It is so much easier than you think! And cheaper too.
Yogurt is a great breakfast or snack because it’s loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals and probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that promote good digestive health and boost your immune system.
I’ve also found that organic milk costs less than organic yogurt. So, with a small amount of work, you can eat healthy and save some cash!
My recipe makes enough yogurt to fill one quart Mason jar. If you want more yogurt, just double it to make two quart jars.
Here’s what you need:
3 2/3 cups whole milk (use organic milk if you want organic yogurt!)
1/3 cup nonfat dry (powdered) milk
~2 Tablespoons existing yogurt (just make sure it is plain with live active cultures like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus)
A medium and a large saucepan (or a double-boiler)
STEP 1: Heat the Milk to 185˚
Pour the milk into your medium saucepan. Fill the large saucepan with enough water to float the smaller pot. Just make sure to leave enough headspace that the water won’t bubble over when it is boiling. Set your medium saucepan in the large one like so:Yes, I’m fancy like that.
Heat the milk to 185˚ and you’ll notice it getting frothy. That’s perfect – just do not boil it.
STEP 2: Cool the Milk
Remove the top saucepan from the lower one and set aside to cool to around 100˚. To cool it quickly, set it in a shallow ice and water bath in the sink.
STEP 3: Add Powdered Milk and Yogurt
STEP 4: Wrap in Heating Blanket and Have Fun for 7 Hours
Completely wrap your jar in an electric heated blanket and set it to the “LOW” heat setting. Put it somewhere out of the way and plug it in.
Your work is done! Let the yogurt sit for 7 hours with the blanket on LOW.
Here’s mine all cozy and bundled. (I think we got our blanket from Wal-Mart for around $20)
There are so many ways you can keep your yogurt warm. Some people keep it in a warm oven, some use just a heating pad underneath, and some use hot water in a cooler. I happen to enjoy this method because I don’t have to heat the oven, it warms evenly, I’ve never had a bad batch. . . and because we already happened to own an electric blanket.
I say, “Use what you’ve got on hand and what works!” You’ll notice that my kitchen utensils aren’t brand new and pretty. We are striving to simplify and use the least amount of things for the most amount of our activities. My utensils are well-worn and well-loved (as I suspect is the case with most of you).
STEP 5: Stir and Cool
After about 7 hours, turn off the blanket and open up your yogurt. It’s perfectly okay for it to have some liquid sitting on the top.
Put the lid back on and cool it in the fridge overnight.
There! You’ve just made yourself some homemade yogurt! That wasn’t so hard, was it?
There are so many ways to dress up your plain yogurt:
Agave nectar, Cinnamon, and Vanilla
Honey and Fruit of your choice
Granola (Here’s a post about some yummy homemade granola!)
Add yogurt to homemade smoothies
And it’s great to have just plain yogurt on hand for cooking and baking needs.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do flavor your yogurt, set about ~2 T. aside for your next batch before you add flavorings and sweeteners.
Did you know that you can freeze your yogurt for your future batches? If you don’t want to constantly make yogurt, you can freeze your 2 T. and the live cultures just go dormant. Make sure to let it thaw to room temperature before making your next batch.