Have you started making your own yogurt yet?
We’ve been talking about it for over a year now and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you’d better:
a) have a REALLY good excuse (like your neighbor works for a local farm and gives you all the free raw yogurt you want)
b) get up off your heiny and start making some yogurt or I’m going to come to your house and knock incessantly on your door until you let me in and pour me a cup of coffee so I can feel welcome while I watch you make yogurt!
I’m totally serious if you live in Central California… or in the not too far vicinity where I might shop, vacation or happen to visit Disney. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky… and warned! 😉
No seriously, you really should be making your own yogurt by now.
Benefits of Homemade Yogurt
I was talking to a friend of mine last weekend about her problems digesting dairy. We were chatting over homemade pizza and she joked about “paying for it” because of the cheese.
So she tells me she took two Lactaid before dinner, then two during dinner because she struggles with digesting dairy.
I asked if she ate yogurt, and when she said no, I suggested she start eating it to help increase the good, healthy bacteria in her gut.
She then replied that she didn’t eat yogurt because she thought she was lactose intolerant (her digestive issues being the sign).
My reply? Yogurt can help alleviate lactose intolerance, especially when it’s homemade and cultured for a full 24 hours. 😉
Want to know what else yogurt can do and why you should start making it NOW?
- with 1.5 trillion good bacteria, it’s a super-healthy, super-army for keeping your gut healthy
- may help alleviate constipation, diarrhea, IBS and yeast infections
- it’s cheaper than store-bought (in most cases)
- it’s easy
- doesn’t contain additives, preservatives or sugar
- requires very little effort
- requires very little time
- can be served as-is or with other items, at any meal
- can be subbed for sour cream or mayo in most recipes
- contains healthy saturated fat (when you use whole milk or added cream)
- can be used to make Greek yogurt and/or whey
- can be used as an acid medium to soak grains
Do I really need to list more reasons? Because I will if you make me. Oh yes, yes I will!! 😉
DIY Homemade Yogurt
Readers who have been around here for this past year (THANK YOU!) know that I use a heating pad to make yogurt. No expensive, special machines around these parts. The “sore muscle reliever” and “PMS cramping helper” earned a new and permanent title of “yogurt maker.”
I thought my original heating pad method was the easiest method on the planet. Then I saw my friend Katie’s method for making thick and creamy yogurt and she had me beat by one step! I couldn’t be one-upped on simplicity, so I gave hers a try.
Folks, this newer, easier, simpler method is the bomb. Not having to quickly clean out the pot so I can dump it over the jars is so teeny tiny, but it’s the little things in life that make a difference! Plus now I can make soup AND yogurt on the same day! I’ve never had a bad batch of yogurt with my old method, but now I’m even more certain than my new method will always be just as great.
Tempting to push the limits on a gallon and a half by putting another jar on each end… there is a little bit of room left on the heating pad… 😉
- 1 gallon of whole milk
- 1 cup whole yogurt
- Pour one gallon of milk into a large pot.
- Heat milk on medium high heat until the milk reads 160 degrees on a thermometer.
- Meanwhile, line the counter with a folded towel and heating pad turned on low.
- Line four clean glass jars on the heating pad. Measure ¼ cup of whole yogurt into each glass jar.
- Remove the milk from the heat when it reaches 160 degrees and allow it to cool to no cooler than 115 degrees. Pour into glass jars and stir well to combine warm milk with warmed yogurt.
- Cover the jars with two towels, creating an incubation station.
- Allow yogurt to culture for a full 24 hours before moving the jars to the fridge to cool.
- Enjoy thick, creamy and delicious homemade yogurt!
Additional Recipe Notes
Unsure what type of milk to use? This chart will get you started.
Does homemade yogurt freak you out? Don’t worry, I was there too. Sometimes it’s easier to start with a culture from a tried-and-true source.
Homemade yogurt not thick enough for you? Use this tutorial for homemade Greek yogurt.
Here are just a couple of the tools I use in this process. None of them are required, but they’re definitely helpful!