Friday, January 11

Making home made yogurt

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:
maple syrup
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!


Me said...

Someone was wondering what the costs of making home made yogurt is.
We buy our milk from a farm that is pretty much organically run but does not pursue the certification.
It is $2.50 a gallon.
Since there is no leftover or waste in yogurt making, a gallon of yogurt costs me $2.50. Saving a bit over from the previous batch gives me the few tablespoons I need to start a new batch, so there's no cost there either.
A 32 ounce container of Stonyfield yogurt would cost at least that much. BTW, Stonyfield has printable coupons on their site if you need some good yogurt to inspire you and get you started...

Anonymous said...

Where did you get those beautiful glass yogurt jars? We are thinking of starting to make goat milk yogurt (can't handle dairy). I was wondering how we can store them ready to eat. Yours look so good!

Me said...

The glass jars came with our yogurt makers. If you search on ebay for a Salton yogurt maker, I noticed that there are a few listed. It is the older yellow based model, clear lid, with the five jars lined in a row. The other model we have (not sure the make) is similar except the jars are clear.
I know a few people who can't handle dairy but can eat homemade yogurt because of all the good helpful digestive bacteria in it. I love goats milk yogurt and maybe someday when our littles are a bit older we'll get a milk goat!

Christ in the Chaos said...

I made yogurt once in my crockpot and it was so simple. The only problem is that it came out a bit runny. Does this ever happen to you?

Me said...

Life with littles, I read that adding some powdered milk to the regular milk helps to make the yogurt thicker. I always add a little and it comes out with a good consistency. I've noticed that if I don't let it warm long enough, the yogurt is runnier too.

mira said...

And, as a bonus for those of us on WIC, making yogurt uses up milk, which we receive waaaaay too much of each month!

runny yogurt: if I let my yogurt develop on the counter instead of the temperature-controlled oven, sometimes it does not solidify as much as I would like. One solution is to run it through a colander lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. This filters out a lot of the whey. If you do this a couple of times, you end up with super thick yogurt, almost the consistancy of room-temperature cream cheese.

~mira (a random visitor linked to your site by my mother, a dedicated lurker)