Save Money. Make your own; so much cheaper and healthier!
We were spending many $$$ per week on various forms of yogurt: drinkable yogurt, kids yogurt, Greek yogurt, Kefir etc. It is so easy to make your own, I can’t believe it took me so long to try it. Also, many yogurts have gelatin and added sugars. Read those labels closely. By making your own, you control the ingredients. Save a plain batch for cooking, dips and sauces.
Have confidence. It it is not hard
See my picture tutorial below with very simple steps. No special equipment needed. A digital thermometer is nice. Also, a ladle and a canning funnel. I also use half gallon canning jars which are available here. Note: they are not recommended for canning, but are great for storage. Also a good heavy bottom stainless pan for good results as well. Whatever equipment you use, make sure everything is squeaky clean and has seen hot soapy water before proceeding. If you are using food storage, another item to have on hand if you do not have fresh yogurt is this, for great results each time. It’s also available at Whole Foods.
Stove top vs. Crock pot
I found stove top method easiest for making yogurt consistently over time. I tried crock pot yogurt with mixed success. Sometimes it set up, other times it did not or it was too runny for our liking. It probably had something to do with the crock pot getting too hot or not hot enough. I also hated the two hour+ wait for cooling, which can be a pain if you have other things to do. We actually ended up with cooked milk or nearly caramel a few times and had to throw it away. Also, I am a bit paranoid about leaving heated appliance plugged in while sleeping. I incubate in a cooler vs. leaving in oven with light on, so I do not have to worry whether the oven is free or someone inevitably turning oven on while yogurt inside. Yes, even with note on door: Please do not turn on oven. Yogurt inside.
Let’s get started:
Make your own homemade yogurt using THRIVE instant powdered milk!
Allow 6-8 hours for yogurt to set up and an additional hour or two to chill in the fridge.
For optimal timing I usually start in the evening after dinner dishes done, and incubate in cooler overnight.
I prep jars around 7AM and pop in fridge for an hour before breakfast.
Part I: Day 1
1. Measure out 4 cups THRIVE Instant Milk
2. Pour THRIVE Instant Milk into heavy bottom pan.
3. Add 1 Gallon of cold water.
4. Stir gently with wire whisk over medium heat.
5. Some foamy bubbles may appear, this is OK. Stir until lumps disappear and continue to stir gently. Monitor that heat is not too high, so milk does not burn or begin to stick bottom.
6. Insert digital thermometer and set temp to 178 degrees. (or old fashioned candy thermometer)
7. Do not go over 180 degrees or allow to boil.
Place funnel in half gallon canning jar and pour in 1/2 gallon milk.
Pour in 4oz. room temperature yogurt starter and gently stir.
The emphasis here is on gentle. Do not agitate too much or cultures won’t work. 2-3 stirs is enough.
(In my case we used FAGE for 1/2, and Dannon for the other 1/2)
Place jars in cooler and fill with hot water from tap up to necks of jars.
Part II: Day 2
Day two morning after the yogurt has set. (My DH helped himself to FAGE before I could take photo)
For Greek style yogurt, you could drain in colander with cheesecloth for a few more hours and then continue below.
I will outline in another post. Some people in my household do not prefer it as they say it is too thick.
Pour off liquid (whey) into separate jar and save for baking or other uses.
I assemble clean mini canning jars and add 1 TBS homemade jam
(You could also add THRIVE freeze dried blueberries, strawberries, agave, honey etc. or leave plain)
1 TBS strawberry jam for each jar
Gently stir yogurt. (I stir, some I know, do not)
You could gild the lily a bit and add another dollop of jam