Post Valentine’s Day Back to Reality
Now that you have been bombarded with Valentine’s Day chocolate and sweets, let’s get back to some kind of non-sugar normalcy. Is this possible? It is such as sugar-filled world. I find even the original types of some plant milk too sweet for me. I buy unsweetened whenever possible. And I make my own soy yogurt because it’s not sweetened and I am frugal. I don’t want to pay $1.50 or more for a small cup of plain non-dairy yogurt. Keep reading because I will share my “secret” (well, not so secret) recipe for easy to make soy yogurt which is in my cookbook Vegan Under Pressure. You can order it from Amazon here or on my website.
But that’s not why I started writing this. I actually began a few days ago and had some distractions, such as an out of town trip. The original blog post is about my breakfast so back to that…
My husband calls my breakfast weird a lot of the time. Today I made a nori roll with black and brown rice (not weird yet), tofu, sweet potato, avocado, cut up sugar snap peas (but could have been green onions if I had them), sesame seeds and a splash of ume vinegar. Okay, it’s not your typical breakfast, probably not even in Japan.
Neither are my bean tacos with avocado, salsa, red onion and cilantro. When I am at Rancho La Puerta, it’s all prepared for me so I add sliced cabbage to this mix.
The other day I was finishing off the last of the steel cut oats that I made for the week for my husband. I don’t usually eat them but with so little there, I thought, “What the heck?” I put them in a bowl and reached for what I thought was the cinnamon but it turned out to be lemon curry powder. Luckily I only sprinkled on a little which is not what I do with cinnamon. So, I added my usual teaspoon or more of cinnamon (I must admit that I love the stuff) and figured that I might not notice the curry powder. But I did, so I added a bit more. I thought, “What an easy way to get more anti-inflammatory turmeric in my diet, first thing in the morning.”
I shared my mistake on Facebook where someone from the UK told me that they eat savory oats there. I know all about it, as I have a recipe for savory oats in Vegan Under Pressure. But this was a new thing for me. Maybe next time, I will just add the turmeric and not the mixed curry powder. It wasn’t bad. Not sure how it works with the raisins but here’s my point, as if I have one: IT’S JUST FOOD.
It doesn’t matter to me if it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. I will eat what I want, when I want. Call it what you will: weird or unusual. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, nor does it hurt my body.
With this in mind, here I share my recipes for soy yogurt and my Savory (Smoky Cheesy) Steel Cut Oats, both of which are made in the Instant Pot and are found in my cookbook Vegan Under Pressure.
Once you make your own, your idea of vegan yogurt will be forever altered.
At least that’s what happened to me: I learned that homemade nondairy yogurt is more affordable, convenient, and tastier than store-bought.
The process is easy. Unfortunately, you will have to start with commercial soy milk, because making your own soy milk in the pressure cooker renders it too pasteurized to then turn into yogurt. (At least that is my theory, and I am sticking to it for now.)
After you have completed making your yogurt, enjoy it as is or use it to make a variety of wonderful sauces; see my suggestions below.
- 8 to 12 or more hours on yogurt setting
- 1 packet vegan yogurt starter or 1 to 2 probiotic capsules (50 billion of mixed strains), or 1 to 2 tablespoons commercial vegan yogurt with active cultures
- 1 32-ounce box plain (not enriched or fortified)
- organic soy milk just beans and water, at room temperature
- Add the yogurt starter, probiotic, or yogurt to the milk. Shake well in the box or pour into a quart glass jar and shake well. If in the box, transfer to a quart jar, or smaller jars if desired. No need to seal the jars but make sure that they are sterilized which you can do by running them through the dishwasher. I like to use 8 or 16 ounce Ball or Mason jars.
- If you have an electric pressure cooker with a yogurt setting, this step is easy. Set the yogurt setting for 8 to 12 hours and add the jar(s). Lock on the lid, close the vent and do not check until the time is up.
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker with a yogurt setting, do not despair. Find a place that is between 100° and 110°F, but no hotter. This can be your oven with the light on, the pilot light on, or set at 100°F if your oven goes that low. You can set a rack on top of 4 closed jars of boiling water in a Styrofoam or other kind of cooler, and put the jar(s) on the rack, then cover the cooler. Or even set it outdoors (on a porch, perhaps), if the temperature is close to 100°F. You can also use a yogurt maker.
- It takes 8 to 12 hours for your soy milk to become cultured and turn into yogurt. Sometimes it will separate into curds and whey. You can pour off and drink the whey and keep the curds.
- For Greek-style yogurt or yogurt cheese, strain the yogurt in a fine strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander for 8 hours or more. The drained liquid contains active “good” bacteria (cultures), so don’t toss it: drink it in smoothies, straight, or use in recipes that call for buttermilk-type flavors.
- Refrigerate the yogurt after making and use within a week.
