The road to wellness isn't straight, clear, or predictable. It's a path you forge yourself.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Make Your Own Yogurt

I used to think making yogurt was hard.  It's really not!  (...and you don't even have to buy a yogurt maker if you are creative.)  If you let the yogurt "do its thing" for at least 24 hours, the bacteria eats all of the lactose.  Therefore, homemade yogurt is the only kind of yogurt that is safe for lactose-intolerant people.  I like to have it on hand to eat with nuts as a snack, or use it to make creamed spinach.  Also, I use it as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream.  Here's how I do it:

1.  Heat 2 cups of milk (2% fat content or higher.  Skim milk does NOT work well.) in a sauce pan until it is just about to boil.  (You have to kill any bacteria that might be in there.  You don't want to culture the bad bacteria!)
2.  Cover, and allow it to cool to room temperature.  (Important!  If it's too hot, it will kill the bacteria in the yogurt starter.) 
3.  Stir in a heaping soup-spoonful of plain, store bought yogurt (about half of a 5.3 oz container).
I like to use Greek yogurt because you get a nicer, thicker consistency.  Oikos seems to work better for me.
4.  Pour into a container with a tight-fitting lid.  Place on a heating pad, on the medium setting.  Cover with a towel and let sit for at least 24 hours.   (It needs to stay at around 100 degrees farenheit.)

Easy peasy!

You could double the recipe to make more, but I like to make it in small batches like this because it goes bad after a week.  Sunday evenings are my yogurt-making evenings.  Then, I have yogurt to use in recipes and snacks throughout the week.

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