Sunday, January 6, 2008

Homemade yogurt

I could not find any yogurt that did not come in plastic with at least one non-recyclable piece, and even the recyclable ones are only so in some areas, so I decided to try making my own yogurt. I first looked at all the yogurt makers, but they, alas, are all also made of plastic. So after some searching, I found a site which had recipes for making yogurt without a yogurt maker. http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/bldairy9.htm

Basically, you inoculate milk with plain active yogurt, then keep it warm for 5-10 hours. The site has several ways of doing this, such as a heating pad, thermos, and crockpot. My first batch I tried in my crock pot. I put a tablespoon of yogurt in each glass pint jar and filled them with milk, stirring well, then putting on lids. I added 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the crock pot and heated it on low to around 100 degrees F. I placed the jars in the crock pot and turned off the heat. Every 40 minutes I turned the heat on low for 10 minutes;I set the kitchen timer every time I made a change so I would not forget. It took about 5 hours and I had yogurt. This really did not take much time overall; I puttered around the house all day anyways, so it really was not 'work'.

We used homemade jelly in place of fruit, (my husband really liked the blueberry, I liked the grape) but this summer I will experiment with putting up whole sweetened fruit to use in yogurt. The beauty of this system is once you have that first batch, as long as you save a few tablespoons plain yogurt from each batch for the next, you never have to buy yogurt again, and if you buy milk in glass jars, no part of your yogurt will be in plastic at any point in its making.

1 comment:

Fake Plastic Fish said...

I discovered the Thermos method too and posted about it here:

http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2007/12/plastic-free-yogurt-well-almost-plus.html

Easier than I ever imagined. Now, if only I could get cottage cheese to come out right.