Vegan Skyr? – How to Make Skyr at HomeUpdated on: 15.12.2020
In this article, we will teach you how to make your very own vegan skyr. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it tastes like heaven.
If you are new to Skyr, this is an Icelandic cultured dairy product. It has the consistency of Greek yogurt, but a milder flavor.
According to old Icelandic sagas, over a thousand years ago Vikings introduced Skyr to Iceland.
In recent years, skyr is consistently gaining in popularity all over the world and is especially popular in Great Britain and the USA, as well as many European countries.
Since we care about animals and the environment but still want to enjoy skyr from time to time, we came up with several vegan recipes to make a veganized version of skyr. The choice of recipe depends on what ingredients we have available around the house.
Making your own skyr is incredibly environmentally friendly since you no longer require non-recyclable plastic containers of store-bought skyr. It can also save you a bunch of cash.
To make vegan skyr, you can try established vegan yogurt maker appliances, which will give you a satisfactory result, or, if you’ve got time on your hands and are savvy in the kitchen, make a delicious batch from scratch yourself by following the recipes below.
Is skyr vegan?
No, traditional skyr is not vegan because it contains dairy. However, you can make a veganized version yourself and some stores sell vegan skyr products as well.
What is a vegan substitute for skyr?
Here are some great vegan skyr substitutes:
1. Choose a good brand of silken tofu to blend as a vegan skyr substitute. Note that regular tofu is not a good replacement.
2. Make your homemade vegan Greek skyr with an automatic yogurt maker. Simply choose your favorite plant milk, mix it with a non-dairy skyr yogurt starter, set the timer, and let the appliance do the rest.
3. Effortlessly transform plain vegan yogurt into skyr by using a yogurt strainer.
4. Combine raw cashews, canned coconut milk, and tapioca starch. Blend, bring to a simmer and let cool. Stir in vegan probiotic and cover the container with cheesecloth. Let ferment overnight at room temperature. For more details, look at the recipe below.
5. Heat up one liter of soy milk and add in a vegan probiotic and diluted vegan rennet. Let ferment overnight and then drain for a few hours with a cloth or strainer.
How to Make Vegan Skyr
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced cook, a vegan veteran or just starting out, or perhaps you just want to surprise a vegan in your life, the following list has what you are looking for.
Here are 5 easy ways to make a vegan substitute for skyr:
- Use an Automatic Yogurt Maker
For the best hassle-free result, buy a vegan yogurt maker. Then all you need is your favorite plant-based milk and non-dairy yogurt starter. The machine does the rest. Easy peasy!
- Use a Yogurt Strainer
If you already have a favorite vegan yogurt and just want to make it thicker, you can use a yogurt strainer to get the desired creamy texture of Skyr.
- Use a Blender and a Block of Silken Tofu
If you have a good blender and some silken tofu on hand, try this step. Some additional seasoning, such as salt and lemon juice, is recommended for the best effect.
- Make it from Cashews
You can follow this vegan Skyr recipe and see if you like the result. Ferment a mixture of raw cashews, canned coconut milk, and tapioca starch with a good quality vegan probiotic.
- Make it with Soy milk and Vegan Rennet
If you have vegan rennet, you can try heating up a liter of soy milk, adding probiotics and rennet, and let it ferment.
How to Make Vegan Skyr by Using an Automatic Yogurt Maker
The easiest and most effective way to get the perfect vegan skyr is to use an automatic yogurt maker.
Not only is it super easy because the machine does everything for you, but it’s also a great investment in your health.
No added sugars are needed, and the end result feeds your gut bacteria with billions of live probiotic cultures.
Here’s what you will need:
- your favorite non-dairy plant milk
- a non-dairy yogurt starter
- an automatic yogurt maker machine
If you don’t yet have an automatic yogurt maker machine but love yogurt and skyr, we really recommend you get one. Check out our Best Yogurt Maker for Vegan Yogurt Guide.
How to Make Vegan Skyr by Using a Yogurt Strainer
If you already have a vegan yogurt you like and just want to make it thicker, you can use a yogurt strainer to get the desired creamy texture of skyr.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your favorite yogurt
- A yogurt strainer
If you don’t have one on hand, feel free to check out our Yogurt Strainer Guide to learn more.
Alternatively, you can also improvise a yogurt strainer with a metal kitchen strainer and an appropriate clean cheesecloth.
Place the cheesecloth over the strainer and lay the strainer into a slightly larger empty pot. Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth and wrap the cheesecloth over the yogurt to cover it.
