There are many commercial non-dairy yogurts available, but they generally have a long list of ingredients. I’ve been wanting to make my own for a long time, but it was one of those things I’d never got around to. Honestly, I was intimidated. I had no idea it could be so simple. If you love (or miss) yogurt, this recipe could be life-changing for you.
One day at work, a friend was telling me how much she loved her homemade cashew yogurt and I knew it was finally time for me to jump into this wild new territory. She shared her recipe with me, but it contained gelatin, which is a vegan no-no. I scoured the web looking for a decent animal-free option, experimented with a few, and ended up making a hybrid of several recipes. I found that if you get the ratio of cashews to water just right, the texture is perfect with no extra thickener needed.
Requiring only 4 ingredients (cashews, water, sweetener, and probiotic), this meets the criteria of easy. The one caveat is that the cashews must be soaked ahead of time. My favourite way to do this is to soak a big batch of nuts, freeze them, then take out what I need when I need it. However, I only just realised (duh!) that nuts swell with soaking, so if a recipe calls for nuts to be soaked, the final amount of soaked nuts will be slightly more. For example, in this recipe 2 cups of dry cashews = 2 2/3 cups soaked cashews. So if you use the soak-and-freeze method, add a little extra to your measurement.
As for the probiotic capsule, you can use a simple 10 billion acidophilus/bifidus combo or you can just use whatever you’re taking at the time. I’ve used a few different types and have been happy every time.
Yogurt is a fermented food. In the fermentation process, the culture (in this case, the probiotic bacteria) requires sugar to do its magic. Most of the sweetness is gobbled up in the process, but a little is left behind (provided you don’t let it ferment too long). Do NOT use a sugar substitute like stevia or xylitol! The bacteria will die and your yogurt will be a bust. My sweetener of choice for this recipe is raw agave syrup, because I like the final flavour more than maple syrup (although that’s good too). If you choose to use a granulated sweetener instead (coconut sugar, sucanat, raw cane sugar), please let me know in the comments how it goes. Keep in mind that the longer you let the yogurt culture, the more sugar will be eaten up and the more sour it will taste.
I like to portion the yogurt right away into little jars before culturing, but you can also put it all into a larger glass container. The yogurt needs to culture in a warm dark place. Depending on your equipment and the warmth of your kitchen, this could be:
- an Instant Pot on the yogurt setting
- a yogurt maker
- a dehydrator set to 110 degrees F
- in your oven covered by a towel (warm to about 110 degrees F, then turn off the oven and leave the light on and keep the door closed)
- wrapped in a towel, sitting on top of your fridge in a warm kitchen (works best in the summer)
While most of my recipes are kid-approved, I must admit that my boys don’t like this one. The reason: they never really ate dairy yogurt before and they find the taste a little strange. Oh well, I tell them, more for me! If you’ve got a yogurt-loving child, they will likely have a different reaction. You may need to sweeten the final yogurt to taste for them.
I will happily eat this creamy deliciousness plain, but it also works beautifully when topped with fruit or in a parfait with chia jam and chocolate chia seed pudding. A favourite combo of mine is what I call Cherry Cheezecake. I thaw and puree 2 cups of frozen cherries with 1 Tbsp chia seeds, then add 1-2 spoonfuls of it on top of the yogurt, followed by 1-2 spoonfuls of my homemade granola. Heaven!
If using pre-soaked cashews, increased the amount to 2 2/3 cups.
Course: Snacks | Cuisine: Vegan
Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 8 hr | Total Time: 8 hr 5 min
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked for 4-8 hours or overnight, rinsed, and drained
- 1-2 cups filtered water enough to blend, but not so much to make it thin
- 2-3 Tbsp raw agave syrup or maple syrup
- 1 probiotic capsule
- Blend first 3 ingredients together until creamy and warm.
- Add in contents of probiotic capsule and blend gently just to stir in. (Discard empty capsule.)
- Pour into clean mason jars.
- Cover and tighten clean mason jar lids. Put in a dark warm place (see notes above) to culture for 8-12 hours.
- When finished, the texture should be thick, with some bubbles on top, and slightly tart.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.