Vegan Yogurt Starter

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$9.99


Vegan Yogurt Starter

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A blend of lactic acid bacteria specifically selected for use in making dairy-free yogurt, this culture has a mild yogurt flavor with a smooth texture and slightly weak viscosity. Ideally suited for soy or rice milk.

This is a direct-set yogurt starter and cannot be recultured (see below).

  • Vegan non-GMO yogurt starter
  • For use with non-traditional milks such as soy milk, rice milk, and nut milks. (Please note: while rice milk and nut milks can be cultured, they often won't thicken and additional thickening agents may be needed to obtain a yogurt-like consistency.)
  • Requires a yogurt maker or similar heating appliance
  • Direct-set yogurt starter
  • Contains 8 packets; each packet makes 1 to 2 quarts yogurt
  • Click here to compare our different yogurt varieties


Instructions: Heat 1 to 2 quarts non-dairy milk (soy, rice, etc.) to 110°F. Add one packet of starter and incubate at 108°F for 6 to 10 hours or until the mix has formed a smooth creamy texture. Chill immediately to below 70°F to halt the culturing process. Continue to cool overnight in the refrigerator or simply mix in any desirable flavors and enjoy. If larger quantities of yogurt are desired, two packets can be added to 1 to 4 gallons of non-dairy milk.  

Please note, while rice milk and nut milks can be cultured, they often won't thicken and additional thickening agents may be needed to obtain a yogurt-like consistency.


Ingredients: Rice maltodextrin, live active bacteria (Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Streptococcus thermophilus) 

Vegan yogurt starter does not consist of, nor does it contain, nor is it produced from genetically modified organisms.

Produced or packaged in a facility that also manufactures products made with wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, and fish.


What is a direct-set culture? A direct-set culture is a one-time-use culture and cannot be recultured (i.e., perpetuated beyond the single batch). Direct-set cultures require no maintenance or care. Simply store the packets in the refrigerator or freezer and use the necessary portion for your recipe when it's time to make yogurt. Most direct-set cultures contain multiple packets in each box to inoculate multiple batches.

Questions on Vegan Yogurt Starter

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  • From Shelby at 4/13/11 1:24 PM
    • If I were to use homemade brazil nut milk (straining out the pulp), will this suffice for making the yogurt with this starter? Or do I need to add some kind of sugar to feed the cultures (and which sugars do u recommend: raw honey? blackstrap molasses? ....?)?

      Also, how long should I incubate with brazil nut milk? Are there other milks u recommend, either homemade or store-bought?(I cannot do soy)

      Would I also need to add a thickener, like xantham gum, arrowroot, gelatin, or guar gum? If so, which do u recommend (health-wise and "performance"-wise)?

      If honey is suggsted as the sugar to feed the cultures, won't this actually kill the cultures, since raw honey is anti-bacterial?

      Thanks!!! Can't wait to try this!
    • We don't recommend that you add anything to the milk you use as you culture it - whether it is nut milk, grain milk, or dairy milk. The culture generally works best on the basic milk, without added sugars or stabilizers. If you want to add things after you culture it, there are many great sugars you can try depending on your tastes and preferences. Brazil nut milk would be a good base for yogurt, because of the high fat content. For added thickness, agar agar might be a good choice. It is a seaweed-based "gelatin" that is available in many Asian markets, or sometimes in the "Asian Foods" section of a supermarket. You would add the agar agar after culturing.
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  • From Shelby at 4/13/11 1:51 PM
    • Just a warning:

      Vegetal DOES contain barley. I called the company and it is grown on soy and barley, but it supposedly such trace amounts that it is allowed to be called "gluten-free" in the US.

