Thursday, July 21, 2011
I did it! :) I made my first batch of homemade yogurt. It's really NOT hard at all. I was so surprised to find that it doesn't take much effort or special ingredients/equipment.
This time, I stuck to the most basic version and will try some adaptations as I get more comfortable with this process. It wasn't a perfect batch of yogurt, the texture is runnier and slightly stringy. I've read up on it and found that that is common for the first few batches, until you master the best mix for your taste. This recipe is for plain yogurt, which is not usually my favorite, but again, I was following the recipe this time without changing anything. When I serve it though, I've added some honey and fruit to each helping and LOVE it. It's so fresh and yummy.
The benefits to making it yourself:
-You control the sugar content. If you look closely at the labels on store bought yogurts, you'll often find a really high amount of sugar. I know, didn't know that until recently, not as healthy as we had thought! The batch that I made has no sugar, we've been using honey to sweeten it along with the sweetness of fruit we add to it. There are a lot of other benefits too, a quick google search will lead you to all sorts of information!
-It's cheaper, significantly. Especially with prices going up so quickly.
Here's my price breakdown:
1/2 gallon of milk: $0.99
1/2 C of yogurt: $0.31 (A 1/2 C is 4oz, the container has 32 oz and cost $2.50)
Total cost for 52 oz. of yogurt was $1.30
So, here's what you'll need:
-1/2 gallon of whole milk. *It can be made with other types of milk, but you should do some research before trying it to make sure you get the temperature/times done correctly. *I did find websites confirming you could use soy and almond milk for a non-dairy alternative.
-1/2 C of plain, active, live, natural yogurt. You can also buy a yogurt starter and use that. After you've made a batch of yogurt you can use 1/2 C of your homemade yogurt as your starter. *If you're looking to make non dairy option, you can use soy or almond yogurts, possibly some starters, too. I didn't research this in depth, but did come across some sites using these alternatives.
-A 4 quart crock pot
-A large, thick towel
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that you will need to use all fresh ingredients, if you do not, your yogurt could be unhealthy or not consumable. I'm not an expert on yogurt making, this is the process I used and it worked for me, but I'm not responsible for in any way for how yours turns out.
-Plug in your crock pot and turn it on Low.
-Pour in 1/2 a gallon (approx. 8 cups) of whole, pasteurized milk.
-Cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours
-Leave it covered, but unplug the crock pot and let it sit for another 3 hours
-After the 3 hours have passed, scoop 2 C of the warm milk out of the crock pot and whisk it together with the 1/2 C of yogurt (or starter).
-Pour it all back into the crock pot.
-Leave it unplugged, but cover it again and wrap up the entire crock pot with your towel.
-Let it stand over night or for 6-10 hours, one site said at least 8 hours.
-After it has set, some suggest for best results to put it directly in the refrigerator in the crock pot for it to set up better.
-Once it has set and is cooled, you can add your favorite flavorings and toppings and enjoy!
That's it! It takes so little effort. The only thing that's challenging is you need to be home to watch it and change things at the appropriate times, other then that, it practically makes itself.
Have you made homemade yogurt? How did it turn out? Any tips/tricks that worked for you? Please share!
Posted by Chelsea at 5:00 AM