A couple of years ago, Dannon started advertising for a new yogurt called Activia. If you've ever seen the commercials, the ridiculous graphics and careful vocabulary are pretty amusing. But after a round of antibiotics left me constantly bloated and gassy, I was willing to try anything, no matter how silly the commercials.

Two weeks of Activia and things weren't perfect, but they were so much better.

Since then, I've gotten really into eating yogurt. I don't eat Activia anymore—once you make your own yogurt, it's hard to go back to the store-bought stuff—but I'm still reaping the benefits. Plus, on top of the probiotics, it's also a great source of calcium.

I've included a recipe for homemade yogurt below.
Making yogurt at home is really pretty easy. I have a yogurt maker, but it's essentially a fancy thermos. I've made yogurt with equal success using lots of towels. The directions below use towels.

Vanilla Yogurt

2% milk (or whole milk, if you're being extravagant)*
dry milk powder (2-3 tablespoons per quart of milk)*
vanilla extract
plain greek yogurt (2-3 tablespoons per quart of milk)*

glass jar with a lid
bowl of ice water (optional, but preferred)
lots of towels
microwavable heating pad (optional)

Milk powder waiting to be stirred in.

1. Pour your milk into the glass jar and microwave until it reaches 185°F. This will probably take about 10 minutes. Make sure to watch it, because it foams up when it gets hot.
2. Meanwhile, take the starter yogurt out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Get your bowl of ice water prepped.
3. Once the milk reaches 185°F, remove it from the microwave (use hot pads!!!) and place it in the bowl of ice water. (If you don't have this, let it cool on the counter.) Add the milk powder and the sugar. (The milk powder will probably clump up; that's ok.)
4. Stir the milk as it cools to help break up the milk powder and mix in the sugar. Take the temperature every 2 minutes or so as it cools.
5. Once the milk reaches 120°F, remove it from the ice water. Add your starter yogurt and vanilla and stir thoroughly and quickly.
6. Seal the glass jar and wrap it well in towels. You can also microwave your heating pad until it's 130-140°F and place it about one layer of towels away from the jar. The yogurt should stay between 120°F and 95°F at all times, preferably as close to 110°F as possible
7. Leave the jar undisturbed for 6-8 hours. After this, it should be fairly solid with some liquid at the top or on the sides. Refrigerate the yogurt for at least 90 minutes. You can then pour the liquid off, or you can stir it in and enjoy your yogurt.

Homemade yogurt and granola with fresh berries.

- The less fat your milk has, the runnier it will be once you've incubated it. Dry milk powder helps solidify yogurt. If you use whole milk, you probably don't need it. If you're using 1% or nonfat milk, use additional milk powder.

- I use greek yogurt because it produces a very mild yogurt, even after 8 hours of incubating. If you like tangy yogurt, I suggest using a different starter yogurt (read the label to make sure it has live, active cultures). The quality of the yogurt you put in will determine the quality of the yogurt you get out.

- After you've made the first round of yogurt, you can use this as a start yogurt.

- Feel free to leave out the vanilla and have plain yogurt, or stir in some jam. This is also delicious with a healthy dose of almond extract.

Feel free to leave comments with troubleshooting or questions! I've had a fair number of mishaps and would be happy to give diagnosis a shot.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think! Leave a comment or question below.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...