Thursday, February 2, 2012

Perfect Homemade Yogurt every time.

The consistency of still warm yogurt.
Recently I began making my own yogurt at home. Why eat yogurt? Because it has live cultures that are beneficial for your digestive system. Did you know that your immune system begins in your gut? So it's a good idea to keep it working properly. If you have heartburn, constipation, diarrhea - these are all good reasons to eat yogurt.

Unlike milk, yogurt is easier to digest and much healthier. Although my American DH grew up drinking milk with his meals, I made a point to NOT encourage this habit in my children. They will drink milk with the occasional cookie, but most of the time they will get their calcium from dark greens, cheese and yogurt.

So I researched for a while and found an easy method that works for me. Unlike this recipe that requires a crock pot or this ONE that requires a cooler, I used this ONE that uses the oven and its light as the base of my recipe.

Here is what I do:

1) I use 2% milk (I wish I had raw milk but unfortunately where I live it's illegal for human consumption! Right! whatever...) and then I "boil" (not really... I heat it up until I see bubbles forming around the top) in a stainless steel pot.

2) I use 1 T of greek yogurt to every 2 cups of milk.

3) Once the milk "boiled" I let it cool until I can put my finger in it and it feels like the same temperature of my daily hot shower. Yes, that is right! I don't have a candy thermometer. I use my finger. :) Now if you want to be precise you can use this post to monitor temperatures and follow the rest of my recipe exactly.

4) Once the temperature is right I add the tablespoons of yogurt that are room temperature mixed in with a few tablespoons of room temperature milk. Yes, room temperature is key here!

5) Mix in the yogurt (your starter) slowly, gently. Then I cover with the pot's lid and add a few thicker dishtowels on top and put in the oven with the light on and forget about it until the next morning when I come in to make breakfast.

That's it!!! easy peasy... no washing, rinsing or boiling or any of the other complicated stuff the other recipes call for.

I put in the fridge so it can cool and it will firm up a bit.

My homemade yogurt and my starter of choice.

I usually make about 8 cups at a time and use 4 T of starter. Once you have your own yogurt you can use it as your starter. No need to buy from the store any more.

I add this fabulous yogurt to my children's smoothies (I don't use milk for smoothies. Yogurt or water plus the fruit), homemade sauces and gravies, pasta sauces, icing for cakes and cookies, salsas and more.

Next post I will show you how to make cream cheese and use the whey from your own homemade yogurt.

If you enjoyed this post, leave me a comment, will you??


PS Here is another great post about yogurt and how-tos and even troubleshooting. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I made my first batch of yogurt a week ago with a cooler method. It worked for me! My oven light is unreliable, so I think this method is out, but I'm curious to read about the things you promised for your next post!