Homemade yogurt is crazy easy to make. It’s also a wonderful source of probiotic foods. The lacto-fermentation process helps digest the lactose-sugar and makes the casein-protein more digestible – especially if there is a decent amount of fat in there.
I love using plain homemade yogurt in all sorts of things. I can sweeten it a little with maple syrup or honey or fruit. I can serve it up with a fruit salad, as a savoury dip, or turn it into a fruit smoothie. Baking with it is ANOTHER option. And I can EVEN turn it into GREEK YOGURT, while making WHEY at the same time (and use the whey to ferment other cool things). So awesome.
Store-bought yogurt is sometimes kinda evil. It PRETENDS to be healthy food. It PRETENDS to be loaded with goodness. But really, it’s heavy on the sugar, it’s made from skim milk powder, and whatever probiotics WERE in there are likely long gone.
The best way to handle this is to MAKE IT YOURSELF. Not only does homemade yogurt keep costs down…but you can control what type of milk is used. Non-homogenized, full-fat, organic, goat/sheep/raw – and you can use a store-bought yogurt starter or keep using the batch you’ve already got. Simple. Oh…and this way it’s REAL FOOD…
Easy Homemade Yogurt
- 1 litre milk (sheep, goat, raw cow, guernsey, water buffalo, etc.)
- 3-4 Tbsp good-quality yogurt (made from whole milk) OR 1 package starter
- EQUIPMENT: yogurt maker OR slow cooker OR dehydrator OR oven
- Heat milk up to 180 F (I use a candy thermometer stuck in the pot). Let milk cool down to 110 F (or a bit less) otherwise you risk killing off good culture. (I pour it into a pouring bowl so it cools quicker.)
- Take a bit of the milk and whisk it with the culture starter. Return to the pot or bowl. Pour into a 1 litre jar or equivalent in smaller jars.
- YOGURT MAKER METHOD: If you own a yogurt maker that’s PERFECT: Just place in there for the allotted time, 8-12 hours and up to 24. Remember, the longer you incubate the more milk sugar gets consumed – reducing it’s lactose (but the more sour it will taste).
- SLOW COOKER METHOD: Everyone owns a slow cooker, right? If you decide to try it take the warmed milk. Place it in slow cooker. Heat a pot of water to 110 F, add water to slow cooker up to above the milk but below the top, place lid on cooker and stick somewhere that isn’t cold. Cover it up with lots of towels to keep it warm.
- You can ALSO use other methods: an oven set on pilot light, or a dehydrator.
- When yogurt is finished, transfer to jars or a container for storing. Plunk on the lid. Place in your fridge – this will halt or slow the fermentation process.