Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt

For those of you who enjoy yogurt from your local supermart, you should give this one a try.

Making yogurt at home is incredibly easy and delicious. Additionally, you’ll have the added benefit of knowing exactly what is in the yogurt you’ll be giving to your family.

There are only a few things involved in making your own yogurt. Here’s what you’ll need:

one insulated cooler (or in this case, heater)

one large bath towel

candy thermometer

4 1-quart mason jars with lids

1/2 gallon organic whole milk

1 small container of organic plain yogurt with active cultures

Optional: Berries, honey

It is best to begin this recipe in the evening as you will need to incubate the yogurt for 10-12 hours during the night while you’re sleeping.

In another pot, attach your candy thermometer and add all of the milk. Heat milk, uncovered, on medium until it reaches 190 degrees. Do not boil. Once the milk reaches 190, turn off the heat and allow to cool. meanwhile, heat two quarts of water in a separate pot.

Keep watching the thermometer until the milk cools to between 100-110.

In a small bowl or cup, separately add a couple of heaping tablespoons of your existing yogurt (either from a previous batch you made or from the store bought stuff). Add about a cup of the hot milk to your yogurt and mix well. Pour this mixture back into the pot of warm milk and mix thoroughly. By now, your water should be hot as well. Pour your water into two quart jars and attach the lids. Pour your yogurt/milk mixture into the other 2 quart jars and attach the lids. Place all four quarts in the bottom of the insulated cooler and place the towel in the cooler on top of the jars.

Put the lid on the cooler. The goal is to keep the cooler warm for 10-12 hours. You should aim for about 10 hours on your first batch. The longer the yogurt incubates, the thicker it becomes and the more tart it becomes. You will have to experiment to find just the right timing for your tastes.

At this point, you have delicious homemade plain yogurt.

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If you like fruit in our yogurt, you can mix in some berries, jam, honey, vanilla, or ??? use your imagination. The kids will love it as well.

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