These popsicles were so fun and delicious! It's the time of year when things are getting hot and with all the unicorn craze going around, I thought a purple/pink/mango popsicle would be the ultimate solution.
2 Vanilla Coconut Yogurts (you could also use homemade)
1 tsp each freeze dried fruit powders* (I used raspberry, blueberry, and mango, but you could do pineapple, strawberry, banana, or other flavors)
*To make the powder, you blend up a bag of freeze dried fruit into a powder. Make sure your blender is completely dry and clean out with a dry towel in between flavors so you don't get it wet.
Divide your yogurt into three bowls and add a teaspoon of fruit powder to each one.
Add a teaspoon at a time of each flavor into the popsicle molds (I like this silicone one because you can see the patterns you are making) in a random pattern, then swirl with a toothpick to create a pretty pattern. Freeze for 2 or more hours.
Time to get cultured, folks.
Honestly, I didn't think I'd use the yogurt function on my Instant Pot, but I made sure to get the 7-in-1 just in case I changed my mind.
SPOILER: I changed my mind.
I am the WORST at following recipes, but this scared me, so I started off looking at Becky from Glue and Glitter's tried and true recipe since I know she makes this weekly and that it's a hit with her kiddo. Double postitive in my book!
Of course, even with my mad respect for Becky, I still had to go and change the recipe the first time, because I'm just a brat like that.
Here's how I did it...
***EDITED: New Favorite Recipe at Bottom of Post. Keep Scrolling for Favorite!***
I prefer a thicker yogurt, so when mine is done in the morning, I give it a stir, then drain by placing a strainer over a large measuring cup and lining it with a thin kitchen cloth or hankerchief. You could also use several layers of cheesecloth, I just like they way I can wash the hanky after I'm done for reuse. I place this contraption in the refrigerator for about a day and I have a nice thick, rich, creamy yogurt that I can then sweeten and flavor how I like. I love it with a little homemade applesauce and maple syrup.
Now I loved this method, but then I started seeing people making yogurt using probiotic capsules. The thing is, most of the places I've lived since going vegan haven't had a great selection of vegan goods, so I understand that not everyone can go buy a container of Silk soy yogurt for starter. So, I tried that out and love it too!
For this method, it's crazy easy. You just fill your mason jars with soy milk (I did 4 12oz jars) and add the contents of a probiotic capsule (I'm not sure if brand matters or type, I'm just not savvy enough, but try out different ones and see what works for you!) to each one. I ran mine on the Yogurt function for 12 hours per the recommendations I was seeing online and it wasn't super tangy, but thickened up nicely. I still did the straining method and strained off 2 cups of whey to make it a bit thicker. This is the yogurt I used for my homemade frozen yogurt, and because it wasn't as tangy, it really just tasted like rich ice cream decadence!
EDITED: New Favorite recipe!
1 32 oz box Westsoy unsweetened plain soy milk
4 capsules Probiotics (just the powder from the capsules). I used 2 of these and 2 of these.
Combine probiotic powder and soy milk in blender (I tried just stirring them in, above, and you can see it turns out very thin, although that's okay for cooking applications). Blending it seems to make a real difference in thickening up, I think. Then I divided into 4 jars. You can use 4 pints or I used 2 12oz jars and 2 quarts (just what I had available). Set them in the pan in the Instant Pot (I've read that it's important you don't put on the steamer rack, so make sure they are simply setting in the pot), then put the lid on (I set to sealing, others say it doesn't matter if it is on venting...). Set to Yogurt and then 12 hours. After it's done, I refrigerated for 8 hours and got this great texture and it has a very nice mild flavor. I put it in smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, and used it in my Vanilla Yogurt Pancakes.
First of all, let me make this really easy for you. If you have an ice cream maker, like this Cuisianart one I have, you can just buy vegan yogurt (coconut, almond, soy, rice, whatever your pleasure is) and put it into your ice cream maker and that's frozen yogurt. So let's start there.
Of course, that's not where we stop. I've recently fallen in love with making soy yogurt in my Instant Pot. Part of the "I have used my Instant Pot every day since purchasing it just before Thanksgiving," situation.
I've used two different methods now, and I like them both, so they are here on my post about Instapot Soy Yogurt.
So I had a quart of yogurt (made using the second method- with probiotics) that I had strained some, but was still fairly thin, and I had added some maple syrup and vanilla to taste. The kids liked it, but were kind of unsure, "Do we drink this? Use a spoon?" I put a little on my daughter's oatmeal and she like that. Very creamy.
Anyway, there was still a full quart to use up, and the kids had just had to turn down cow's milk ice cream at a birthday party this weekend, so I got out the ice cream maker and blended up the quart of homemade vanilla yogurt with one can of sweetened condensed coconut milk. Then I just poured it in the ice cream maker and set it and forget it for about 20 minutes. It was so creamy and sweet. Sweeter than most homemade, which made it especially treat-like for the kids. I might try with unsweetened homemade next time and make it strawberry or another flavor. I'm looking forward to experimenting more.
1 quart soy or soy and coconut blend yogurt (recipe above, or store bought unsweetened soy yogurt)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend ingredients in blender to fully incorporate, and then pour into ice cream maker for about 20 minutes, until thick consistency reached.
I wrote a children's book, How Our Vegan Family Celebrates, to help vegans and vegan allies know how to include vegans in their celebrations and give affirmation to vegan kids who may feel alone. The book goes through holidays throughout the year and has a section at the back with parent tips!
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