Have you ever thought about making your own yogurt??? You wouldn’t believe the reactions I’ve gotten when people find out that I do. If the look on their face doesn’t give it away their “what!? Why!?” Comment usually does!! It’s ok, you can think that too 😉 hear me out though. A couple years ago it wouldn’t have ever been a thing I would’ve thought of. Homemade yogurt- one, didn’t sound like something you “made”.. and two, sounded difficult if you did make it… well let me just put both of those myths to rest! They’re both lies! Making yogurt is not only extremely healthy for you, it’s super cost effective for our family, but it’s also super super easy.
Several years ago I started to have some health issues that caused me to be put on several antibiotics… and what do antibiotics do? They lower all that good bacteria in your body. On top of trying to be healthy I wanted to raise the good bacteria per my dr’s instructions, and just taking a probiotic wasn’t cutting it. So I started eating yogurt by the case, practically (not really but I felt like it some days). One thing I was reading was information on yeast inside your body and how it thrives on sugar and different things that our bodies turn into sugar…. do you know how much sugar we ingest without realizing it!? Things like sauces, soups, pasta and you guessed it… YOGURT! Even the original or “plain” all seemed to have a lot of sugar. Even if it didn’t have “sugar” it may have had “aspartame” or other types of artificial sweeteners. I struggled and struggled to find anything without sugar and didn’t have a sugar substitute, and couldn’t find much…. which is where the idea came that maybe I should just make my own.. then I would know exactly what was in it, right!?
The first time I made yogurt I had my thermometer, my yogurt starter, got my milk to just the right temperature, then had to keep it there… for hours. The task sounded daunting- and in a way it kind of was. Making yogurt isn’t something that’s super quick- it takes time to ferment and get just right. So while the initial process is easy, it does take time. It also requires that yogurt “starter”. Now I’ve been told you can find these helpful little things at different stores. I have not been so lucky. We don’t live in a bustling large town with lots of options, we live in a small little rural town in Missouri… with one grocery store, if you can call Wal-Mart that… and an Aldi’s… I’ve even been told others use a probiotic ( if you’d like to try a yogurt starter, you can click HERE to order one! I’ve not personally tried these but have heard good reviews, and they would be so much handier to have on hand then to have to remember to purchase or find the yogurt starter I’m going to tell you about) to start theirs but let me tell you- you don’t have to find a “yogurt starter” to make yogurt, or a probiotic if you choose not to. I love to use organic original Greek yogurt- with live cultures. Making sure that it has live cultures is super important. I purchase mine specifically at our local Aldi’s. I find the kind that says “organic” and look at the label of ingredients… now this type isn’t as cheap as just a regular tub of yogurt is, because I’m sure you’re thinking “why don’t I just buy that and be done with it”… out of that one tub of yogurt I can make a ton of my own yogurt by using my own batches. So a tiny bit of it from that tub starts my homemade kind, and then I continue to use my own yogurt to start the next batch.
The yogurt thickness I prefer is a thick Greek type. But if you prefer more of a thinner type yogurt get a thinner starter. I’ve also learned that playing around with the type of milk you use also plays a huge role in how the end result will be. My favorite milk is the friendly farms organic whole milk (ultra pasteurized). I find this milk produces the best consistency and thickness for what we want. But everyone is different, so don’t be afraid to experiment!!
Now, you’re thinking… how do I make this stuff.. there are so many recipes and “how to’s” on Pinterest/YouTube that you can look up. But I’ll be real honest, the absolutely best way is to invest into a yogurt maker! It is the most simple with the best results. (If you have an InstaPot it should also have a yogurt button) my yogurt maker makes a large container instead of a lot of smaller containers full like some do, so it’s easy to make a lot and then divvy it out for what you want it. You can see the exact one I have HERE
I simply mix the milk with about 1/4 cup of the yogurt (starter) and whisk/stir it together. Then place it in my yogurt maker and turn it on 8 hours. The great thing about this specific maker is it automatically flips to “cool” when it’s done fermenting, so even though it’s not a “cool” temperature that you will want to eat right away, you don’t have to be home, or awake when it gets finished. It can run for several hours that way and not go bad! You can change the fermenting setting for more or less (I wouldn’t suggest less, but the longer you ferment the tangier it will get- you also don’t want to over ferment your yogurt or it will separate).
Once it’s done, pull it out and place the whole container in the refrigerator to cool. I always scoop a small (about 3 tablespoons worth) Tupperware container full for the next batch and place it separately in the refrigerator.
You can then add any fruit, granola, honey or pure maple syrup you’d like. One of my favorite concoctions is banana, cinnamon and a little honey. The thick and creamy yogurt is just delicious and makes you go back for more, and you know that it’s healthy, because you know exactly what’s in it!! On top of that- you get to control how much sugar you ingest.
Beware though, once you start making your own yogurt- you won’t want to go back to a store bought brand every again!!!
I’d love to hear if you’ve made yogurt before and how you like your homemade yogurt! Be sure to comment below to let me know! I love the homemade version so much that even the sugar free original yogurt I purchase doesn’t taste “right” 🙂
(If you don’t have a yogurt maker and don’t want to purchase one, don’t give up on having homemade yogurt! There are so many recipes on how to make it without a yogurt maker- including using heating pads, ovens turned off but with the lights on etc to help ferment. It’s a fun process and I think everyone should give it a try! It’s very rewarding when you pull out your first batch of yogurt!!)
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