I have been on a quest to perfect the making of my own food for a few of years now. This obsession with homemade food has led me to do a lot of research, and through trial and error I have come to perfect certain foods so that I never have to succumb to the processed alternative ever again. This makes me so happy and proud.
One of my recent discoveries has been homemade yogurt. I think my mom tried to make it once and was not very successful, but I found a great article by Wendy Swearingen in Edible Buffalo Magazine and I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to learn yet another satisfying and healthy homemade concoction.
My husband eats yogurt every single day and prices for organic yogurt are not cheap. So it adds up to a lot of money. This is yet another reason I decided to try my hand at making our own yogurt at home.
Yogurt has so many beneficial properties for the body. Not only it promotes a healthy digestion through good bacteria (known as lactobacilli), but it is also helps boost the immune system, it's a great source of calcium, and recent research has discovered how yogurt may play a role in reducing cholesterol. Besides, it’s delicious!
Yogurt is also so versatile. Not only you can eat it plain, but mix it with raw honey, organic maple syrup or berries plus a little (homemade, of course) granola and you have a perfect breakfast or snack. You can also make delicious smoothies mixing it with you favorite frozen fruit. If you prefer savory flavors, use yogurt as a main ingredient in salad dressings and even in meat marinades.
I was surprised to discover how easy it was to make my own yogurt. You don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive ingredients. It’s very easy and so rewarding!
I’d like to first explain a little bit how yogurt is made. Yogurt is created by the propagation of bacteria (the above mentioned lactobacilli) in milk. But first it’s necessary to boil the milk to kill competing bacteria, and then let the milk come to luke warm temperature so the yogurt bacteria can spread. Then it’s just a matter of a few hours and the little lactobacilli do their work and voila! You have yogurt!
My yogurt jars... or the ones that are left
Here is the recipe I followed to make your own yogurt
- 2 quarts of organic milk (I used 2% to get a creamier taste but you can do it with skim milk or even whole if you prefer, or if you are making it for your baby)
- 1 small container of plain organic yogurt
- 1 large pot
- several clean glass jars and lids ( I ended up using 4 pint jars and 1 ½ pint jar)
- 1 clean dish towel
Turn on the light in your oven, if you don’t have a light you can turn it on to warm.
Pour the milk in the pot and set it on medium heat. Bring the milk to a boil slowly to prevent scorching. Remove the pot from the heat as soon as it begins to boil. Cover with lid to prevent forming a skin and let it cool to the point where you can test it comfortably with your finger. At this point turn off the oven so it does not continue to heat up.
Ladle about 1 cup of the milk into one of the jars and add a generous spoonful of the plain yogurt of reach quart of milk (2 tablespoons in this case). Mix until the yogurt is blended with the warm milk. Pour the mixture back into the pot and blend with the rest of the milk.
Pour the mixture into the jars. Set the jar in a cookie sheet or shallow pan and cover with the clean dishcloth. Put the pan with the covered jars in the oven and close the door. Leave them in for 8 hours. Remove the yogurt for the oven and put lids on jars. Place jars in the fridge.
Homemade yogurt has a smoother texture and flavor than store bought yogurt but it is so delicious!
I hope those of you who read this post get inspired and try the recipe. I’m telling you, once you can make your own yogurt, you’ll never buy the store version again! And you will also save a lot of money in the process.