Let sit in the fridge at least overnight, preferably longer.
For the best Skyr yogurt effect, we recommend you use plain vegan yogurt. A longer straining process will yield a thicker and creamier yogurt texture.
How to Make Vegan Skyr from Silken Tofu
If you have a good blender and some silken tofu on hand, you can test this method and see if you like the result. Choose the brand of silken tofu you like best.
A dash of additional seasonings, such as salt and lemon juice, is recommended for the best effect.
What you’ll need:
- Silken tofu
- A good blender
- Optional: seasonings
Silken tofu is not to be mistaken for regular tofu, which has a much firmer curdled texture. Silken tofu is, as the name implies, much smoother and lighter and is the softest type of tofu.
To find the best blender for you, feel free to check out our 5 Best Blenders for Vegans – The 2021 Buyer’s Guide to find your perfect match.
How to Make Vegan Skyr from Cashews
What you’ll need:
- 200g or 1 1/3 cups of cashews (soaked overnight or in boiling water for 10 minutes)
- 2 cups of canned coconut milk (carton will not work)
- 1/3 cup or 40g tapioca starch
- a non-dairy yogurt starter culture or vegan probiotic (about 4 capsules)
- A skillet
- A glass, ceramic, or wooden bowl and spoon
WARNING: Once the probiotic is introduced, make sure it does not come into contact with any metal, or it will ruin the entire process.
- Drain the cashew nuts. If using boiling water, wait for them to completely cool and then add them to a blender together with the coconut milk.
- Blend until very smooth. You might need to stop the blender a few times during the process to let it cool and scrape down the sides if it’s not a powerful model.
- When the mixture is super smooth, add in the tapioca starch and blend until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the skillet and bring to a simmer. The heat will make the tapioca starch thicken the mixture.
- Pour the thickened mixture into a bowl and stir in the yogurt starter culture or prebiotic capsule contents.
- Cover the bowl with a cheesecloth and secure it. Let the contents ferment at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
How to make Vegan Skyr with Vegan Rennet
Ingredients for 17oz (500ml) of skyr:
– 1 liter (34oz) of unsweetened plain soy milk
– vegan probiotic suitable fot making yogurt*
– half a tablet of vegan rennet, diluted in 2 tbsp cold water
*Note: Make sure that you don’t use any metallic utensils and bowls or it can kill the beneficial bacteria. Use glass, plastic, or wood instead.
Total Time: 18 hours and 10 minutes
Heat up the milk and pour it into a glass bowl.
Heat up the whole liter of unsweetened soy milk to 105°F (or 40°C). Pour into a glass bowl or, alternatively, plastic or wooden.
Add the probiotic
Add the probiotic into the milk. If you are using capsules, two should be sufficient.
Add rennet and stir
Using light, gentle movements, stir the rennet into the milk. Make sure to stir well.
Pour into a glass jar and let sit overnight at a higher temperture
Transfer the mixture into a glass jar or a covered glass bowl. Let it sit overnight or for at least 12 hours at a stable 85 – 105°F (30 – 40°C) temperature. You can achieve this by using an automatic yogurt maker or by placing it in the oven and setting it to the required temperature.
Strain the skyr yogurt
Pour the yogurt liquid from the glass jar into a yogurt strainer, or make one yourself by coating a regular pasta strainer with a cloth and pouring the mixture inside the cloth. Leave it be for about 6 hours. This will remove the excess liquid and give the skyr its typical creaminess.
*For the probiotic to be suitable for yogurt making, it needs to contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streprococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis or Lactobacillus acidophilus.
It is best to use a good quality multi-strain probiotic that requires refrigeration.
How does it keep?
If kept in a airtight container in the fridge, it can be eaten for up to 2 weeks.
What even is rennet?
Non-vegan rennet is an ingredient that people use to make cheese coagulate.
Its primary enzyme called chymosin is obtained from the stomach lining of the fourth stomach of a newborn calf or the stomach lining of a piglet.
The original function of this enzyme is to help the animal with digestion, however, people use it to make cheese.
Luckily, vegans can have our cheese and eat it too, with the help of a vegan rennet. It serves the same function of coagulating protein to make vegan cheeses and originates from vegetables or microbes.
In the case of vegetable rennet, people obtain enzymes from these plant sources:
Microbial rennet is obtained from fungi or bacteria by fermentation of their enzymes. Generally, it is used only in cheeses that are not meant to be aged, as it can become bitter.
You can learn more about rennet here.