What’s rich, creamy, delicious and one food more of us could be making at home? Yogurt, of course! Most of us know that it’s one of the top foods on every nutritionist’s list and that it’s fantastic in smoothies, dips, or eaten on its own. What a lot of us don’t know is that it’s super easy to make yourself and only requires two ingredients.
Yes, two ingredients! All you have to do is whisk milk and a yogurt starter together and the end result is a smooth, creamy concoction your entire family will love. Making yogurt at home is a great activity to do with your children, as it’s a fun real life “science experiment” that results in a healthy snack everyone will enjoy. You’ll find that it’s much less expensive that buying Greek yogurt each week and requires very little prep time.
The method I use is adapted from Martha Stewart and requires no fancy equipment. All you need is an oven, a quart mason jar, a thermometer, a few dish towels, and you’re all set. It’s important to remember that both temperature and patience are key factors in making great yogurt. Below is my “go to” recipe, it’s fantastic with berries, drizzled with honey and chopped nuts, or as the base for an awesome Tzatziki sauce (my favorite!). Enjoy!
Yields 1 quart
1 quart 2% milk
3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
Step 1: Preheat oven to 125 degrees (this is where you will incubate your yogurt). Turn oven off when it reaches 125 degrees but do not open oven door.
Step 2: Place milk in large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it reaches 180 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to 115 degrees.
Step 3: Whisk together 1 cup milk and the yogurt. Stir into remaining milk.
Step 4: Transfer to a 1-quart mason jar. Wrap jar (without lid) in 2 clean kitchen towels, completely covering sides and top. Place in pre-heated oven and let stand undisturbed until the yogurt has the consistency of custard, 5 to 6 hours.
Step 5: Refrigerate uncovered jar; when it’s cool to the touch, about 30 minutes, screw on a tight-fitting lid. Yogurt will keep in your refrigerator up to five days.
For Greek style yogurt – Line a fine mesh sieve with a cheesecloth or a clean dish cloth and place over a large bowl. Pour yogurt into the cloth-lined sieve and let strain for an hour or until desired consistency. After straining, pour into storage container and whisk yogurt if needed to smooth it out.