Archive for Sprouting and Fermenting

Vegan Yogurt

Y’all know how much I love my gadgets. I really, really do. And one I’ve had for a really long time is my Cuisinart yogurt maker. It makes yogurt really simple. Just add milk, starter, stir, and let it go for 8 hours (see that recipe here).

How about non-dairy yogurt though?

Making vegan yogurt poses special problems. You see, milk or cream is made up of three components: water, fat  and proteins. When milk is homogenized, they all hang together. But add heat or bacteria (or both) and the mixture breaks, creating solids, which is how yogurt and cheese are made.

Vegan Soy Yogurt

Vegan milk is different in its chemical makeup. The biggest challenge with making a dairy-free yogurt is that it won’t thicken in the same way. You often have to add something to thicken it, like agar or some kind of starch.

A few months back, before the world shut down, I was attending a trade show and was excited to discover a vegan yogurt starter from Yogourmet. This is a product I’ve been using for years to make dairy yogurt, so I was super stoked that they had created a non-dairy version.

It’s supposed to be as simple to make as the regular stuff; you heat your soy milk to just over 100 degrees, then add the starter, and then put it into the yogourt maker for 6-8 hours.

Soy and coconut (find my coconut yogurt recipe here) are most often used in non-dairy yogurts. Soy is most like dairy in terms of its chemical makeup, and coconut has lots of fat, giving it that creamy mouth feel.

You can watch the entire process (this was the first time I tried this ever) here:

The final result was… okay. It was kind of lumpy and not as thick as I ideally would have liked for it to be. I think maybe no matter which milk you are using for a vegan yogurt, you need to use some kind of thickener. I’ll experiment next with oat milk and thickeners… stay tuned!

Download the directions on how to make Vegan Soy Yogurt here.

Kombucha Agua Fresca

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll know I have a love-hate relationship with kombucha.

The thing is, I want to like it. I really do. I mean, it’s so good for you and your gut health… but as much as I try it, I just don’t like it. It’s too strong for me, it gives me vinegar vibes, and I ultimately am not able to get it down.

I had hoped that brewing my own would help. It didn’t really. And I gave up for quite a while.

But at the beginning of the pandemic, I started to try again. I’ve been brewing my own, and I’ve finally figured out a combo that (mostly) works for me, but I still mostly drink it topped off with sparkling water.

Kombucha Agua Fresca

Earlier this year, at The Wellness Show, I discovered Remedy Kombucha. Often when I’m at a trade show and they offer me a sample of kombucha, I refuse, because in my head, I’m the girl who doesn’t like kombucha. But this time for some reason, I said yes, and was pleasantly surprised at how drinkable it was.

The other thing I love about Remedy specifically is that it’s shelf-stable. That means you can stock up and keep the bottles in your garage or whatever until you have room in your fridge for them. Most kombuchas are not shelf-stable and need to be kept in the fridge.

Another beef a lot of people have with kombucha is the amount of sugar in them. You see, the wee critters that inhabit the scoby and ferment the tea need the sugar to live on. Remedy has somehow figured out how to do this in a low-sugar way, and they actually taste good, not like weird chemicals (which is why I also cannot handle stevia and other artificial sweeteners).

This kombucha basically tastes a lot like what I have been doing–about half to 2/3 of a glass of kombucha, topped with sparkling water. And it’s tasty! I’ve been drinking a glass at night after dinner instead of wine or a cocktail.

It’s great on its own, but then I thought I’d take it to the next level and make some mocktails and cocktails out of it.

So! I present to you the Kombucha Agua Fresca.

Agua Fresca is a drink that’s popular in Latin American (read: HOT) countries. Basically the idea is, you take fruits, vegetables, herbs, juice them up and then drink them with water or sparkling water. They’re cold, refreshing, and delicious.

Kombucha Agua Fresca

Ingredients (makes 1)

  • 1 small Japanese cucumber or a 5″ section of an English cucumber, unpeeled
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • 1 bottle of Remedy lemon, lime & mint kombucha (you could also use a mix of kombucha and sparkling water)

Method:

  1. Place the cucumber, mint and juice in a blender and blitz well until pureed and liquefied.
  2. Strain into a tall glass with ice.
  3. Top with the kombucha.
  4. Garnish with a lemon or lime slice.
@findbexKombucha Agua Fresca. ##kombucha ##aguafresca ##refreshing ##mocktail ##drink ##drinks ##healthy ##vegan ##foryoupage ##fyp

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