I don’t always make homemade yogurt the reason is my gang doesn’t particularly care for it although I love it. I make a smoothie almost every morning with fruit, yogurt, and milk and its quite filling, delicious and relatively unprocessed. I don’t like it plain though I mix in a little jelly or honey to kind of take out the slightly sour taste. Making homemade yogurt is another way that you can practice your sustainable living skills because you are not purchasing pre-packaged foods or at least less of them and you are leaving a gentler foot print on this earth. You see homemade yogurt doesn’t have ingredients like carrageenan for instance….don’t know what carrageenan is???? Watch this video…..it explains it a little bit:
Also here is a blog post about carrageenan that is very interesting reading. I am not even going to get into natural flavorings and other chemicals and junk that are loaded in the food we eat everyday. What I will tell you is it wasn’t that long ago that most foods weren’t made like this. Believe it or not yogurt has only been popular in America for the last 30 to 40 years. Here is a really good site that explains how it is processed: How Yogurt is Made – you will see all the stages the milk goes through just to get prepared for becoming yogurt.
When I don’t make yogurt I purchase Dannon All Natural Vanilla because in my area with out going to one of the Co-ops it’s the best that I can find…with cultured Grade A Reduced Fat Milk, Sugar, Natural Vanilla Flavor (which of course leaves me a little skeptical) and pectin.
Today I am going to show you how I make my homemade yogurt. I don’t buy the cultures off of the internet which would probably result in a product that is 100% free of processed food
but this product will get there this way too you just always have to save a little bit of yogurt for the next batch.
It is so easy that I wonder why I don’t make it more often.
All you need is:
2 quart jars
enough whole milk to fill 2 quart jars (It does not have to be raw or organic. In our state we are not allowed to purchase raw milk anyway…that’s a whole other topic)
a candy thermometer
4 TBSP. of yogurt total – (2 TBSP. each) get stirred into each quart jar.
a small cooler
1. First I pour 2 quarts of milk into the pot and heat it up to 180 degrees.
2. Then you let the milk come back down to 120 degrees. (This takes a while…patience is a must)
3. While the temperature is coming down you can heat up water to slosh around in the awaiting jars because you want them to be warmed up.
4. Then you pour the hot water from one of the quart jars into the bottom of the cooler and pour the other one out in the sink.
5. Lay some towels down in the bottom of the cooler.
6. Once the yogurt is 120 degrees you can pour it into the 2 quart jars, stir in the leftover yogurt and seal them.
7. Roll the jars up in the towels and place them in the cooler. Actually the cooler now becomes a warmer similar to some crock pot recipes you may have seen.
8. Place the yogurt in the cooler and wait 8 to 12 hours. Put it in a place where it won’t get moved or disturbed usually until the next morning.
9. Now you have to wait for your fresh, delicious, natural homemade yogurt! Sometimes this yogurt comes out a little thinner than the store bought counter part but since I am using this mostly in smoothies this is perfect for me. Some people recommend putting gelatin as a thickener in it I have not tried this yet.
Making homemade yogurt is easy and really not all that time-consuming especially if you have other tasks you are working on in the kitchen. Yogurt is also a fermented food and fermented foods have great nutritional benefits. Look at this blog article “8 Reasons To Eat Fermented Foods” by Cheeseslave…one of them is that fermented foods aid in digestion and another reason is that they are rich in beneficial enzymes.
It’s common sense the less processed food you eat the better off you are….so I am really working hard in 2012 to eat less of the grocery store junk while I will admit because of prices I have not gone completely organic and I definitely don’t own my cow here are at our Lil ‘ Suburban Homestead 😉
So lets break this down I think I paid $2.89 for this gallon at milk at a local warehouse so since my son Noah who loves math told me that there are 4 quarts in a gallon I forget these things…that means the total cost of this yogurt is $1.45 approximately for 2 quarts. So per cup this yogurt costs about 18 cents maybe a penny or two more if you want to count the 4 tablespoons of leftover yogurt. Normally I pay for the Dannon Vanilla about 2.99 when it’s on sale for 32 oz…. which equals about 74 cents a cup approximately so almost triple in expense and less healthy because even though it doesn’t have carrageenan in it; it has still been processed in a factory environment and stored in plastic. Whereas I keep my homemade yogurt in glass mason jars.
Thanks for stopping by! Part 2 of Making Your Own Yogurt is coming soon!
This blog post is linked up to the following blog hops!