This the best soy yogurt recipe! It’s also the best Instant Pot soy yogurt recipe, and it doesn’t matter if you are making your soy yogurt in an Instant Pot without a yogurt button (because we include instructions for how to make your vegan yogurt in an Instant Pot without a yogurt button)! It also doesn’t matter if you aren’t using an Instant Pot at all, or even if you want to make your soy yogurt without using leftover yogurt as a starter! This is the soy yogurt recipe for everyone!
It all starts with the type of soy milk you use. This is very important. The type of soy milk you want to use is the kind that has only soybeans and water, no other additives. There are two commercial brands of soy milk (at least that we know of) that meet this criteria: Westsoy and Edensoy. Each of these brands also sell soy milk with additives (flavorings, sweetener, whathaveyou). So you need to be sure to check the ingredients.
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Alternatively, you can make you own homemade soy milk. Now here’s something we discovered: the higher the protein content of your soy milk the thicker will be your yogurt. Edensoy has a high protein version of their soy milk, which still has only soybeans and water as ingredients, and it definitely yields a thicker yogurt, every time. This means that basically the more soy protein in the soy milk, the thicker will be your yogurt. So if you are making your own homemade soy milk you want to take that into account.
Much like the soy milk should have only two ingredients (soy and water), your yogurt will have only two ingredients – the soy milk, and a starter culture. The starter culture is what starts the fermentation process in the soy milk which leads to it turning into yogurt. That starter culture can be a few spoonfuls of existing yogurt, or some probiotic powder, or some premade starter culture. Not everybody keeps yogurt on hand, and not everybody wants to purchase probiotic powder just to start their yogurt. For those people we really like and recommend the Cultures for Health vegan yogurt starter. In fact, we are so impressed with it that we have dedicated a whole article to their vegan yogurt starter culture, and even partnered with them to support them! You can find their vegan yogurt starter culture here. (They also have a vegan starter bundle which includes other vegan starters, such as for kefir, which you can read about here.)
Ok, so we’ve covered the two ingredients to making the best (and cleanest!) homemade soy yogurt: soy milk, and a starter. In terms of the container in which to make your yogurt, be sure to use a glass or ceramic container, and be sure that it is very clean (so run it through the dishwasher, or hand wash in very hot soapy water and rinse well). We like to make our yogurt in one-quart canning jars; two 1-quart canning jars will just fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot, if that is how you will be incubating your yogurt. If you are going to incubate your yogurt on the countertop then the form of the container doesn’t matter as much, so long as it is glass or ceramic, and clean. We’ll cover the various incubation methods (Instant Pot with a yogurt button, Instant Pot without a yogurt button, and counter top) below in the instructions for the actual recipe. Whatever incubation method you use, once your yogurt is done incubating let it cool to room temperature, and then cap it and put it in the refrigerator.
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The Best Homemade Soy Yogurt Recipe – Includes Instant Pot and Countertop Directions
1 to 2 quarts soy milk made with only soy and water, at room temperature.
2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt or powder from or equaling one probiotic capsule or 1 packet Cultures for Health vegan yogurt starter.
Combine soy milk and starter and then incubate with one of the methods outlined below. Note, unlike with dairy milk, you do not have to heat the soy milk first, but it does have to be at room temperature.
Directions for Instant Pot with Yogurt Button
This is the easiest, and most reliable, method. Put your containers of soy milk with the starter mixed in into the inner pot of your Instant Pot – the inner pot should be dry, don’t put any liquid in it, and set the filled jars right on the floor of the inner pot. We don’t put lids on the containers, although some people do – that’s a matter of personal preference. Press the ‘Yogurt’ button, and set it for between 9 and 13 hours; the amount of time is a matter of personal preference – the longer your yogurt incubates the more tart (and to some extent thicker) your yogurt will be.
Directions for Instant Pot with No Yogurt Button
Making yogurt in an Instant Pot with no yogurt button is almost as easy as making yogurt in an Instant Pot with a yogurt button, it just requires one extra step, and (ideally) a thermometer (good to have but not required).
Before you start, grab a couple of big towels, or a small blanket, and have it handy. You are going to use it to wrap around the Instant Pot, to help keep the heat in (this will make more sense as you read through the directions below).
Fill the inner pot of your Instant Pot half-full with water (just water, nothing else); lock on the lid, close the vent, and set it to high pressure for 1 minute. Let it natural pressure release, and then open the pot and let it cool until it is down to between 100° and 110°. If you don’t have a thermometer, then let it cool until it is lukewarm.
Now do this next step quickly: unplug your Instant Pot, empty the water out of the inner pot, put the inner pot back into your Instant Pot, put the containers of soy milk and starter in the Instant Pot, and close it back up (including the vent). Wrap it with the towels or blanket so that it is completely covered.
The reason for doing this quickly is so that the Instant Pot loses as little heat as possible; the reason for unplugging it is both so you can wrap it really well, and also so that nobody accidentally turns it on, killing your culture!
Let set for 9-10 hours, then unwrap, and remove your yogurt from your Instant Pot!
Mix the starter into your soy milk and put the mixture into your containers. Cover the containers with a double or triple layer of cheesecloth; you want the mixture to be able to ‘breathe’, but you don’t want anything wandering or falling into it!
Place in a warm part of the house, on a counter or table, and let set for 10 or more hours.
This method is the least reliable, in part because along with the starter your yogurt may pick up wild strains of fermenting bacteria (much as a sourdough starter does), and so the results can be unpredictable. That said, it can lead to a spectacular yogurt, it can also lead to a less than wonderful yogurt, so experiment!
Once Your Yogurt is Done
Once your yogurt is done, using any of the above incubation methods, let it cool on the counter, and then cover it and put it in the refrigerator. Yum!
How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot in 6 Images
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