Vegan, sugar free and dairy free

I feel pretty wistful at the thought of hazelnut yoghurt. My mother used to buy dairy yoghurts; mum always chose raspberry, I had strawberry and my father alternated between hazelnut and black cherry. I could never get my head around hazelnut yoghurt until I was older, but when I finally tried it I couldn’t believe how scrumptious it was and felt pretty miffed that I has been missing out all those years.

So if you’re like me and every now and again have a nostalgic yearning for a creamy hazelnut yoghurt but don’t want one with dairy or soya, then this one might be for you.

I use a vegan acidophilus, Solgar-Advanced Acidophilus (Non-Dairy) Capsules to ferment this yoghurt. Empty out the capsules and just use the powder – you will need about 1 ½ to 2 capsules worth of powder to make this yoghurt but do measure it to be sure. (Don’t add the capsules to the mixture whole).

If you can’t get hold of this particular brand of acidophilus, do phone the manufacturer of any that you are intending to buy to ensure it is suitable for fermentation. Not all of them are.

This is one of the rare occasions that I prefer to use my Vitamix to my Blendtec. The Blendtec has an automatic timer for 50 seconds so you will need to keep resetting it. The Vitamix, however, can be left running for the time you need to start the fermentation process – just don’t let it get too hot.

This yoghurt is great for breakfast and perfect served with puddings and crumbles. I like to serve it with clementine compote.

Hazelnut Yoghurt
Yield: 4 serving
  • ½ cup of cashew nuts, soaked
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, soaked
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon probiotic powder
  1. Soak the hazelnuts for about 6 hours and the cashew nuts for 2 - 3 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the nuts under cold running water.
  3. Place the nuts in a blender with 1 ¾ cups water. Blend until smooth. You will still see some grainy bits from the hazelnuts but that’s OK, it adds a bit of texture.
  4. Pour a little of the mixture into a fine mesh bag and squeeze into a cup so you have a little bit of nut milk liquid. Add the probiotic powder to this milk and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Return to the blender and place on a low to medium speed for about 5 - 10 minutes. The aim here is to start the probiotic off by gently warming the mixture.
  6. Then transfer into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and place at the bottom of a dehydrator at 100 degrees F, or in a warm place like the bottom of an airing cupboard.
  7. Leave to ferment. This process should take about 6 - 10 hours. Then transfer to a Kilner jar and leave it in the fridge to set.
  8. Sweeten with agave, fruit or honey to taste. You can add some further texture with a handful of finely chopped hazelnuts at the end.