Homemade yogurt is so good, as it’s fresh, clean and has absolutely no coloring or thickeners added. It’s also very easy, the best way to make it would be to plug the machine before you go to bed, then in the morning you will have fresh yogurt to start! Another alternative would be to make it in the morning, and it will be ready in the evening, then you have time to let it cool down and sit in the fridge over night, the result would be even better!
I began making it when I was living in Shanghai, some of my friends also wanted to follow my example, so I had been busy ordering yogurt machines for them online (as they don't speak Chinese) for a while, haha. Another friend told me that a heater or thermos can also be utilized to make yogurt, but for hygienic reason, I don’t bother using those. Yogurt machine is not that expensive, I don’t want to spend more time troubleshooting when I have been successfully making yogurt with the machine. 😛
I love sugar less soymilk as the main ingredient. If you want to eat your yogurt flavored, simply add those goodies later when you're serving it, such as agave nectar syrup or frozen berries, yummy! It's also great as baking ingredient, without added sugar you can easily control other ingredients. We use the machine once or twice a week, so it's one kitchen gadgets that I do use very often and I highly recommend it!
Kitchen Gadgets: Yogurt Machine
1000 ml fresh soymilk at room temperature, or lightly warmed, but never over 40C
1 bag of yogurt culture
1. Boil the yogurt container for 1 minute or wash it carefully with boiling water for 1 minute. It should be very clean, free of all germs, bacteria, and oil. You might as well boil the spoon you will use to mix the milk and culture as well.
2. The non-dairy milk should contain as few additives as possible, such as sugar, preservatives, thickeners or other ingredients.
3. Pour a little milk in the container, and add the cultures (1 small bag per liter of milk ), mix well, add the rest of the milk, put on the lid and put it carefully into the yogurt machine. Plug in for 8 to 10 hours, NEVER exceeding 14 hours. Go to sleep or work or whatever and then your yogurt is ready.
4. The yogurt can be eaten when it’s done, still lukewarm, but the best taste comes after you leave it in the fridge to set for another few hours or overnight. So be patient.
If you’re allergic to soy, you could try black bean milk, the yogurt would be gray, but texture is similar. So far I also tried sugar-free coconut drink (sold in carton, not in cans! ) and the result wasn't very good. It's not very creamy at all. I haven't experimented with other types such as almond milk or hazelnut milk yet. If you have any good result, please share!
If your yogurt doesn’t turn out right check the following:
1. Temperature, it should be 42 °C or 43 °C, check if your machine is broken.
2. Whether everything is thoroughly cleaned.
3. Whether your milk is fresh and additive-free.
4. Whether your cultures are stored properly so they are still active (they should be stored in the freezer).