Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Homemade Yogurt


I'm not sure why it took me so long to begin making my own yogurt, but here is my first batch!  It goes without saying that homemade yogurt is certainly not as sweet as store-bought yogurt because there are no added sweeteners.  Therefore I add some homemade granola and frozen blueberries to spruce up the taste.

Recipe:
4 cups milk (preferably whole, low-fat, or skim)
3 T plain yogurt or 1 packet dried yogurt culture
*Makes 1 quart*

*If using plain yogurt, make sure it states "live, active cultures" on the container because this is what makes the milk turn into yogurt.  These cultures are the beneficial bacteria that our bodies need; also called probiotics.*

1. Warm the milk gently in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it almost reaches the boiling point, right around 180 degrees F.

2. Remove the milk from the heat and allow it to cool to 110-115 degrees.  Using a metal whisk or spoon, stir in the yogurt or dried yogurt culture.  Mix until well incorporated.

3. Transfer the mixture to whatever container you will be culturing it in, such as glass jars, thermos, glass bowl, etc.

4. Hold the yogurt at 110-115 for the next 6 hours.  There are many ways to maintain a steady temperature.  You can either purchase a yogurt maker (here is one example) or you can devise your own insulation method.  I chose the oven technique because it's simple to do.  I chose not to purchase a yogurt maker because I would be consuming more resources (& they are usually made of plastic) and it's another thing to add to my already long list of appliances.  Here are a few do-it-yourself ideas:

  • Preheat an oven to 120 degrees.  Place the yogurt mixture in a glass or ceramic bowl, and cover with a lid or plate.  Turn the oven off, and place the yogurt mixture inside for 6 hours. 
  • Fill a soup pot with hot water, place the jar filled with yogurt into the water making sure the water doesn't go above the jar.  Wrap the lidded pot with blankets. 
  • Place the jar filled with yogurt in a small to medium insulated cooler overnight, along with several jars of hot water. 
  • Preheat a slow cooker on low.  Add glass jars of yogurt to the pot.  Turn off the heat, cover with lid, and allow to incubate six hours or overnight. 
  • Simply fill an insulated thermos with your yogurt mixture, put the lid on, wrap a couple of kitchen towels around it, and put in an area away from drafts, such as a pantry or cabinet for 6 hours or overnight. 
5.  Store the yogurt in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within one to two weeks. 

There are a many recipes on the Internet for yogurt made with coconut milk, soymilk, almond milk etc.  Once I have tried and perfected these recipes, I will add them to this post.  Please feel free to share your recipes as well!

All of this information was taken from: Home Dairy, All You Need to Know to Make Cheese, Yogurt, Butter, & More by: Ashley English


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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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