Homemade Yogurt 101

Yogurt is an easy food product to whip up right in your own home. However, most people don’t think about it becoming part of their collection of simple recipes. Making your own yogurt is healthier and some people will even argue that it is better tasting than store​-bought varieties. If you are looking at online culinary courses or simply want to brush up on new cooking tips and tricks, try out this easy-to-make recipe and you’ll never have to buy yogurt again.

Homemade yogurt recipe
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt with live cultures*
Flavorings such as honey, fruit, molasses, herbs, etc. (Optional)

*Powdered yogurt starter can be used instead, following the measurement specifications on the package

  1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent the milk from burning. One the milk reaches about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the heat to low and let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Place the saucepan in a large bowl filled with ice and stir constantly until the temperature drops to 110 degrees. Once the liquid reaches this temperature, gently stir in the yogurt (or add the powdered starter, according to the package’s instructions).
  3. Transfer the mixture into a one-quart jar. Cover and let the yogurt sit undisturbed for 10 to 12 hours in a warm spot.
  4. After it has rested, taste the yogurt. If you’d prefer it thicker and tangier, let it sit for another five to eight hours before refrigerating.
  5. Stir in any desired flavorings before serving.

When you start to run low on yogurt, simply take three teaspoons of your homemade batch and start the process over again.

Benefits of homemade yogurt
Homemade yogurt has its advantages over store​-bought varieties because it is up to you what goes in it. Purchased yogurts often have artificial colorings, processed flavors or preservatives in them, which is a big health concern for many people. By making your own yogurt, you will eliminate the worry of these additives and how they affect you. Additionally, homemade yogurt tends to contain less sugar because it is being made specifically to your taste, not the average consumer’s. However, if you have a sweet tooth, you can choose to substitute sugar with fruits or honey to naturally sweeten your yogurt. Store-bought yogurts are also usually pasteurized, which kills off the beneficial bacteria in yogurt. Consuming yogurt with these probiotics can help the body digest lactose and promote better digestion that might have been negatively affected by antibiotics.

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