Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

I have always wanted to make my own yogurt at home and create my own unique flavors.  This is especially a good idea because many of the yogurt products in the grocery store have a very high content of sugar and contain high fructose corn syrup.  I would like to limit my sugar intake (and I love yogurt), so I thought this was a great place to start.

I found the recipe at All Free CraftsCredit: Crystal Miller

- 8 cups milk, cow or goat 
- 1/3 cup powdered milk (this is optional but will make a thicker yogurt)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, optional for sweetened yogurt
- 1/2 cup starter yogurt (active yogurt containing a mixed culture)

Before you begin, wash 2 quart-sized canning jars. If you want to use 4 pint-sized jars instead that would be fine too. Have the metal rings and lids ready to cover the jars when you are done.

Pour your milk into a large cooking pot. Heat the milk up to 185 degrees. Allow the milk to cool down to 110 degrees. The cooling can take a long time. If you want to speed the process up fill your sink with cold water and place the pot of hot milk in the water and stir and stir. The temperature drops fairly quickly this way, so make sure to have your thermometer handy to keep checking.

After you reach 110 degrees add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is dissolved very well. Pour this mixture into your ready and waiting jars. Put the lids on and put them into what ever place you are planning to incubate and culture them. Leave them there for 10 to 12 hours. Try not to disturb the jars to much. When the yogurt is firm it is time to remove them and put them in the refrigerator to get nice and cold. Usually 12 to 24 hours. If you make and incubate the yogurt during the day it can refrigerate overnight and be ready for breakfast the next day.

If you would like flavored yogurt, just add fresh cut up fruit or a little bit of flavored jam when you are serving your yogurt.

Some flavors I created:
Kiwi Strawberry, Blueberry Banana, Lemon (with lemon jam), Pomegranate, Peach Mango, Blackberry Orange, Cherry Vanilla & Coconut Cherry.

Some sweeter flavors:
Vanilla and Chocolate Peanut Butter, Oreo, Butterfinger, Heath & Crunch bar.

Another excellent yogurt recipe and tutorial can be found here.

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