Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making Yogurt

I think the fascination with backyard homesteading started last year.  First the garden... bees... canning beans, beets, and jams.  Then the idea of trying not to purchase as much pre-packaged food started to happen.  One day standing in the pantry it occurred to me that I could make my own granola bars.  Yes, it takes more time - but they taste better!  I can remember standing in the dairy isle reading the yogurt containers wondering - can I make my own yogurt?

There are many different ways you can make yogurt at home: in a thermos, in the oven, on a heating pad, in the sun, and in a crock pot (from: The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan).  I decided a yogurt maker would work best for us.  After doing some research I purchased the EuroCuisine (model number YM80) yogurt maker.  No bells or whistles.  I like that the jars are glass.  Both the jars and lids can be washed an re-used with each batch of yogurt. Plus, you can purchase extra jars.

EuroCuisine YM80 yogurt maker.

The process as per the little EuroCuisine handbook: 
Heat 42 oz. of milk in a saucepan until milk starts to boil and crawl up the sides of the pan (I use 2% organic milk). Remove milk from heat and let cool to 95 degrees F.  
Once cool, mix 6 oz. plain yogurt or a container of yogurt from batch before with milk. Stir. 
(Plain yogurt can be purchased from store or from a previous batch of homemade yogurt.  
If using homemade yogurt, repeat only one time.  Use fresh starter next batch per EuroCuisine)
 Pour smooth mixture into jars. 
Place jars in yogurt maker without lids. 

I leave my jars on for 10 - 12 hours during the day and pop them into the refer in the evening.  The yogurt is cool and has set up by the next morning for breakfast.  I do add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of sugar to the milk mixture before putting it in the jars.  Stoneyfield Farms Greek organic yogurt makes a nice creamy batch!

Jars of fresh yogurt in the refer chilling.

We prefer plain batches of yogurt so we can make parfaits and add seasonal fruit.  You can also stir in a spoon of your favorite jam to vary the flavor too.  On special at the grocery I can purchase approximately 24 oz. of Stoneyfield Farms organic flavored yogurt for about $5.  With the yogurt maker I can make 42 oz. of plain organic yogurt for about $3.50

The jar above is fresh from the refrigerator before adding blueberries and granola for breakfast!  Great way to start the day!  Happy Homesteading!


Camie said...

Perfect! I've been struggling with yogurt-making. Too runny - more like tangy soup. I'm going to look into this doo-dad! Thanks - and have a great day!

Stephanie said...

TQ for sharing your way of making yogurt. Good information! Maybe one day I would learn to make yogurt. Few months back I was brushing up my baking skill. Now, I can bake a nice cake to go with a good cup of coffee :-)

Emma said...

nothing nicer than making yoghurt. i have not done it for years but like baking bread, always am glad when I do! thinking might get a yoghurt maker thingy like yours!

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

I've done without a yogurt maker...but this looks so great with the glass jars!

Scattered Gardener said...

This looks like a lovely gadget. My mum used to make yoghurt in a thermos flask...she used to make ginger beer as well and give it to us to drink with our packed lunch at school. As she made it with yeast, I think it was sometimes a little alcoholic...

dig this chick said...

something I have talked about doing for years and years....we go through SO much brown cow round here. I have all the jars (same as yours. we used them for baby food). You've inspired me to do it.

The Hip Homemaker said...

I haven't been around for a week and I can see I missed a lot. I am going to a cheese making workshop tomorrow. Very excited. I never thought about making my own yoghurt. I will need to try it sometime. I'm excited to see more of your garden as well.

underthebigbluesky said...

this is on my list to do this year.

i have just hit this phase where i stand everywhere and say, now couldn't i make this?

i may drive myself mad.

Michelle said...

I really enjoy your blog, and I am os inspired to try my hand at making yogurt! I'm thinking I may try it when my husband makes us our solar cooker...we'll see. One big homesteading step at a time! And I'm still getting the chickens and the garden down!

Sarah: wife, mother, beekeeper said...