My family loves yogurt. I use Greek yogurt, flavored yogurt, plain regular yogurt and even some yogurt coated treats. We eat a lot of yogurt. I enjoy it because it is a delicious way to add good bacteria – intestinal flora – into my family’s diet. The one thing I do not like is how much sugar is added to commercially available yogurts. Though I would like to steer clear of them I find myself buying the little individual yogurts often because my kids and DH enjoy them so much.
One thing I have never tried, but would love to do is to make my own yogurt. I was searching on Eatingwell.com for low calorie recipes and one advertisement that popped up was for a product called the YogoTherm. It intrigued me so I clicked and I was taken to a website called Grape and Granary that sold said YogoTherm. In this embedded video they give very simple instructions on how to use the YogoTherm and the reusable culture. I was impressed at how simple it was to make the yogurt. Really it was just slightly more involved than making a batch of Jello!
Then this made me curious – Do I really need a YogoTherm or any other special yogurt maker to make homemade yogurt? OK Google get to work!!! And it did. I came upon a website called How to Make Yogurt. The instructions were simple but the advantage to using the commercial incubator is knowing that the temperature will remain correct for a full 5 to 7 hours allowing for proper fermentation of your yogurt mix. What was nice about the site is that they offered troubleshooting for any problems or strange occurrences during your yogurt making adventure. You will need to have some plain yogurt with active cultures available for your first batch, but after that just save some of your own culture back from each batch and you will be able to make yogurt from your own culture in perpetuity. OH I can feel a weekend project coming on! I think I need to make some room in my fridge.
Wow, can you imagine the possibilities? You can make the yogurt as thick or thin as you like. You can sweeten it with stevia, honey, agave, sugar (probably syrup) if you even want it sweet at all. Add in fruits to your liking. You’ll have what you need to cook or snack on AND have the cultures needed to ferment a new batch. As you can tell I’m just a bit excited. Ooo, Oooo – you can even control the fat content by the type of milk you use!!! AND if you love Greek style yogurt like I do you can make your own with some easy tips from Be Food Smart. Pretty much just carefully strain your commercial or home made yogurt to your liking and enjoy.
This Greek yogurt making find resulted in another question – What do I do with the leftover whey? It would be a shame to waste it. Thanks to this wonderful tool I came up with some ingenious ideas –
Uses for Leftover Whey
– Mix into smoothies
– Use for bread making in place of water or milk
– To reconstitute frozen juice (Orange Julius anyone?)
– Fertilize your garden
– Feed the family pig
– Mix with stale bread and feed to the chickens 🙂
– Spray on garden plants to stave off powdery mildew
– Freeze it for later use
For more tips go to Farm Curious.
I’ll keep you posted when I finally get brave enough to try making my own batch of yogurt. I don’t have a heating pad but I do have a slow cooker so I need to do some testing to see if it will be appropriate for this process. If not it’s off to buy a heating pad or a YogoTherm 😛 :).