Homemade Yogurt {a recipe & tutorial}

Any google search for homemade yogurt can give you a million different links for a million different ways of making yogurt. Trust me, I’ve read them all. Well not, all, but a lot. 🙂 So I figured I would add my post to the other million & give you yet another method of making homemade yogurt. Before we begin with the tutorial, let’s discuss the why’s & what’s of yogurt…

Why should I eat yogurt?

It’s really really good for you!

Why should I make my own yogurt?

It’s very frugal! Read the excerpt at the very bottom of the post, where a reader sent in a price comparison of homemade yogurt vs. “yobaby”.

What can I do with my homemade yogurt?

-Eat it plain

-Eat it sweetened

-Eat it with fruit

-Eat it with soaked granola

-Use it to soak your grains (flour, rice, oats, etc)

-Use it in a green smoothie

-Freeze it to make future batches of yogurt

-& more!

Okay, so now that you’re super-duper excited about yogurt, let me show you how I make mine…

{Step 1 – Prepare your equipment & ingredients.}

-*Large Pot

-*Quart size glass jars, 2-4 jars, depending on how much yogurt you want to make

-*Lids for the jars

-*Candy Thermometer

-*Tablespoon & teaspoon measuring spoons

-*Small whisk or hand-held blender

-Fleece blankets or thick beach towels

-Organic Whole Milk, 2-4 quarts, again, depending on how much yogurt you want to make

-Plain yogurt (whole fat organic yogurt is preferred), 4 T per quart of yogurt that you want to make

-Gelatin, 1-2 t per quart of yogurt that you want to make

-Optional Sweeteners, I use 4 T sucanut & 2 t vanilla extract, per quart of yogurt

*Make sure all the equipment has been cleaned in a dishwasher or with very hot water to be sure it’s not harboring any bad bacteria that could interfere with the yogurt culturing process.

{Step 2 – Boil the milk to 180 degrees.}

Pour the milk into the jars, leaving enough room for 1/4 yogurt starter. Place the jars in a large pot of water & be sure not to get water into the jars of milk. Bring the water to a low boil, again, be careful not to let water splatter into the jars of milk. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the milk & when it reaches 180 degrees, turn the stove off.

{Step 3 – Prepare the yogurt starter.}

In a small bowl, combine 4 T yogurt with 1-2 t gelatin & allow mixture t to sit on the counter & get to room temperature. You should have one bowl of yogurt starter for each quart of yogurt you’re making. If you want to make sweetened yogurt, add the 4 T sucanut & 2 t vanilla to the yogurt-gelatin mixture & mix well. Don’t sweeten all the quarts though, because then you won’t have any plain yogurt to make your next batch of homemade yogurt.

{Step 4 – Cool the milk to 115 degrees.}

Put the jars of milk into the sink & fill the sink with cool water. Not super cold water or else the jars may break. Wait 10-30 minutes for the milk to cool down to 115 degrees. Use the candy thermometer to check the temperature.

{Step 5 – Add the yogurt to the milk.}

Scoop the yogurt-starter-gelatin-(sweetener)-combo into the milk & stir very well with a small whisk. Or you can pour the milk & yogurt starter into a large bowl & use a hand-held blender to mix. I have tried both ways & although the hand-held blender takes an extra step & an extra dish to wash, I noticed that there weren’t any gross clumps of gelatin in the finished yogurt, so it’s worth it for me.

{Step 6 – Put the jars into the oven.}

Secure the lids on the jars & wrap tightly with the blankets or towel. Then place in the back of your oven & turn the oven light on. Leave undisturbed for 8-10 hours. The longer you let the yogurt culture, the thicker & more tart it becomes.

{Step 7 – Let the yogurt chill in the refrigerator.}

Unwrap the jars & leave them in the fridge for at least 6 hours to solidify. Then dig in! 🙂

Other methods of making yogurt…

Crockpot Method

Dehydrator Method

Yogurt Maker Method

Cooler Method

Counter Top Method

A side note: many recipes for homemade yogurt include powdered milk to make it thicker. Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions has this to say about powdered milk…

“Powdered skim milk is added to the most popular varieties of commercial milk— one-percent and two-percent milk. Commercial dehydration methods oxidize cholesterol in powdered milk, rendering it harmful to the arteries. High temperature drying also creates large quantities of nitrate compounds, which are potent carcinogens.”

So I choose to avoid it. To read the full article, click here.

{this post was transferred from my old blog, http://www.this-precious-life.com}

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