Did you know you could make your own yogurt?
I didn’t until a year or so ago when my friend, Amy, started talking about it. I’ve been wanting to try it ever since and even made it one of my food goals for 2010. Why would I want to do this? Well, I love yogurt. I eat it every day. Sometimes twice. It’s one of the reasons I would not be a successful vegan. Because I eat it so often (as does Brette), I buy a lot of yogurt. I figure if I could make my own, I would spend about 50% less on the stuff. Not to shabby. There is also the bonus of not having so many yogurt containers to toss. My great city will not recycle yogurt containers and although I reuse the larger tubs, they ultimately end up in the trash.
Last weekend, I finally gave the yogurt a whirl. My first try was a complete success! Today, I’m making it again. Just as I had suspected, it’s super easy and as it turns out, it tastes awesome. I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and give it a try.
All you need is milk, a little bit of yogurt (plain), a pot, a kitchen thermometer, a couple of quart sized mason jars, and a cooler.
I did look at some other ways to make yogurt, but I settled on this one for 2 reasons. 1. I didn’t need any fancy equipment like a yogurt maker. 2. I didn’t need to use my oven. This will be especially nice come summer.
Do it yourself Yogurt
Per my dear friend Amy
Note: this makes plain yogurt. After it’s made, you can add all the sugary goodness you want, but don’t do it during the cooking process. You might even find, you like the tang of plain yogurt and maybe some fruit mixed in. I highly recommend it. My new favorite mix-in is chopped dates. Yum.
4 C. Milk – preferably organic – get the best milk you can. My friend Amy likes it with whole milk, but I used 2%. I might try skim in the future, but I really like the 2%.
1/3 C. plain yogurt with live cultures – again you can use either whole or 2%. I have not tried it with non-fat. You can also use some of the yogurt from the last batch you made – if you get to that point.
Bring milk up to 180 degrees in a pot. If you are like me, you use your candy thermometer, but test it with an instant-read thermometer because you don’t trust the other one.
Turn off the heat and let cool until it reaches 116 degrees. Stir in yogurt. Pour contents into one of the mason jars. Fill the other jar with almost boiling water.
Place both jars, touching, into a small cooler, wrap with a kitchen towel and close the cooler. Let it rest, undisturbed, for 8-12 hours depending on what you have going on during the day. The closer you get to 12 hours, the thicker it will be. It will also continue to thicken in the fridge.
As mentioned above, you could mix-in a number of different fruits (fresh or dried), or mix it with either summer or winter granola. You surely will enjoy the fact that you made it yourself. I believe that automatically makes it taste better.
Are any of you already do-it-yourself yogurt makers? All tips and pointers are welcome!
Let me know if you have any questions.