Here are some suggestions for flavoring combinations to add to your yogurt to make it saucy for savory dishes:
- Fresh chopped dill and chives
- Scallion and black pepper
- Fresh grated horseradish with Dijon mustard
- Garlic and parsley
- Raita, page 263 of Vegan Under Pressure
- Cilantro and curry
- Lemon zest and cumin powder
- Mango and chutney
You get the idea: Stir in your favorite spices and veggies and it’s sauce.
Reprinted with permission from Vegan Under Pressure, Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt
Smoky, Cheesy Steel-Cut Oats with Sweet Potato and Greens
- ½ cup diced onion or leek½ cup diced carrot
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle chili powder
- 1 cup ½-inch diced sweet potato
- 3½ cups vegetable stock; or 2½ cups vegetable stock plus 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 tablespoon tamari1 cup steel-cut oats
- 2 cups chopped greens of your choice such as kale, chard, or collards
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mellow white or other miso
- 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
- Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat, or set an electric cooker to sauté. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and dry sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, and smoked paprika and cook another minute.
- Add the sweet potato, stock or stock and milk, and tamari. Stir. Add the oats and stir once.
- Lock the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Quick release any remaining pressure after 20 minutes. Remove the lid, carefully tilting it away from you.
- Add the greens and nutritional yeast, if using. Stir once. Lock the lid back on the cooker. Let sit for 3 minutes.
- Open the cooker carefully. Add miso, lemon juice, scallions, and herbs to each serving.
Tried this today in the oven and while I did get the curds and whey I think i screwed up by stirring it in. The yogurt was basically like thick milk. Was stirring it in the problem or would there be another reason why it never thickened?
Jill Nussinow says
When making yogurt, your starter is usually one of the culprits when the yogurt doesn’t thicken. Sometimes it is just a matter of time. If you want it thicker, then strain off the whey. You can use it for other things, like smoothies and potentially for your next batch of yogurt.
Stephanie, I had a problem with the finished “yogurt was watery with curdles. My issue was using Trader Joes Soy Milk instead of Eden Soy Milk. Eden has more protein than TJ soy milk. What I did with the Trader Joe “yogurt” was blending it in my Vitamix & then cooking again. It turned out better but when I used Eden the next time, it turned out beautiful
Jill Nussinow says
I have used Trader Joe’s soy milk many times without issue. Often it is the starter culture that causes issues or not enough time. These are live bacteria and sometimes they just behave however they want. Happy to hear that you got good results when you kept at it.
So I think it worked for me…but at hour 13 it had curdled but I made the mistake of stirring the whey in. So now it is super runny. Almost like thick milk. I put it in the fridge in hopes it would firm up. I hope that works!
Jacqueline Church says
I just got the new IP Ultra and it has a yogurt setting. I’d previously used my Duo and Cultures for Health starter to make soy yogurt in it, with middling results.
I followed this and poured the probiotic starter into the carton, shook it up, sterilized jars (Qt is too tall!) then realized all the other recipes I’ve seen call for heating the milk first; the recipe book that came with it also calls for the heating/cooling of milk. I wonder if these assume cow’s milk and the need to denature the protein?
Anyway, the preset for yogurt is 8 hours so they’re in for the night.
Appreciate any advice.
Jacqueline Church says
8 hours later: warm milk….Pretty sure I can’t even drink it now as it incubated for 8 hours and heating the milk would kill the probiotics?
Jill Nussinow says
Sorry to hear this and that I didn’t see it right away. 8 hours is not enough for most soy yogurt to set up. My preferred time is usually around 12 hours. If the soy milk is room temperature that is good. If it’s chilled, then warming it a bit is fine but not need to heat it. And generally if it is chilled it isn’t the right type of soy milk.
If you have a question like this, it’s always best to send me a message, which I will see right away.
I do hope that you will try making yogurt again and letting it incubate longer. Then let me know what happens.
Jill Nussinow says
No need to heat soy milk from a carton. Best to do it at room temperature but no heating or cooling required. I do hope that your yogurt turns out well.
I like to culture for at least 10 hours but usually for 12 to 14. Let me know how your yogurt tuns out.
Which brand probiotic capsules have you tried?
I’ve only used the vegan yogurt starter packets, but would like a cheaper option.
Looking forward to trying your SMOKY, CHEESY STEEL-CUT OATS WITH SWEET POTATO AND GREENS!
fred sobel says
Since I last saw you in Las Vegas, where you were doing an Instant Pot demo, i’ve become a big fan of that appliance, using it almost daily. I like that they came up with a ceramic insert. The price of it has come down dramatically. The Duo60 was selling for $49 at Walmart’s website a few months ago.
Jill Nussinow says
Las Vegas was quite a few years ago. Thanks for commenting here. I am a big fan of electric pressure cookers. In fact, I am using one right now while I am working in my office. So easy and delicious food.