Making Your Own Yogurt is Inexpensive and Healthy – Part 1

Print page

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… 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 pot

a candy thermometer

4 TBSP. of yogurt total – (2 TBSP. each) get stirred into each quart jar.

a small cooler

some towels

hot water

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!

my siggie :)

This blog post is linked up to the following blog hops!

11 thoughts on “Making Your Own Yogurt is Inexpensive and Healthy – Part 1

  1. I make mine in the crock pot-don’t know if it is right, but it works nicely.
    I also find with the home made yogurt we eat WAY too much of it, so I limit how often I make it. The flavor is far better than the purchased stuff.

      1. I put a couple inches of water in the crock pot while I am heating the milk and, set it on medium heat. when milk is ready I stir in a nice big spoon of plain FAGE greek, or about 1/4 a cup of my previous yogurt. Seperate into pint or 1/2 pint jars and fill the crock pot with uncapped jars. Turn my heat to low and leave until the next morning, shut off the crock pot and leave until at least noon, cap and put in frig.

        1. Carol I will definitely try this method because that would be easier for me if I am in a hurry or I have a lot going on only because I don’t have to wait for the temperature to come down. I am having yogurt for lunch today!

  2. I have just started making my own this winter– actually I posted about it this week, too. 🙂 A friend also recommended the “cooler” method and I am going to try that next time… I’ve been wrapping mine and putting it in the oven with the light on.
    The flavor is great. I used stonyfield farms plain as a starter, but my neighbor swears that dannon cultures up thicker. 🙂

    1. I will have to go read your post right now I want to see how you made yours. I have not heard about the oven method very interesting. Mine isn’t super thick but its perfect for smoothies….my friend ordered the cultures online and I am wondering if hers will turn out better I will see if I can find out. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I found your blog via the Preparedness Challenge link-up at Homestead REvival 🙂 🙂 I’ve been making my own homemade yogurt for about the last month or so. I am following the GAPS diet..but I use organic, raw milk to make my yogurt with the help of a yogurt maker. I do let mine incubate in the yogurt maker for 24 hours, because it kills off the lactose which my body can’t handle, but still gives me the other benefits of homemade yogurt 😉 🙂 I really liked your post with all the photos 🙂 🙂 It makes it easy to follow 😉 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Heather! I am so glad you stopped over here….I will be sure to come by and check your blog out. It is illegal to buy raw milk in our state of North Carolina. We still have so far to go in America to get back to eating whole, healthier, natural foods. How do you like your yogurt maker? I don’t think I have any issues with any milk products that I know of but I sure love yogurt!

      1. I LOVE my yogurt maker. I was familiar with the oven and refrigerator-top methods of yogurt making, too…but I wanted “easy peasy”…so I went for the yogurt maker. I went to a few well-known department stores and they didn’t carry a yogurt maker. So I walked into my local Williams-Sonoma shop…and I found a really nice Euro-Cuisine yogurt maker for about $50. It’s in the middle price range…but I was so ahppy they had one. It was right before Christmas. There were only two left…one wrapped in ribbon and paper, the other one NOT…so I bought the “wrapped” one and gave it to myself. It works fabulous!!!! I love it 🙂 🙂 The jars are easy to clean. Plus, here’s the best part it has a dial lid…so I can set the date to when I made the yogurt OR when it’s set to expire…so I never get yucky old yogurt 🙂 🙂 I’m sorry you can’t buy raw milk in your state. I think everyone should have that right, if they want access to it. It’s the only dairy that my body will tolerate…and it’s been having a real healing affect on my gut, too 🙂

        1. What a great gift to give yourself! I agree everyone should have the right to make their own food decisions I wonder how many people would get help with digestive issues if that were available. Cool thing about that dial feature!

I Love Hearing From All Of You! Thanks for sharing!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.