Ok, so I’ve tried what feels like a million different methods for making yogurt, and I’ve finally found one that makes amazing yogurt, every time. I tried the crock-pot method which works really well for a few of my friends, but it always produced a super thin, runny yogurt for me. I’ve used “starter” kits, that made way more whey than yogurt.
Anyway, I finally tried the instructions in Nourishing Traditions, and of course it was perfect. The only thing I did differently was heating the milk in a regular saucepan because I don’t have a double boiler like she recommends, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
Remember, home made yogurt will have a much thinner consistency than you are used to – buy a jar of bulgarian yogurt to give you an idea of what it will look and taste like.
Fresh yogurt is packed full of probiotics and contains the enzymes that make it very digestible for folks that have trouble with dairy. The culturing process removes nearly all of the lactose as well. It aids in proper digestion and gut flora balance.
It’s nothing like the packaged, sugared, heated, pressurized stuff you find in the store. There are a few good brands, but the majority are pretty worthless. Seriously, Activia ain’t got nothin’ on my yogurt. It is much cheaper and healthier, and you don’t risk the good bacteria dying in transport.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 quart milk (raw is best, low-pasteurized non-homogenized next, or traditional organic. I buy a gallon of week-old milk from my farmer at a discount that I use to make yogurt, cottage cheese, and cream cheese.)
- 2 Tbs. + 2 tsp plain, whole milk yogurt containing probiotics (look on the back label); once you have made some yogurt, use that as your starter rather than store-bought.
- 1 quart jar (32 ounces) – any glass jar will do – sterilize with vinegar & hot water
- candy thermometer
- medium size saucepan
- measuring spoons
- measuring cup with pour spout is less messy but optional
*pasteurization kills all bacteria in milk, including the good, which makes it especially susceptible to becoming contaminated and overrun by bad bacteria, so you must heat pasteurized milk to 180 for safety. raw milk still contains the good bacteria so the risk of contamination is much lower. it is still considered raw if the heat does not exceed 110 degrees farenheit.
3. For Raw Milk: Add 1 Tbs. yogurt to the warmed milk, and stir well with a whisk or slotted spoon
I keep mine in the microwave over my oven with the stove light on. Another method that works well is keeping it in the oven with the light on. Wherever you can find that it will stay at around 110 degrees will be fine.
There you go! That’s It! I like it plain, but you can always add in honey, vanilla and fruit.
live well. be well.