In my quest to become more environmentally friendly, I thought we could start to make our own yogurt. I had no idea what this entailed though.
Would it take tons of time, money or effort? None of which I really had any interest in putting into yogurt.
I read that you can make yogurt without a yogurt maker. I did not have a desire to do that though, I won’t deny it. So I researched yogurt makers and yogurt recipes. The only type of yogurt recipes I found involved two ingredients: milk and yogurt (or a yogurt starter). Seriously, that’s it? Occasionally I came across a recipe that added honey, agave, maple or vanilla. But in general just two ingredients. Alright, that seems easy enough. So I bought the yogurt maker (I found one at Sur La Table for $50). I’m committed, I’m doing it.
I started my first batch of yogurt on a Sunday evening at 4:00 p.m.
- 4-5 cups milk
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt, with live active cultures
- Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Warm the milk until it is almost boiling, but not quite (which took about 5-7 minutes).
- Take it off the heat and let it cool to about 80 degrees, give or take a few degrees (I just stuck my finger in the pot and if it felt a little cooler than a jacuzzi I knew it was good to go). This will take 45(ish) minutes to cool. This is non-working prep time so you can go for a run, watch a recorded hour-long show, clean the house, take the dog for a walk, go to the grocery store, etc.
- Once it has cooled, add 3/4 cup of plain yogurt to the milk and stir in until it is completely mixed in. Fill each glass jar with the yogurt/milk mixture. Fill it just until the neck.
- Screw on the lids. Put the jars in the yogurt maker and put the plastic covering/lid on the machine.
- Set the timer for 11 hours (that is the amount of time I have found works great for 1% milk).
By that time it was 5:15 p.m.
The next morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m., so excited to see my yogurt. Did it turn out? I was sort of nervous too. What if this is all a scam? What if the only way to get decent yogurt is from the store?
I took off the plastic covering and unscrewed the jar of yogurt. Stiff, firm, solid. Whatever you want to call it, it was yogurt, and not the running kind, but a good, firm, smooth texture. Man was I excited.
After the 11 hour “cooking” time you just put the jars in the fridge to chill. They can stay in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- 15 minutes of actual work to make 7 jars of yogurt.
- The yogurt is delicious.
- The two questions people keep asking me:
- Can you use non-fat milk? Yes.
- Can you use fruit to flavor it? Yes. Make a puree and add that to the top after the yogurt has “cooked.” So instead of “fruit on the bottom” you have “fruit on the top.”
After reading Julia’s guest post, be sure to stop by her blog, Fat Girl Trapped In A Skinny Body, for more delicious ideas, recipes and photos!