Hot summer days remind many people of lemonade or iced tea; they remind me of this vegan Turkish yogurt drink: ayran. Some of my happiest childhood memories include running around all day and getting back home to pour an icy glass of ayran only to go back out to play again. You can also watch how to make ayran beginning at 4:06 in the video below:
Usually served alongside rice pilaf or kebabs, the often savory ayran is perfect for days when the thermometer approaches three digits.
In all of Turkey, Susurluk region prepares this drink better than any other. Ayran made with their technique is quite frothy and tangy. You can recreate a very close version of it in the comfort of your own home as long as you’re willing to whip it for as long as it takes.
To veganize, all you need is unsweetened and non-dairy yogurt and milk.
Best Vegan Yogurt to Use for Ayran
Coconut yogurt is not recommended unless you are sweetening the recipe for an Indian lassi-like variation. It lands way too much flavor.
The dairy-free version of ayran scores pretty well on my nutrition radar thanks to the probiotic-rich vegan yogurt and almond milk. For less sodium, reduce or omit the salt altogether.
Uses for Vegan Turkish Yogurt Drink
Ayran goes well alongside many savory dishes. You can also enjoy it by itself as a quick refresher.
Here are a few dishes that most locals love to eat with ayran:Print
2 cups cold water (or more for lighter consistency)
4 tablespoon unsweetened dairy-free yogurt*
2 tablespoon unsweetened dairy-free milk**
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ice cubes as desired
- In a large bowl, add all the yogurt and whisk for three minutes.
- Slowly add in the milk and whisk for another full minute.
- Gradually add water and keep whisking until it reaches the desired consistency and frothiness. I like mine a bit heavier so two cups of water with ice is perfect.
- Add salt, whisk a bit more. Garnish with mint and/or cucumbers.
*When we don’t have any homemade yogurt, I like to use the Forager (cashew) or Kite Hill (almond) brands.
**Soy, cashew, or almond milk all work. Coconut and oat varieties may transfer too much of their own flavor so I wouldn’t recommend them in this recipe.
Bonus Tip: Although not as common, you can also enjoy this drink sweet by omitting salt and either adding a sweetener or using sweetened products.
Let me know what you think if you try to whip up this easy recipe on a hot day this summer. Or pin it for later if summer is ages away where you live!