With the array of yogurt options on your grocer's shelf, why would you choose to make yogurt yourself?
First of all, it is easy. Second - it is a lot healthier. You can choose the milk you make the yogurt with, knowing that there aren't antibiotics or pesticides in what you or your children are eating! Look at all those additives, colors, and fake sugars on the label! Even shelved organic yogurts contain an unreal amount of sugar. When we purchase already made organic yogurt, we buy the plain variety and add in all sorts of delicious things when serving it.
Some great things to add in are:
any kind of jelly or jam
sliced fresh or frozen fruit
diced apples and cinnamon
almond or vanilla extract
stewed fruit (plums, apricots, strawberries, apples, rhubarb)
We have three yogurt makers that I use when making a batch. Two of them were found very cheaply at a thrift store (circa 1970's, I think) and the third was given to us by friends. I've seen them on ebay for about $10.
The process is very simple. You need to have a few tablespoons of plain yogurt on hand and milk. Basically, and you can google more specific directions, you bring your milk to a boil, cool it to a certain temperature, and then mix in a few tablespoons of yogurt. Keeping the milk/yogurt mixture warm allows the cultures to grow and turn your milk into yogurt. This is what our little yogurt makers do but I've heard using your oven's pilot light or keeping the oven on the warm setting works as well.
The fresh yogurt is wonderfully tart and creamy. Kaelin said today at lunch, "Mama, this tastes better than anything ever!" The kiddos has theirs with a spoonful of black cherry jam and granola.So grab a gallon of good milk and a few tablespoons of yogurt to start, google some simple directions and have some healthy, delicious fun!