Make Your Own Yogurt!

I tried making yogurt a few years ago. I bought a yogurt maker (similar to this one) and I wasn’t happy with the results.

Why? I wasn’t patient enough.

I let the heat get too high, which resulted in a very thin batch that never thickened.

Since I have been going through the tubs of  Stonyfield Plain Whole Milk yogurt, I decided to make my own. Since I don’t have a source for raw milk, I am buying Stonyfield Organic milk because at least there’s no hormones, steroids, or antibiotics in the milk, and that is what they use in the yogurt I’d been buying from them anyways.

I determined that since I would be saving money by making my own, I would pay better attention this time.

It worked! I got great yogurt. So let me tell you what I did…

How to Make Your Own Yogurt

I got this recipe from a real-life friend. I think it’s a pretty basic recipe you’d find just about anywhere – yogurt making is a science! :)

1. Pour 3 1/2 cups milk into a saucepan and heat to 180°. Set a candy thermometer on the side so the bottom is 1/2 inch from the bottom, but still under the milk. It will take about 10 minutes, maybe 15, to get to that temp. Stir occasionally to be sure the milk isn’t sticking on the bottom. It takes patience to sit there that long without multi-tasking (I am a huge multi-tasker, I hate wasting time), but it’s worth it because your yogurt will actually come out right.

Right in the beginning when it’s just started to heat, I do take a minute to fill a larger pan with ice and set in the sink. You will need this for Step 2.

2. Once it’s reached 180°, shut off heat (or remove if you have an electric stovetop) and place your saucepan on top of the pan with the ice in it. I then fill the larger pan with water so the ice will float to the top and surround the saucepan with hot milk as much as possible. If your pans are one size difference, it will help to “nest” them and keep that ice surrounding the slightly-smaller saucepan. Your goal is to drop the milk temp down to 105°. It will only take about 5 minutes if you can get enough ice surrounding the hot pan. I stir mine as it cools, but then again I can’t just sit there and stare at the thermometer :)

3. Once it’s down to 105°, add 1/2 cup yogurt to the milk and stir – gently. Pour into a 1-quart mason jar and set in your yogurt maker – which is a fancy device that keeps your yogurt at an even, warm temp. Keep there 12-24 hours. I usually do mine overnight, so it’s about 12 hours, and I find that is tart enough for me to use without needing to add honey. If you leave it longer, it will get more tart (and will be better for you), but you may need to add honey to sweeten it up.

You can use yogurt from this batch to “feed” the next one and keep it going.

I love adding chia seeds, cinnamon, and cloves to mine and enjoy it as a snack before bed. Here’s the recipe with walnuts: Spiced Yogurt Recipe.

Shared on: Real Food 101, Fat Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Hop, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Family Time Tuesday, Domstically Divine Tuesday, Tip Me Tuesday, The Humbled Homemaker

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Lea Harris founded Nourishing Treasures in 2006. A mom passionate about her family's health and well-being, Lea believes education is power. Encouraging others to take baby steps in the right direction of health for their families, Lea's goal is to raise awareness of what goes into our mouths and on our bodies, providing natural alternative information that promotes health and prevents disease by using traditional foods and nature's medicine.

Lea is a Certified Health Coach graduate from Beyond Organic University, and a Certified Aromatherapist graduate from Aromahead Institute.

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Make Your Own Yogurt! — 10 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Dangers of Vegan Diets for Pregnant and Nursing Women and Children

  2. Hi Lea,
    I thought I’d share my method of making super-easy RAW yogurt.

    1. Pour 1 quart of raw milk into a saucepan and heat to 110° (if it reaches 120°, it will destroy healthy enzymes)
    2. Pour milk into a mason jar and add 1 package of yogurt starter (or half a cup of yogurt). Mix well.
    3. Wrap up the jar with lots of towels to keep it warm. Let it sit on your counter for 12 hours (I usually do this overnight).

    That’s all! This yogurt is usually a little thin, you can drink it with a straw (great for smoothies). Of course you can also make it thicker by straining it, but I prefer it thin.

  3. Thanks for the article, I love making homemade yogurt! After my yogurt is done, I sometimes put it in a strainer, lined with a thin cloth over a bowl overnight so when I wake up I have thick, greek yogurt. I use the whey that is strained out to make homemade mayo. Because I strain it overnight, sometimes my yogurt gets too thick so I just pour in a little whey to make it creamy and just right! Even straining it for a few hours will make it thicker and give you some whey to use in other recipes.

  4. IME, it works if you start your new batch within about 2 weeks. If you wait a longer, you need to buy more yogurt as starter as yours kinda dies. I’m sure it’s still live for gut purposes, but it doesn’t make yogurt well anymore.

    So it’s best not to make REALLY big batches – I used to do 2 quarts at a time and I’m the only one who eats it. I’m better off doing just one quart at a time.

    I do it with raw milk, so the procedure is a bit different:

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