      Just wanted to let people know in case they were extremely sensitive to gluten.
    • Thank you Shelby!
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Shelby at 4/24/11 7:19 PM
    • Some recipes say to heat the milk (non dairy) to 160 to kill off any bad bacterial, then let it cool to 110 or so. is this necessary?
    • It's possible to make yogurt out of alternative milks by only heating it up to culturing temperature, but heating it to 160 first does a couple of things. First, it ensures that the milk is "clean" and free of any bacteria that might compete with the yogurt cultures. Second, the process of heating the milk breaks down the proteins and helps make the resulting yogurt a little thicker.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jillian at 4/28/11 3:19 PM
    • How long does the non-dairy yogurt last or store in the refrigerator for prior to going bad?
    • There might be some variation depending on how cold your refrigerator is, how well the product is covered, how frequently you open the refrigerator door, etc. In general, these kinds of products stay good for about a week to ten days. As always, we advise that you not consume anything that looks, smells, or tastes bad.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Rose at 5/25/11 2:53 PM
    • Hello. Are your cultures isolated from a plant source? Do they contain any yeast, or are they grown on yeast? What plants or other things (other than soy) are your starters cultured on? Thanks!
    • This product is grown on non-GMO barley and soy. There is no yeast.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From kate hoag at 5/25/11 4:02 PM
    • How much longer does coconut milk take to culture? My son was just allergy tested and has sensitivities to soy,cow dairy. I've attempted yogurt, and it is too runny. Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks!!
    • The Vegetal yogurt starter used with alternative milks does produce a runnier yogurt than what you might be used to from the store. The yogurt should take around 6-8 hours to set up. Make sure you are using full-fat coconut milk without any additives. (Guar gum is hard to avoid, and seems to be okay in culturing.) You can increase thickness by adding agar agar or other thickeners.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Janet at 6/9/11 9:51 PM
    • I read on your site that a direct set culture means it cannot be recultured. Does that mean I cannot save some of the yogurt that I make to use it for the next batch as I can with dairy yogurt?

      Could this be made with potato milk? The one that I use is Vance's Darifree (www.vancesfoods.com/darifree.htm). I am not sure if there are any other potato milks out there?
    • You are correct in that the Vegetal culture is not viable for reculturing, and a new inoculation must be made for each new batch of yogurt.

      It may work with potato milk - we don't have any experience with that. It does work with rice milk, which would have a similar composition. We would be happy to hear of your experience with this.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Virginia S. at 6/11/11 11:38 PM
    • I have 2 questions concerning things you've written.
      Firstly, if sugars feed cultures for growing, why do you recommend not adding any type of sugar, (for vegan nut-yogurt)? Secondly, why, chemically, isn't your starter possible for reculturing ?

      .. thanks, .. Virginia
    • There are actually differing schools of thought on adding sugars to yogurt. Most yogurt cultures have developed in dairy milk environments, and work best with the naturally-occurring combination of fats, proteins, and sugars found in milk. Vegetal Dairy-Free Yogurt Starter has been specially formulated to culture non-dairy milks, but even so, results can be uneven because these are not technically milks, and yogurt fermentation is not a natural behavior for them.

      Rice milk has a similar sugar profile to milk, and more sugar will not improve it for culturing. Soy milk and other grain milks are lower in sugar than dairy milk, and it is possible that you could improve fermentation by adding some sugar. Nut milks are particularly hard to culture because nuts are not fermentable. Again, adding sugar may help.

      While the bacteria can, under ideal circumstances, ferment alternative milks into yogurt, the necessary nutrients to keep the bacteria alive (casein, lactose) are not present in the alternative milks, so the bacteria cease to be viable after they have cultured the "milk."
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  • From Les at 6/22/11 12:24 PM
    • Two questions
      1. Does the vegetal starter work with lactose free milk, like Lactaid?
      2. How much powdered milk solid is in the dairy based yogurt starters?
    • The vegetal starter will not work with lactose-free milk, as there is no sugar for the yogurt bacteria to eat. It's possible that you might be able to add sugar to the LF milk and provide a culturing environment. However, the action of yogurt cultures is to eat up the lactose. When yogurt is cultured long enough, all the lactose is consumed.

      We do not add powdered milk solids to our yogurt starters. The starters are dehydrated yogurt, containing the live bacteria.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Hannah at 7/28/11 12:59 PM
    • Hi, My daughter and I both have a milk allergy =( I would prefer to buy one of your reusable starters and make coconut milk yogurt. I like the idea of making a couple of batches so that the amount of cow's milk would be significantly reduced but noticed that you also said that using non-dairy milks makes the starter yogurt less reusable. How many times do you think I could successfully use a starter from a previous batch to culture a new batch? I'm especially wondering since my daughter and I wouldn't be able to eat the first couple of batches.

      Thanks!
    • A reusable starter would not be a good choice for you, as they are dependent on dairy to reproduce. However, the Vegetal starter is especially formulated for non-dairy milks, and gives a good result with coconut milk.
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Customer Reviews

