Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homemade Yogurt: Simple, Inexpensive and Healthy!

by: Lisa K. Beach, Ph.D.

At this time of year, it can be pretty easy to slip outside of our normal healthy lifestyle patterns, to splurge a little more on unhealthy foods and exercise a little less. In the spirit of keeping things positive, I always like to focus on how I can add value to my day in terms of what I eat and what I do. One way I've done this recently is by making yogurt at home. It's something I learned about recently that I previously thought would be too complicated (and possibly a little creepy!).

My conclusion? Making yogurt is not only very easy, but it's also fun and economical! I recommend consuming probiotic rich foods everyday in order to maintain a healthy digestive flora, and yogurt (with cow or goat milk) is a great way to assist with this.

Here's how you can do it:
Step 1: Choose your milk. I chose a local favorite!

Step 2: Heat up to 1 gallon of milk to 185 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer, that's ok. Just heat the milk until it barely starts to boil). If you're using a yogurt maker, check the instructions to see how much milk you should use.

Step 3: Cool milk to 110 degrees F (or if you don’t have a thermometer, just cool it till it feels like body temperature—check by sticking your clean finger into it!).

Step 4: Add the starter. Put a cup or so of the milk you heated/cooled into another bowl, stir in (1) yogurt starter or (2) a container of good quality plain yogurt, until thoroughly mixed. (here's an example of yogurt starter you could buy, and you can often find products like this in a health food store or even a regular grocery store)

Step 5: Add the starter you made to the entire batch of milk, and stir until mixed.

Step 6: Let the Magic Happen! (you have two options for this step)
Option 1: pour into containers of a yogurt maker, set timer according to yogurt maker instructions. Note: It's completely unnecessary to buy a yogurt maker, but they are relatively inexpensive.

Option 2: Pour into glass canning jars (lids off). Heat oven to warm, and then turn it off. Put the jars in the oven, and leave uncovered overnight.

Step 7: Transfer to fridge with lids on! Let the yogurt chill for at least three hours before you consume it. There may be some yellowish gunk on top--this is whey. You can scoop this off and discard or eat it (it's safe and healthy to eat).  This yogurt will keep for about a week in the fridge.

Add what you like for flavor--my favorite things to mix in are vanilla stevia (liquid) for sweetness and some berries.

Have you ever made yogurt?! 

What would your mix-ins of choice be?


nose surgery said...

I can yogurt is really healthy product. Because I have used it. Really it provides many good benefits to your health if you take it at proper ways.

man and van said...

Yep. Yogurt is very beneficial. Its really amazing product for our health. I take it with after heard lots of thing about it.

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