Did you know that nearly all commercially-made yogurts contain at least one of the following ? : GMO-fed dairy, additives, dyes, preservatives, sweeteners (not honey) like aspartame, gelatin, and artificial flavoring ? Making your own yogurt is healthier, cheaper, and gives you a sense of pride in knowing you can create something out of practically nothing, much like seeing a planted seed pop out of the earth and grow is exciting.
Making homemade yogurt is very minimally labor-involved, compared to what most people think. I followed the following recipe from this other mom’s blog and it turned out really well.
This recipe says “Greek yogurt” but it’s only considered Greek once you strain it (removing the whey, or liquid, remaining after the incubation process). If you want plain yogurt then either minimally strain it or don’t strain it.
-cow’s milk (whole, 2%, 1%. skim isn’t a good choice for yogurt-making)
-large pot, oven with pilot light (to keep temp at 100F), and large towel
-OR yogurt maker machine ($25-$40 on Amazon. some come with 7 jars for that price)
-candy thermometer ($10)- allows you to continually monitor the temperature of the milk on the stove without needing to hold it the whole time
-yogurt starter (special powder OR 1/4 c (2oz) of plain, unsweetened yogurt of your choice)
-special Greek yogurt strainer ($25) or cheesecloth ($2), colander/large strainer, large bowl, room in the fridge- if you want to make Greek yogurt
-honey, fruit, etc as sweeteners/flavorings (see my baby purée article- make fruit purées to flavor and slightly sweeten your yogurt naturally !)
-containers to put the yogurt in once it’s made (I use the glass yogurt jars that came with my yogurt machine plus 8 more I bought separately. I mix the finished yogurt with a fruit puree (4-5 servings of it) along with some honey and whip it up until well-mixed. Then I add it into the jars and refrigerate.)
I incubated my yogurt for 16 hours in the oven. I used plain, unsweetened Fage Greek yogurt as my starter and used 1% milk because it’s what I had on hand. I’m going to try 2% and whole milk to see what we like best.
This yogurt will keep in the fridge for 8-10 days. Do not freeze yogurt if you want the live cultures in it to be of benefit- freezing kills the good bacteria in yogurt.