Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Recipe - Nut milk yogurt

I am so proud of the results of this recipe, because everywhere I look for nut milk yogurt says it can't be done, that it is watery, it separates, and shares no common traits with yogurt. Well my dear readers, it CAN be done. There are two tricks to it: don't use commercial nut milk and don't heat it prior to incubation. I used to make cow's milk yogurt regularly, that is, until we could no longer tolerate cow's milk. Grayson also gave up on liking yogurt about a year ago, so it wasn't really a big deal. I like yogurt as a snack, it reminds me of our honeymoon....eating Greek yogurt under canopied patios by the sea with honey and fruit on top. That was the best yogurt I have EVER tasted. Well anyway, back to reality....nut yogurt. It's not Greek yogurt, but it sure is tasty. It even looks and smells like yogurt! It IS watery and separated when it's done incubating, but the additional step to drip it through a cheesecloth makes it the perfect consistency. So try it, you'll like it!! Even Grayson did. We added some honey and strawberries, what a tasty treat. Oh and be warned, it is slightly labor intensive with the blending, straining then straining again, and it won't be ready for a day, so don't plan to make it and eat it right away. Anywhoooo, here is the recipe, thanks to "Marjan", the only author of a successful nut-based yogurt I could find!

1 1/3 cup whole, RAW blanched almonds or RAW blanched hazelnuts (filberts) or RAW macadamias (we used cashews which have a very mild flavor)
2 TBL clear honey
Yogurt starter (ProGurt by GI ProHealth) We got this same starter online, highly recommended for dairy free yogurts

Step-by-step instructions for making nut yogurt:

1. Put all things you need on a tea towel on the kitchen table:
blender, a fine sieve/mesh strainer, some tea towels, the nuts, honey, two tablespoons, whisk, water, yogurt maker + yogurt container. Get the probiotics out of the freezer only when you need them.
2. Put nuts into blender
3. Add enough cold water to get a total of 4 to 5 cups / =1 litre
4. Add 2 tablespoons of honey (the bacteria need the sweets to feed off of, cow's milk is naturally sweet)
5. Blend for 10 minutes (use a stopwatch)
6. Pour about 1 cup of the nut milk through the fine sieve (I saved the "solids" from this process and made a mock cream cheese with a little added vanilla)
(You can squeeze out more liquid if you use a teacloth/cheesecloth and twist it firmly.)

NOW take your probiotics out of the freezer

7. Add 1/8 tsp of ProGurt yogurt starter to the milk, per 1 quart of yogurt.
8. Stir well with whisk, add the rest of the milk, with back of spoon press out all liquids
9. Stir well and place container in yogurt maker
10. Ferment for 8 hours.
11. Place in the fridge overnight or at least for 5 hours (overnight is better)
12. Get a bowl, put the sieve on the bowl, put a cheesecloth in the sieve
13. Pour the yogurt in the cheesecloth so that it can drip
14. Drip for about an hour, or longer if you'd like the yoghurt thicker
15. By pressing the dripped yoghurt further, you can make something that resembles cheese

The fermentation process takes place at about 105 Fahrenheit.

As you see, I do NOT cook or heat the milk. After blending, the milk should be lukewarm, not warmer than 105F. If you heat more, the milk will separate and the fermentation will not take place.

Try to find RAW nuts that have been through minimal processing. Deep frying them may be very tasty, but it will negatively affect the outcome and it is also a bit unhealthy.

The sieve is such, that if you pour orange juice through it, there's no pulp in your glass.


Lynda said...

I am beside myself to find this recipe! My two sons and I are dairy sensitive, can't even eat yogurt. We've done nut milk for some time. Of note, if you soak the nuts in room temp salt water (1/2 - 1 tsp salt for this recipe) for about 6 hrs prior to blending, oxalic acid will be counteracted, making minerals and other nutrients considerably more bio-available (and overall more easily digested). This is a traditional method that has been lost over time but important to our health. Anyone interested can research "soaking nuts" ...also grains. And a book called Nourishing Traditions. Also recommend (Note: soak times can vary with different nuts/seeds, but 6 hrs works for most, can also do overnight, but until you know your nut, 6 is safe)

Jessica said...

Have you tried the recipe yet Lynda? It was JUST like regular yogurt! We always used to soak the nuts and grains before using them, but my kids still had MAJOR oxalate dumps when we cut out the higher oxalate foods so unfortunately, as much as I wish it was, soaking them wasn't enough. =(

~pixx said...

Awesome! I tried once to make yogurt out of commercial almond milk. It didn't work at all; very gross looking! I'm looking forward to trying this!! Thanks!

Starlene said...

I have kept my yogurt starter, the same brand you mention, in the door of the refrigerator. Do you know if it will still work even though I haven't kept it frozen? Also, the expiration date is Feb 2012. Do you think it will still be good? I am going to try anyway, but wondered if you happened to know.

Jessica said...

Unfortunately, I don't know, but if it works, you will will have that familiar yogurt smell. If it grows anything odd or smells bad, don't eat it, lol. Most products are intended to last at least 6 months past their expiration date, as far as I know. I always push the bar a little, lol.

Starlene said...

Jessica, thank you for getting back to me. I figured since the starter expired Feb 2012 it should have been good until at *least* February 29, which was only 3 days ago, lol. I'm reporting back. I was thinking it didn't work out since it is thin and watery, so I read through your recipe again (more carefully, hah) and I see that you dripped (strained) your yogurt. Okay. The product I have now tastes like a yogurt smoothie and my husband and I love it. We've already drank about a cup of it. Okay, so in looking over your instructions I see that step 6 says to pour about a cup into the sieve to strain out solids? You know I soaked my cashews first and after blending five minutes it is completely liquid, I don't think I could strain anything out at that point. My food coop went in on a buy together on these cashews and they were raw and organic. I soaked about four cups! I am going to try this recipe again today and strain it tomorrow after it chills. Thanks again for sharing this recipe!

Jessica said...

Mine was liquid too, but the solids are still in that mixture so when you strain it through a cheesecloth, the solids remain in the cloth while the liquids drop out. You can use those liquids in smoothies too, since they are a probiotic source!! Good luck with your next batch. If all else fails, you have a yummy yogurt drink! Blend it with some fruit, mmmmm! =)