Great product Review by Ms. Dantes
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This was my first time using Vegan Yogurt Starter and I am very glad I found this company to guide me in it's use when I needed knowledge. (Posted on April 9, 2014)
vegan starter works excellent for making soy yogurt Review by veganmom
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I use the vegan starter and it works very nice for my soy yogurt. (Posted on April 4, 2014)
Easy to use Review by BC
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I used this starter with almond milk and added Pomona's Pectin. The instructions were very helpful. (Posted on April 3, 2014)
Finally, yogurt again! Review by Snackgirl
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I make wonderful coconut milk yogurt with this product. It's easy, I can control what is and isn't in it, and I'm thrilled to be eating yogurt again! (Posted on April 1, 2014)
Works wonderfully! Review by Tish P.
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I've made two batches of soy yogurt so far, and I'm extremely pleased with the results. The cultures and instructions both worked a treat. (Posted on March 29, 2014)
Cashew almond yogurt Review by Moretarlan
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I have been making yogurt using whole almond or coconut yogurt as a starter but at several dollars per yogurt and with inconsistent results this is much better. I use 1 c each of sliced almonds and raw cashews, 1 tsp agar powder, 4 tbsps honey or so, and 4 tbsps tapioca powder adding enough water for 8-9 cups total, blending for 1-2 minutes till smooth, heat to 180, cool to 110, add culture and incubate 6 to 8 hrs in my dehydrator in sterilized glass jars with the lids on at 107-108, and it has worked perfectly every time. Also the convenience of being able to store in my freezer is great! (Posted on March 24, 2014)
Wonderful product! Review by Chefgloria
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Wonderful, I love the yogurt and the flavor. I do not add any thickener, but I am going to try with it! (Posted on March 22, 2014)
Amazing Product Review by Chelsea
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I love this vegan yogurt culture! I've made a few batches already and they've all turned out great! I am so happy to have yogurt back in my life!
I was also very impressed with the directions that came with the product - very clear and easy to follow. The resources on this website are so helpful, and the product shipped very quickly! I will be returning when I need more! (Posted on March 20, 2014)
Works beautifully with coconut milk! Review by infamousmare
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I have used this starter several times to make yogurt with canned coconut milk and each batch has been fabulous! **If you do use this site's recipe along with the EuroCuisine yogurt maker, as I do, you will have a pretty good amount left over after filling all seven jars. I just put the overage into a thermos, wrap it in a towel and leave it on the counter next to the machine. It turns out as beautifully as the jars warmed in the machine. :-)

While coconut yogurt is not as thick as some dairy-based yogurts, it tastes good and the recipe on this site really could not be any easier.

(Posted on March 13, 2014)
Excellent product Review by Cindy
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I was very nervous making vegan yogurt at home the first time. But this starter and all of the helpful info found on this website eased my fear and now I am a confident yogurt maker! I use a combination of almond and cashew milks, and thicken a little before culturing. I have made it 3 times now and it has come out perfect every time! Thick, rich and delicious (Posted on March 10, 2014)
Love This! Review by Jbent
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I was tired of spending big bucks on those little vegan yogurts from the store. I saw this product online at Healthy Girl's Kitchen blog and had to give it a try. Not looking back. This is my "go to" for excellent yogurt for my family. Using 1/2 organic soy milk and nut or coconut - results declared YUM! by my family. IMO a bit pricey, but worth it. (Posted on March 4, 2014)
Easy to use! Review by Julia
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Really love this, so easy to use and makes healthful delicious yogurt every time. We use flax milk and it turns out great. It's not too thick but we drink it. (Posted on February 28, 2014)
Works great for this beginner! Review by MishaMoo
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Until last summer, I had never made yogurt before. When my favorite vegan brand went off the market last Spring, I found myself with no alternatives. I decided to make my own vegan, soy, plain yogurt and bought the vegan yogurt starter at the recommendation of a blogger.

Having no experience with this, I was a little worried since there are many stories on the web of folks attempting soy yogurt but failing. I have made a batch of yogurt every week since July. Beyond getting the amount of hours down for incubation so it comes out the way I like it, I have not had a bad batch yet.

I'm really pleased with these cultures. The recipe is easy to follow and the end product is great. (Posted on February 26, 2014)
Can't Get it to Work Review by MountainGirl
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I've tried four times now, with different milks. First two with rice milk were completely water consistency. Other than a yogurt maker, I tried all methods following directions to a tee. Treated it like a baby, monitoring, measuring temps, etc. It was recommended that I buy a pectin that cost $5...pricing me out of this yogurt mix. There maybe should be a warning that it will get much pricier if you have to add in other items like this. Tried with Westsoy soy milk when we could finally add soy to our elimination diet. No go. A little better, but not much more than glops in liquid. Finally, I tried coconut (homemade milk plus full-fat canned). Completely watery, stirring/shaking before refrigeration didn't help. I added starch, I added sweetener (tried honey & maple syrup). All I get is liquid for my smoothies. Still longing for yogurt. I cannot purchase again as it's too expensive for 'experimenting' and the outcomes I've received.

