Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt is so good for you, and a great snack to enjoy every day!  However, most commercially prepared yogurt is packed full of sugar & additives.  For a long time now, we've been mixing flavored yogurt 1/2 and 1/2 with non-fat plain yogurt.  Saves us on calories & sugar (and money) and tastes just right!  A while back I got the crazy idea to make my own plain yogurt to mix in with the flavored stuff.  (which saves us even more money, and there's no extra "stuff" in it. Just milk and wonderful bacteria.) :o)
So in case you're interested in trying this at home, you'll need:

one quart of milk, three tablespoons of "starter" (plain yogurt), a pot, a quart sized container, a thermometer (not necessary, but nice), a box w/ a lid, a heating pad, and a few towels.  I'm making four quarts of yogurt here, three non fat for us and one quart hormone free whole milk yogurt for Rowen.  You can freeze your store-bought plain yogurt in ice cube trays and then you have nice little starter cubes for each time you want to make yogurt!

So, step one:

heat your milk up so that it's just warm- about 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Don't scald it.

step two: remove from heat and stir in your "starter."

step three: pour into your containers (you could do several small containers if you like.)  Put the heating pad in the bottom of the box and turn it on low. Put your jars (or whatever) in the box, and wrap towels around them. Fill the box with towels & put on the lid.  I'm new at this so I also put my thermometer in there so I can monitor the temperature- it needs to stay between 90 and 110 degrees.  I had my heating pad on medium low the first time, and it was too hot.  I killed all my poor little bacterias and had a jar full of whey and like.... cheese.... on the bottom. haha!

step four: don't touch the box for about 5 hours.  The longer it sits, the thicker and tart-er it will get.  i think it's safe for something like 8-10 hours, but I've been doing 5-6 and it's been good.  So- when it's done- remove your jars, and enjoy or refrigerate!  It's so good with a sliced up peach and a sprinkling of sugar or honey.  Mmmm... let me know if you try it out and how it goes!

oh, and word of warning, homemade yogurt is pretty thin because you're not adding stabilizers and thickeners like commercially prepared yogurt.  It's more like "drinkable" yogurt- but it doesn't bother me! It tastes GREAT!


Kristy said...

holy moly brianne! what a process! i am too impatient to cook yogurt! haha!!!
i like my yogurt a little on the runny/creamy side too!
i get the trader joe's organic kind and its so good! :)

Tara said...

homemade yogurt is awesome! I make mine in a crockpot and it's so easy! I love it!

You can add a little dry milk powder to thicken it up if you want to. :)

Vinae said...

I let mine cook for 24 hours to maximize the probiotics(I have a yogurt maker) and it is usually pretty thick . . . tart, but thick.

karen said...

Have you been watching Alton Brown? ;) He uses a heating pad to make yogurt! I think he adds powdered milk too. :)

Nanci said...

Wow, I never heard of this. Thank you for sharing. I like the crock pot idea.