Everyone is riding the lactose-free train these days, and for good reason. The enzyme makes it difficult to digest dairy products and makes us heavy. This is a simple disaster for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. That being said, buying this niche yogurt at the store can be expensive, and it’s not even guaranteed to be in the aisles of many grocery stores. The solution? Make your own lactose-free yogurt at home for a small price. Endless parfaits? Yes, let’s take it.
What is needed
- 1 liter lactose-free milk (2% or whole)
- 1 cup of pre-made yogurt with live cultures. Plain, full-fat yogurt can be used as long as it has live bacteria
- A large pot
- A large glossy bowl
- A warm place to rest (the top of your fridge is fine)
1. Clean your sink well. Fill halfway with cold water and add a few ice cubes. While you’re at it, take the cup of yogurt out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature.
2. Pour the milk into a large saucepan and heat it over medium. Cover and wait five minutes. Avoid boiling. At the end of this time, place your finger in the pot and apply a drop to the other hand. When it is hot and starts to boil in the pot, remove it from the stove. This can last up to fifteen minutes.
3. If you have a thermometer, check that the milk is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, skip this step.
4. Do not remove the lid or place the pot in a sink filled with cold water. After 10 minutes, check again that the milk is cool using the finger test. Now it should be reduced to about 100 degrees.
5. Pour the milk into a glass container. Place the cup of yogurt into the milk and gently stir the mixture to combine.
6. Cover the bowl with a lid – you can use a plate, cloth or plastic wrap.
7. Now it’s time to put the mixing bowl on the fridge or in another warm place, like in the oven with only the light on. Leave overnight or for 6-8 hours. The longer it is left, the more sour it will be.
8. Taste your yogurt. The qualities you are looking for after resting for several hours should be sour, flowing and warm. The refrigerator will further strengthen. If you want, you can skip the yogurt in the glass bowl and put it in glass jars for a neater transition.
- If you want a decadent Greek yogurt, place several layers of cheesecloth inside a plastic colander, and after your warm yogurt has sat overnight, place it in the colander, allowing the excess moisture to drain. Then leave it in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or at room temperature for an hour. Drain the excess serum.
- Yogurt needs to be cultured and there are three main ways to make yogurt without a bacteria diary. You can start with plain, lactose-free yogurt like we suggested in the recipe above, or you can use dairy-free yogurt.
- You can add tapioca flour, chia seeds, or agar-agar to thicken yogurt for a creamier store-bought consistency.
- Add sweetener before fermentation. This is not to add a sweet taste to the yogurt. Instead, it feeds the bacteria. Cane sugar, maple syrup, and honey are good options, but substitutes like stevia unfortunately do not contain essential nutrients for bacteria.
Coconut yogurt without lactose
Lactose-free coconut yogurt is the hottest item right now, but the supermarket versions are loaded with preservatives and fillers. You only need two items from your local health food store.
What you need:
A can of full fat coconut milk
Sourdough from kefir or yogurt
1. Pour your can of coconut milk into a glass jar
2. Mix and leave in a designated warm place overnight.
3. Mix again and leave in the refrigerator. As it cools, it should reach a thicker consistency. Now you have coconut yogurt with a shelf life of 5-8 days.
Pro tip: If your homemade creation is about to expire, you can use three to four tablespoons of old coconut yogurt to leaven another jar of coconut milk.