Response from CFH: We recommend using non-dairy milks with as few additives as possible. So far we have had the best results using homemade milks. (Posted on February 24, 2014)
Great product! Review by D
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This is a very good product for people who are allergic to dairy, as my daughter is, or people who now the harms of consuming dairy products, mass produced variety like I do. Non dairy milks, as we call them, do not have sufficiant proteins to thicken up, except soy but again do your research, not that great. So when using this product a thinkener/emulsifier is required. Agar agar is what we use. A starch could be used. But again this product is great and easy to use. I have ruined batches because of temp issues. If it is warmer then you, test on wrist , then let it cool down a little longer. Also it needs some sugar! Tha bac will not multiply without it. Little bit of honey. Also no salt while culturing. We use coconut oil in our milk for body and the calcium absorption boost. So try it as directed and look up some recipies for how to get more dairy like consistency if you want. :) (Posted on February 24, 2014)
Finally Review by Veganagain
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I have been a yogurt fan for years.
A while back I had given up trying until I read this article that claimed that there was a way to do it just by using a vegan yogurt starter.

I am very delighted to say that it does a great job and I am enjoying yogurts everyday thanks to it. I had a few mishaps while trying different non-diary milks, but FINALLY it happen.

I am glad that there are so many options out there, but I definitely will recommend this product to anyone who wants to enjoy homemade yogurts.

Thanks a bunch! (Posted on February 11, 2014)
Not a good option for omnivores Review by retroid
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I recently set out to provide my husband with an alternative to the sugarbomb liquid-candy grocery store yogurt I couldn't get him to stop eating. I bought some Cultures for Health "Mild Flavor Yogurt Starter," which is absolutely dynamite stuff - we really love it. Firm but creamy-smooth texture, perfect balance of sweet and tangy. With a pinch of stevia and some blueberries my husband prefers CFH Mild to the old sugarbomb yogurt. I would have declared victory and just left well enough alone, but it seems like a fair few gut microbiome studies have shown promising results with Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The Mild starter doesn't have L. rhamnosus, so I decided to explore the CFH Vegan starter, which does.

All three batches of vegan yogurt I attempted were wretched. Once with rice milk, twice with coconut/almond blend I got nasty separation of mealy curd from whey. The results were edible, but unappetizing enough that husband threaten to relapse back to sugarbomb. I double-checked the temperature repeatedly throughout the ferment and it was a perfect 110F. My third batch even included a hefty dose of nonfat dry milk, but that only seemed to make things worse. For me, the only real value of the vegan starter was to make me feel glad I'm not vegan and don't have to figure out the witchcraft of this fussy ferment.

A side-note for vegans interested in cultured food: CFH water kefir could be a great option. The water kefir is drastically easier to figure out than this crazy vegan yogurt. You can quickly turn a bottle of V-Fusion juice, which I find too sweet, into delightful tangy complexity with champaigney bubbles. Another noteworthy victory in my ongoing war against grocery store sugar-mania.

Response from CFH: Culturing with nondairy milks can be tricky. These are recipes we have created and had good results with:
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/vegan-yogurt-recipe
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/dairy-free-yogurt-recipe
(Posted on February 9, 2014)
My soy yogurt couldn't be better thanks to your vegan culture! Review by Beth
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After a few less than satisfactory experiments I now have my soy yogurt perfected. I use Eden Soy fortified soy milk, arrowroot powder, maple syrup and Cultures for Health Vegan Yogurt Starter. I bought the Cuisinart Yogurt Maker and the whole process is so easy. The yogurt is far superior to any dairy or non-dairy yogurt I've ever tried. Thank you Cultures for Health for such a great product. Now with your help I'll be introducing more cultured foods into my diet! (Posted on February 8, 2014)
Reminder: turn on the Yogurt-maker! Review by Donna
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My first batch was awful,..but that is because I forgot to flip the switch the yogurt-maker's to "on"! After that, excellent taste and texture for the yogurt, better than store-bought! I usually detest soy yogurt (store-bought) but the yogurt was much (naturally) sweeter homemade! (Posted on February 5, 2014)
Not tangy at all. Review by KB
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I tried this culture with coconut milk, almond milk, and rice milk. The coconut milk I could only get to set up by adding in gelatin and tapioca starch, but the end product still just tasted like coconut milk. No hint of tartness whatsoever, didn't taste cultured at all. (Followed included directions to a T.) Almond milk was a total flop - didn't set, was basically still just almond milk. The rice milk set up a little bit with gelatin, but also still just tasted like rice milk. I think I got a dud batch. :(

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments. Vegan yogurt does best with a thickener to help it set. (Posted on February 4, 2014)
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