Our Frugalista took a turn at homesteading and taught us how to make our own yogurt. Although the process might seem intimidating, it's definitely easy (and fun!) to try. Making your own yogurt is not only cheap, it guarantees you know what's going into your body. Give it a try!
Milk to Yogurt in 10 Easy Steps
Step One: To make yogurt, you need yogurt. This is considered live culture. You don't need a lot. Make sure your culture is made from only milk and active bacteria.
Step Two: Find a suitable container. Glass jars are nice and old yogurt containers work too. Make sure your container is super clean.
Step Three: Bring 4 cups of milk to a boil in the microwave or on the stove. If using the stove, keep an eye on the pot and stir regularly so it doesn't burn. Once your milk has boiled, remove it from the heat (or microwave).
Step Four: Let your milk cool on your counter to a lukewarm temperature. You should be able to hold a clean finger in it for twenty seconds. If you have a candy thermometer aim for 100 degrees F.
Step Five: Put 1 tablespoon of your live culture into your container. Slowly pour lukewarm milk into the container and gently stir. Seal your container (lightly) with the lid.
Step Six: Gently place your yogurt into an incubation contraption. You can line a loaf pan with tea towels and stand your container in it, then wrap it nicely with the towels. If you have a tea cozy that would work well too. The key here is to keep the temp of your yogurt as consistent as possible so it can set. Wrap it up nice a snug and don't jostle it too much!
Step Seven: Place your yogurt (gently!) in your oven and turn the oven light on. Again, this will help to keep the temp of your yogurt more consistent during the setting phase.
Step Eight: Be patient and let your yogurt incubate for at least four hours. The longer you leave it the tangier and more acidic it will become. You'll notice more whey (liquid) separate the longer it is left to set.
Step Nine: Remove your jar from the incubator (you'll be able to tell right away if your yogurt has set properly), seal the container tightly and put it into the fridge to cool.
Step 10: Enjoy! And, remember... you can now use the yogurt you made as live culture for your next homemade batch. Jazz up your homemade creation with fruit, honey, or eat it straight up!
Yogurt to Greek Yogurt
Line a mixing bowl with cheesecloth. Put homemade yogurt into the centre of the cheesecloth. Lift and gather the ends of the cloth. Seal with rubber bands so you have a ball of yogurt ready to hang. Secure the loose ends of your cheesecloth onto your kitchen tap or cupboard knob so the yogurt can drain. Make sure to put a bowl under this so the whey can be collected as it drains from your yogurt. Reveal your Greek yogurt after two hours!
Greek Yogurt to Cream Cheese
Follow the exact procedure as detailed above but leave your yogurt to drain overnight. The more whey that drains from your yogurt the more solid the final product. Reveal your cream cheese after eight hours!