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Hazelnut yogurt

I’m calling this hazelnut yogurt, because of the way I’ve made it, however, it’s more like cultured hazelnut creme fraiche. It’s so rich and flavorful, you won’t want to use it like yogurt. It’s better suited to a dollop on a savory dish to add depth and richness to the meal.

What you need:

  • 2 c hazelnuts
  • fermentation station
  • an extraction bag (panty hose or nutmilk bag)
  • a drip station (wire screen sieve and cloth)
  • one scoop Avellana vegan cultures
  1. Soak the hazelnuts overnight. Boil them in a pot with two tablespoons of baking soda. Once the skins start to slip, remove from heat, strain off water, and refill the pot with cold water. Rub the hazelnuts between your hands to remove the peels.
  2. Put peeled hazelnuts into blender with 6 cups water (you will likely need to divide this into two rounds. Filter out the hazelnut fiber with the panty hose or nut milk bag. Place milk in a large bowl or container.
  3. Add one level scoop of Avellana culture to the hazelnut milk and stir. Place bowl/container into fermentation station (or divide into smaller containers if the fermentation station isn’t big enough) and culture for eight hours at 100 degrees.
  4. The protein and fat of the hazelnut will separate from the water during culturing. This “no whey” will need to be separated off to thicken the cream to your desired consistency. Line a screen sieve with a tightly woven cloth and pour the cultured hazelnut cream in. Thickening will likely take several hours. You can stir the cream gently to speed the process. Cover it while you wait for it to drip out.

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The final result is a rich, velvety cultured cream. You can push it toward the savory side or go sweet with it. Either way, a little of this cream goes a LONG way, so use it sparingly!!

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Cashew-Chickpea yogurt

What you need:

  • 1 c soaked chickpeas
  • 1/8-1/4 c cashews (more=creamier and fattier, less is beanier and lighter. If you want, you can omit these altogether and opt for a plain chickpea yogurt)
  • 1.5 c water
  • an extraction method (nutmilk bag, colander, panty hose)
  • a pot
  1. Soak chickpeas and cashews over night.
  2. Add chickpeas, cashews, and water to blender and blend until smooth (you can also grind the cashews separately and add to the chickpea milk after you cook it, if you prefer. It adds a step, but may make the final result a little creamier. I’ve tried it both ways and it’s good either way…I guess it’s a matter of preference). Extract the excess fiber. It’s easier to squeeze the milk out using chickpeas because they are a little more fibrous and less squishy. I filter it back and forth a few times until I have little or no pulp left over.

(It looks a little weird now, outta the kitchen :/)

(oh no! I got a run in my stocking!)

3. Heat up the milk until it is steaming, but not quite boiling. It will start to get a little thicker, don’t worry, that’s just the proteins changing with the heat. Put a lid on it and let it cool down for several hours.

4. Put the milk in a jar and add one blue scoop of Avellana culture. Put it in your fermentation station and let it culture for eight hours at around 100 degrees. Don’t let this culture too long! It will take on a strange, otherworldly smell. (I’ve eaten it anyway when it smells like that and I didn’t die…but proceed at your own risk! 🙂