Do you know that most yogurt you buy in the store is low fat, contains added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients? Come into my kitchen and I will teach you how to make homemade yogurt that is healthy and full of probiotics that you can confidently feed to your family.
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What you need:
Milk: You can use store bought pasturized milk or raw milk. I suggest using whole fat milk, but if you prefer 2% or low fat you can use that as well.
Starter culture: A starter culture helps kickstart the fermentation process in the yogurt. The easiest starter culture to use is to buy plain whole fat yogurt from the store. Check the label and make sure the yogurt contains active live cultures (they will be listed in the ingredients). Look for No added sugars, thickeners, or flavors in the yogurt.
My favorite brand is Stonyfield Organic Plain Yogurt in the 30-ounce container. I spoon two tablespoons of yogurt into silicone muffin liners and freeze them. This way when I need a new starter for my yogurt I have some ready.
You can also buy a yogurt culture starter. Check out Cultures for Health for more options.
A warm place: The most important step in making yogurt is to keep your yogurt at 110 degrees for 8 hours. If you do a quick Google search you will find a plethora of ideas on how to keep the yogurt warm. I tried many of these ideas such as turn the oven light on and leave the yogurt in the oven overnight, wrap the yogurt in a towel, put it in the crockpot, put it in a lined cooler. None of these worked.
Yogurt Maker: I almost gave up on the idea of making yogurt because I could not figure out how to keep the milk warm so that it would ferment. I began searching for a yogurt maker and finally bought the Yogotherm Yogurt Incubator. I love the simplicity of this incubator. I can sit it anywhere to ferment, no electricity required, and no motors to repair!
How to Make Homemade Yogurt
Today I am going to show you how to make 2 quarts of yogurt.
First, pour 2 quarts (half of a gallon) of milk into a large stockpot. Heat the milk on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 185 degrees.
Turn off the heat and let the temperature of the milk drop to 116 degrees. This may take 20 minutes or more. Because I am totally impatient, I usually place the pot into a bowl or sink of cold tap water. This cools the milk quickly.
Pour the milk into the container that you will be fermenting your yogurt in. Add two tablespoons of yogurt you saved from your previous batch, or two tablespoons of store bought yogurt that we talked about earlier, or a store bought starter culture.
Give it a good stir to incorporate the starter into the warm milk.
Now, if you are using the Yogotherm, place the insert inside of the canister and place the lid on. Set it aside in an undisturbed place for 6-8 hours to allow the milk to ferment.
You just made homemade yogurt! It really is that easy.
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