soy milk

Homemade vegan soy yogurt - Φτιάχνω σπιτικό γιαούρτι σόγιας - Vegan in Athens

Homemade vegan soy yogurt

Yogurt is considered one of the healthiest foods, because it contains active cultures of beneficial bacteria as well as vitamins and minerals. Fortunately, as vegans we can find vegan soy or coconut yogurt in some organic shops and we can enjoy it plain or in several sweet and savory creations, although most of the times its price is pinched. Since I love yogurt I started making my own soy yogurt, which is much cheaper and so I can afford consume it regularly and take advantage of its wonderful taste and its amazing benefits. The recipe is simple and is based on the traditional Greek yogurt manufacturing process, using soy yogurt as a starter, without the use of any animal-derived ingredients. In fact, the preparation requires no special technique and it can be made by anyone, providing that attention is paid in some parameters during the process.

Homemade vegan soy yogurt - Φτιάχνω σπιτικό γιαούρτι σόγιας - Vegan in Athens

Soy yogurt is prepared from soy milk that has been fermented. The fermentation is performed by some strains of good bacteria, mainly Lactobacilli, the main yogurt -making bacteria, that feed on the sugars that are dissolved in the milk and produce lactic acid, which gives the sour taste in the yogurt. Lactobacilli and some other strains of bacteria involved in the process, are living organisms and so, in order to survive and multiply (and of course make our yogurt) they require certain conditions. Actually the only one of these conditions that will concern us is the temperature. If we expose the microorganisms in high temperatures, above 45 ° C, most likely they will die, while low temperatures, even room temperature, do not favor Lactobacilli and as a result they multiply very slowly. In both cases our little helpers will fail to do their job we will fail making yogurt. The ideal temperature for real, thick, delicious yogurt is between 40-43 ° C.

Homemade vegan soy yogurt - Φτιάχνω σπιτικό γιαούρτι σόγιας - Vegan in Athens

Another thing to beware of is the equipment used. Choose to make yogurt in glass or earthenware containers, suitable for foods. All the containers or pots we are going to use should be sterile, ie free of microorganisms. To achieve this boil them or put them in the oven at 100 ° C for a few minutes. This step is essential to prevent the development of undesired microorganisms during fermentation.

Therefore, following the simple instructions below, we can prepare our own healthy soy yogurt without additives, sugar or thickeners with flavor and texture similar to the commercial soy yogurt. One thing we should keep in mind is that, generally, soy yogurt is slightly less thick than the animal-derived yogurt as it contains much less fat.

Homemade vegan soy yogurt - Φτιάχνω σπιτικό γιαούρτι σόγιας - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 100 gr store-bought soy yogurt, plain, at room temperature (with live cultures)
  • 1 liter of soy milk at room temperature

equipment

one large or two medium earthenware or glass containers or
yogurt maker (optional)

Homemade vegan soy yogurt - Φτιάχνω σπιτικό γιαούρτι σόγιας - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Mix well the soy yogurt (it serves as yogurt starter) with the soy milk.
2. Incubation:
In the yogurt maker: Transfer the mixture in the containers of the yogurt maker and incubate for 6 hours according to the instructions. Turn off and let the yogurt cool for 3-6 hours.

If you don’t have a yogurt maker: Preheat your oven at 40-43 ° C. Transfer the mixture into 1-2 containers and place them in the oven (over the oven rack). Incubate for 6 hours and then turn off the oven and let cool for 3-6 hours.

Whether you use a yogurt maker or not, it is important to let the yogurt undisturbed during fermentation.

3. Keep in the refrigerator for one week.

Homemade vegan soy yogurt - Φτιάχνω σπιτικό γιαούρτι σόγιας - Vegan in Athens

Few more things:

1. I know how impatient you may be the first time you make you own yogurt but despite that please let it ferment undisturbed at least for the first six hours. If you move or stir the yogurt it may not coagulate properly.
2. All the equipment you use must be sterilized.
3. I have noticed that the higher the percentage of fat and protein in the soy milk the thicker the yogurt will be. So choose your soy milk wisely and opt for organic brands without sugar and additives. Additionally, make sure that your yogurt starter contains live cultures. Practically most plain soy yogurts contain live cultures!
4. Remember to save a few tablespoons of yogurt into a sterilized jar in the freezer (or refrigerator if you plan to make a second batch soon), in order to have a yogurt starter for the next time. When you want to make yogurt again, allow to thaw and follow the process described above.
5. At the end of the process, to achieve perfect creamy texture, stir gently with a spoon.
6. If you want to make strained yogurt, line a strainer with a cotton cloth, pour in the yogurt, cover with the cloth and let in drain in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

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Vegan mayonnaise with olive oil - Βέγκαν μαγιονέζα με ελαιόλαδο - Vegan in Athens

Vegan mayonnaise with olive oil

I guess we all agree that mayonnaise is not a healthy food. But who cares when it’s about real, velvety, savory and slightly sweet and sour mayonnaise and what’s more when it’s about a vegan, easy and quick recipe that is going to add flavor to our potato salad and deliciousness to a tomato sandwich -to mention just two recipes. Well about this vegan mayonnaise we are going to talk today!

