Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homemade Yogurt, updated

(Not my photo: I'll replace soon.)

Homemade yogurt isn't as scary as it sounds. I'm not an expert, I've only made it a handful of times, but it is easy to make. If you are using raw milk, it will be runnier than store-bought yogurt. The time I made it with raw milk it was more like drinkable yogurt, just a bit thicker than heavy cream. This is still really good for you as it has all the probiotics that yogurt has and all the healthy enzymes that raw milk makes available to you. To make your raw milk yogurt thicker it is suggested to bring it up to a boil. This will break down some of the good enzymes, but it is still healthier than buying pasterized homogenized milk to start with. Another trick I heard to make raw milk yogurt thicker is to do half raw milk and half heavy cream as your base. I haven't tried that either. I have made yogurt with raw milk and store bought organic pasteurized/homogenized milk. Do not use Ultra Pasteurized, which is a DEAD product and the good bacteria that make yogurt litterally has nothing to eat in the milk to make it into yogurt. (Think about that.... if a single cell bacteria cannot live off of ultra pasteurized milk, why put it in our bodies?? It offers us nothing nutrition wise!)

Bring 1 quart of whole (raw) milk to 110 degrees. Like I said before you can do half milk/half cream (or any percentage you choose.) If you bring the milk up to a boil, then cool it to 110 before proceeding.

Add a mere 2 tbsp of yogurt from a previous batch OR store bought. Buy a high quality whole milk, no additives, plain yogurt. I like to start with a Greek yogurt. You can also buy starters from websites like Cultures for Health.

Whisk the 2 tbsp of yogurt into your warmed milk. Then pour into either several small containers or one large container. Whatever your prefrence is. Then you need to incubate the yogurt for 10-12 hours at 110 degrees. You can go further but any extra time makes the yogurt more and more tangy.

Incubation methods:
1.Expensive yogurt maker.
2. Dehydrator with trays removed set to 110 degrees is the easiest way that I've found.
3. Crock pot brought up to high temperature and then unplugged, wrapped in a towel for extra insulation.
4. In an empty oven with oven light on.
5. Sat on a heating pad on low, wrapped in towels.

(The only two methods I've tried are 2 & 3, but I've heard great success with the others.)

After the 10-12 hours move to refridgerator. You can add honey and fruit to sweeten. I like to puree fruit and then gently stir the yogurt. I find if I try to puree the fruit into the yogurt it gets even more runny. Or I chop the fruit and stir yogurt in with a drizzle of honey or pure grade B maple syrup. 

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