I love homemade yogurt. It is pretty simple to make, and the taste is so much better to me. The first time I made yogurt was about 9 years ago. My daughter was allergic to dairy and soy as an infant (I couldn’t ingest because it would transfer through my milk), but she was ok with goat milk and other goat products as she got older. One day I was lucky enough to get my hands on some fresh goat milk from a local farmer, and man oh man that stuff was good and the yogurt it turned out was even better.
In an effort to save money, I no longer use the goat milk, but I still love making my own, and fortunately for us my daughter can tolerate dairy a little better now. Through our GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) journey I have learned that culturing the yogurt for 24 hours kills the lactose, so it is so beneficial for us to make our own. And it probably contributes to her being able to tolerate a little dairy now.
So, if your feeling game, you’ll need a few things to get started:
- a good starter like this:
Alternatively you can use some store bought yogurt, but I find if I use this it makes a thicker yogurt. If you go the store bought route add 1 tsp or so for 1/2 gallon of milk.
- A half gallon of organic whole milk. You really want whole milk, because the more fat it has, the thicker the yogurt. At least I think I read that somewhere. As I’ve mentioned before, I also am always looking for ways to get good fat into the kids, because the right kind of fat can be very beneficial to brain development and such…
- An incubator (you can purchase here). I bought mine used for $10. Alternatively I have heard you can use a crockpot like this recipe (click on the bold for link) from granny-miller.com suggest. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard from other moms it works great. It looks just as easy too. She does point out that homemade yogurt isn’t as thick because we don’t add the additives for thickening that commercial companies do. She strains hers for thickness. I don’t strain mine for thickness like she does, but you certainly could.
- A candy thermometer. I don’t have one; I use a meat thermometer, and it works just fine
- doTerra Lemon oil (you can purchase it here)
- Raw Honey
Heat the milk in a medium saucepan to 185 degrees. Turn off the heat, remove, and let cool to 115 degrees. Add 1 packet of culture and whisk. Pour the milk with the culture into mason jars and place in an incubator. You can purchase one here for less than $30. Let sit for 24 hours. Cool in the fridge for 6 hours. Add honey and a touch of lemon oil (no more that 1 drop), mix before serving. We also love to add this homemade grain-free granola recipe.
So there you have it! The cooking time is long, but the labor involved is minimal. And as always, may our kitchens become a little less processed one meal at a time!