You can do it, yes... Really! You can make your own healthy, probiotic enriched, sugar free yogurt! Even this old farm boy has been mostly successful. I won't mention my epic fresh cows milk fail; now will I? Okay, maybe later.
We know how healthy yogurt is but, if you need reminding here's an awesome link from WebMD. But what about homemade yogurt? Commercial yogurt is often fermented an hour or less, with thickening agents added to give the look and feel of a much longer fermentation. Experts recommend a 24-hour fermentation for the maximum probiotic content. I prefer around 13-hours for my personal taste. The longer fermentation times result in a tarter flavor. Commercial yogurt is also sweetened with GMO sweeteners such as corn syrup.
So, how do we make our own healthy, nutrient dense yogurt? Well, lean forward and let's giddy up, because you may never want to buy store bought yogurt again!
1/2 gallon milk (skim or 1% for non or low fat yogurt)
I use Organic Half and Half for a very rich and thick Icelandic style yogurt (Skyr)
1 small container unflavored yogurt with active cultures - This is our yogurt starter.
I use Organic Whole Milk Greek style - unflavored
1. Over medium-high heat, bring the milk to about 200 degrees F in a pan or dutch oven.
As soon as the milk reaches 200 degrees, turn off the heat, and let the temperature cool to 115 degrees F. Meanwhile, mix the small container of yogurt with a little cool milk to make our yogurt starter.
2. When the heated milk has cooled to 115 degrees, whisk in the yogurt starter until smooth.
3. Transfer the mixture to warm, clean jars with lids, such as 1-qt. canning jars, and cover with lids.
4. Place the jars in an oven that is switched OFF. The point behind this is that ovens are insulated, and you want to keep the yogurt at a steady 105 to 110 degrees F. Leave the yogurt undisturbed 7 to 24 hours. Although tempting, fight the urge to open the oven and touch the jars!
5. Take the jars out of the oven. Refrigerate and enjoy with everything and anything!
I use our local raw honey or wild raspberry preserves.
I hope you enjoy your healthy yogurt!
Oh, my raw unpasteurized cows milk yogurt epic fail? Let's just say our pigs really enjoyed my attempts...
Giddy up and Farm On!