Posts about making yogurt at home abound on the internet. In homesteading circles, it is always a topic of conversation. So, the fact that I am making yogurt at home is not a novel or particularly exciting idea. However, my main impetus for writing this post is to give a shout out to the yogurt maker. That is the machine that keeps the milk at a constant temperature so that it can be turned into yogurt. The one I have is the Donvier brand and I love it.
You see, it seems that people do all manner of things to keep the milk at a constant 110 degrees – wrapping jars in blankets, putting the jars in the oven, placing the jars in windows, etc. I’ve read all types of advice. However, allow me to assure you, the yogurt maker takes ALL of the guesswork and hassle out of it and better yet, this is one time when taking the easy way out really doesn’t have any bad side effects. So, if you are going to make yogurt at home, buy the machine. You’ll be glad you did.
So, the next question is why? Why go to the trouble? Well, for me, the main reason was to be able to eat yogurt with no additives, particularly sugar. I heard an interview on NPR by the author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease and he discussed how healthy foods, like yogurt, have been destroyed by the food industry through the addition of sugar. After listening to the interview, I looked at the ingredients on my yogurt label and sure enough, sugar was there.
All that being said, here is my quick how-to on making your own yogurt.
1. Buy your milk and yogurt starter. Two tips here – 1. Use whole milk, otherwise, your yogurt will come out pretty thin. I know it has more fat but it is well worth it. 2. Buy yogurt starter rather than using store-bought yogurt to “start” it. Again, it is a consistency issue.