Friday, January 21, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

Did you know that making yogurt is REALLY easy? It also saves quite a bit of money. The other nice thing about it is that you can control the amount of sugar that you add to it (or add none at all). As one of our new year's goals, we are trying to cut out sugar as much as possible - we do give ourselves a treat once a week, but that's it. When we get a hankering for sugar, we eat a piece of fruit or make a delicious fruit smoothie with yogurt. Here's how you culture yogurt:


*Makes about 3 Cups Yogurt

3 Cups Milk (1% is what I usually use, but you can use whatever you’d like)
2 Tbsp. Plain Yogurt starter (see Note Below)

*Note: Your yogurt starter can be from your previous batch of yogurt or you can buy plain yogurt in the store to use. Make sure the yogurt has active cultures. If it’s yogurt from a previous batch, make sure you it’s been less than a week since you’ve made the previous batch so that the cultures are still alive and active.

In heavy saucepan bring 3 cups of milk to a boil. Boil gently for about 5 mins. This kills all the bad bacteria in the milk so you can culture only the good yogurt bacteria. Don't worry if the bottom of the pans scalds a little. Just make sure that you don't scrape the bottom when you take it out of the pan or you'll have some nasty black flakey things in your yogurt and nobody likes to eat things with nasty black flakey things in it. Cool pan of milk about 5 mins or until milk is still warm, but you can touch the bottom of the pan without burning your hands.

Heat up your oven to warm just until you can feel a little heat. YOU DO NOT WANT IT VERY HOT or it will kill your yogurt bacteria and you will end up with just milk - or sour milk...

When pan of milk is cool put it in a glass quart jar and put in 2 Tbsp. of plain yogurt. Mix it really good, put the lid on and then put it in your warm oven. I usually keep my oven light on while I'm culturing the yogurt just to give it a little more warmth.

Make sure you put a sign on your oven so you don't forget and turn your oven on while your yogurt is inside…yep. Been there, done that. Culture for about 6-10 hours. The exact time will take some experimenting because it depends on how sour you like it, what temperature your oven is, and more. For me I’ve found that 6 hours is just about right. This homemade yogurt will be runnier than yogurt you buy out of the store. If you want it thicker you can pour it through cheesecloth and let it drip out some of the whey.

Recipe Source:

Note: If you drip out all the whey you are left with the curds (yes, as in little miss muffet sat on a tuffet). You can use the curds in place of cream cheese - spread on a bagel, make cheesecake, etc.

Here's a really yummy, naturally sweetened smoothie you can make with this yogurt:

Fruit Smoothie
2 C. plain yogurt
1 ripe banana
1/2-3/4 C. frozen fruit

Blend up and enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I boil my 1.2 litre milk in a 3 litre corning-ware bowl in the microwave. I boil it for 15+ minutes on high so the water content reduces. This gives a thicker yogurt. The milk does not spill over as the mouth of the bowl is wide. I also have a kenwood yogurt maker which does the job in 3-4 hours, depending on the weather. I do not use their glass bottles, but my own container that fits into it.

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