Friday, February 28, 2014

Homemade Yogurt {Recipe}

My son has been on a yogurt kick lately. It is easily his favorite food and the one snack he will never say no to {which is actually saying a lot because he is two and says no to everything}. Although he likes the kiddie yogurts, he prefers the "adult" yogurts, like Fage or Chobani.

Since my husband and I are also really big yogurt eaters, we started making our own yogurt. It's so much cheaper than buying the individual cups and it is so good.

At first, I was a little weirded out by the thought of making our own yogurt and the whole process that goes into it {leaving a dairy product out for several hours? No thank you!}. Luckily, I got over my aversion and now I love our homemade version even better than the store bought ones.

Not only is it nutritious and delicious, it is pretty simple to make and one batch will last you for a good while.

-gallon of milk
- 1/4 cup yogurt {pick whatever style of yogurt is your favorite- greek, regular, etc. and make sure it is not flavored. Once you have made your first batch, always reserve a 1/4 cup for the next round. If you do this, you won't need to buy any from the store.}

Cooking Gadgets Needed:
- Candy thermometer
- Cheese cloth
- Strainer
- Whisk
- Pot
- Large Bowl

1. Pour the gallon of milk into a large pot and heat on the stove with the candy thermometer attached to the pot. Be vigilant with the whisking so you don't scald the milk {if this happens, not to worry...simply strain the scalded parts out. It won't affect the taste at all.}


2. Heat the milk until it reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the stove and let cool until it reaches 115 degrees.

3. Once it's cooled enough, add the 1/4 cup of yogurt and whisk well.

4. Then cover and put in your oven, with the oven light on. {JUST the oven light! Don't turn on the heat. The heat from the light is enough to culture the yogurt.} It needs to stay like this for at least four hours {we usually make our batch in the evening and then leave it in overnight}.

5. After it's been in the oven long enough, remove the pot. It should look like the picture above, separated with the whey on top and the yogurt on the bottom.

6. In order to drain the yogurt, place your cheesecloth in a strainer and then place inside a large bowl.

7. Pour the contents of the pot into the cheesecloth, which is inside the strainer, which is inside the bowl.


8. Pull the end of the cheesecloth together and secure. This is just to provide a cover for the yogurt as it sits in the fridge.


9. Put everything into the fridge and let it chill and drain for a couple of hours {if you are lazy awesome with your time management skills, like us, you can do this step overnight again}.


10. When you pull the yogurt out, it will look like the picture above. The whey will have drained down into the bowl.


11. Dump the yogurt into a separate container or bowl {we just put it in a large Tupperware}.

12. Measure out about a cup of the whey. This is the amount that we have found to be the best for the texture of yogurt that we like. If you prefer a thinner yogurt, add more; a thicker yogurt, don't add as much. {No whey! Yes, whey. Or your yogurt will be too thick.} {I am so sorry for that awful husband made me put it in. *sigh*}

13. Mix the whey in with the solid yogurt until it is nice and smooth.

Add your favorite fruit or granola and enjoy!


 I know some people like to add vanilla flavoring to their yogurt, but we prefer ours without any.


The yogurt is good plain but it is REALLY good with a dollop of jam swirled in. Or you can try my son's favorite topping: honey. Dress it up however you like and enjoy the yummy goodness that is homemade yogurt.

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  1. The finished result looks beautiful. I love plain yoghurt but like you at first, I worry that if I made it myself it would put me off actually eating it.

  2. I love yogurt too. And making it is so easy and economical. I have been making mine in the crock pot, but this way looks interesting too. It's great with jam or honey, but right now my favorite way to eat mine is with cinnamon, stevia or sugar and a chopped apple. yummy! I also love that you can use plain yogurt like this one in place of sour cream.

    1. I had no idea you could make yogurt in a crock pot...I am going to have to look that up! And I will have to try out your cinnamon, sugar and apple tip...sounds amazing!

  3. Wow! I had no idea you could actually just make yogurt at home. It looks a little labor intensive, but for such a great result, I'd give it a go!

    Tenns @ New Mama Diaries

  4. This is incredible! I'd love to be able to do this... one question though, do you HAVE to use whey to make it work? I'm actually allergic (which is why I only eat Greek yogurt since the whole process involves removing whey from the yogurt) so I just wondered if it was your preference to add it to reduce thickness.


    1. Hi Kyleigh! Sorry for the delayed response! No, you don't have to add the whey back in if you don't want to. It is definitely our preference. I just made some recently and tasted it without the whey. The taste is a little different but still good. I would still mix it with a mixer so the texture is nice and smooth though. Hope this helps! :)

  5. I must admit I've always wondered how to make yogurt! Thank you for linking up to the Weekend re-Treat Link party!