Making homemade yogurt is much more frugal than purchasing “ready-made” containers of yogurt. (Plus, you know exactly what all the ingredients are!) Yogurt-making is a simple process, and is one of the best “baby-steps” in frugal, healthy food preparation.
A couple years ago, I guest-posted on another blog with my homemade yogurt recipe. Many of you have recently e-mailed me, asking for the recipe, since that previous blog is now expired. So, here is how I make yogurt from scratch!
This is the “small version” of the recipe. I typically quadruple it to make an entire gallon at once! (I use my big stainless steel pot.) I originally learned how to make yogurt from the book Wild Fermentation.
Heat 1 quart of milk gently, stirring often to prevent burning, to 180 degrees. Then let milk cool to 100 degrees. Stir in 1 Tbl. “plain, live-cultures” yogurt (no more!) with a whisk to fully combine. Pour into a jar, and place in a warm place.
Place yogurt in a warm place for 12 hours, undisturbed. I usually put mine in a big travel cooler, along with a couple jars of warm water and some big towels tucked around it all to keep it warm. I’ve heard of others using crockpots, ovens, or fancy dehydrators to keep theirs warm. But I like the free “non-electric” version.
(My kids know to leave it alone, thankfully. If you need to, you can put it in the garage, up on the counter, etc. to hide it from little hands until they understand the process. We say, “The yogurt is sleeping.” You could also make it at bedtime, so that it sits overnight while you are sleeping. Then you will have fresh yogurt for breakfast!) Anyway, just make sure to leave the yogurt undisturbed while it is “yoging.”
If you’re using raw milk, the yogurt will tend to be thinner than “regular” yogurt. To achieve a thicker yogurt, you can add more cream, instead of just milk. This is a great raw milk yogurt recipe from Nourished Kitchen.
If you are using raw milk or non-homogenized milk, the cream will rise to the top, and it may even be yellow-colored, if the cows are grass-fed.
If you like flavored yogurt, stir in some fruit and/or raw honey when serving for a delicious treat. I also use my homemade yogurt as a frugal substitution in recipes, instead of sour cream or mayonnaise.