stores. Which is great, but I'm not going to do that. I don't buy those things regularly and I don't intend on doing so JUST to make yogourt. Not when I have store bought almond milk in the fridge and a 90% lactose free yogourt I picked up on super sale. So we improvise.

What I did:
I used 2 cups of almond milk and 1 tbsp of the yogourt
gave the milk a little steam and cooled it down then stirred in the yogourt and transferred it over to a container. Which I placed in my bowl of water in the oven then I just left it alone overnight. (about 12 hours).
When it came out though, it was basically liquid. Almond milk doesn't thicken so well. So I cheated and added some vanilla pudding mix and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours.
That didn't thicken it enough so I decided to switch up my methods and turn it into a Greek yogourt.

Did you know you can make your own Greek yogourt? Seriously, out of any old yogourt, either your home made stuff or that tub you picked up on sale. You see, Greek yogourt is just a thicker, creamier version of the regular stuff. It's just had most of the liquid strained out. Neat huh? All you need is a strainer with a container underneath it (to catch the liquid) and a cheesecloth (fold it in half, twice).  If you don't have a cheese cloth you can also use a coffee filter. I used a coffee filter.

How to make Greek yogourt:
Put your cheese cloth or coffee filter in the strainer, put the strainer in a bowl or over a container to catch the water.
Dump your yogourt in and be patient. Once it's a consistency you like just pour it on back into it's container and put it back in the fridge. Enjoy.

Final results are that while very tasty, the almond milk yogourt is still very thin. Almond milk just doesn't thicken. What I'm going to do next time to solve this problem is just use  a bit of corn starch and water boiled into the almond milk to thicken it. Then I'll cool it and carry on as normal. The pudding mix works fine, I just don't like vanilla and would rather it plain.

Let me know how yours turns out.


  1. hello,

    I found your blog while searching for anything related to making almond milk yogurt at home. I'm particularly looking to do this from store-bought almond milk (and not also making my own home-made almond milk). I haven't had much luck finding information online. Besides your blog, just a few references to "unreliable results" when using store-bought almond milk. Did you use sweetened almond milk and a sweetened lactose-free yogurt start? I'm going to try this as soon as I can pick up some ingredients. If you've tried this again since your first go, do you have any tips?


  2. Hi Amelia,
    Sorry for taking so long to reply. Summer is a busy busy out of the house time around here. I used store bought almond milk and plain yogourt (I think it was biobest- 90% lactose free) for a start.

    The only advice I can give is that it does not thicken at all so I would Definitely use something to thicken it, the corn starch gave it kind of a funny texture. I've seen people recommend using tapioca to thicken it, which works really well. Also you'll probably still want to let it sit in a strainer lined with a cheesecloth of coffee filter in the fridge for a few hours.
    Good luck

  3. Got the yogurt maker on my Christmas list for the sole purpose of making almond milk yogurt. First batch total failure, just warm almond milk with starter yogurt mixed in. Learned almond milk is the only milk with no sugar for the culture to feed on, so added palm sugar to second batch. Same as first, sweeter and slightly tan from the palm sugar. I too don't want to make almond milk when it's easily available and messy to make (easy does not cover clean up). Haven't added thickeners but since Daiya cheese is made with tapioco, that might be worth a try. Any other suggestions?

    1. It really, really does not thicken on it's own. I cannot stress this enough. If you're not using sweetened almond milk, yes absolutely add sugar.

      You NEED to add something to thicken it. You can use tapioca if you like, you can always use corn starch, I've also seen methods that use 1 tsp of agar agar powder and 1/4 arrowroot powder.

      The best way to add a thickener to the mix is to whisk some of your chosen thickener into some cold almond milk until it's dissolved.Then, boil the almond milk (and sugar) for your yogurt and whisk in your thickener as it boils. Let it all boil together, stirring constantly for a few minutes until you can see it start to thicken a bit.

      Then proceed to let your almond milk/thickener mixture cool to about the temperature of a baby bath and add your starter or yogurt.

      If you like, instead of leaving the oven, you can heat it to about 150 while you're waiting for the milk to cool down then turn it off and just put your container of yogurt in the oven with the light turned on. You can use your Crockpot, just cook the whole mess in there then, once it's cool enough to add your starter leave it on the warm setting.

      You will still probably want to pour your resulting liquid mixture into a strainer lined with a cheese cloth and set it in the fridge for several hours. You can use a coffee filter in a pinch but cheesecloth is best.

      I hope this helps, good luck.

    2. 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder. I didn't proofread my comment very well ;)