I’m all for making things from scratch in the kitchen. It lets you really understand what’s in the food you are eating, and 99% of the time tastes better than anything you can buy at the store. I’m not a glutton for punishment though, so if it’s too time consuming or there is a great store bought alternative I’ll use it. So, when my mom told me she had started making her own yogurt, and I should too, I was skeptical to say the least. There are lots of yogurt options out there with clean ingredient lists. I didn’t think making it myself would be worth the hassle; boy was I wrong! After a quick tutorial from my mom on how to make yogurt I set out to do it myself, and it was so easy I was sure I must be doing something wrong!
My mom started making yogurt after a colleague gave her a 10 year old yogurt culture to get started. ‘Yogurt culture’ is really just a fancy term for a small sample of yogurt though, so don’t worry if you don’t have a friend who can lend you some. A couple tablespoons from a tub of PLAIN store bought yogurt will work just fine! In addition to the yogurt culture the only other ingredient you will require is a litre of milk. See what I mean about easy!? I prefer to use whole milk, as it creates a super creamy yogurt, but 2% would work too. You’ll heat the milk slowly on the stovetop for about 10 minutes until it gets to 180 degrees (milk will be simmering and getting frothy on the top but not boiling.
At this point you will remove the milk from the stove and let it cool, before stirring in the yogurt culture and transferring to a glass jar. Make sure you use a glass jar with a lid that seals. If you don’t have a large enough jar, several smaller mason jars would work!
The yogurt culture serves as a good bacteria that you are adding to the milk, and you need to give the bacteria time to do it’s stuff. Bacteria likes a warm environment so you’ll want to keep your mixture warm, and can do this by wrapping in towels and placing under a light.
The wrapped up jar should sit in the warm spot for 8-12 hours. During this time the bacteria will transform the lactose in the milk into lactic acid, which is what makes yogurt creamy and gives it a tangy flavour! Once the yogurt has formed you can store it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks and enjoy plain, or with some fruit added in.
If you are anything like me, once you realize how easy it is to make your own yogurt, you might go a little crazy and find yourself with copious amounts of yogurt on your hands (oops)! If you’re in need of some creative ways to use up some yogurt here are some of my favourites :
- strawberry banana frozen yogurt
- blueberry yogurt popsicles
- yogurt buffalo ranch dip
- healthy carrot muffins
What is your favourite way to eat yogurt?
- 1 litre whole milk
- 3 tbsp yogurt culture
Pour 1 litre of milk into a pot over medium heat on the stove.
Continuously stir the milk while it slowly heats, until the milk is simmering with a frothy top, but not boiling (approx. 180 degrees).
Remove the pot from heat, and let sit until the milk cools to a warm room temperature (approx. 115 degrees).
Pour half the milk into a glass container with the lid. Stir 3 tbsp. yogurt into the milk and combine well.
Add the remaining milk and stir well. Close the jar with the lid and fully wrap it in towels to keep the mixture warm. (I like to use a thin tea towel, and a warmer hand towel for wrapping).
Place the wrapped jar in a warm spot on your counter (I like to place it under a light) and let set for 8-12 hours.
Remove the towels and refrigerate until you are ready to consume. The yogurt will last up to three weeks in the fridge.