The idea for this delicious, vegan mayonnaise is not mine and although I tried to search the origins of the recipe today in order to write my post, googling the phrase “vegan mayonnaise”, I found similar recipes in several blogs and websites, but I couldn’t find the person who firstly conceived the idea. So I will give the credits for this recipe to my best friend Lena, since she is the person from whom I first heard about it. One day I was telling her that I wanted to make a salad that calls for mayonnaise and urgently needed real mayonnaise, with mayonnaise flavor, with all the qualities required in order to be called mayonnaise and of course not to cost its weight in gold (this is a Greek expression we use when we want to say that something is very expensive). When she told me the recipe I hardly believed that it would work and to be honest, the main reason I decided to make was just to call her later, grumbling that her recipe was a disaster, that it turned out watery, smelled like soy, turned out fuchsia, the mixture exploded or whatever. But despite my predictions, her recipe made a divine, thick, delicious, real mayonnaise! A fattening dream!

Vegan mayonnaise with olive oil - Βέγκαν μαγιονέζα με ελαιόλαδο - Vegan in Athens
Lena’s recipe calls for sunflower oil (and tastes more or less like a store-bought mayonnaise) but this time I prepared it with extra virgin olive oil, which makes this mayonnaise an exceptional addition to Mediterranean dishes and especially salads. Besides olive oil, is considered one of the healthiest choices among the various oils, so if you are planning to use mayonnaise frequently it is advisable to take it into account, together with the fact that although vegan and rich in healthy fats, mayonnaise is also rich in calories. On the other hand, I cannot imagine of a more simple and tasteful dressing for a salad. For optimal result use good quality, light olive oil since – as the main ingredient of mayonnaise – it is going to give its characteristic touch to the sauce.

Vegan mayonnaise with olive oil - Βέγκαν μαγιονέζα με ελαιόλαδο - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) soy milk at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light olive oil (or sunflower oil)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or equal amount of vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Vegan mayonnaise with olive oil - Βέγκαν μαγιονέζα με ελαιόλαδο - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Add in a blender soy milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt and blend at low speed for one minute.
2. While stirring, add the oil slowly until incorporated. Taste and add salt if you want.
3. Transfer to a sterilized jar and store in the refrigerator. If it seems a little bit watery do not worry! It will thicken even more few minutes after you let it rest.

Note: Use plain sugar-free and flavorless soy milk.

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Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream - Εύκολο και αφράτο παγωτό χαλβά με τρία υλικά, βέγκαν - Veganinathens.com

Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream

Sesame halva is a common, traditional dessert that can be found throughout Greece, especially during Lents, because it doesn’t contain any animal products and thus, it can be consumed by everyone, religious or not. It is made basically with tahini and sugar but it may also contain cocoa, almonds, carob or even cranberries. Few days ago, we were walking in the center of Athens, and, since it is Lent, many food stores and bakeries were selling halva. You could see huge sticks of halva on the market stalls, smell their beautiful, appetizing fragrances and almost feel them melting in your mouth…. Anyway, although I am not much of an impulse-buying person I didn’t manage to resist!

Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream - Εύκολο και αφράτο παγωτό χαλβά με τρία υλικά, βέγκαν - Veganinathens.com

When we went back home, I realized I had bought nearly one kilo of halva in total, far more than the few grams we usually consume during a week. Luckily, halva can be preserved in an air-tight container for very long time. However I had the idea to use it in a recipe, and since summer is near, I decided to make vegan halva ice-cream.

The result was a great surprise since homemade ice-creams usually have a texture much different than that of the store-bought and their taste is sometimes a little less intense, but that was not the case here. This ice cream really remains soft even after days, it’s texture is very creamy and it’s taste is sweet with distinct hints of tahini, vanilla and chocolate. And no, I don’t even have an ice-cream maker!

Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream - Εύκολο και αφράτο παγωτό χαλβά με τρία υλικά, βέγκαν - Veganinathens.com

Ingredients

For the chocolate-halva ice cream with

  • 200 g halva vanilla or chocolate chips
  • 240 ml (1 cup packed) vanilla-flavored soy milk or coconut milk full
  • 2 tablespoons roasted carob (looks like cocoa powder)
  • 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Method

Heat the milk in a saucepan and dissolve into the carob powder and the cocoa powder. Put the mixture in a blender along with the halva and blend at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until a creamy and homogeneous mixture has been formed. Transfer to a glass or metal bowl, let cool and put in the freezer. For even more fluffy texture, every one hour or so beat with a mixer for 1 minute and put back in the freezer. Repeat 4-5 times.

Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream - Εύκολο και αφράτο παγωτό χαλβά με τρία υλικά, βέγκαν - Veganinathens.com

For the vanilla-halva ice cream

  • 200g vanilla-flavored halva cut into pieces
  • 240 ml (1 cup packed) vanilla-flavored soy milk or coconut milk full (for even fluffier texture!)
  • 1 tbsp raw carob powder

Method

Heat the milk in a saucepan and dissolve into the carob powder. Put the mixture in a blender along with the halva and blend at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until a creamy and homogeneous mixture has been formed. Transfer to a glass or metal bowl, let cool and put in the freezer. For even more fluffy texture, every one hour or so beat with a mixer for 1 minute and put back in the freezer. Repeat 4-5 times.

Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream - Εύκολο και αφράτο παγωτό χαλβά με τρία υλικά, βέγκαν - Vegan in Athens

for garnish

  • chocolate sauce or caramel sauce or molasses
  • grated chocolate
  • grated almonds

Note: Depending on the freezer, it should be ready after 6 hours of freezing or it may take a little bit longer!

Carob actually improves the characteristics of the ice cream making it creamier. However, whether you don’t like the taste of carob, omit it.

Of course, if you have an ice-cream maker, feel free to use it!

Super easy and soft, 3-ingredient halva ice-cream - Εύκολο και αφράτο παγωτό χαλβά με τρία υλικά, βέγκαν - Veganinathens.com

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