I love yogurt. It is quite possibly one of my favorite foods, and I love homemade yogurt. Not only do I save a ton of money making it myself, but it tastes so much better that way! Plus I'm reusing glass containers so I'm not worried about funky chemicals leeching into my or my kids yogurt, nor am I worried about adding waste to the environment.
I usually make yogurt on Mondays. It just seems to be the day we need it and sure enough I used my last container of yogurt today to make breakfast for the bee. I took my yogurt, threw in some canned mandarin oranges and some fresh blueberries and she went to town. She likes plain yogurt too, no sugar, no fruit. Since we don't eat much food with unnatural white sugar in it, she doesn't have a super sweet tooth.
Yogurt is so versatile in my kitchen. I strain the whey out of it and make yogurt cheese which I then use to spread on bread. I use it to make smoothies of course. Throw in an overripe frozen banana and some frozen berries and maybe a touch of maple syrup. The perfect afternoon "milkshake" for the bee! Or her mom.... You can use it in place of buttermilk if you want some tangy flavor in pancakes or waffles. Seriously just do a google search on yogurt and see what you get. amazing sauces too! Greeks and Indians do AMAZING things with yogurt.
Yogurt is high in protein, good fats (if you use unhomogenized milk), and all those probiotics that our digestive tracts crave. The bee has only had two stomach bugs in her short little life, which is pretty amazing for a two year old who was formula fed! I've made sure she gets plenty of probiotics from the beginning, and she has always had great health. I think a lot of that has to do with the yogurt she eats on a regular basis.
Easy to make too, and MUCH cheaper than store bought. My yogurt costs me between 25 and thirty cents a cup, where the organic in the store is at least one dollar a cup, usually more. I have a friend who makes coconut milk/cashew milk yogurt all the time too! There are great vegan yogurt options out there too!
1 quart organic, raw (if possible) or unhomogenized milk
1 T. yogurt from a previous batch or 1 package yogurt starter
There you go, that is your ingredient list!
bring your milk to 160 degrees. Do NOT let it get above that or boil. Bring temperature back down to 110 degrees and then mix the starter or the yogurt with a half a cup of milk and stir until well blended. Mix the milk/starter back into the entire milk quantity and then you can put it into small containers in a yogurt maker, or a quart jar in a warm oven overnight. Warm oven is an oven with the pilot light on. I also know people that wrap a towel around a mason jar, wrap that with a heating pad on low, and wrap it again with a towel. I wouldn't do this overnight though because I'm scared of fire. Leave it for 10-12 hours and then refrigerate. Easy