Friday, January 13, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

A few months back I decided I wanted to try to make homemade yogurt. I thought it was going be very difficult and time consuming. I had no idea how easy it actually was. I did a little research on yogurt makers and realized I did not want individual serving sizes. The whole idea was to make a Greek yogurt, which means I would have had to strain every individual serving. I would have made more work for myself because I would have to resterilize the containers. I decided to buy the Yogourmet yogurt maker and I am in love with it. I make yogurt about every two weeks. By the way, there are directions and a thermometer that comes with the Yogourmet yogurt maker. Here is how I start:

-Buy Stonyfield organic plain yogurt. You will only need 2 tablespoons so freeze the rest or just eat it. The Stonyfield has the most good bacteria I could find.
-Buy Stonyfield fat free organic milk, half gallon. You can buy full fat. I buy the fat free because it has less calories.
-Heat the milk in a sterilized sauce pan over medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees. This will kill bad bacteria. This takes about 10 minutes. Cool the milk down to  110 degrees.
-In a sterile glass bowl or measuring cup, add the two tablespoons of organic yogurt and some of the milk. Mix until combined and then add back to the milk that is in the sauce pan. Mix well.
-Add water to your yogurt maker. There should be a water line inside. Fill water to that line.
-Strain your milk mixture right into the yogurt maker and let it go for 10 to 14 hours. That is usually how long I let mine go for. I strain my cooled milk just in case there is some milk that cooked.
-After your yogurt is done immediately put in the fridge and cool for a couple hours. Once your yogurt is cooled, eat or strain. I always strain my yogurt because I like it thick. I put a coffee filter in a strainer, add some yogurt and strain for an hour or so. This will have to be done in steps. Once strained add to a sterilized glass dish and add any flavoring. I would not add berries or anything like that until you are ready to eat.
-Don't forget to take out a couple tablespoons of your homemade yogurt before you flavor it. You need to save that as a yogurt starter for the next batch you make.

Every time I do make yogurt I boil water in my sauce pan to sterilize it and then add the boiling water to the container I make the yogurt in, so that is sterilized too. Make sure your thermometer is sterilized in the boiling water. Dry with a clean paper towel before you add your milk to the saucepan and to the yogurt maker.

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