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Homemade yogurt is superior to commercial yogurt. It’s silky smooth and creamy and has a better flavor than anything you can buy.
You have complete control over how sweet or tart it is by simply varying the culture time.
You can also reduce the added sugars that are often found commercially.
Why make yogurt at home
I agree it’s easier to buy yogurt at the store. But if you are eating alot of it, there are very good reasons to do this yourself.
Let’s take a look.
Control of ingredients
Many commercial yogurts are loaded with excess sugar and other ingredients. Browsing the yogurt isles and you will see that some varieties can have sugar content up to 47 grams. That’s a whopping 12 teaspoons per serving.
Does it really need to be that sweet?
Some so called top brands, don’t even have live and active cultures. That’s a shame. Yogurt has the potential to deliver healthy probiotics so why wouldn’t all yogurt brands have active cultures?
Reduced contact with plastic
If you are concerned with the ever present use of plastics with your food, then now you have a choice. Organic milk is still available in glass containers. This is the perfect milk to use for homemade yogurt.
No hormones, antibiotics, and best of all, no plastic. Therefore, when you make the yogurt, it is plastic free as well.
Well, with the high cost of milk these days, there is some savings to homemade yogurt, but it’s not earth shattering. In California, milk typically costs $5 per 1/2 gallon sold in glass, so that works out to $2.5 per container if you were to make this all into yogurt.
That’s only a savings of $0.50 per container or $1 per gallon. So, the compelling reasons are not really money, but taste and control.
We can’t win them all.
If buying cheap milk in plastic, then you can rack up some good savings by making yogurt at home. The choice is yours.
Ok so how can you make this at home without a yogurt maker? Well that’s pretty easy. You need a way to hold the culture at a controlled temperature for at least 6 hours. My favorite method is a proofing oven. This feature is becoming pretty common these days with modern ovens.
Here’s how to do it
First heat up the milk to almost boiling, then allow to cool. A double boiler works well to prevent scalding. Place an instant thermometer in the milk during the cooling process. When it cools to 110 degrees, add about 1 tablespoon of commercial yogurt that has live cultures and then stir.
Of course you can use a commercial starter instead, either is fine.
Set the proofing oven to 100 degrees, then place the milk into the oven and don’t touch it while it cultures. The time needed depends on you and your preference.
The longer it sits, the thicker it will get and the more tart it will taste. Persoanlly, I like about 6 hours at 100 degrees. When it’s as tart and thick as you like, transfer to the fridge and allow to fully set. This takes a few hours so I generally let it sit overnight.
I’ve noticed that some starter cultures take a few hours longer to set than fresh cultures. Also, when you make batch after batch, the culture time takes less time on average.
The Fruit Topping
Jams, jellies, and honey taste great mixed in with homemade yogurt. We prefer to buy naturally made jams that have no high fructose corn syrup or other additives.
These natural ingredients compliment homemade yogurt and don’t cancel out all the benefits.
There’s no need to buy complicated yogurt machines to make top notch yogurt at home. All you need is a controlled environment, simple ingredients, and live cultures.
If you haven’t tried it yet you should try it at least once to see for yourself.
- 1 tablespoon starter yogurt per container (with live and active cultures)
- First heat up the milk to almost boiling, then allow to cool. A double boiler works well to prevent scalding. Place an instant thermometer in the milk during the cooling process.
- When it cools to 110 degrees, add about 1 tablespoon of commercial yogurt that has live cultures and then stir. Place in a controlled environment such as a proofing oven for at least 6 hours or until the yogurt is set and as tart as you like it.