Friday, March 18, 2016

How To Make Delicious, Healthy, Homemade Yogurt

Our family loves yogurt. We use it in cooking, we use it in smoothies, and we eat it regularly at meals and for snacks. So I was a bit dubious when Delys told me that she had begun making her own at home. But I liked the idea that I could control the amount of sugar in it (most commercial yogurt tastes too sweet to me), that it has only four ingredients (make that two if you leave out the sugar and vanilla), and that it is definitely more economical. So I asked her for a yogurt lesson, and I have become a believer. Here is Delys' recipe:

1 gallon whole milk 
6-8 oz yogurt with live cultures (plain or vanilla)
3/4 - 1 cup sugar (optional)
1-2 Tbs vanilla (optional)

Heavy bottom stock pot (plus additional pot if desired for cooling)
Candy thermometer
4 quart-size jars with lids or equivalent

Pour a gallon of whole milk into stock pot and set on medium/low heat. Insert your thermometer and heat to 185-195 degrees. This can take some time, but you don't want to crank up the heat or you'll scald the milk. Remove from heat and let cool to 120 degrees.

I like to pour it into a separate pot that is sitting in an ice bath in the sink to speed the cooling process.

While the milk cools, you can add sugar and vanilla if desired. When it has cooled to 120 degrees, add your yogurt starter (6 to 8 oz, of plain or vanilla yogurt with live cultures) and whisk until well incorporated. Pour mixture into clean jars and secure with lids. 

Place jars in cooler and close lid. Quickly heat a gallon of water on the stove or in the microwave to 120 degrees (this is only slightly warmer than the hot water coming out of your tap) and pour into the cooler with the jars. 

Shut cooler and allow to sit for 3 hours. Dry off your jars and put them in the fridge. Unopened jars can be stored for a month. You can easily half this recipe or adjust it to your families needs.

This is delicious topped with granola, nuts, and fresh or frozen fruit. Or eat it just as you see it here--smooth and creamy yumminess.