Delicious yogurt can easily be made at home.
Lunch Hour Lesson #4
Did you know it’s easy to make lactose-free, sugar free yogurt at home? And it only has one ingredient? And it tastes really good?
I make and have taught others to make yogurt at home; everyone enjoys it and continues to make it as a staple food. Eaten with fresh fruit, it is a satisfying substitution for cereal and milk or for a highly sweet dessert.
When you make yogurt, you participate in an ancient food preparation technique called lacto-fermentation.
Lacto-fermentation is a process of guiding lactobacillus bacteria to consume lactose or other sugars present in the milk and convert them quickly and easily to lactic acid. That’s what makes the yogurt sour.
You’ll need what’s called a starter culture of this lactobacillus bacteria for the first batch, and then some people just use a bit of yogurt from the current batch to make the next. In our home, we do use starter culture each time to ensure even results.
Many places sell yogurt starter cultures. I use the Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter. Cultures for Health is also a great place to find starters. They have many different varieties.
Milk or Half and Half
You can make yogurt with half and half, or whole milk. A half and half yogurt is going to be thicker and those who I have taught have the most success with it.
Always purchase organic dairy products, because toxins are stored in fat. Also avoid ultra-pasteurized milk or half and half. Read the label carefully!
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Next material needed is something to incubate the milk/half and half in so it turns into yogurt. Incubating just means keeping it at a gentle warm temperature. This can be done with a dedicated yogurt maker, or an instant pot, or even an oven or croc pot set on low heat.
I use a Yogourmet yogurt maker – half gallon size, and this is what I have recommended to others. Simple heating unit and design.
After making yogurt for years with this recipe, we eventually realized that we could actually skip the heating step and just pour the half and half straight into the yogurt maker, add some starter culture, and start incubating!
There are many good resources for homemade yogurt. You can start your research by looking up the Yogourmet yogurt maker and Yogourmet yogurt starter. 🙂
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