Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yogurt Maker


It's been a little over a year ago that I learned I could make my own yogurt. I love homemade yogurt, love knowing that there is nothing in it but pure milk and yogurt cultures, but I admit I am not always successful in making my own. The last couple of times I made it -- it's been a few months -- it was a flop. I suspect it was my heating pad that was causing problems. I noticed when I was using it for an injury that it would alternately get very hot and very cool, and I'm sure the fluctuations in temperature were not good for growing yogurt.

After a few months of alternately not eating yogurt and then eating sub-par grocery store yogurt, I finally decided to buy a yogurt maker.

I have made two batches so far and am very happy with it. I like the glass jars, and I like not wasting so much plastic. And as silly as it sounds, I like being able to watch my yogurt while it grows. That was a problem with me and the hot pad -- I couldn't peek! 

I strained half of the first batch for Greek style yogurt, and I'll probably strain most of the second batch -- I love that thick creamy style. I use 2% milk because I like a little bit of fat in my yogurt and I think some dairy fat is good for us, and I used Greek Style yogurt for my starter (you use store bought yogurt the first time but then use your own yogurt after that). The first time I let it grow for about six hours, and the second time I only let it go a little bit longer because I was afraid the power would go out with the ice storms we've had. But it is pretty firm even after six hours.

If you are a yogurt lover, I would highly recommend looking into a yogurt maker. With 42 ounces of fresh milk -- about $2 -- you can make about 48 ounces of fresh yogurt. In no time at all this machine will pay for itself. You still heat the milk to 180 degrees and cool it off before adding your yogurt, but once the milk mixture gets poured into the little pots, your work is done.



Shawna said...

I cannot believe how inexpensive your milk is down south. We pay 4.50 for 4L up here in Alberta. I'll have to do the math and see if this economical for us. I love the idea of making my own yogurt.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Our gallons are about $2.70 -- about the same amount of milk as your 4L. I usually buy a half gallon of 2% milk to make yogurt because we normally drink 1% milk. A half gallon is not fully half the cost of a gallon -- I probably should buy a gallon of 2%. The Greek yogurt is $4.50 for 17 oz. If I strain my yogurt I get about 25 ounces of Greek yogurt for less than $2.

cursuri engleza said...

I make my won yoghurt, too. I love the fact that I can make it as fat as I want to, or as thick. My kids just love it.

Crafty P said...

I've been talking about getting myself a yogurt maker for a few months now. I just decided I was only buying it from Trader Joe's anymore- I go through yogurt about as fast as anyone I know. It's just what my kids choose for a snack. I KNOW for a fact a yogurt maker would be much more economical. My only problem, I don't like yogurt, so how will I know if it tastes good before I feed it to the kids? So, what kind did you end up buying. I trust your recs, Barbara!

Jane said...

Barbara, I'm curious as to what brand of Yogurt Maker you have. Also, does the strained yogurt really have the consistency of Greek Yogurt? I'd love to make my own since it is so expensive.


scmom (Barbara) said...

Crafty P,
I apologize that it took me so long to get back to your questions. I bought the Euro Cuisine that I linked to in the post. I can't really say how you would know it's good, except by smell. If it doesn't get thick that would be obvious, but I can't imagine that happening with a yogurt maker because the temperature is so constant.

I bought the Euro Cuisine I linked to in the post. Strained yogurt is most definitely Greek yogurt. The easiest way to do it is to line a colander (or for a single serving a small strainer) with clean paper towels, cheesecloth, or a coffee filter. I just use one clean paper towel for a single serving each morning. I dump the yogurt -- made the previous day or days in the yogurt maker -- into the towel lined strainer over a bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes, but if you like it super thick you could strain it overnight in the refrigerator. It's just like store-bought. Of course you don't get as much Greek yogurt from a batch because you are straining off quite a bit of whey, but a six ounce jar makes enough Greek yogurt to satisfy me for breakfast.

Shaun said...

I love my yogurt maker, I feel all healthy and earthy whenever I use it. I wish I could get my kids to eat it though. They want bright pink with a picture of Dora. I have played around trying to make it pink in a healthy, non red dye kind of way that still keeps it perfectly smooth, no luck yet. I am seriously contemplating stuffing my yogurt into an empty clean Dora cup. Sigh. 3 year olds.

Crafty P said...

Shaun- I suggest you do just that! I save my old yogurt cups and use them as snack cups for my 3 year olds and it's the best portion control for serving up yogurt from store bought quarts!
thanks Barbara! I didn't see the link at first.

Jane said...

Shaun- You can make beautifully pink yogurt by mixing in some defrosted frozen strawberries. They need some sweetening though.

Barbara, thanks for answering my questions about making Greek style yogurt.

Jennifer Gregory Miller said...

I know this is an older post, but I kept in memory that you were making I'm thinking about making mine. The store bought is so subpar. Are you persevering? Are you still pleased with this maker?