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Instant Pot Vegan Yogurt

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This instant pot vegan yogurt is super easy to make!
Save money and reduce your intake of microplastics by making yogurt at home, using the Instant Pot makes the whole process extremely simple- it has a yogurt function!

For those of you with a slow cooker- there’s directions for that too!

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a bowl of yogurt with a jar of yogurt behind it on a white table

How to make Vegan Yogurt in Instant Pot

The process to make this yogurt is super simple!

Simply make some soy milk, or buy it, and add it to your instant pot with your probiotic and wait! The instant pot’s yogurt function is really helpful for keep the temperature at 110F. Too hot of a temperature will kill the bacteria that ferments the milk into yogurt, too low of a temperature will not activate the bacteria for fermentation. It will take much longer to ferment!
In all reality you don’t need a device to make yogurt, people have been making it for thousands of years without one! It does simplify things though.

After you add the milk to the instant pot with the probiotics let it ferment for at least 6 hours, or up to 16 hours depending on how tangy you like it. It will also thicken the longer it ferments.

A person scooping some yogurt out of an instant pot

How to Make Yogurt in a Slow Cooker

To do this, set the slow cooker to low heat (keep warm) and fill halfway with water. Then add glass jars filled with the yogurt mixture so they are cover, put lids on top but don’t screw tightly. Then you leave the filled jars in the warm water in your slow cooker for 8 hours. The warm water will help keep the milk at the right temperature.
Do not set the slow cooker to regular heat or high heat as the higher temperatures will kill the helpful probiotics. If you can, use a thermometer to ensure the temperature is below 120F

How to Make Yogurt Without a Device

As mentioned above, you don’t need a special device to make yogurt. All you need is to maintain a temperature of 90-115F or 33-46C for at least 8 hours. You can do this on a hot summer day by filling some jars with your milk and probiotics, wrapping them in a towel and letting it sit out in the sun.
Some people have said you can make it in your oven with your oven light on, however I have not reached the ideal temperature that way. Use a thermometer to ensure you have the correct temperature or the fermentation will not work!
Another idea is wrapping a jar of the milk in a seed starting mat, they get nice and warm but not too hot to kill the probiotics we need. If you think of other clever ways to keep milk warm at 110F for 10 hours please share in the comments! I love sharing accessible ideas so more people can make themselves healthy food on any budget.

Alterative Milks for Yogurt

This recipe recommends soy milk for making yogurt.
The reason is soy is high in protein and thickens the best once fermented. Other milks take on kefir like texture that is more drinkable rather than scoopable. You can thicken the milks before you ferment them to prevent this.

For example, if you wanted to make yogurt from almond milk, you will make almond milk and reduce it on the stove before adding it to the instant pot. Cooking the milk at a low heat will help remove some of the water and help it thicken. You will want to thicken it on the stove to the texture you desire because almond is low in protein and higher in starch- meaning it will not form curds once it ferments like soy milk will.

Another option is to add in thickening agents like Irish Sea Moss to help thicken your milk. Irish Sea Moss is a fantastic option for thickening your yogurt! The reason is it is loaded with health benefits and is neutral in flavor. Many people take Irish Sea Moss as a supplement to improve blood flow, improve libido, and improve athletic performance.

Prepare the sea moss according to the directions (soaking it then boiling it), then blend it up into a gel. From there add in up to 1 cup of it to your almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, oat milk or whatever alternative milk you choose. This is how I have made yogurt for years, this recipe originally called for this!

However, I like the simplicity of soy yogurt and think it is the best milk for any beginner. That’s why I like to give you options, do what works best for you!

Turn Your Yogurt into thick Greek Yogurt

After you make your yogurt you will notice the bottom of your jar will be much thicker than the top. As it ferments and the milk curdles you’ll be left with ‘whey’. It’s a probiotic liquid that is very healthy and you can easily strain out. Or to keep it simple, you can carefully pour off the liquid.
Some people pour their yogurt into Greek yogurt makers to help remove the liquid for a thicker yogurt. This only works with high protein milks like pumpkin, soy, pea, or another legume milk because you need protein to help form curds in the milk.

Instead of a Greek yogurt maker you can pour your yogurt into a cheesecloth inside of a strainer to help catch the curds. It’s the same process as making labneh, only you don’t strain it for as long. This helps remove the whey liquid for a thicker yogurt.

