I have never been a big fan of yogurt. Until I realized that I’m just not a big fan of commercial yogurt that is loaded with artificial flavors and preservatives. I grew up in a household where most of our food came from boxes or the freezer. Now that I’m older I’ve come to realize that a lot of the foods I hated growing up were just bad versions of those foods. Another sad fact is that a lot of the time it isn’t the food that is to blame, it’s the person cooking the food. I always thought I hated eggs, until I realized that I just hated the way my mom cooked eggs. It usually only takes one bad experience to taint our opinion of a food forever. That’s why I try to keep an open mind and if I want to try something new or something that I haven’t been fond of in the past I make sure that I cook it myself or find the best version of that food possible so that I make sure that it’s not the technique or quality that I have an issue with.
The first time I made my own yogurt it was a revelation. Slightly tart, rich and creamy it was unlike any carton yogurt that I had tried. These days there are some great versions you can buy at the store and I am a particular fan of Fage yogurt myself. However it is so easy and cost effective to make your own that I try to cook up a batch every couple of weeks. The biggest issue with making yogurt is the time involved so I usually make mine when I know that I have time to keep my eye on it and watch the temperature. Make sure to use a candy thermometer to control the temperature. Good quality yogurt starts with good quality milk so I highly encourage you to use organic milk that is as fresh as possible. I made
parfaits with some homemade peach jam that I’ve had hanging out in the freezer and topped them with some slivered almonds and toasted granola. Yogurt will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks and remember to always save a few tablespoons for your next batch!
What grocery staples do you prefer to make at home yourself? I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 quart of fresh organic 2 % or whole milk
- 3 tablespoons organic yogurt with live and active cultures
- Heat the milk in a large pan over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan often with a heatproof spatula, until a thermometer registers 185 degrees.
- Let the milk cool to 115 degrees. To speed the process you can fill a large bowl with ice water and set the bottom of the pot into the ice bath to cool. Once you have reached 115 degrees, whisk together 1 cup of the heated milk and the yogurt. Stir into the remaining milk.
- Transfer the mixture to a 1 quart mason jar. Wrap jar in a clean kitchen towel covering completely and put in a warm place to sit undisturbed. A oven with the light on is a good choice to incubate your yogurt. Let sit for 4 to 8 hours until the mixture has the consistency of custard.
- Cover the jar and refrigerate before serving. For thicker, Greek style yogurt strain the yogurt through a several layers of cheesecloth for 1-2 hours.