Friday, January 20, 2012

Easy Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Well, I am still sans computers, but it looks like it shouldn't be too much longer.  I love love love living in the country, but it is times like this when I have to drive quite a long ways just to access Internet that I wish I lived near a Starbucks (yummo)!  I hope you will forgive my sporadic posting while I get my life back up and running. While it has been a blogging frustration, I have to say I have gotten so many things done.  I put up 39 quarts of Spaghetti sauce, quite a few jars of homemade peanut butter, and I have done so much sorting and "extra" cleaning.

One of the things I began doing two years ago is making my own yogurt at home.  I started doing this as a money saver since yogurt is so very expensive and milk, while expensive is cheaper.  However, as I have gotten into a healthier lifestyle and focus more on being self-sustaining, I now do it just because I like knowing what is in the food I eat.  Today I am going to share my favorite homemade yogurt recipe.  It seems like a lot of steps, but once you do it a time or two, you will see how truly easy it is.

Allyson's Homemade Yogurt

1 sterilized glass quart jar with lid and ring
1 small pot
1 candy thermometer
1 Thick Bath Towel
1 quart of milk
1 TBS plain yogurt with active cultures (any brand will do but must be PLAIN AND ACTIVE CULTURES)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and turn off when oven reaches temperature (don't open oven door)
2.  Put 1 TBS yogurt in a bowl and let warm to room temperature while the milk heats
3.  Heat milk on medium heat stirring to prevent burning until temperature reaches 185 degrees and immediately remove from heat.  This is very important to kill all the unhealthy bacteria out of the milk.   However, be careful not to boil the milk.
4.  Let milk cool undisturbed until temperature reaches 110 degrees.  Remove the "skin" (top film) of milk that has collected while cooling and stir a half cup of milk into the bowl of yogurt starter.  Mix together well and pour the entire mixture back into the pot of milk.
5.  Immediately pour into jar, put the lid on and wrap it up completely in a thick towel.
6.  Put in the oven for 6-8 hours not opening the oven door again until 6 hours.
7.  If yogurt isn't thick enough at 6 hours, put it back in the oven and preheat the oven just until the temp reaches 110 and turn it off again.
8.  Yogurt can take up to 24 hours to fully culture, so don't worry if it isn't set up by 6 hours although it is usually done well before 24 hours.
9.  Also, just as a note, occasionally the "active cultures:" in the yogurt aren't as active as you thought they were and no amount of sitting at the right temperature will work.  I always make sure to get a quality yogurt that has an expiration date a month or two out so I know the cultures are fresher!
10.  When  yogurt is done culturing it will be thick like the yogurt in the store with a thin layer of whey on top. You can either stir the whey into the yogurt since it is extremely healthy or pour it off.
11.  If you are like me and prefer a nice thick Greek yogurt, simply put the finished yogurt in a fine mesh strainer in a bowl in the fridge over night and the end result is a very thick Greek Yogurt.  You can use the whey to cook oatmeal, in Kefir Drinks, or add to many recipes such as bread!


I make this yogurt on a daily basis.  We use it in place of sour cream, in smoothies, and I even add a tablespoon or two to Mika's sippy cup of milk for the added health benefits.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your yogurt recipe. I have to try this! You mentioned you make your own peanut butter. Do you have that recipe posted? I'd love to try making my own peanut butter sometime too.

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