Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 10: Make Homemade Yogurt

Tony: mmm, vanilla yogurt.

Megan: Ugh, that stuff is full of junk. It's more like dessert than dairy. Plus who knows what kind of chemicals they put in there! Guar Gum? Didn't some of that come with Claire's chemistry set?

It's easy, green, and inexpensive to make your own yogurt. Less waste, fewer non-recyclable plastic containers to throw away, you can use your own local or organic milk, etc. Homemade organic yogurt costs about 25% of what store-bought organic yogurt costs.

Here's how to do it:

1. Take a quart of milk and bring it to a near-boil over the stove.
2. Use a thermometer to test when the milk reaches 140 degrees F. As soon as it does, turn the burner off.
3. Let the milk cool in the pan to 110 degrees F.
4. When the milk reaches 110, whisk or stir in 1/2 cup yogurt. This can be yogurt from the store or from a previous batch.
5. Place the mixture in a bowl and put the bowl in a warm place (100 degrees) for 12 hours. Hint: At 8pm I take my slow cooker (turned off), put the yogurt in a glass bowl inside the crock pot with a lid on it, put a heating pad on low inside the Crockpot (above the glass bowl), then put the Crockpot's own lid on it. Cover the whole thing with a towel. Go to bed.
6. When you get up in the morning, put the glass bowl in the fridge.

When the yogurt is cold, eat it. If you're Tony, dump a bunch of sugar and vanilla extract in it first, then eat it. If you're Megan, mix it with your homemade granola. (I'll post on how to make homemade granola later...)

Now the pricing:
For 1 quart of organic Stoneyfield Farms yogurt, you will pay $2.99 at the regular grocery store. With 1 gallon of delicious local milk or organic milk (or both), I will pay $4.99 and I get 4 quarts of yogurt. That's $1.25 per quart. Sweet.

This is a definite win for both the planet and the pocket.

so far....
Pocket: 2, Planet: 1, Win-Win: 7


  1. Does the sugar and flavorings have to be added after? I cant get by without my morning yogurt, but I want it to be sweet and coffee flavored.

  2. Yeah, I think you have to add it afterwards, just stir it in. I have no idea how you'd do coffee flavor. Maybe a bit of very dark espresso mixed into the whole batch? It makes a quart, so you could stir a bit in without worrying about dilution too much...? Hmmm.

  3. Of course, you could make the yogurt, add the flavor, and store it in the fridge. The only reason I customize mine each morning is that Megan prefers hers plain and I haven't bothered to designate one of the tubs as vanilla. Let us know if you get a good coffee yogurt recipe down.

  4. Thanks for the blog! Love, Sara
    Here is my recipe in which you add the flavorings at the point of cooling the milk. I usually make the full gallon size which is yummy and lasts long enough. If I'm in the mood, I add a drizzle of honey.