I am a perfect (some may disagree!) mix of type A & B personalities. I am diligent, determined, creative, organized, easy going, and proactive all at the same time. I am a great multi-tasker, and I have a great aptitude for adaptation. I love that I am capable of accomplishing many things in a day, and that I am able to keep my cool while charging into a mile long to-do list. I really enjoy lists! I like having a visual of my daily accomplishments.
Today I accomplished my weekly goal of yogurt making, and oh, what a joy that is to my heart! A few months back I made a commitment to a more healthy lifestyle, and as a result, there are a few things that I’ve decided to invest my time into in order to save not only money, but my health! My first investigation was into the world of yogurt. I eat it every day, and it is something that I truly enjoy. After just a few clicks I found out that Yoplait yogurt, (which is what I usually ate) had over 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving! That’s almost 2 tablespoons of sugar! 17% of one serving of yogurt is sugar! It not only has sugar, but high fructose corn syrup. So, I did a little research and discovered that with a few hours of patience and 4 simple ingredients, I can make my own, delicious homemade yogurt that is made with only 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per half cup. You can totally do without the sugar, substitute it for honey or other sweeteners. I use organic raw sugar for mine and it is simply wonderful! Here is the magic recipe!
1 gallon milk (store bought, raw, organic, use whatever you like! I prefer 2% but you can use whole as well.)
2 Tablespoons vanilla pure extract
1/2 cup sweetener (raw sugar, honey, etc)
1/2 cup yogurt (you need the cultures. Don’t use an off brand it doesn’t work as well. You may need to bite the bullet and buy one last cup of store bought yogurt and then you can use the yogurt you make for later batches)
Thermometer that reaches at least 190 degrees
4 Quart jars
1 Pint Jar
Cooler large enough to fit all of your jars in
If you like Greek yogurt You will also need
Cheese Cloth or Old (CLEAN!!) Pillow Case
Large bowl that strainer fits on top of
Pour the whole gallon of milk in your Large pot and put on medium/low heat. Keep your thermometer in the milk the whole time, checking often. (I use a binder clip on the side of the pot to hold my thermometer in place) Bring the milk slowly up to 190 degrees. Stirring often to get an accurate temperature. While your milk is heating up, fill a sink half way with cold water and ice. Also heat a few gallons of water to 120 Degrees and pour into your cooler.
Once milk has reached 190 Degrees, remove from stove and place in sink of cold water and ice. Make sure water does not reach the top of your pot when submerged. Stir often to get an accurate temperature. Cool milk to 120 degrees. Remove from sink and stir in 1/2 cup yogurt, sweetener, and vanilla. Pour into jars fill the pint jar first, fill about 3/4 full. This will be your started for later batches. Fill remaining jars.
Place jars in cooler of 120 degree water, you want the water to be at least a few inches deep, but it shouldn’t fully submerge your jars. Let set for 6 hours. After 6 hours, place yogurt in fridge for at least 8 hours.
If you prefer regular yogurt, then your yogurt is ready!!!
If you prefer Greek yogurt, you just have one more step.
Place cheese cloth/other cotton cloth in a large strainer, place strainer on top of a large bowl. Pour yogurt into cheese cloth and let set for about an hour. You are straining out excess whey which makes a thicker, creamier yogurt, which I prefer. Scrape down the sides of the cheese cloth every 20 minutes or so, when it has reach desired consistency, pour into large bowl and stir well, so that it is well mixed. I normally strain about 2 quarts of whey off, which leaves me about 2 quarts of yogurt. Pour back into jars and enjoy!!
I like mine with granola or fresh fruit! I would advise against mixing fruit into an entire batch, maybe just a quart or so. This will keep your yogurt fresher, longer!
Hope that you love this, and let me know if you have any questions! Yogurt making is one of life’s great joys in my opinion!
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