Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Yogurt: Make Some Today

The other night, as I was eating yogurt for the fourth time that day, I realized that yogurt really is a wonderful and versatile food It can stand on it's own as a breakfast or snack item. It can replace sour cream and be used as a base for dressings and dips. Swirl in some jam or chocolate syrup and call it dessert. You can even use yogurt or yogurt whey to soak your grains.

The problem is that buying a quality yogurt from the store can get expensive. Especially if you want dairy from organic pasture raised cows. The solution is pretty simple though. Make it yourself! That way you get to control the ingredients and it won't cost you anymore than the price of milk. I know that it can seem tricky and leaving milk to sit out for many hours seems counterintuitive, but I promise it is easy.

Try it once and you'll be hooked.

There are tons of different methods but this is the easiest I have tried and gets me the most consistent results. The tutorial is posted in full below the photos.

Recipe to make two quarts of yogurt:

What you'll need:
  • a large pot that will hold two quart jars
  • cotton hand towel
  • thermometer
  • cooler
  • two quart-sized canning jars
  • half-gallon of your favorite milk (I prefer raw, whole, milk.)
  • two tablespoons of yogurt starter (I use a small container of store-bought plain yogurt. Usually Fage brand, but any brand with active cultures and no added ingredients will work.)
The process:
  1. Fill the clean quart jars with the milk of your choice.
  2. Place the hand towel in the bottom of your pot and fill the pot about halfway (maybe a little more) with water. The towel will keep the jars from directly touching the bottom of the pot and breaking. 
  3. Place the jars into the pot.
  4. Using medium-low to medium heat, warm the milk up to 180 degrees. I use the thermometer to periodically stir the milk. This can take awhile. I usually plan to start this while I am making dinner and am hanging out in the kitchen anyway. 
  5. Once the milk reaches 180 degrees, I remove the pot from the burner and let it cool. I aim for about 110 degrees. Depending on how long you want this to take you can let it cool down in the pot or you can place the jars in a cool water bath in the sink. I have tried both methods and both turn out fine. It is more a matter of which fits into your schedule better. Just make sure to stir the milk periodically so it cools down evenly. 
  6. Once the milk cools to 110 degrees it is time to stir in your starter culture. Stir in one tablespoon of yogurt into each jar. I usually buy a small container of quality, plain yogurt from the store and use that. You can also use your homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  7. Put a lid on your jars and place them into the cooler. 
  8. Fill the cooler with hot water from the faucet until the water level is about two-thirds up the jar. The hot water from my faucet is about 120 degrees. 
  9. Close the lid to the cooler and let it sit overnight. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-12 hours.
  10. In the morning place the jars in the refrigerator. 
  11. Once chilled, ENJOY! Yogurt has endless possibilities!

P.S. This post has been linked up with The Homestead Blog HopHomestead Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturdays.


  1. You make it look so simple! Maybe I'll have to give it a try!

  2. I love making my own yogurt! Thanks for sharing at Simply Natural Saturdays.