Homemade Yogurt Recipe
The Benefits of Yogurt
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about the benefits of yogurt and why you want to include this superfood in your diet regularly.
Homemade yogurt is a delicious and easy way to get both protein and probiotics into your diet and your tummy. The main microbes in yogurt, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus, help the body to digest polysaccharides found in carbohydrates.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, professor of pathology and immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the good bacteria found in yogurt do not repopulate the gut, but instead aid digestion and then leave the gut after about two weeks. This means that consuming yogurt regularly is key to obtaining the benefits found in this wonder fermented milk product.
If you are on a budget, homemade yogurt is a healthy and frugal move. Naturally, I recommend using raw milk, but if you haven’t found a source of raw milk you can use pasteurized milk (preferably low-temp pasteurized) to make your own yogurt at home.
Homemade Yogurt Recipe
- 6 oz container of plain yogurt
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 quart sized glass jar or bowl
- 1 saucepan or boiler to heat the milk
- 1 stirring spoon
- 1 slow cooker or cooler or an air-tight space such as the oven or microwave
- Heat 3 cups of milk in the sauce pan over medium heat for regular pasteurized milk. (If using raw milk heat only to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the milk from cooking and losing important nutrients. I test the milk by sticking my (clean) finger into it after heating it on medium-low heat for several minutes and stirring. When the milk feels warm, but does not burn my finger, I remove it from the heat.)
- Put 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt into a 1 quart mason jar and pour the warm milk into the jar. Stir the milk and yogurt together.
- Wrap the mason jar in a towel and place it in an enclosed space like a microwave, slow cooker or cooler. Let the yogurt sit for 8-10 hours while the good bacteria grow and thicken the yogurt.
- When the yogurt is done, depending on the type of starter used, it will be thicker than milk, but runnier than most commercial yogurt products. You can add maple syrup, honey or stevia as a sweetener. You can eat it plain or use it as a sauce. You can add fruit, nuts or other healthy goodies to individual servings.
Note: I’ve only ever tried these steps with raw milk yogurt, which will not become dangerous to eat if left out of the fridge.)
Also, you can save a few tablespoons of the yogurt you’ve made as a starter for the next batch. I prefer to use a new store-bought cup of yogurt each time, so I spend about $1.50 per week for a small container of yogurt that yields about 2.5 quarts of homemade yogurt. If you decide to use homemade yogurt as a starter, you’ll have to replace it with a fresh starter after several uses.
You can also use a yogurt starter. I recommend this yogurt starter.