Frugal Recipe Friday-Homemade Yogurt

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Frugal Friday Recipe: Making your own yogurt

Making your own yogurt is surprisingly easy and sooo affordable.  I make my own yogurt several times a week because we eat so much of it. But it can last up to two weeks in your fridge!

Here are my top reasons to make your own yogurt 🙂

1-easy, easy, easy -About 5 minutes of “prep” and 10 hours of doing absolutely nothing

2- Healthy! No additives or preservatives or high fructose corn syrup (even so called “healthy” brands are adding HFCS be on the lookout!)

3-very economical. My average savings including electrical costs saves me  $2.24/32 oz (the huge containers) of non-organic yogurt. The cost is 55 cents (including electricity) for 32 oz (again the big carton) of yogurt. For our family that is $ 117.98    /year on yogurt. (see bottom of post for calculations) and that savings is if we buy non-organic…the organic (which we make) would be much more expensive (as would buying in ready to go cups instead of large containers)

4-Tasty-It is not over powerfully sweet and delicious. We can make as many varieties as we want 🙂

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:

3 cups milk

1-2tbs plain yogurt

Glass bowl

Yogurt maker

OR glass canning jars (quart size), heating pad, small box and a few towels

Candy thermometer

Step 2: Take 1-2tbs of plain yogurt and leave out on the counter until room tempurature. Plug in your yogurt maker to preheat or plug in an electric heating pad to approximately 115-120 degrees. Place in the bottom of a box.

I take my leftover yogurt and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then when its frozen I store it in the freezer in ziplock bags. One ice cube worth is the perfect amount of starter. You can also use 1-2 tbs of “fresh” yogurt…once you’ve made some just use some of the yogurt you’ve made to start the next batch.

Step 3: Bring milk to just below a boil.

I do this in my microwave. I cook it for about 6 minutes. You want it to be just before boiling approx 160-180 degrees.

Step 4: Your milk will have a thin layer of “skin”. Remove skin with a spoon.

Step 5: Place thermometer in the middle of the milk and allow to cool to between 110-120 degrees (warm to the touch).

I check on mine about every 10-15 minutes. It usually takes about 20 minutes for this to occur.

Step 6: Remove any “skin” that has formed on the milk. Your milk should be between 110-120 degrees

Step 7: Whisk in milk starter just until mixed (don’t over beat!)

Step 8: Pour into yogurt containers for your yogurt maker or into quart canning jars. Distribute evenly among your containers and place lids on.

Step 9: Place in preheated yogurt maker, or in box with the heating pad on the bottom. Pull the heating pad around the containers and surround and cover snugly with towels to keep the heat in.

Step 10: Allow to “set” overnight in a non-drafty location. approx 8-12 hours. Yogurt should be a bit like a thick jello at this point.

Step 11: Place in the back of the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to “set”. Serve with brown sugar, or add your favorite fruit and honey to sweeten!


FAQ

How do you flavor your yogurt?

My families favorite way is to buy frozen fruit and chop it up. We bring it to room temperature and then add it (juice and all for color) to the yogurt. We add a bit of honey to sweeten it..yum!

Another favorite is just plain yogurt with a bit of brown sugar (thanks for the tip Jennifer!)

How do you store your yogurt?

We store ours in small Tupperware containers (ready to grab for a lunch) or old yogurt containers in the fridge

GEEKY CALCULATIONS:

1 Gallon of milk $2.22

-price / cup = .13 cents

-price / batch = .42 cents

32 oz of yogurt for starter = $2.79

-price / tbs =.05 cents

-price / batch =.10 cents

Electrical Costs: Microwave = .01 cents according to this site

Yogurt Maker (running on 40 watts a high estimate…for 8hrs) = .02 cents (see above site)

Total cost for 32 oz of plain yogurt =.55 cents. THAT IS A SAVINGS OF $2.24 / 32 oz container of organic yogurt!

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5 Responses

  1. Does making it at home not give you all the good bacteria (lactobacillus, etc.)? I need that or I can’t digest it very well.

  2. Hey Elizabeth-
    What you are doing is actually growing cultures in your yogurt (the temperature is the perfect one to grow and multiply cultures). So in order to get the bacteria that helps you just be sure your starter or base has those in it. Then in the culture process it will multiply the bacteria that is already present.

  3. I have always wondered about making my own yogurt. Thanks for the recipe! Now, I need to either purchase a yogurt machine or a heating pad.

  4. Thanks for that great link Larae. I love her site!

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