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Easy Tofu Yogurt

Tofu yogurt—yeah, I know it sounds weird, but give me a chance!  This yogurt is a fabulous alternative for those of you that might be lactose intolerant or vegan, and it can be made to be gluten-free!  In addition, it takes less than 5 minutes to make. I have a fun Japanese cookbook (らくらく人気のおやつ)  that is full of ideas for easy-to-make snacks.  As I was flipping through it the other day, a recipe for 豆腐ヨーグルト, or “Tofu Yogurt,” caught my eye.  Intrigued by the concept, I whipped up a batch.  The texture was exactly like yogurt, but I found the flavor to be a bit too reminiscent of plain tofu.  Tofu is so good at absorbing other flavors, that I was determined to do some tweaking and make this “yogurt” something a bit more palate-pleasing.  I played around with it and finally came up with a yogurt that my 4 year old ate a spoonful of, then licked her lips and declared, “Mmmm, that’s good!”   You start out by making a plain yogurt with silken tofu, apple juice, lemon zest, and a bit of salt and vanilla extract.

When you are ready to serve the yogurt, you mix in honey/agave syrup  and jam/jelly to taste.  The result is a bit different than the yogurt you might be used to, but still delicious.  We mixed in honey and chunky strawberry preserves and loved it.  Then we added some granola and fresh fruit to make a parfait and you couldn’t even tell that it wasn’t really yogurt!

Tofu Yogurt

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups

Recipe Notes: If you are gluten-intolerant, make sure that you check the labels on your ingredients to check that they are gluten-free.  These items aren’t always gluten-free, depending on the manufacturer.  If you are vegan, use agave syrup instead of honey.

For the yogurt:
1 (16 ounce) block silken tofu
1/2 cup apple juice
2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

To Flavor:
Honey or agave syrup, to taste
Jam, to taste

1. Drain the tofu: open the tofu package and drain off all the liquid, then blot the tofu with paper towels. Wrap the blotted tofu in fresh paper towels and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the tofu on high for 30 seconds. Pour off any liquid in the dish, discard the paper towels and re-wrap the tofu with fresh paper towels. Microwave the tofu on high for an additional 30 seconds.

2. Unwrap the tofu and place it in a food processor and process it for 15 seconds.

3. Add the apple juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt to the food processor and mix for 20 to 30 seconds, until the yogurt is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate for about an hour to chill, then flavor the yogurt to taste and serve.

* The yogurt will keep in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container, for approximately 3 days.

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