I learned how to make yogurt several years ago.
It’s one food that I almost never buy prepared from the store. I’ve tried several methods of making yogurt and I have to admit – the the results were often hit or miss. Sometimes after a lot of work, I ended up with just warm milk. But then a good friend told me how to make yogurt this way (thank you, Sandy!), and now it works every time.
One of the staples at our house is homemade yogurt.
My kids eat it for breakfast, lunch and snacks, with honey, jam or stevia. We put it in smoothies with frozen berries and use it in pancakes.
There are several steps in my method, but it’s really easy and it takes only a few minutes of hands on time. I find it much easier to show the steps so I’ve made you a video. [I am a much better cook than videographer, so please excuse my beginner video-editing skills :)]
Here’s a cheat sheet of the instructions included in the video.
Equipment for yogurt-making
While you don’t really need any special equipment to make yogurt, I find a few things helpful (affiliate links):
- Digital thermometer – I have this one. I leave it in one of the jars of milk and it beeps when it’s reached 180 degrees – very helpful!
- Quart mason jars and lids. I use these all the time in my kitchen
If your milk doesn’t change or you get a lot of yellow liquid at the top, see these yogurt making troubleshooting tips.
Why I love making yogurt from scratch:
- It’s super frugal. We eat at least a gallon a week. Cost: about $4 (1 gallon of milk plus a couple tablespoons of starter yogurt). A gallon of store-bought yogurt would cost me at least $12. The cost savings for organic yogurt is even greater.
- No added ingredients. Store-bought yogurt typically contains yucky things like high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and food coloring. I get to choose exactly what goes into my yogurt and if and how I want to sweeten it.
- Longer incubation times. Yogurt contains live probiotic cultures which are great for digestion. When you make your own yogurt, you can ferment up to 24 hours (I usually leave mine for about 12). A longer ferment means more probiotics in the yogurt, a tarter taste, and fewer carbs since the lactose has been eaten up by the the lactic acid in the yogurt.
- Customized texture. If you like Greek-style yogurt, you can strain off some of the whey or even drain it off using cheese-cloth. We usually don’t bother, but taking this extra step does create a wonderfully creamy yogurt.
Have you ever made homemade yogurt? What’s your favorite method?
More Posts on Real Food Basics
P.S. If you found this post helpful, would you take a few seconds and share it on Facebook? Thanks so much!
Photo by Alba Garcia Aguado.