Probiotics for Vegan Yogurt

There are many different ways to add in your yogurt starter. The easiest option is to add in a tablespoon of leftover yogurt. The bacteria is alive and will help culture the rest of your milk into your yogurt. Think like adding a tablespoon of sourdough starter to water and flour and how that turns all into more sourdough starter. It’s the same concept.
If you don’t have any yogurt you can order a vegan yogurt starter. That will essentially be dried and powdered yogurt that will ferment your milk.
Another option is to add probiotic supplements. It won’t be exactly yogurt, because that is a specific strain of probiotic bacteria, however it will be very similar. Same goes for adding in water kefir. Water kefir is an easy ferment I keep on hand for making cheeses, sodas, probiotic salad dressings- you name it. Technically it would be considered a kefir (because that is the specific strain of probiotic bacteria) and not yogurt, but it is so similar! It’s an option you should consider if you have it.

a small bowl filled with yogurt with a jar of yogurt and an instant pot container in the background

Ways to Use Your Yogurt

In my previous recipe on making vegan Labneh is based off this yogurt recipe. Labneh is a strained yogurt cheese, so essentially after you make your yogurt you strain it. Then you’ll be left with a thick probiotic cream cheese that you can eat like a spread or incorporate into other recipes.

Unsweetened yogurt is a fantastic base for a low-fat salad dressing or dip! Try adding in a tablespoon of miso, garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of salt for a fantastic creamy dip or dressing.

Of course, you can sweeten your yogurt for a sweet treat with some berries, but don’t overlook all the savory applications!

Ways to Use Your Whey

When you strain your yogurt you will be left with a probiotic liquid called whey. If you add this to your sourdough in place of water you will get an extra tangy and flavorful loaf! It’s fantastic in tangy sourdough loaves or pizza crust. Use it as a 1:1 replacement for water. It will speed up fermentation time, so be mindful to not over prove your dough.

You can also use whey in salad dressings, soup broths (tangy soups like Tom Ka), or mix it with vinegar to make quick pickles.

Looking for other Probiotic Recipes?

a person taking a spoonful of yogurt out of a small bowl with a jar of yogurt and an instant pot liner in the background

Instant Pot Vegan Yogurt

How to easily make yogurt at home! This recipe also shows you how to make ultra rich soymilk that makes a thick and rich yogurt that is high in protein! This recipe is flexible and you can use whatever variety of milk that you have if soy isn't your jam.
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Ingredients

Soy Milk (Skip this if using store bought milk)

  • 8 cups Water
  • 1 cup Soybeans dried

Yogurt

  • 4 Cups Soy Milk See article above for using alternative milks
  • 1 tbs Vegan Yogurt or 2 capsules of Probotic Suppliments, or 1 serving of Vegan Yogurt Starter, or 2 tbs water kefir

Instructions

Very Rich Soy Milk (Skip this step if using premade milk)

  • Soak your soybeans overnight, they should double to triple in size.
  • Rinse your soybeans and add 1/2 of them to a blender with 4 cups of water. Blend for at least 60 seconds.
    Pour the soymilk into a large pot
    Blend the rest of the soybeans and add them to the pot
  • Bring the pot to a low to medium heat and simmer the soy milk for 20 minutes.
    Too high of a heat will burn the milk and make cleaning your pot a huge pain! Stir the milk every 5 minutes or so to prevent the pulp from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
  • Remove from heat and let the milk fully cool down to room temperature.
    Line a large strainer with a cheesecloth (or thin tea towel) and place a large bowl underneath. Pour the milk into the lined strainer into the bowl.
    Grab the corners of the cheesecloth, twist it and squeeze out the pulp.
    Save the pulp for falafel, crackers, vegan meatballs, or roast and add to granola
    *To sweeten your milk add in a 1 tbs of sugar or maple syrup*

Making the Yogurt

  • Add all the ingredients to your instant pot, mix well, and set to the yogurt setting
  • Let that cook for 8 hours to 10 hours.
    Line a strainer with cheesecloth or a tea towel and pour in the yogurt. Strain away the whey (the liquid) and pour the yogurt into a jar.
    The yogurt will last for up to two weeks in a sterilized jar.

Optional Flavors

  • Add in 1/4 cup of maple syrup to your yogurt to sweeten it!

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By on June 14th, 2024

About Jessica Flowers

Jess Flowers is a multimedia specialist who creates vegan recipes using local and wild ingredients. Being plant based for over a decade, it is her mission to share delicious recipes that are made without animal products!

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