I finally got my butt on yogurt making in July last year all thanks to the influence of my sister. 😉 Later when I was gifted with milk kefir grains, I began making it frequently and thus yogurt making was put aside and forgotten. This year, I started making yogurt again. I am currently embracing yogurt and milk kefir because both have different strains of good bacteria that will help strengthen and heal our guts and thus improving our overall well-being. Do you know that the gut is our second brain?
Homemade yogurt is the best! 💞
Have you ever read the ingredients labels of commercial yogurts? If you did not, go give it a read. Because after that you’ll probably want to make your own yogurt too. Flavored yogurt especially has added sugar, artificial flavorings, artificial coloring, thickener, food conditioner (stabilizer) and sometimes artificial preservatives. Ewww! Do check the ingredients for natural yogurt too because not all are as awesome as it sounds. Particularly yogurt should contain many billions CFU (colony-forming units) of live cultures (bacteria).
Here are the 5 main reasons why you want to learn to make yogurt at home:
1. The power of homemade yogurt is having the choice of using wholesome and quality ingredients.
2. Yogurt making is a lost art for many. Learn its fermentation process and then share with your community so that everyone can benefit from it.
3. Compounding wellness!
4. Absolutely easy to make.
5. It’s cheaper to make than commercial yogurt. For my case, a 500g homemade yogurt cost about RM3.50.
When I first started learning to make yogurt, I experimented with the regular high heat method (pasteurized) by heating the milk to 82oC (180oF) and then allow it cool to 46oC (115oF) before adding live culture. Because I use raw milk to make yogurt, I realized that if I heat the milk to 82oC I might/most probably be killing off or damaging most of the wonderful bacteria, enzymes, and vitamins contained in the raw milk. Although fermenting/culturing milk to make yogurt will add new strains of bacteria, they are definitely not the same. And so, I started making slightly heated yogurt (though most called it raw yogurt) by heating the raw milk to 43oC (110oF) before adding live culture.
Lightly heated yogurt is runnier due to it being heated at low temperature.
The main reason for heating milk to 82oC is more about texture as the yogurt will be firmer compared to runnier yogurt when heated at low temperature like in this version. Just so you know, homemade yogurt will never look and taste the same as commercial yogurt. That doesn’t mean it’s anything less, in fact, it’s crazily better because it’s way healthier.
There are various ways to make homemade yogurt such as using a thermos, crockpot, yogurt maker, etc. I don’t make a lot of yogurt at one go because it takes quite a while to finish even though I eat it almost daily, hence I use a thermos. If you make a lot, you can use a crockpot/slow cooker. There really is no need to use fancy equipment like a yogurt maker.
Greek yogurt is strained yogurt without the whey.
I am usually lazy to strain the yogurt and also don’t find it necessary unless I’m using it for something that needs firmer yogurt. Usually, I just eat the runny yogurt as is and I enjoy it in my raw eggs smoothie.
Yogurt is a cultured dairy product aka live fermented food that is easily made at home. Give it a try today! Come follow the recipe and tips below.
Lightly Heated Yogurt In Thermos
500ml organic whole raw milk, from grass-fed cows (*important to know your source)
1/2 teaspoon live yogurt culture/starter (use commercial live natural plain yogurt or from the previous batch)
boiling water to heat the thermos
towel (large enough to wrap thermos)
1. Add boiling water to the thermos and screw the lid on. This is to preheat the thermos.
2. In a saucepan, add raw milk and bring it to 43oC (110oF). Use a thermometer to monitor the milk temperature.
3. Once the milk has reach 43oC (110oF), remove from the heat. Also, remove the boiling water from the thermos.
4. Pour some of the warm milk into the thermos. Add the live yogurt starter and mix well to ensure the starter is dissolved. Then, pour the remaining milk and mix again. Screw the lid tightly.
5. Wrap the thermos with a towel and place in a warm area and leave for 12-24 hours. The yogurt is done once it’s set/thicken (check by tilting the thermos). The longer you leave out the yogurt, the more sour/tart/tangy it is. I always leave mine for 24 hours.
6. Remove the yogurt and place in a suitable container and refrigerate it from few hours to a day. The yogurt will further thicken. You can now enjoy your homemade yogurt. Put fruits and honey on the yogurt or add into the smoothie. Both are equally delicious and wholesome.
When scoping yogurt made with either raw milk or pasteurized milk always use a clean and dry ceramic or wooden spoon. If the condition is followed, know that yogurt made with raw milk will never go bad. It will only go sourer. If you’re using pasteurized milk, do exercise caution after a week or two.
If you prefer Greek yogurt style which has an even thicker texture, once the yogurt is set, pour the yogurt into a muslin lined sieve over a bowl or tie the muslin filled yogurt with string/rubber band and hang it over a bowl. Allow the yogurt to drain for 30 minutes to 1-3 hours depending on how runny/thick you want it to be. The drained yogurt will reduce in size (by about 1/2 to 1/4 volume). The strained out liquid is called whey which is nutritious on its own. Transfer the Greek yogurt and whey into containers and refrigerate.
You can use whey for fermenting, baking and cooking. I use mine in the smoothie. Whey contains live bacteria too, so it would be wonderful to consume it. Nowadays, I don’t strain out the whey. I enjoy the yogurt as it.
7. To make the next batch of yogurt, reserve some of your current batches. You can also keep the reserve frozen and thaw it before use. I usually make the next batch of yogurt when my current one runs the lowest. This way I make the new batch right on the spot.
Happy yogurt making!