Instant Pot Cashew Yogurt (Cashewgurt)
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Hello all! I've been experimenting a lot these past couple of days, as I've been wanting to make really thick and tangy yogurt on my own. I don't like purchasing yogurt too much since there's a lot of plastic waste. Yes, the containers can be recycled to a certain degree, but that's not the end goal for me. I want to simply reduce my impact. Before going vegan, I used to make yogurt with regular cow's milk all the time, and it was a very simple process. This is a staple in India, so my mother taught me how to make it. I would (1) boil the milk, (2) let it come down to a lower temperature so that I could put in my starter culture, (3) mix, and (4) leave it overnight inside my oven (turned off). This process was pretty much foolproof. However, after going vegan, it has been kind of an uphill battle. I enjoy a tangy yogurt that is texturally somewhere in between regular and Greek-style yogurt.
I have tried to make it the same way with almond milk purchased from the store, and it didn't work. It became more of a buttermilk, since it was very runny. The taste wasn't so bad.
I have tried it with soy milk purchased from the store, but I really don't like the taste. When I wanted to pair it with Indian food, it tasted sweet even if I used unsweetened versions.
I have tried it with coconut milk yogurt, and while it's certainly thicker, it's pretty expensive to buy the canned coconut milk. It doesn't work with the carton coconut milk. You can make it by scooping out the flesh of a coconut, but I don't always find tender coconut near me.
All in all, these are quite wasteful since I bought them from the store. I have seen many video tutorials online about making almond milk yogurt using homemade almond milk, but that doesn't really yield the thickness that I wanted, either. Since I had just bought a bunch of cashews to make cashew cheese, I figured I'd try a small batch with homemade cashew milk.
I used a one-to-one ratio of cashews and water. I boiled my cashews for around 5 minutes, rinsed them off, and blended them with one cup of cold water. I strained the mixture through a fine sieve (just in case) and sprinkled on some probiotic powder by opening up the capsules. I used the powder from 2 of these capsules. After mixing thoroughly with my silicone spatula, I poured them into individual sterilized mason jars. With no lids on, I arranged the mason jars in my Instant Pot with just a one-inch layer of water at the bottom. I don't know why I put in the water, but I felt a strong urge to do it. I just set my IP to Yogurt mode for about 14 hours.
This. Turned. Out. So. Thick.
I was delighted with the texture, but it smelled super tangy. I was hoping that was just the smell, but it tasted too tangy, as well. I added some agave and vanilla to it and it helped a little bit. However, I still think it was a bit TOO tangy for my taste. I think the next time I make it, I will try to limit the time to 10 hours. I will edit this post after I find out.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup filtered water
1 probiotic capsules or 2 tbsp yogurt starter (from a previously made/bought plain non-dairy yogurt)
Optional: 1 tsp agave and 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Boil cashews for 5-10 minutes on the stove.
2. Strain them in a colander and rinse with cold water.
3. Transfer to a high-speed blender and pour in the filtered water.
4. Blend on high until super smooth.
5. Strain in a fine mesh sieve to make sure there are no lumps.
6. Sprinkle on the powder from the probiotic capsules or the yogurt starter.
7. Mix thoroughly and transfer into mason jars (this amount fits nicely in 5 4-oz jars).
8. Pour water into your IP's inner pot to come up to about 1 inch.
9. Arrange the jars (without the lids) in one layer, put on the Instant Pot lid & turn the valve to sealing position.
10. Press the Yogurt button and set it for about 8 hours if you desire it to be slightly sweet and about 9 or 10 hours if you want it to be super tangy.
11. Transfer to fridge once the yogurt has reached the desired taste and texture. Let cool until you want to eat. This should last at least 1 week or more in the fridge.
You can use this in savory dishes like Indian curry and rice. You can also eat this as a sweet treat with some vanilla, maple syrup, and fruits.
Good luck, and let me know how it turns out for you! I will be experimenting with peanuts soon.