One of my new favorite yummy pleasures (obsessions) is plain yogurt. I had tried some a few years ago and thought it was awful, but recently I bought a whole milk, organic version from a brand called “Brown Cow.” Oh, wow. It was so creamy and absolutely delicious. The reason I decided to try it is because of a pantry makeover that we’re trying to do as a family. We are trying to cut back our sugar (or sugar-free sweetener) intake while eating, as much as possible, food that we personally cook from scratch.
What does that have to do with yogurt? Well, I decided to make my own. Does that sound crazy? Because it really isn’t, it’s SO easy!
I decided to make my own yogurt for a few reasons. Yogurt is expensive! Even if you buy it in the large tubs. If you want it unsweetened and especially if you want it organic, your shelling out some $4 for 32 oz. of yogurt. I can make 42 oz. of yogurt for around the price of 42 oz. of milk. It comes out in between $1 and $2 depending upon whether or not I buy a yogurt starter or use a previous batch or if I buy organic milk or not. Another reason is that my girls are a bit addicted to sugar (like the rest of us), and Yoplait doesn’t help matters! Abby won’t drink cow’s milk, so I’m doing my best to get her calcium everyday. Yogurt is so healthy, so yummy and tangy without all that added sugar, and when you make it yourself it tastes like the creamiest pleasure without the tiniest guilt! Have I talked it up enough? Well, let me tell you now how easy it is in case you’ve never been interested enough to research it. (I hadn’t until one day I was reading “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat“.)
Here’s what I do. I bring 36 oz. of milk to a boil, just warm enough to crawl up the sides and steam real well. I cool and add to 6-7 oz. of room temperature plain yogurt. First add half and whisk, then add remaining half and whisk until mixed well. Keep warm for between 6 and 12 hours depending on how runny or thick you’d like your yogurt to be. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. SIMPLE!
Keeping the yogurt warm is the tricky part. Lots of people do a number of DIY methods to keep it warm. Crock pot. Oven. A cooler with hot rags. There’s lot of ways. I decided to make a small investment in a yogurt maker, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve made about 10 batches so far, one about every other day. Each batch gives me 7, 6 oz. jars of yogurt. I use one of the 7 jars as my starter for the next batch. I bought a yogurt maker because I really wanted to get into this, and I wanted it doable with my current lifestyle, and the investment was minimal ($25) considering how much money I’ll save.
We’ve now started using our yogurt as a replacement for milk in cereal and a number of other things. And, what a simply yummy and healthy dessert with added fruit or jelly or honey!
My next venture is homemade granola. Lord knows I need to save some money there! CO grocery stores give you too many incredible options for granola!