Homemade Yogurt

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Didn’t get a good picture of the yogurt, so here’s a cow.

Yogurt is a great food for a healthy diet. It’s full of calcium, proteins and probiotic cultures. The problem with most store bought yogurt is that it’s loaded with sugars and preservatives and all sorts of nasty surprises. Making it at home is a great alternative.

You will need a yogurt maker for this one, I was very kindly gifted a proper one by the missus’ mother. But all it really is is a 2.5 litre bucket that fits into a Styrofoam housing. So you can just get a plain old dairy bucket with a lid and cut the Styrofoam yourself. You’ll also need a liquid thermometer.

This is a very simple recipe, all you need in terms of ingredients are milk and yogurt cultures. With a bit of heat (that’s why you keep the bucket in Styrofoam), the cultures will turn the milk into yogurt. Now you can buy sachets of yogurt cultures, or you can just get them from yogurt.

I started out with plain store bought yogurt (find some with no additives and live cultures) and now I just use yogurt from my previous batch, so all I pay for is the milk.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Litres of milk
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt

Method:

  • Take your yogurt out of the fridge and let it warm up a little while you do the next step.
  • Pour the milk into a pot and slowly heat to about 80-85 degrees Celsius. Don’t let it boil. This step is important as it breaks down some of the compounds in the milk that would otherwise lead to lumpy yogurt. Stir the milk every now and then while it’s heating up so a skin doesn’t form on the top.
  • Take the milk off the heat and let it cool to around 40 degrees Celsius. Now pour in your yogurt and give the mixture a good stir to agitate it and get the cultures working. Make sure the yogurt is all dissolved into the milk.
  • Close the bucket and put it in the Styrofoam insulator and let it sit somewhere safe for 12 to 14 hours. The Styrofoam keeps the heat in so the environment is right for the cultures to make yogurt.

Once it’s done you can keep it in the fridge for up to about 2 weeks. Now you have plain, additive free yogurt. Feel free to go wild with mixing stuff in. I usually throw in some blueberries, granola and Chia seeds for breakfast.

You can also experiment with different types of cultures and milks. I haven’t messed around with cultures too much but I’ve tried milks with various fat contents and also using goat milk. So far my best batch was made using a litre of 3% cow milk and a litre of whole goat milk.

I’d be glad to hear what other people tried and what worked best. Enjoy!

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