Monday, August 30, 2010

DIY Yogurt?

My son is obsessed with yogurt.  He'll cry and point to the container on the top shelf of the fridge, demanding a tasty yogurt snack.  My main problem with flavored yogurts is that they are loaded with sugar.

On July 20th, I was pondering plain yogurt in this blog.  I've since bought some more plain yogurt and ended up using some over the weekend.  I sweetened it with a little juice and some sugar added.  I'm not pleased that I had to use so much sugar, but my son gobbled it up! 

I wanted to come up with a way to get the boy to eat his yogurt without having to load it up with sugar.  I wondered if there were some other sweeteners that would be sufficient.  As is typical, I turned to the internet to do a little research.  I think I'll try a little honey to sweeten his next yogurt snack.

In my searching, I was sidetracked.  I came across several websites that explain how to make your own yogurt.  I first learned that you can make your own yogurt a few months ago from another blog, but I didn't pursue yogurt making at that time.  Though yogurt makers are on the market, I was pleasantly surprised to find that making yogurt doesn't require any additional equipment or appliances.

This site is probably one of the best ones I found.  It offers detailed instructions and photographs on how to make your own yogurt using items that you probably already have in your kitchen.  My husband patiently tolerates my hippie tendencies, but he doesn't get why I want to try my hand at yogurt making.  Call me crazy, but it sounds so unbelievably easy and I totally want to give it a try!

Have you every made yogurt in your kitchen?  Do you have any tips or advice?  I'd love to hear from you!

5 comments:

  1. I make my own yogurt once or twice a week. My kids love yogurt, so not only was it cost effective, and healthier, making my own was the only way I could keep it around. I started out making it in the crock pot, but ended up buying a yogurt incubator thingy. I have had much more consistent results with incubator.
    To sweeten it we usually make like a yogurt drink with 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 fruit juice (I give them that fruit and veggie V8 stuff - haha gotta sneak some veg in too). The kids drink that for breakfast just about every day. Sometimes I stir in a tablespoon or two of the 100% fruit jam if they want to eat it in a bowl. Honey sounds good too though.

    oh, and I always warm my milk in the microwave :hide: so much faster and easier.

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  2. Thanks for the info, Jenny! I love your yogurt & V-8 "smoothie" and fruit jam sweetener ideas!

    How did you make it in the crock-pot? What brand/style of yogurt maker do you have? Do you really like it? I was looking at a bunch on Amazon over the weekend and they just don't seem that necessary and some seem like they'd be a downright pain! Also, how do you find it easier to make: in several small containers or in one large container? Thanks!

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  3. I got the yolife
    http://www.amazon.com/Tribest-Yolife-Yogurt-Maker-YL-2d210/dp/B001DZ8S5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1283229304&sr=8-1
    It makes small jars, which it comes with. But, most of the time I use the taller lid and mason jars. We tear through yogurt so fast that I would have to make yogurt every other day if I stuck with the little jars. I liked the yolife one because it came with glass jars (I didn't like the idea of long time heating in plastic), and the option to use other jars with the second lid. I love it. What I do is:
    pour milk into 4 mason jars.
    heat in microwave to 180ish.
    cool to 100-110.
    stir in about a table spoon of existing yogurt per jar.
    incubate anywhere between 8 and 14 hours.
    Done!

    Oh I should add that sometimes I stir in milk powder to thicken it up/make it smoother. Last time I started over with new store yogurt I got the European yogurt from TJ's and it is a nice culture that I don't think needs the milk powder. But as the culture ages I will probably go back to adding the powder milk.

    I originally got started making yogurt from Brandi on meetup. She makes it in the crock pot exclusively, and I think sees me as a bit of a yogurt sissy for getting the yogurt maker. Basically, it is the same process, but instead of the incubator, or using the heating pad, you wrap up the crock from your crock pot in towels and stick it in the oven overnight. I have heard that if you leave the oven light on it keeps it warm enough in the oven to maintain the constant 100ish degrees that the yogurt needs to culture. I don't know what I was doing wrong, I think it was maybe the oven at the old rental place, but sometimes it would come out beautiful yogurt in the morning and other times it would still be milk.

    I'm not one for buying lots of kitchen appliances that only do one dedicated task, but I have never once regretted getting the yogurt maker.

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  4. Awesome info, Jenny! Thank you so much!

    Your input has given me the final push to try my hand at yogurt making. I don't know whether I'll use the heating pad, the slow-cooker crock in the oven, or buy a yogurt maker yet, but I'm definitely going to do this. I'll update after I try it and let you know how it goes!

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  5. Hehe, I thought of you today as I was making yogurt. Glad to hear that your going to give it a go.

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