By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk
One Liter rice- or almond milk
2 tbsp starter. (Recipe below. Take the starter out of the refrigerator about 15-30 minutes before you start, so that it's as near as possible to room temperature when you add it to the milk.)
A large pot with a lid.
A food thermometer (it needs to include temperatures from 110 to 180ºF (43 – 82ºC).
A large spoon.
- Fill the pot with water, boil for a few minutes, then add the spoon and thermometer. This sterilizes your equipment and ensures a better end result.
- Empty the pot, then pour in the milk. Gently warm it to a temperature of 185ºF (85ºC), to kill any 'bad' bacteria it may contain. Watch the pot closely and be careful not to burn the milk!
- Remove the pot from the heat and set aside. You need to cool the milk to between 110º F (43ºC), because these are the temperatures between which the live bacteria will efficiently ferment the milk.
- Thoroughly stir the starter into the milk, then immediately place the lid on the pot. Move the pot at once to a warm place, where you can leave it - undisturbed - for a minimum of six hours.
- Keep the pot at a constant temperature of between 110 and 180ºF (43 and 82ºC). The live bacteria will become inactive at lower or higher temperatures.
- Don't move the pot at all, or stir the fermenting milk. This slows down the process and you may be disappointed with your results at the end of the waiting time!
How to keep the pot at a consistent temperature... Most ovens do not have a low enough heat setting for producing yogurt, so here are a few other methods to try:
- Sit the pot in an oven warmed by the pilot light alone - our pilot light burns fiercely, so this works well for us!
- Sit the pot on an electric warming pad (like the ones you use for back pain). You may need to experiment a little with the heat settings!
- Wrap the pot in a very thick blanket - if this isn't warm enough, sit the wrapped pot in a cooler for extra insulation.
- Put the pot in the airing cupboard/boiler closet.
750 ml cashews
500 ml water
1 tsp nutri yeast or 1½ tsp scorbic acid
⅛ small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sweetener of your choice – optional
1tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Blend everything in a power blender until completely smooth. Use 2 tablespoons as a yoghurt starter, put the rest in the refrigerator and use as a cream cheese.