Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Adapted Yogurt Recipe

2 L of Homogenized milk
½ cup Skim milk powder (optional, but will help add extra thickness)
½ cup Natural plain yogurt (you only want to see three ingredients: milk, skim milk powder and bacterial cultures – that is it!!)

First things first, you really do need to use homogenized milk, I have had no luck with anything else. We drink 1% so that is what I used at first, I even tried a combination of 1% and cream (as I almost always have both of those ingredients in the house), but alas, that did not turn out as I had hoped either. So now, I just bite the bullet and run out and buy 2L of Homogenized milk every Sunday for yogurt making on Monday (and yes, we go through 2L of yogurt a week). For those of you that cringe at the thought of using such a full fat milk, relax, milk fat is a healthy fat and good for you - a very low fat diet may help you loose weight at first, but will not help you maintain a healthy body weight (I will post more about healthy and unhealthy fats on a later post).

Heat milk in your slow cooker for approximately 3 – 4 hours, until it reaches a temperature of 185 F. How fast it heats will depend on how cold your milk was when you started, how much milk you are using (if you are doubling the recipe), how big your slow cooker is, etc. Mine takes approximately 4 hours as I have a super big slow cooker. The first time you make it, just time how long it takes and make a note, so you know for next time.

Once the milk has reached temperature, let it cool in the pot for approximately 2 hours, until it reaches a temperature of 90 – 120 F (shoot for 110 F). It is important to let it cool down because hot temperatures will kill the bacterial cultures, meaning your yogurt will not “culture”.

Once the milk has reached temperature, remove 1 – 2 cups of milk and add ½ cup of yogurt (do not just pour the yogurt into the entire milk mixture as you want to slowly bring the yogurt up to temperature – not shock it). Stir well and add the yogurt mixture back to the rest of the warm milk, again, stir well.

Pour into glass containers (not plastic) and seal with lids.

Heat water to 100 – 120 F and pour into a small cooler. Place your jars in the cooler, making sure that the warm water covers the majority of the jar, but not over the bottom of the lid. Let sit undisturbed (unopened) and in a warm place for no less than 4 hours, and up to 24 hours (if you let your yogurt incubate for several hours, you will need to remove some of the cool water and add some warm water).

When the time is up, remove jars, wipe down and put in the fridge. The yogurt will need 8 – 10 hours in the fridge to cool before it is ready to eat.

NOTE: To make a vannilla version to this add 2 tsp of vannila and sugar at the cooling milk stage.

So your yogurt did not turn out:

So you made the “yogurt” and it does not look like yogurt, but more like buttermilk. Do not despair and throw it away! I have made lots of batches that haven’t turned out, and although it is frustrating (especially for me!!) to not have things turn out in the kitchen, your runny yogurt still has lots of uses!

- Use your yogurt like buttermilk in any recipe; it is delicious and good for you! Don’t have many recipes? Just ask me, I have a ton!!
- Use your yogurt in smoothies, the nutritional content is still there, and it doesn’t matter how thick your yogurt is when you make a smoothie.
- Make yogurt pops (recipes below)

Most importantly – do not let a batch of runny yogurt stop you from trying again. My first batch turned out so-so, my second batch perfect, my third batch totally runny. Just remember to check your temperature - that seems to be the key!

Happy Yogurt making,

(measurements are approximate – add as you see fit)

Brandon and Jesse’s Favorite Breakfast Smoothie Recipe:
(Note – this is Brandon’s recipe, not mine J )

2 cups Ice
2 cups Yogurt
1 Banana
½ cup Peanut Butter

Blend till smooth.

Tia’s Favorite After School Smoothie Recipe:

2 cups Ice
2 cups Yogurt
1 Banana
Big squirt of Strawberry Flavored Syrup

Blend till smooth.

Justin’s Favorite Yogurt Pops:

1 cup Ice
1 cup Yogurt
1 cup Blueberries (Fresh or Frozen)

Blend till smooth and pour into plastic popsicle containers and freeze.

Tia’s Favorite Yogurt Pops:

2 cups Yogurt
½ cup of Chocolate Flavored Syrup
2 tsp Espresso powder

Mix well and pour into plastic popsicle containers and freeze.


  1. There are two reasons not to use plastic - the first is because when you heat plastic it releases chemicals, therefore since you are heating the plastic for a longer period of time, chemicals will be released into your food. Even if you are not concerned about that, you still need to use glass because if you use plastic, your containers will float!! You need the weight of the glass to keep the yogurt submerged under the warm water.

  2. My daughter loves yogurt, so I find myself having to buy it every week or two. It would be great to make it myself. I have a few questions. After the initial batch, do you just use the homemade yogurt where the recipe calls for the plain yogurt?

    Here in the US, milk is sold by the gallon or half-gallon, not by two-liters. A quart is slightly smaller than a liter. Do you think the results would be different if I used a half-gallon instead?

    How long will homemade yogurt keep before getting moldy? I'm not sure how quickly we would go through a batch. For all I know, we would eat it so fast that the quesiton is moot.

  3. Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship says to use 2tbsp of yogurt for every 1 quart of milk and she makes it by the gallon every couple of weeks. I think a half-gallon is about 2 liters and a gallon is 4 liters (?).

    I typically make 2 liters at a time, but was just thinking that this week I am going to try 4 liters to save myself some time and make yogurt every other week instead of every week.

    I Katie also puts aside some homemade yogurt from her batch to use for a starter for her next batch, but I have not tried that. I just buy one container of yogurt per month and use that as my starter for that month. Whatever is left over we just eat or use in recipes.

    The yogurt will last as long as your milk and starter would. Milk normally lasts several weeks, as does yogurt, so just check your expiry dates.

    Your best bet is to check out a few more sites (that is what I did), I suggest Kitchen Stewardship and The Frugal Girl!

    Happy yogurt making :)

  4. I wanted to let you know that the yogurt was great. So creamy.

    Plus it was super cheap. It was half the price per serving compared to what I'm willing to pay after sale price and coupon for store-bought yogurt. Everybody can have their own flavor just by mixing in different fruits or jams. No need to be locked into one flavor anymore.

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