Those of you that have been following my blog know that I have been experimenting with fermenting for months now. Im hooked. I love being able to create my own probiotic, healthy foods for me and my family. One of my New Year's resolutions is to have my fridge and pantry at least 85% all homemade goods by the end of the year. I have learned how to brew my own Kombucha and make yummy Sauerkraut and am even trying to create different vinegars. My latest experiment was homemade yogurt, and I couldn't believe how easy it was! This post will share with you just how easy, and cost effective it is to make your own yogurt. Yogurt can be expensive and with grocery prices going up, I have been looking for ways to reduce spending and making my own food is a great way to do that. Not only do fermented foods have tremendous health benefits but it is a simple and rewarding way for me to take control of my family's well-being.
The process was very easy! Pour 32 ounces of milk into a large saucepan and bring to a boil stirring often. Once it comes to a boil turn the heat off and remove from the heat. When the milk cools you can pour into a large glass container and allow it to cool to room temperature. After it has cooled you can mix in a couple of tablespoons of yogurt mixing until smooth. Cover (cheesecloth, tea towel, paper towel, etc.) and let it sit on the counter for 24-48 hours (the warmer it is the faster it will process). You want to keep it as warm as possible and can wrap a towel, or some sort of insulator to keep it warm. Once the mixture gets thick and begins to pull away from the container when you tilt it, or when you can stir it and it is the consistency you like it's finished. You can continue making batch after batch just by adding a few tablespoons of your previous culture! It's best to do a batch about once a week. The yogurt can be used for smoothies, salad dressing, to make your own cheese (which is definitely on my To Do list!) The yogurt itself won't be sweet when using cow's milk. I added a bit of local honey and cinnamon and some fruit. You can use any additives you like, granola, nuts, etc.
That's it! It was so simple and came out beautifully and my daughter LOVED it (she is on her second bowl as I type!) This is definitely something I will be doing more often and experimenting with different types of milks (checkout this coconut milk yogurt recipe by The Holistic Mama!). The homemade method costs less than half of what I was spending on yogurt before- I am so excited to always have yogurt on hand and as a natural foodie it excites me that it was made by me!! I will keep you updated on other types of yogurt I make and would love to hear about your experiments as well!