One of the things people start eating more of when they start out on a healthy journey is yogurt. We all have this idea that yogurt is a healthy food…..like granola. But, did you know that the typical yogurt is loaded with sugar? Sometimes more sugar than a candy bar? So I started looking into making it myself. I have ALWAYS been a DIY nerd. If it’s possible to do it myself-I’m going to!
There are many different methods to making yogurt. The easiest method is using large quart size jars. You would incubate the yogurt in the jar, and place the jar (with a lid on it) into a large thermos or cooler of warm water. I used this method for quite some time, until I bought a yogurt maker. I was so excited to find this little gem, at the thrift store….BRAND NEW. Oh….the excitement that day! This yogurt maker makes 7 small jars of yogurt, no cooler required. Plus- it makes me really look like I know what I’m doing. 😉
1 gallon whole milk
1 cup store bought plain yogurt
OK you might be wondering why we are using store bought yogurt to make your own yogurt? This is needed as a starter. Yogurt is full of healthy bacteria- we need that bacteria to make our yogurt. Once you have made a batch of your own yogurt- you won’t need to buy the store bought again, because you will use 1 cup of your own yogurt. Make sense?
You need to heat the milk to 185-195° F. Watch this to make sure that you don’t boil the milk, or burn the bottom. I stand there at the stove and stir, to ensure this doesn’t happen. Combine the milk and yogurt in a pot and stir well, to make sure the yogurt is mixed well in the milk.
Pour into whatever you will be using to incubate the yogurt. Mason jars work amazingly well. That is what I used before I purchased the yogurt maker. Put the jars into a cooler. Add water that is about 120 degrees. Cover the jars at least 3/4 of the way to the top. They need to be covered this much to incubate and stay warm. Otherwise, the yogurt will never set. Let incubate for about 3 hours. The yogurt should have firmed up. If it looks like it didn’t set quite enough, have no fear….it will firm up more once it is in the refrigerator.
This will make abut 4 quarts of yogurt.
***This is plain yogurt. The possibilities are endless though for flavors. You could add: