Making your own yogurt is super easy!
I mean – boil milk, whisk in cultures, cover and wait – easy.
Yes, even you can do it.
Here’s what you need –
1 quart whole milk
1 Tablespoon plain yogurt (yes, just your favorite store bought yogurt)
In a pan heat the milk slowly to just before a boil. You can get technical with this and use a thermometer, but it really isn’t necessary. You just have to heat it until the top is shiny and tiny bubbles just start to form around the outside. But if you are worried you won’t do it right, or just like to use your fancy little thermometer than heat it to 180-185 degrees. You shouldn’t get a skin, but if you do just take it off.
Now for the hard part. Take it off the heat and wait for it to cool. You have to wait until the milk is warm enough to activate the cultures but not kill them. About 140 degrees. You can put it in another bowl to help the process along. Or even put it in a water bath.
When the milk is cool whisk in the yogurt. Now, don’t get all over zealous with the yogurt. Adding extra will not make it more yogurty (there I go again) or speed the process any. It will have adverse effects. Trust me. One tablespoon per quart of milk. But you don’t have to be super precise either. I told you, this is easy.
Next, spoon it into jars. I like to use a mixture of mason jars in various sizes. Leaving a space at the top to add fruit and such. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Now, place the jars in a pan and wrap with a towel.
Put this pan in a warm safe place like the oven. I’m not showing you this part. It’s scary and embarrassing in there. Must. Clean. Oven.
Be sure to NOT turn the oven on. NOT.
Now you wait. Again. It takes about 12-15 hours for the process to complete. Give or take. Again, it isn’t precise. Just be sure to leave them alone. The more you disturb them the less likely they are to do as they are told.
Once they have set to a solid consistency they are finished. Ready to eat! Or flavor. Keep in mind, this is plain, unaltered yogurt. It will be tart. You can sweeten it with some honey or agave.
You can strain the yogurt in cheese cloth to make it thicker. Essentially, the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is the straining process. Greek yogurt is strained to make it creamier. Here in the U.S. you are buying “Greek Style” yogurt not actual Greek yogurt – meaning strained and thicker. True Greek yogurt uses sheep’s or goat’s milk. If you like yogurt thicker you can strain the end product through a piece of cheese cloth or even let the milk stay at that just before boiling point a little longer to evaporate the milk some.
You can make your next batch using some of this one and never have to buy yogurt again!
Now let’s talk about flavor!
You can add anything you like. Fruits, nuts and grains.
Here are some of my favorites –
- Banana and walnut
- Apple and cinnamon with honey and pecans
- Frozen mixed berries
- Cherries and macadamia nuts
- Granola and dried cranberries
- Chocolate chunk granola
Mmmm. I could keep going.
You can also use it for dips and marinades –
- Mixed with lots of fresh or dried herbs like chives, parsley, tarragon and garlic for veggie dip
- Mixed with lime, ginger, cilantro and gram marsala for chicken
- Mixed with coarse brown mustard, garlic, pepper and parsley for pork
The options are endless, as they usually are when in the kitchen. And yogurt is filled with healthy probiotics that are essential for healthy digestion and optimum immune response. They are killed off when heated, but used as a marinade yogurt helps keep meat moist and adds tremendous flavor.
Now let’s break it down….
I made 64 ounces of yogurt for $1.50
The cheapest I have found Chobani is $1.00 for 6 ounces. That equals $10.00 for 60 ounces!
4 ounces less – $8.50 more
Are you ready to try making your own yogurt?
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