One of the ways, you can move away from processed foods is by making your own. Some foods seem easy enough; cookies, bread, waffles. How about the things that you don’t even really think are “made”; how about things like yogurt.
You wouldn’t think yogurt is all that processed but if you take the time to read the ingredients you’ll soon find that yogurt often is full of sugar, artificial flavoring, and sometimes even dyes. This is one reason why I make my own yogurt. The other reason is because making your own yogurt is much, much cheaper! I once did the math and realized that if I bought yogurt from the store, I would pay DOUBLE what it costs me to make yogurt at home. My family goes through a lot of yogurt and there’s no way I could afford that much yogurt at store prices!
I’ve posted before on my crock pot method for making yogurt. It’s a very simple way of making yogurt and anyone can do it. But there’s one catch… ok maybe two. One is that you can only make 8 cups of yogurt at a time due to crock pot size. As I mentioned above, my family goes through a lot; 4 cups a day to be exact! I do not want to make yogurt that often! The second catch is that while the crock pot method is easy and you can pretty much let it cook on it’s own… you can also easily forget about it and suddenly you end up with 8 cups of old milk because you forgot to add in the yogurt starter. Oops!
I now make my yogurt on the stove top. It’s a bit more time consuming because I have to watch it cook and then manually cool it but I never waste precious milk now and I can make it 24 cups at a time (that gives my family 6 days of yogurt for those who are curious).
I make our yogurt plain but sweeteners and flavoring like fruit or vanilla can always be added at the end if you so desire.
Stove Top Yogurt
1 large stock pot
1 candy thermometer
16-24 cups milk (any will do except ultra-pasteurized. Higher the fat the thicker the milk)
1 cup yogurt – all natural, live cultures, plain
Pour milk into large stock pot and begin to cook over medium-high heat.
Stir often to prevent scorching. This process will take a good 10-20 minutes.
Check the temperature of the milk with thermometer occasionally. When milk reaches 160 degrees turn off heat.
You can let the milk cool slowly by itself but I prefer the quicker method.
For quick cooling, place the pot of milk into a large bowl or sink of cold water.
Stir milk around so that it can cool.
You will need to remove the pot, drain the warmed up water, and refill with cold water a few times.
Milk is cool when it reaches 105-110 degrees.
Remove from water bath.
Slowly add in the 1 cup of yogurt to the cooled milk. Gently stir the liquid.
Put lid on pot.
Place pot into the oven (not on) or other location that will stay around 76 degrees.
Leave pot to ferment for 12-24 hours. (the longer the duration the more tang your yogurt will have)
Transfer yogurt to containers and store in fridge.
Lasts 7-10 days in fridge.
Note: Save 1 cup of this newly made yogurt to become your next batch’s yogurt starter and you will never need to buy yogurt again!